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Do you know why the sun sets so early in Costa Rica?

March 19, 2021 2 min read

Did you know that in Costa Rica, year round the daylight length doesn't vary that much, with ~12 hours of daylight. In other words, sunset is always around 5-6PM and sunrise is around 5-6AM.

Yep, even during the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere on June 21st, with the sun going down in some places in the US at 9PM, sunset in Costa Rica is at 6:02PM....what?!?!



And what's even more interesting is that from July 10th - 14th, the sunset time in Costa Rica is the latest it will be all year, clocking in at 6:05PM.

So how is it that Costa Rica is in the Northern Hemisphere, North of the Equator, and the sunset time can get later AFTER the longest day of the year? Shouldn't the sunset time go in the other direction after June 21st? 

The simple answer is that the sunrise time gets later in the morning (5:22AM vs 5:19AM), so essentially the daylight hours is staying the same at around twelve hours of daylight.




But what's really going on here??

Why does the sun set so early in Costa Rica during the Northern Hemisphere months?

Costa Rica is 10 degrees North of the equator and as a result, the country is always pretty close to the Sun as the Earth tilts on its axis throughout the year. (Yes, I'm totally channeling my inner science nerd right now...and I also consulted Señor Google!) As a result, Costa Rica year round has 11-12 hours of daylight each day.

So if the sun rises at 6AM in Costa Rica, twelve hours later the sun will set around 6PM -- hence why the sunset is so "early" as compared to places much farther North on the longest day of the year.

For example, in Oslo, Norway, sunset on June 21st is at 10:44PM because it's 60 degrees North of the Equator AND on June 21st, Oslo is much closer to the Sun than Costa Rica because of the Earth's tilt.(In comparison, sunset in Oslo is at 3:12PM on December 21st, the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, because Oslo is farther away from the sun due to the Earth's tilt and the spherical shape of the Earth.)

All in all, I sure do love that the sun rises so early every day in Costa Rica, BUT the sun going down at 5:15PM and it being pitch black by 6:30PM makes me want to be to bed at 8PM 😂😂😂😂😂.


Or maybe I’m just getting old(er)...



Do you have more questions about Costa Rica?

Click here to read more of my Costa Rica tips, check out the highlights in my Instagram stories "CR Tips", or feel free to email me and ask away!



P u r a   V i d a,




P.S. ANDDDDD one last thing, if you love podcasts as much as I do, check out my recent interview on the Salted Spirit Podcast! I chat about about finding my niche, the power of a positive mindset, keeping my ‘banks,’ balanced, and how learning the power of money at a young age (thanks mom and dad!) has translated into financial success as an adult.

Click here to listen!

Salted Spirit podcast. Interview with Kristen M. Brown of Samba to the Sea.

*[Blog post originally posted on 1/11/19, updated 3/19/21]*

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