What’s it like to visit Costa Rica in November?

Costa Rica November weather

Avg. temperature: 27.3°C / 81.1°FSun: 11.5 Hrs per day
Rain: 6.2 mm per dayAvg. humidity: 82%

Visiting Costa Rica in November

As the rainy season draws to a close, Costa Rica in November can be a bit of a gamble as far as the weather is concerned. It is a month of transition as temperatures begin to rise in time for summer, but rainclouds still linger most afternoons when light showers continue into the early evening in most parts of the country.

On the Pacific coast, mornings are best spent by the beach where the hot sun beams before the showers hit a few hours later. On the contrary, the Caribbean coast – typically wetter year-round – experiences a drier climate with rain falling mostly in the northern parts during the month of November.

All in all, Costa Rica’s weather can be a little unpredictable in November. Still, with almost 12 glorious hours of sunshine per day and plenty to do, it’ll be tough for a little rain to dampen your spirits!

Things to do in Costa Rica in November

It’s green season

It’s officially green season! We think this sounds better than “rainy” season and does more justice to the effects of the weather on the lush, tropical landscape. 

For many, Costa Rica’s green season is the best time to visit. The rainforests thrive from the rainfall which prompts them to come to life, thick with vibrant green leaves and buzzing with birds who sing even louder in the rain. While you may worry that your holiday will be a washout, rainfall patterns are typically predictable during the winter months so with a little planning, you can experience the best that Costa Rica has to offer.

Mornings tend to bring warm, bright sunshine, before showers begin in the afternoon. The rain brings to life the very best of Costa Rica as the rainforests soak up what Mother Nature offers, transforming the flora and fauna into lively, bright green jungle.

If you’re trekking in the jungle you can expect to see far more species of wildlife than during the drier months, including parrots and armadillos and mischievous monkeys who swing from the freshly re-energised trees.

Not to mention, it is the low season for tourists so you can expect fewer crowds and better deals on travel and accommodation.

Deals to be had

If you’re thinking about visiting Costa Rica in November, something that might help convince you is the amazing offers available on accommodation throughout the country. Low season sees fewer tourists so hotels offer hard-to-refuse deals, including free room upgrades, fantastic spa packages and various free-night offers (such as stay for 7, pay for 5). For regular hotel packages, prices can be anywhere from 10-20% cheaper than during the high season. Be sure to shop around and don’t be afraid to ask for a discount!

Best beaches in Costa Rica in November

Let’s be more Pacific…

The driest region in November is the northern Pacific coast. With some of the best beaches in Costa Rica in November, Tamarindo should be near the top of your list for best places to visit if you’re travelling at this time. The sunsets are stunning and the hard, crashing waves provide the perfect environment for keen surfers (or to observe keen surfers!).

Playa Hermosa is another beautiful beach on the Pacific coast that is known for being a prime position for swimming, snorkeling and watersports. It still rains, but far less than in other regions so you can enjoy the warm temperatures, often without a downpour.

North of Tamarindo, head to the Santa Rosa National Park to witness something spectacular. Hundreds of thousands of Pacific Ridley Sea Turtles come ashore to lay their eggs during the rainy season and it is a sight not to be missed.

Best places to visit in Costa Rica in November

Increased rainfall makes for wonderful waterfalls

Costa Rica is an adventurers paradise, offering wild outdoor activities year-round for those wanting to experience the very best of nature. Due to the increased rainfall during the winter months, one of the best things to do in Costa Rica in November is visit the countries best waterfalls and partake in water-based activities.

The rivers and waterfalls are full and the fast-flowing water creates a spectacular scenery that cannot be beaten.

The La Fortuna Waterfall is one of the very best places to visit in Costa Rica in November, with a 75 meter drop of bright blue water that rushes through the rainforest. The temperature is moderate and the water cool, reflecting the thick jungle trees to form an emerald green pool at the base of the waterfall.

La Paz Waterfall Gardens is a good alternative, located just outside of San Jose, featuring some excellent hiking trails and some of the most famous waterfalls in Costa Rica.

Adventures in the Caribbean

Unlike the Pacific Coast which is slowly transitioning to a warmer, drier climate, the Caribbean Coast is just coming to the end of its own summer season, so it is a great time to bask in the sun before the rainfall increases.

The ideal time to visit in November is during the first half of the month, while the sun still shines for 12 hours per day, temperatures remain high and rainfall is quite low.

Puerto Viejo is the epitome of laid-back Caribbean vibes. It is a bustling beach town filled with independent eateries, cocktail bars and street vendors, yet has a somewhat sleepy charm typical of the Caribbean. A surfers paradise, with beaches suitable for beginners and advanced surfers (and all of them are great for spectators!) Puerto Viejo is the ultimate destination for beach lovers.

Limon is a lush paradise, said to be one of the most pristine regions in Costa Rica. Filled with rainforests, the Tortuguero National Park in particular is one of the best places to visit in Costa Rica in November.

It is one of the top spots to see Sea Turtles come ashore to nest, and you can also expect to see monkeys, jaguars, parrots, crocodiles and more at this exciting attraction.

Day of the Dead

You’ve probably heard of Mexico’s iconic Day of the Dead celebrations, but did you know that Costa Rica hosts its own on 2 November every year? The celebration honours deceased family members and loved ones and sees locals make pilgrimages to graveyards and cemeteries to lay candles and flowers in memory of the deceased. Many fiestas are held throughout the day which involve dancing, eating homemade delicacies and simply remembering; lost, but not forgotten.

Cover photo source: https://www.tourradar.com/m/costa-rica-november-2020

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