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Two people standing on a hanging bridge in a Costa Rican rainforest facing each other
August 10, 2022

Ultimate Guide to November in Costa Rica

If you’re looking for an ideal time to plan a vacation to Costa Rica—it doesn’t get much better than the month of November! November marks the end of Costa Rica’s rainy season, so until late November, travelers can enjoy the benefits of the dry season while paying a lower price for Costa Rica tours, hotels, flights, and other travel expenses.

Discover all the events, festivals, and best things to do in Costa Rica in November, so you can plan the perfect trip to Central America’s tropical paradise.

Costa Rica weather in November

November marks the tail end of Costa Rica’s rainy season. Even though you’ll be visiting Costa Rica during the rainy season, you’ll still enjoy many perks of the dry season at a lower cost. In November, you’ll usually find hotels between 15% to 50% cheaper than during the peak season, and you can typically find low prices on international flights to Costa Rica too.

A man and woman standing in the rainforest smiling while wearing black rain jackets

The heavy rains begin to subside and are traded for drier days by late November. Average monthly rainfall plummets from almost 18 inches per month in October to 5 inches per month in November, so overall, you’ll enjoy a drier vacation. Plus, all that rain from earlier in the rainy season makes for cooler weather in November. You can expect lower temperatures (between 75°F and 85°F) when you visit Costa Rica in November, which is ideal if you’re hoping to sunbathe and soak up the sunshine on the beaches along the Pacific Coast!

Events and festivals in November

Costa Rica has a few fun festivals that occur during November. Plan your trip to Costa Rica around the following events for great weather and fun memories.

Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

Dia de Los Muertos, or “Day of the Dead,” is a holiday that’s celebrated in Costa Rica, and other Latin American countries, on November 2nd. Costa Ricans honor deceased family members by visiting local cemeteries, holding candlelight vigils, and decorating the graves of loved ones with flowers, candles, and other decorations.

Several colorful painted skulls sitting on a table

El Desfile de Carretas (Parade of Oxcarts)

El Desfile de Carretas is an annual oxcart parade in San José during the last week of November. During the festival, oxen pull wagons, parade floats, and carts that the locals have ornately decorated. You can also expect food, drinks, and street parties during this festival, especially in major cities like San José.

A large group of people marching in the street during a parade to celebrate El Desfile de Carretas

Dia de Accion de Gracias (Thanksgiving)

While Thanksgiving isn’t a Costa Rican holiday, it does mark another important time for the country—the return of Costa Rica’s high season. Many Americans travel to tropical destinations, like Costa Rica, during the cold winter months to escape the snow and trade the crowded and expensive accommodations for a peaceful, laid-back holiday vacation.

Thanksgiving dinner table with turkey, salad, wine glasses filled with red wine, and other sides

If you’re hoping to enjoy the low season prices during Costa Rica’s rainy season, plan your trip to Costa Rica in early or mid-November.

Fun things to do in November in Costa Rica

November is a great time to visit Costa Rica. You will be able to enjoy drier weather on the beaches along the Caribbean and Pacific side of the country while still enjoying the lower prices for airfare, lodging, and activities that skyrocket during Costa Rica’s dry season.

Here are some of the best activities you can enjoy during your trip to Costa Rica in November:

Guided coffee tour

If you’re a coffee lover, you can’t miss the chance to go on a coffee tour with an expert local tour guide during your trip to Costa Rica. November marks the beginning of the coffee harvesting season that lasts through March, so it’s a great time to secure lower tour prices before tourists flock to Costa Rica in early December.

Two women holding large basket filled with coffee beans on during a coffee harvesting tour

San Jose

San Jose is a festive destination to visit in Costa Rica in November. The country’s capital is decorated for the “Day of the Dead” in early November, and by mid-November, you may even begin to see some Christmas decorations filling the streets.

Arenal Volcano

Arenal Volcano National Park is a great destination to visit year-round in Costa Rica and provides the perfect rainforest escape from the coastal areas of the country. While exploring Arenal Volcano, you can venture onto the hiking trails, soak in the natural hot springs, or go zip-lining over the Central Valley.

A volcano under a cloudy sky and in a lush green rainforest at sunset

You can also see popular waterfalls, like the La Fortuna Waterfall, or take a day trip to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve to explore the terrain in Costa Rica’s high-elevation rainforests.

Nicoya Peninsula

During the dry season, the Nicoya Peninsula is usually warm and toasty, making the end of the rainy season the perfect time to visit this well-known region along Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast.

A large bay with the ocean lapping on the shore and lush greenery surrounding the ocean

While the popular beaches, like Santa Teresa, Tamarindo, and Nosara, are heating up and perfect for sunbathing and water activities, like surfing and swimming, they’re still cool enough from the rain to keep you from suffering through the excessive heat.

Turtle tours

In November, the Central Pacific Coast, Osa Peninsula, and Guanacaste Province are filled with sea turtles, making turtle tours a popular activity in Costa Rica.

In Guanacaste, you can find leatherback sea turtles in Las Baulas National Marine Park and olive ridley turtles in Santa Rosa National Park. You can see olive ridley sea turtles on Hermosa Beach on the Central Pacific Coast, which is just a short drive from the popular Manuel Antonio National Park, and also on the Osa Peninsula.

An olive ridley sea turtle crawling across the wet sand on a beach

Tortuguero National Park

Tortuguero National Park is one of the most popular national parks on Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast. Popular activities include hiking, kayaking, and wildlife spotting. Though turtle nesting season ends in October, you may have the opportunity to see baby sea turtles hatching when you visit Tortuguero National Park in November!

Plan a dreamy travel experience in November to Costa Rica with Special Places of Costa Rica

Get started planning the perfect getaway to Costa Rica in November with Special Places of Costa Rica. We offer over 100 vacation rental properties for every type of traveler—from cozy condos to luxury beachfront homes. Browse our vacation rentals and guest services, like private transportation and golf cart rentals, to plan the perfect custom-made trip to Costa Rica.

 


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