Costa Rica Guide

November Weather

Weather and rainfall map for November in Costa Rica
As the map shows typically November is one of the wettest months in Costa Rica but by the end it’s usually drying out.

The wet period is strengthened and prolonged during La Niña years, but occasionally the arid period arrives early, especially with El Niño. Typically, November in Costa Rica is uncertain in regards to climate, with it being a month of the rainy season on the Pacific coast and in the central mountains.

Towards the end of the month, the weather begins to dry up as operations resume. However, tour operators and lodges in the Osa Peninsula and southern Pacific continue to shut down during the exceptionally wet months of October and September. While the mornings in the month still enjoy a sunny pattern, the evenings or afternoons usually bring showers. The central and northern mountains and beaches typically experience some significant rainfall during this time.

The afternoon rains pick up as you move north towards Tortuguero, but generally Manzanillo and Puerto Viejo, on the southern Caribbean side, are much drier.

November is probably the least predictable month in terms of weather in Costa Rica. For example, in 2014 and 2013, it was like someone threw a switch in the middle of November. Severe flooding occurred in the southern Pacific in the second half of November, but the sun came out in November 2015 and it stayed dry.

And areas experiencing flooding, the rangers are shutting down Corcovado to protect the animals that are stranded in trees. Despite their efforts to rescue the animals, tourists are putting themselves in danger and hindering the rangers’ patrol of the park.

High winds, reaching speeds over 100 kph, are generated by the resulting disparity in air pressure. This is caused by the movement of cooler, dry air from North America, displacing the warm, moist tropical air mass. Known as “Papagayo” winds, these seasonal weather patterns occur in November, typically towards the end of the month. They are particularly intensified in the northwest due to gaps in the central mountain ranges.

During the nighttime, the weather can become quite cold, with the temperatures reaching the mid sixties to low seventies in cloud forest locations such as Monteverde and Chirripo. As you ascend to the Central Valley near San José, both the highest and lowest temperatures are approximately 5-10 degrees cooler. In the lowlands and close to the coast, the high temperatures during November are in the low to mid-eighties (though they can potentially reach the low to mid-nineties), while the lows remain in the low seventies.

Arranging a vacation in October, November, December, or January can result in some of the most delightful and unforgettable journeys. Taking into account aspects like climate, expenses, and jotting down observations can enrich the entire experience.

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Planning Ahead & Reservations

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If you’re thinking about spending a holiday in Costa Rica, Thanksgiving might be a good choice as it means less competition for accommodation inventory and generally better prices and availability than the other holidays, such as Spring Break and Easter/Christmas. Additionally, with kids in school and parents at work, few Ticos are heading to the beaches, making it a great time to visit.

If you are planning to stay in mid-priced and budget hotels, especially in November, you should be able to easily find availability even in the most popular lodges and resorts, as they typically have last-minute discounts. These hotels rely on walk-in clientele, so it’s possible to book a room on the same day.

Costs & Availability for Travel in November

Prices and availability are at their lowest during the season of November, which is often referred to as the “green” season. This means that Costa Rica experiences a significant increase in popularity during these days, with a majority of boutique hotels being fully booked even months or years in advance. While it may be challenging to secure a reservation at some of these small hotels, you can still expect to save around 20% and enjoy the meteoric rise in popularity that Costa Rica’s low season has experienced in the past.

The prices of airline seats tend to stay stable, even though the demand is down. However, most airlines are suspending some services and cutting back on the number of flights. You might expect it to be harder to find bargains on airfare during the “low season”.

Arranging a vacation in October, November, December, or January can result in some of the most delightful and unforgettable journeys. Taking into account aspects like climate, expenses, and jotting down observations can enrich the entire experience.

Getting Around

November and December were the previous months that experienced heavy rainfall, leading to the closure of the South American Pan Highway from March until the end of the 2014/2015 period. The ground becomes saturated due to heavy rain and often causes landslides, which results in road closures for weeks and sometimes even months. However, there may be even more rainfall in the months preceding November. In our experience, November has been the worst month for road conditions.

Alternatives to November

Along the Pacific southern and central regions, the weather patterns during the rainy season persisted from January through February of 2018, and even into December of 2017. Though it is not guaranteed, the odds of drier weather are better in December, and prices are mostly available at low season rates. If you consider pushing back your vacation to the first two weeks of December, it might seem like a gamble, given the possibility of record rainfall. However, November is a good choice for low season prices.

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Seldom a complete failure but during the night and in the afternoon, there is usually some precipitation, particularly in August, which is consistently moderate, unlike November, where the chances of either excessive or insufficient rainfall are unexpected. August, on the other hand, is a more reliable option, situated right in the middle of the wet season.

…Other Top…Top things to do, top hidden gems, top getaways ever, top activities & top destinations….

If you want to decide when and where to look for wildlife activities at their best during the year, November is a great time to look. These tips will give you an idea of when to look and may help you decide if you should go on a fall adventure.

Notes:

In the mountainous region and along the Pacific coast of the nation, the chances of rainfall will increase as a result of the ongoing 2022 La Niña phenomenon (cooling of the Pacific Ocean) extending into November, with a high probability.

The Hurricane Otto, which occurred on November 24, 2016, brought several months’ worth of rain to the Pacific Northwest in just a few hours. This was an unusual occurrence, as the hurricane season typically only sees a few hurricanes in November. However, experts predict that the Hurricane season of 2022 could be more active than usual, with a higher number of hurricanes expected to persist into November.

If you’re considering renting a vehicle, you may wish to review the driving tips for the rainy season.

The detailed legend and explanation are also included at the bottom. You will likely see more of the quetzal or whale symbols, or possibly even a turtle symbol. The table below is not suitable for navigation purposes but is intended for informational purposes regarding tide in Costa Rica.

18:13 ↑ per $U.S. ¢678 rate exchange approximate6:14 ↓18:13 ↑5:29 ↓17:15 ↑3:05 ↑15:30 ↓9:17 ↓21:24 ↑18:57 ↓7:02 ↑5:30 ↓17:15 ↑3:39 ↑16:05 ↓9:50 ↓21:57 ↑ Día de los Muertos – All Soul’s Day is celebrated throughout Costa Rica with Catholic masses and journeys to cemeteries.19:43 ↓7:52 ↑5:30 ↓17:15 ↑4:13 ↑16:40 ↓10:25 ↓22:32 ↑20:32 ↓8:44 ↑5:30 ↓17:15 ↑4:48 ↑17:17 ↓11:00 ↓23:08 ↑21:25 ↓9:36 ↑5:30 ↓17:14 ↑5:24 ↑17:56 ↓11:38 ↓23:48 ↑22:19 ↓10:29 ↑5:31 ↓17:14 ↑6:04 ↑18:39 ↓12:18 ↓ ↑23:15 ↓11:21 ↑5:31 ↓17:14 ↑6:49 ↑19:28 ↓0:32 ↓13:04 ↑23:15 ↓12:11 ↑5:31 ↓17:14 ↑7:43 ↑20:26 ↓1:25 ↓13:57 ↑0:10 ↓12:59 ↑5:32 ↓17:14 ↑8:47 ↑21:30 ↓2:26 ↓14:57 ↑1:06 ↓13:46 ↑5:32 ↓17:14 ↑9:56 ↑22:34 ↓3:36 ↓16:02 ↑2:01 ↓14:33 ↑5:32 ↓17:14 ↑11:03 ↑23:34 ↓4:44 ↓17:05 ↑2:57 ↓15:20 ↑5:33 ↓17:14 ↑12:03 ↑ ↓5:47 ↓18:04 ↑3:54 ↓16:09 ↑5:33 ↓17:13 ↑0:29 ↑12:58 ↓6:43 ↓18:58 ↑4:54 ↓17:00 ↑5:33 ↓17:13 ↑1:20 ↑13:50 ↓7:35 ↓19:49 ↑5:56 ↓17:55 ↑5:34 ↓17:13 ↑2:09 ↑14:40 ↓8:25 ↓20:39 Coffee Picking Contests – Local communities throughout the Meseta Central and mountains host coffee picking contests in November.6:59 ↓18:53 ↑5:34 ↓17:13 ↑2:58 ↑15:28 ↓9:13 ↓21:28 ↑8:03 ↓19:54 ↑5:34 ↓17:13 ↑3:46 ↑16:18 ↓10:01 ↓22:17 ↑9:04 ↓20:54 ↑5:35 ↓17:13 ↑4:35 ↑17:08 ↓10:50 ↓23:08 ↑10:02 ↓21:52 ↑5:35 ↓17:14 ↑5:25 ↑18:00 ↓11:39 ↓ ↑10:54 ↓22:48 ↑5:36 ↓17:14 ↑6:17 ↑18:55 ↓0:00 ↓12:31 ↑11:41 ↓23:39 ↑5:36 ↓17:14 ↑7:13 ↑19:54 ↓0:57 ↓13:26 ↑12:24 ↓23:39 ↑5:36 ↓17:14 ↑8:14 ↑20:57 ↓1:58 ↓14:26 ↑13:04 ↓0:27 ↑5:37 ↓17:14 ↑9:19 ↑22:01 ↓3:05 ↓15:29 El Desfile de Carretas – One of the largest parades of ox-carts (the other is the Día de los Boyeros the second week in March) occurs in San José the last week in November.13:42 ↓1:13 ↑5:37 ↓17:14 ↑10:26 ↑23:00 ↓4:14 ↓16:32 ↑14:18 ↓1:57 ↑5:38 ↓17:14 ↑11:26 ↑23:53 ↓5:18 ↓17:29 ↑14:55 ↓2:41 ↑5:38 ↓17:14 ↑12:20 ↑ ↓6:12 ↓18:19 Thanksgiving – Just like the 4th of July it has nothing whatsoever to do with Costa Rica but some of the restaurants and resorts have adopted the idea and offer American visitors a turkey (or some approximation of it

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Calendar Legend

Monthly averages.

  • Estimated currency conversion rate.
  • Overall climate pattern for both halves of the nation.
  • Average wave height for surfing on each coastline.
  • Displayed for each day.

  • Most animals are active at night, especially when the skies are dark under a new moon. It is best to plan a night hike or turtle viewing during these times, considering the sunrise, sunset, and phase of the moon.
  • The navigation is not intended. The average height is 2.5 meters (8 feet). Along the outer Pacific coast, there are various bays and gulfs that experience low and high tides at different times.
  • The tides on the east coast occur approximately 2 hours earlier. However, the average height of the sea levels in the Caribbean Sea only impacts activities minimally, with an average increase of 0.2 inches (8 centimeters).
  • Shaded icons depict natural occurrences such as quetzal nesting, turtle nesting, and humpback whale calving on both coasts.
  • The occurrence of the event is more probable when a uniform color is displayed, and less probable when a tinted color is displayed.
  • If you would like to visit your prior months two calendar to see the little ones popping out of the sand, take a look at the nesting activity for incubation. Baby turtles usually hatch at night after approximately 50-70 days of incubation.
  • Vacations – Bold indicates a government & bank holiday when most establishments are closed and buses may operate on restricted schedules.
  • The Fiesta festival includes a series of events spread over approximately two weeks, with most of them scheduled locally.
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