November in Costa Rica
November can be an ideal month to visit Costa Rica. On the Pacific side of the country, the weather is transitioning to more and more sun, while the Caribbean is still experiencing its mini-summer. And save for the increasingly popular Thanksgiving holiday week, the month is still virtually devoid of tourists so there can be some deep discounts in prime locations.
Thanksgiving in Costa Rica
For better or worse, Costa Rica was not founded by Puritans, so they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. That said, with so many US expats living in Costa Rica there’s strong demand for turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce in late November. Supermarkets in upscale San Jose neighborhoods often carry traditional ingredients for Thanksgiving dinner. If you don’t mind spending Thanksgiving in the tropics, this is a great time to visit Costa Rica. Late November is the end of the rainy season, and many popular areas are sunny and dry. Best of all, because Costa Ricans aren’t on vacation and most gringos are in the US, there are limited crowds and low season prices!
November Temperatures in Costa Rica
Pacific Coast: 71˙ – 86˙ F (22˙ – 30˙ C)
San José: 60˙ – 75˙ F (16˙ – 24˙ C)
Caribbean Coast: 69˙ – 85˙ F (21˙ – 29˙ C)
Sunrise & Sunset in November
Sunrise: 5:30am – 5:40am
Sunset: 5:10pm – 5:15pm
Things to bring
Small umbrella just in case…though the rain is generally warm. I n November there are an average 12 days with rain, though often at night….if mother nature cooperates.
Hat for sun protection. Sunscreen for the same reason.
Aftersun or aloe, in case you get a sun-burn.
Bug spray as it is the end of the rainy season so there will be a few mosquitoes.
Masks and fins if you like to snorkel – it is possible to rent them although the fins are typically not the best.
Any medications you normally take. There are two pharmacies in town. There is a Doctor and a dentist in town.
Light comfortable clothing as it’s generally warm: 31C
Make sure that you include your health insurance for the duration of your holiday in case of any challenges that may arise.
You may wish to bring a deck of cards, a book to read, frisbee or a game that packs easily.
The beach where we are is a wide sand beach, though there are a few bug bits at times so beach shoes or sandals will protect your feet.
The beaches are not nude or topless generally, though we are on a secluded section.
The water is warm and comfortable and the waves gentle. There are no riptides and swimming is safe – and use common sense and know your limitations.
Again, the sun is quite strong….just FYI .
The hotel has a mini gym, pool and jacuzzi, bear in mind, the sun provides the heat for the jacuzzi and its use is for more cooling than heating.
There are kayaks, bicycles and snorkelling equipment provided by the hotel.
The ride in to the main village of Samara is about two kilometres on the beach and easy at lower tides.
The tide tables are posted in many places.
It is quite a safe area for walking the beach during the day and at night. As always use common sense.
Things to do in the area
Along the beach there are many surf schools – Choco’s surf school and the teacher Marco Carillo are highly recommended. All the instructors along the beach have years of experience, however, and a huge love for the sport. There are also SUP boards and Kayaks for rent.
If you like to ride, there are at least two horse guides who are on the beach daily, or you can book through the hotel. These are well cared for animals, and a source of pride for their owners. One of the great sights is that many horses run freely through town. They will go through beach restaurants and move as part of the traffic on the street.
Riding tours vary in length and some can take you from the beach to the hills beyond and back.
There are deep sea fishing charters, or local guides that can direct you to fishing for a few hours or a day.
Four wheeling quad bikes are operated by Outback Quad tours and rentals are terrific. Brian and his team of guides know the ways around the area very well. A fun few hours and a great way to get a feel for the area.
There are many wonderful restaurants and bars in Samara as well as Karaoke in a local pub just down the street from our hotel on Thursday nights.
Along the beach front are a number of restaurants such as LoQueHay, Gusto and Luv Burger vegan restaurant. Up the Main Street there is Frank’s Secret Beer Garden, Media Luna, and Roots Bakery (which is “ oh my goodness” yummy).
Nearby the hotel Wing Nuts offers zip-lining.
If you have a chance bike, or drive to the next bay for a ‘picture perfect palm tree lined beach’ at Carrillo Bay – it is a postcard come to life. No hotels on the beach, no corner stores, except for a few people selling delicious coconuts.
Costa Rica coconuts don’t taste like the ones we get in Canada. I highly recommend having one or two a day to help balance your electrolytes. Refreshing and excellent for you.