Costa Rica in November?


I’m going to have a month or so to kill between November and the start of December when I move jobs/countries. I have done plenty of Central/South America in the past and personally it surpasses anywhere else I’ve ever been . I was always attracted to Costa Rica, but previously avoided it due to the cost of living/travel . I will have a shorter window of travel this time, and am willing to budget accordingly as I’m not sure when I will get another opportunity like this.

My plan is to arrive in San Jose and immediately bail to Puerto Viejo , where I’m hoping to spend a few nights and also pop to Bocas Del Toro for Filthy Friday and hang around there for a few days. After that, I intend to be largely based in Santa Teresa for a few weeks, and will do little trips around the area.

I intend to bring my surfboard , and am idealising spending most of the time catching waves and then going out at night with a few day trips thrown in between here and there.

I just had a few concerns, however, and was hoping some of you may be able to provide some clarification!

1. First of all – rainy season. I know no one can predict the weather, and I’ve spent time in Nepal and Colombia during their rainy season and still had an amazing time. This was because it was generally sunny for a few hours and then would bucket down with rain for a bit. I am totally cool with this if I could expect the same in Costa Rica, unless of course the rain was 24/7 – then I may need to look elsewhere. Whilst surfing is the main goal of the trip, I still want to do a lot of exploring and hanging out at the beach. That is actually a big reason why I intend to start my trip on the Carribean side, as i understand the October dry season often stretches into November . If anyone could provide some personal experience then that would be greatly appreciated!

2. Secondly – booking in advance. Although I have a rough plan, booking in advance is definitely not my thing when travelling haha. I will be completely solo, however, and I definitely want to be staying at the best/most social hostels as a result. I would prefer booking in advance if it meant I would avoid missing out, but if there isn’t too much of a need then I would definitely prefer to be open to anything and not do that.

3. Lastly – Does anyone have experience bringing a surfboard around local flights/buses? I’m very fond of my 6ft and am pretty set on bringing it. If anyone has moved around a bit with a board and has any advice on minimising the chance of damage, then that would also be greatly appreciated! Also, would it be possible/unusal to ask a hostel to store a board if I were to shoot off for a few days? Namely Bocas del Toro and internally and/or to the mountains?

4. Official last question – Wildlife is a huge appeal of Costa Rica, and any recommendations for the best spotting would be sick! Would it be likely I see some of the best the country has to offer being mainly based in the Nicoya Peninsula ? I’m always keen to see native wildlife outside of tourist attractions!

Cheers for reading!!

Costa Rica in November?