Before I Start my Trip

First thing to know is :"less is more" Consider all of the regions and climates that you will be experiencing during your visit. Layering your clothing is a good strategy. You will want to bring activity specific items for certain outings (rainforest adventures, beaches, etc.). Bring along plastic bags for storing wet clothes/shoes on excursions. Pack for various types of weather, no matter what season you're traveling. Bring a small day pack that you can take on day hikes and activities.


Along with Tshirts, be sure to pack some long sleeve shirts to protect against sunburn and for hiking. Light allcotton pieces are good choices.

Pack quickdrying garments (shorts, pants). Sport and outdoor clothing that are designed to breathe and dry fast work well.

Bring along a pair or two of dressier cotton shorts or a tropical weight casual skirt

A few long pants, again a casual pair (for the hiking) and maybe one that is a bit less sporty.

Comfortable hiking/walking shoes; Water friendly hiking/walking shoes; Beach sandals or flipflops

A lightweight raincoat, poncho, windbreaker. A jacket, for higher elevations or on the ocean

Costa Rica is located only ten degrees north of the equator. Hat and sunscreen are a must.

Swimsuits and a sarong (or other beach coverup). A sarong is a good choice as it can also be used as a towel and will dry much quicker than a towel. It rolls up easily and doesn't weigh much or take up much room in your pack.

Socks can get soggy due to tropical precipitation, bring a few extra pair.

Plastic bags-Ziplock bags of various sizes to protect things from humidity or rain.

Be sure to put tags on the inside and outside of your bags.


  • Personal prescriptions should be filled before you leave home for Costa Rica. Be sure you have enough for the duration of your stay
  • If you wear prescription glasses, pack a spare pair
  • Contact lenses and cleaning solutions
  • Sun screenat least SPF 20, waterproof
  • A Simple First Aid Kit
  • Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, and/or Aspirin or other painreliever
  • Imodium®
  • Neosporin®
  • Antiitch ointment
  • Dramamine® or other motion sickness prevention
  • Eye drops


  • Water Bottle – Stay Hydrated
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen (SPF 30 and up and waterproof)
  • Lip balm w/sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Zip ties
  • Clothesline
  • Travel compact/folding umbrella
  • Duct tape
  • Tweezers
  • Nylon sewing thread & needles
  • Compass
  • Binoculars
  • Pocket knife
  • Universal plug for bathroom sinks and tubs
  • 110 Volt AC service is throughout Costa Rica; however, a twoprong adapter is needed for outlets that can not accept threeprong grounded plugs
  • U.S. dollars in small denominations. Keep some extra cash and a credit card in a separate location


  • Airline tickets
  • Travel Confirmations
  • Itinerary
  • Travel insurance
  • Passport photocopy your passport and keep the copy in a separate place than your actual passport.
  • Driver's License
  • Diving Certification
  • Copies of your passport and credit cards (or scan them and email to yourself)
  • Credit Cards one with fraud protection and an ATM access code Visa or Mastercard generally most accepted. Contact your credit card company before you leave and let them know you are going to Costa Rica.
  • Numbers for emergency contacts and Credit Card companies
  • Insurance card and contact information
  • Copy of packing list
  • Give a copy of your itinerary, contact information and flight information to someone at home.
  • A good Costa Rica map and nature guidebook
  • Spanish/English dictionary and phrase book
  • Read articles, books, and travel guides in order to familiarize yourself with the food, culture, and music of Costa Rica


Leave photocopies of your passport, drivers license, credit cards, airline tickets, and any reservations that you've prepaid where someone at home can access them if needed. If you're going to carry your purse or wallet you likely won't need most of what you carry around at home.