The Complete Packing List for Costa Rica: The Essential Items to Bring

What do I must pack for Costa Rica? As one of the vital widespread questions we obtain, this Costa Rica packing listing submit will aid you immensely. Crucial factor to learn about packing for Costa Rica is that there round 27 micro-climates within the nation so don’t simply throw your shorts and flip flops in your bag, learn our packing listing for Costa Rica to seek out out precisely what you must convey!

*You too can get our free packing guidelines on the backside of this submit!*

**Please test our Costa Rica COVID-19 Journey submit for contemporary journey info*

The Important Issues to Carry to Costa Rica

The important gadgets you must convey to Costa Rica are face masks, hand sanitizer, sandals, swimwear, mosquito repellent, sunscreen with SPF 30 or larger, mountaineering sneakers/path trainers or closed toed mountaineering sandals, sun shades, a hat, battery pack, medical equipment, waterproof cellphone case, digicam, day pack, rain jacket and an insulated water bottle.

I’ll go extra into particulars under for each.

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Face Masks

Face masks are required in Costa Rica as a result of COVID. They’re required for all residents and vacationers no matter vaccination standing inside closed areas (exception for accommodations and residential), in shops, supermarkets, airports, comfort shops, banks, church buildings, film theaters, theaters and workplaces. Face masks are required when ready on the bus cease and using the bus, prepare, taxi, trip share and shuttle.

Accommodations require face masks for friends in widespread areas. Journey parks require face masks for all widespread areas and when interacting with employees and/or different friends. Institutions might prohibit these not carrying a face masks.

You should buy face masks in Costa Rica on the grocery store and pharmacy. Masks with the filter aren’t really useful. Surgical and material masks are broadly accessible.

Hand Sanitizer

Many institutions may have hand sanitizer by the entrance door, requiring friends to sanitize earlier than getting into. Nonetheless, we extremely advocate bringing your individual to have with you always. You should buy hand sanitizer in any pharmacy or grocery store.

Disinfectant Wipes

Likewise, we advocate to convey your individual disinfectant wipes. Disinfectant wipes are present in supermarkets, there isn’t any scarcity in Costa Rica.


Costa Rica doesn’t have a strict gown code so snug and informal is finest for just about the whole nation. On the seaside, your wardrobe will consist principally of shorts, tank tops and flip flops. Within the metropolis, we advocate closed toed sneakers, lengthy pants and a light-weight jacket or sweater. Should you’re visiting excessive elevation areas (Monteverde, Bajos del Toro, San Isidro de Perez Zeledon, San Gerardo, San Jose/Central Valley), then lengthy pants and a jacket is critical.

For ladies, there isn’t any actual gown code. You’ll be able to completely put on tank tops and present your shoulders. It’s not widespread for native girls to put on leggings as every day put on although, so that you would possibly get some seems to be carrying them within the metropolis. Guys, I don’t advocate carrying board shorts within the metropolis. Denims, khakis or lengthy pants are higher.

Our suggestions: For Costa Rica, garments that dry quick (like Nike Dri-fit garments) and wick away moisture are the perfect, particularly should you’re visiting the seaside or rainforest. Moreover, most laundromats don’t usually use dryers so you want garments that dry quick. Within the metropolis, regular metropolis put on is ok (no seaside garments or simply swim fits).


Flip flops are a should particularly should you’re going to the seaside. Should you’re doing any actions, mountaineering sneakers/sandals (with straps), sneakers, path trainers or mountaineering sneakers are essential. Each time we journey round Costa Rica, I usually convey one pair of flip flops and one pair of sneakers/mountaineering sneakers or closed toed mountaineering sandals relying on what we’re doing.

Yeison normally brings a pair of flip flops and his path trainers or closed toed mountaineering sandals. If we’re doing lengthy hikes, he wears waterproof Salomon path trainers. I normally convey a pair of flip flops and my KEEN mountaineering sandals. For hikes, I even have a pair of Salomon mountaineering sneakers.

Our suggestions: We love closed toed mountaineering sandals. They’re wonderful for all types of out of doors actions and you may go from land to water simply. They dry quick, don’t odor, your toes can breathe and are way more snug than stuffy sneakers and socks. Waterproof path trainers are additionally wonderful for Costa Rica.

We love our KEEN mountaineering sandals and you may learn our in-depth information to what are the perfect sneakers for Costa Rica.

Mosquito Repellent

It’s a must to convey mosquito repellent for Costa Rica as they’re current all 12 months spherical. The coasts are the worst locations for mosquitoes and there are a number of severe illnesses you possibly can catch like dengue fever. There are additionally different annoying little bugs that chunk like gnats. Mosquitoes aren’t present in elevations above 1500 meters (4900 toes) however they’re in all places else.

Our suggestions: You will discover mosquito repellent within the supermarkets however we advocate bringing your individual as it is rather costly right here. Moreover, they don’t have a ton of pure choices. We use Avon pores and skin so smooth which is DEET free with SPF 28 and it actually works for us. Repel is one other wonderful model that we use rather a lot. You’ll be able to examine our favourite mosquito repellent merchandise on this Costa Rica mosquitoes submit.


Sunscreen can be a should and convey not less than SPF 30. Should you burn simply, SPF 50-70 is finest. Costa Rica is simply 8-12 levels from the equator so the solar is robust! Moreover, after solar care is essential in case you do burn.

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Our suggestions: If you will be going within the ocean, we encourage you to purchase reef protected mineral sunscreen. We personally love Uncooked Components, SunBum and Kiss My Face. Should you can, convey sunscreen. Should you forgot it, you will get sunscreen at any grocery store or pharmacy but it surely is a little more costly. Don’t neglect chapstick with SPF!

Toiletries and Medicines

You will discover all toiletries in Costa Rica like shampoo, conditioner, lotion, toothbrush, mouth wash, toothpaste and floss. There are a number of gadgets that I do advocate to convey although. These are tampons for ladies (not all the time readily supplied at markets), face wash (very costly), hair detangler spray, moist wipes, a packet of tissues and face wipes. Should you put on contact lenses, be sure to convey a pair additional lenses.

Should you’re taking any medicines, write down a listing of them and maintain it with you always. Attempt to embody the energetic substances in every medication or discover the Spanish identify.

For fundamental medicines, you could find principally all OTC on the pharmacies in Costa Rica. We do advocate bringing allergy medication like Claritin and Sudafed sinus remedy as these are very costly in Costa Rica. You should buy anti-nausea medication on the pharmacy however I prefer to convey my very own anti-drowsy Dramamine.

Supermarkets do have a small over-the-counter part with chilly and flu, diarrhea and muscle ache medicines.

Rain Jacket

A rain jacket is an important merchandise should you’re visiting throughout Costa Rica’s wet season (Might to starting of December). And also you need to get a water-proof one, belief me! A poncho can work too however get a superb high quality one, not these greenback retailer ones that you just throw away after one use.

You might also need to convey your rain jacket should you’re visiting Dominical, Uvita, Bijagua, Monteverde or Osa Peninsula throughout dry season. We’ve run into intense rain in these areas in February and April. Additionally keep in mind the Caribbean follows a special climate sample and it could rain all 12 months lengthy on that coast. A rain jacket is a should for the Caribbean (Tortuguero and Puerto Viejo), particularly should you’re visiting in June or November, the rainiest months.

Our suggestions: We love our The North Face Enterprise Jackets (I’m from Washington state so I’ve a lot of expertise with rain jackets). Moreover, search for a jacket with air flow to let air circulate via as it’s humid.

Day Bag

For day journeys, sight seeing and excursions, convey a day backpack. Should you’re not planning on doing lengthy hikes, you will get away with a 20-25 L backpack to carry all of the necessities: snacks, water, towel, change of garments, digicam, and so on.

Our suggestions: We advocate not less than 30 L waterproof backpack when you’ve got digicam gear. I’ve a 20 L Osprey, a 25 L REI, a 30 L Aqua Quest and Yeison has a 40 L REI. I don’t advocate these sling drawstring fitness center luggage since they’re flimsy. In wet season, you could convey a water-proof backpack. I like my Aqua Quest waterproof backpacks for mountaineering and our IDRYBAGS for boating days. Should you don’t have a water-proof backpack, you will get a rain cowl or use waterproof spray.

Insulated Water Bottle

I by no means go away dwelling with out my insulated water bottle. It’s the perfect feeling on the planet to take an extended sip of recent chilly water when it’s 90 F out. Additioanlly, bringing your individual water bottle helps to scale back the quantity of plastic water bottles and also you’ll get monetary savings on shopping for water. You’ll be able to drink faucet water in most locations in Costa Rica or convey a water filter when you’ve got a delicate abdomen.

We each have 40 ounce Hydro Flasks and it retains our water good and chilly for as much as 24 hours. I additionally advocate to get the boot in your water bottle as a result of it should get banged round as you are taking it on hikes and adventures.

Micro Fiber Towel

Our second favourite merchandise we by no means go away with out. A micro fiber towel is superior for wiping sweat off, utilizing as a fan to chill off or to wrap your stuff in if it begins raining. We now have a number of, a pair from REI and a few Shandali we purchased on-line.

Should you’re a surfer, I’m in love with my microfiber surf poncho. So snug and handy for altering out of your swimsuit after a surf session.

Sun shades and Hat

As for the sun shades, I like to recommend bringing 2 pairs of sun shades. One low-cost pair so that you just received’t cry if it will get misplaced within the ocean (which has occurred to us and our pals many instances) and one nicer pair for lounging and sightseeing. A hat or visor can be important.

Sarong, Altering Towel

Women, don’t forget your sarong should you’re visiting the seaside! You too can purchase them in memento outlets right here for round $10-20 USD. I like mine! It’s so helpful as a towel, seaside cowl up and even as a blanket for these lengthy chilly bus rides. Generally I take advantage of them to cowl my legs at evening to guard in opposition to mosquitoes once I’m sitting outdoors.


Should you plan to go to the seaside, don’t neglect your swimwear! We advocate not less than two pairs. For guys, the swim trunks with out the mesh is finest and girls, convey all of the bikinis you need!

Cameras and Know-how

If you wish to seize all these superior adventures, an motion cam is the perfect. GoPro and Sony Motion Cam are two wonderful ones. We now have each and love them! GoPro is exceptionally nice now and that’s what we use for our adventures.

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Should you’re a photographer, convey a large angle for panorama photographs and a telephoto lens (not less than 300 mm) for birds and wildlife. A tripod is a should for wildlife photographers!

Our suggestions: Be certain to convey the right equipment in your motion digicam to connect it to helmets, surf boards, and so on. Most tour corporations may have the half that attaches to the helmet however you must convey the opposite half. Carry loads of SD playing cards as it is rather troublesome to seek out Class 10 SD playing cards. Additionally convey a surge protector since some accommodations don’t have that many sockets. Costa Rica’s energy is 110 Volts, the identical as US.

Flashlights or Head Lamps

I all the time convey a flashlight with me after we journey round Costa Rica. It’s because it may be widespread for the electrical energy to exit throughout actually wet days. It is usually useful should you’re strolling at evening since many streets aren’t brightly lit and there aren’t actually sidewalks.

Anti Theft Journey Belt

I don’t discover an anti theft journey belt completely essential in Costa Rica however a few of my pals have introduced one down for additional safety. Will probably be useful should you’re touring solo and spending lots of time in San Jose. One among my pals makes use of this one.

Battery Pack

And since the electrical energy might exit (particularly in wet season), I all the time have a completely charged battery pack with me. Tremendous helpful after we keep in rural areas or on an extended drive!

Waterproof Cellphone Case

These waterproof cellphone instances are tremendous helpful. You’ll be able to put on it round your neck and use it throughout gentle water actions like tubing, canyoning, and so on.

That is additionally very nice different should you don’t have a water-proof digicam and don’t need to spend $400 USD on a GoPro. However keep in mind, these aren’t really useful to take scuba diving or something like that, simply gentle water actions.

Equipment and Extras

Listed below are another gadgets that will probably be helpful.

  • Small first help equipment.
  • Adapter – Costa Rica makes use of the identical voltage as US and Canada (110).
  • Ziplock luggage to guard your electronics.
  • Laundry bag.
  • Reusable material grocery luggage.
  • Numerous hair ties!
  • Sleeping tablets
  • Ear plugs, particularly should you’re staying in a hostel or low-cost resort downtown. Additionally, in case your resort is by the facet of the highway, chances are you’ll hear the very loud trailer vans engine braking all evening lengthy.
  • Automotive mobile phone holder in case you are renting a automobile (the one which sticks on the window). Planning to hire a automobile? Get our Costa Rica automobile rental low cost and further freebies right here!
  • Spanish dictionary or information. Obtain our survival Spanish pocket information. Although English is broadly spoken since Costa Rica is a touristic nation, it’s nonetheless useful to know some phrases and phrases in Spanish.
  • Packing organizers/cubes.
  • Costa Rica waterproof map – although not completely essential to have a bodily map, it’s a good suggestion should you don’t plan to get a sim card or hire a GPS. And it’s a pleasant memento.
  • Grasp Lock – that is particularly helpful in case you are browsing. This fashion you possibly can lock the automobile key and have a protected place for it, particularly when you’ve got an digital automobile key.

Important gadgets you can not neglect

  • Authentic passport
  • Authentic legitimate driver’s license (in case you are renting a automobile). No short-term licenses, no photocopies, no paper copies
  • Bank cards you propose to make use of (don’t neglect to inform your bank card firm you’re touring abroad)
  • Journey insurance coverage (keep in mind that all unvaccinated COVID-19 and partially vaccinated COVID-19 vacationers over the age of 18 should buy insurance coverage with a view to enter Costa Rica that can cowl medical and lodging prices)
  • Your return flight ticket out of Costa Rica (printed or saved in your cellphone)
  • Accommodations, excursions, automobile leases and flight reservations (printed or saved in your cellphone)

Issues NOT to pack for Costa Rica

  • Costly jewellery. Should you plan to be mountaineering and outside more often than not, you received’t actually be carrying it anyhow.
  • Excessive heels, stilettos. Costa Ricans sidewalks and roads generally have pot holes. Even should you’re going for a bachelorette get together or plan to get together it up, select cute sandals as an alternative.
  • Costly purses. Higher to have a extra low key journey purse or day bag. I personally love my Sherpani purses and luggage. I’ve two they usually include anti-theft locks and the RFID safety. In addition they convert from purses to backpacks which is tremendous helpful! I convey mine at any time when we journey and I particularly beloved it in Europe.
  • Rainboots. They take up a ton of room they usually’re actually not essential. Should you do want rain boots, you should buy an inexpensive pair on the ironmongery shop as an alternative of packing them.
  • Each single credit score and debit card you will have. Simply convey those you’re utilizing.

Wet Season Packing Checklist

Usually round starting of Might – finish of November. That is the time of thunderstorms, rainstorms and really windy days.

Rainiest months are September and October for a lot of the nation. October is the summer season month for the Caribbean coast however nonetheless convey a rainjacket!

It is vitally vital you come ready in wet season since Costa Rica climate may be pretty unpredictable.

It will probably go from a scorching sunny morning to a loopy thunderstorm in a matter of minutes.

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The identical packing listing for Costa Rica in dry season however should you’re coming in wet season, add these to your listing:

  • Rain jacket/poncho.
  • Waterproof backpack or rain cowl/waterproof spray. It is a should!
  • Sweater/jacket.
  • Lengthy pants and lengthy sleeve shirt
  • Journey hair dryer – Hostels, low-cost/funds accommodations don’t have hair dryers within the room. Should you’re visiting a colder space, a journey hair dryer is helpful.
  • Mountaineering clothes
  • Mountaineering sneakers. Waterproof preferable. There are waterproof sprays for sneakers accessible too.
  • Socks

We now have an entire Costa Rica wet season packing listing with extra info.

OK so by now, you is likely to be questioning what particular gadgets to convey in your locations. Learn the part under to seek out out!

Packing Checklist for Costa Rica: Completely different Locations and Actions

Arenal and La Fortuna

This space will get fairly scorching throughout dry season with temperatures within the excessive 80s F (29 C). If you’re staying round Lake Arenal or Nuevo Arenal, it’s cooler. In La Fortuna, it will get scorching and you may put on shorts, t shirts and flip flops.

Mountaineering: Should you’re mountaineering the nationwide park, trainers or mountaineering sneakers will probably be positive. In wet season, I like to recommend a pair of waterproof mountaineering sneakers or mountaineering sandals.

We choose to put on mountaineering pants because it’s higher safety in opposition to mosquitoes and I’ve a pair of Omni-Protect Columbia pants which are water repellent and dry tremendous quick. These are my favourite pants for wet season hikes.

Ziplining: No flip flops or free sneakers.

Different actions comparable to horseback using, canyoning and white water rafting require closed toed sneakers. Closed toed mountaineering sandals work wonderful or water sneakers for rafting.


Monteverde sits round 1500 meters (4900 toes) in elevation so it’s a lot colder up there. Dry season temperatures are round excessive 70s F (25 C) and at evening, it will get all the way down to the 50s and 60s F(14 C).

You might want to convey a jacket and lengthy pants for Monteverde.

Anticipate to run into spring showers even through the dry season months of March and April.

Waterproof gear and clothes is a should for wet season in Monteverde. Starting of December can nonetheless be fairly wet.

Mountaineering the cloud forest reserves: Carry a rain jacket and put on closed toed mountaineering sneakers. A number of the reserves have rain boots for hire.

Osa Peninsula (Corcovado Nationwide Park, Puerto Jimenez, Drake Bay) and South Pacific (Uvita, Dominical, Ojochal)

This space may be very humid. Closed toed mountaineering sneakers are a should for the nationwide park. Trails are effectively specified by Corcovado Nationwide Park however should you’re doing the stroll from Leona to Sirena station, you’ll have to cross some rivers and stroll on the seaside. Some accommodations have boots for hire or you should buy boots in Puerto Jimenez.

If you’re visiting in wet season, I like to recommend good waterproof mountaineering sneakers. If you’re bringing digicam gear, you want waterproof gear since this space is SO humid and rains arduous. Carry 100% waterproof backpacks and ziploc luggage.

Should convey gadgets: A micro-fiber towel, a hat, a flashlight, good pair of mountaineering sneakers, a lot of mosquito repellent, battery pack, insulated water bottle, fast dry garments (like Nike dri-fit), waterproof backpack and an open perspective. You’ll run into a lot of bugs and be scorching and sweaty!

The identical goes for Sarapiqui. This space is tremendous humid!

Jaco and Manuel Antonio

Each of those locations are scorching and pretty humid so convey all of your seaside garments, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, sun shades, a hat and swimsuit.

Guanacaste (Coco, Tamarindo, Conchal, Samara) and Nicoya Peninsula

The Guanacaste province is extraordinarily scorching and dry and has an extended dry season. Temperatures are constantly within the low 90s F (33 C) all year long. You should convey tons of SPF 50 sunscreen, mosquito repellent, sun shades, hat and after solar gel. Shield your self from the solar! An insulated water bottle will probably be tremendous helpful so you possibly can all the time have chilly water.

In dry season, the Nicoya Peninsula, significantly Santa Teresa is extraordinarily dusty. Should you plan to hire an ATV, be sure to convey one thing to cowl your face like Buff Headwear as a result of the mud is extremely dangerous there.

Rio Celeste

The Tenorio Volcano Nationwide Park the place Rio Celeste is rains typically so convey a rain jacket, even in dry season. Once we visited in April, it poured virtually all 3 days we had been there.

A water-resistant backpack is extremely really useful (particularly for photographers) and mountaineering sandals or waterproof mountaineering sneakers can be really useful. The nationwide park has rain boots for hire.

Tortuguero and Puerto Viejo

Since this space can rain virtually all 12 months lengthy, be ready for rain. The dry season month is October however imagine me, convey your rain jacket nonetheless. It’s fairly humid on the Caribbean facet so quick drying garments is critical. Should you plan to hike within the nationwide park, you possibly can hire boots as it could get muddy.

A battery pack is extremely really useful as Puerto Viejo can get very stormy and the ability can exit. You can be positive with mountaineering sandals or sneakers along with flip flops.

Free Costa Rica Packing CheckList

Wish to save this submit for later? Click on right here to get our FREE packing guidelines with an abridged model of the notes under so you possibly can print it out and refer again to it when you’re getting ready in your journey!

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