THE FOLLOWING IS A GENERAL PACKING LIST FOR COSTA RICA BY CATEGORY
CLOTHING FOR COSTA RICA
- 3-5 short sleeve t-shirts. Quick dry shirts are recommended
- 1-2 long sleeve shirts for protection from the sun or hiking through higher elevation forests
- 1-2 blouses or dress shirts
- 2-3 pairs of quick dry shorts for general use
- 1-2 pairs of dress shorts or tropical weight skirts
- swimsuit and possibly a sarong
- 1 pair of casual dress pants
- 1 pair of long pants for hiking. TIP: Convertible pants are convenient and can reduce your packing as you can unzip the pant legs and use them in place of the general use shorts.
- 6-8 pairs of underwear
- 6-8 pairs of socks
- rain jacket – It should be lightweight and breathable
- brimmed hat for protection from the sun
- nylon mesh bag for dirty/wet clothes
*Packing Tip: Rolled clothing condenses better than folded clothing.
RECOMMENDED SHOES TO PACK FOR COSTA RICA
- Hiking or walking shoes dependent on the level of activity in your vacation
- Sandals or flip flops
- Dress sandals or light dress shoes
- You may also want to consider amphibian hiking shoes or reef/river sandals depending if you plan on doing land/water activities such as rafting or canyoning.
- toothbrush with cover
- shaving cream
DOCUMENTS TO PACK FOR COSTA RICA
- Passport – and possibly visa, depending on your nationality. Click here for the Costa Rica Consulate
- Copy of your passport
- Drivers license
- Money – everybody accepts the United States dollar or you can exchange for Costa Rican colones. $20 bills are best as larger denomination bills are rarely accepted
- Credit or debit card
- Insurance card along with contact information
- A card with emergency contact information for friends and/or family
- departure ticket – without it, you will not be allowed to enter the country
MAPS AND BOOKS
- Map of Costa Rica – we recommend Toucan Maps or What to do CR app.
- Nature guide – we recommend The Wildlife of Costa Rica: A Field Guide by Fiona A. Reid
- Spanish/English phrase book – we recommend Costa Rican Spanish: Lonely Planet Phrasebook by Thomas Kohnstamm
- camera with carrying case, two batteries, charger, two memory cards
- dry bag or a few Ziploc freezer size bags
- water bottle or bag for hiking
- flashlight or headlamp
- container for your prescription or sunglasses
- mp3 player
- phone card or cell phone with a Costa Rica brand SIM card if you own an unlocked phone
- light backpack for day trips
- Internet logon information
HEALTH CARE AND BASIC FIRST AID
- Prescription medicine – You should bring the medicine with you as you may experience difficulty finding it here.
- Prescription glasses
- Contact lenses and cleaning solution
- Band aids
- Imodium® for diarrhea
- Motion sickness medicine such as Dramamine®
- Sun screen – waterproof and at least SPF 20
- Insect repellant – Skin-so-Soft® works well for no-see-ums, 95% DEET repellant for mosquitoes.
- Pain relievers and or fever reducers such as Aspirin, Ibuprofen, or Acetaminophen
- Vitamins if you normally take them
So there you have it… Everybody has their own styles and plans, so use this as it is intended; a general packing list for Costa Rica. Take the ideas that apply to you and leave the rest. If you have any suggestions for our list, please send them for consideration.
Have a nice trip!! PURA VIDA…