costa rica vacation
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Perfect Packing List for Your Costa Rica Vacation

Woman packing overfilled travel bag

Time to Pack Your Bags! Your Costa Rica Vacation is About to Begin

A visit to Costa Rica is a true adventure, so you should pack for one! While a swimsuit and shorts are a given, packing for the rest of your trip may not be as simple or straightforward as you might think. There are a number of things to consider, so a checklist might come in handy. Here’s a rundown of must-includes for your trip:

Sunglasses

This isn’t just about making you look hip as you sunbathe. Sunglasses can help protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, and even from debris or water as you zip-line through the canopy, jet-ski over the waves, or hike through the rainforest. You may want to bring a higher-end pair for lounging by the pool, and a few cheaper pairs for trekking, kayaking, or boating adventures.

Bags  

Aside from your regular suitcases, you’ll need a lightweight waterproof duffel bag big enough to hold shoes, a change of clothes, and any equipment, medication, toiletries or first aid items you might need to bring on an outdoor adventure. Don’t forget the little things, like a lunch sack and a thermos.

Shoes

You’ll need hiking shoes for trekking through the rainforest and Teva-style water shoes for crossing streams and rivers- or a cross between the two; flip flops are great for wading in the surf or hanging out poolside,  and dressier shoes or flipflops for heading out to dinner.

Weather Gear

The weather can change in an instant in some parts of Costa Rica. It’s wise to bring a poncho and other rain gear, especially if your headed to into the rainforest, and especially during the wet season.

Clothing

While Costa Rica is warm year round, it doesn’t have just one type of weather. It may be warmer in the rainforest, cooler in the mountains, and breezy on the beach. The air is often hot and humid, so lightweight clothes that wash and dry quickly are a must. However, things can get chilly at night in some places, so don’t forgo a light jacket and pants. Your best bet for rainforest trips is light layers. If you’re planning on going out to dinner or clubbing, you should bring casual dress clothes and shoes as well.

Gear

For capturing the high points of your trip, you’ll need a point-and-shoot camera and a set of decent binoculars (opt for shockproof, waterproof and fog-proof varieties). Make sure you bring a flashlight and extra bulbs and batteries – the sun sets at around 5:30, and the rainforest is dark.

Toiletries

Sunscreen is a must in this sunlit subtropical locale, as are bug repellent and lotions and creams to sooth minor scratches, burns, and bug bites.

Smart Mobile Device

Don’t leave behind your smart phone or tablet! Staying connected with family and friends, staying safe, booking accommodations, tours and activities, checking the weather, taking pictures, getting directions, translating Spanish, doing exchange rate conversions, watching videos,  listening to tunes, and reading are just a few of the reasons you’ll be glad you didn’t.

You don’t have to travel heavy to Costa Rica. You can buy much of what you need when you arrive. Just bring your checklist and your sense of adventure along, and the rest will take care of itself.

 

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