The ultimate Costa Rica packing list: what to pack to stay healthy, happy, and bug-bite free in Costa Rica.

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After 4 journeys to Costa Rica, I’ve realized two issues: one, my hair NEVER appears to be like good within the jungle; and two, there are just a few important items of journey gear that may show you how to totally embrace the idea of “Pura Vida” … and stop you from spending your total journey scratching bug bites whereas parked below your resort room’s A/C.

Our Costa Rica packing listing will cowl the specifics of what to convey and why, however we’re not going to let you know, like, precisely how pairs of underwear to pack – we belief you may determine that out by yourself. (Rule of thumb: one per day of your journey.)

As an alternative, we’re specializing in the precise stuff you’ll must make your journey to Costa Rica as fantastic and memorable as doable, so that you don’t look again and cringe since you received a horrible ear an infection and spent the remainder of your trip depressing. (Why sure: that’s how I spent the second half of my third journey to Costa Rica.)

On this important Costa Rica packing listing, we’re together with all the pieces it’s essential convey to remain cool, snug, bug-bite-free and blissfully un-sunburnt. Let’s go!

Want some assist packing on your subsequent journey? We’ve created 5 FREE Printable Packing Lists with all the pieces it’s essential plan your subsequent journey. We’ll additionally ship our favourite journey ideas straight to your inbox! Simply join beneath.

Psst: Searching for extra journey ideas? Try a few of our different useful posts!

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Costa Rica At-a-Look 🐒

Right here’s a bite-sized snapshot of all the pieces it’s essential know to plan your journey!

  • When to Go: The best time is June & July, aka “inexperienced season,” when costs are low and the rain takes a break.
  • The place to Keep: Hostel Plinio close to Manuel Antonio NP is an incredible, budget-friendly hostel. Aguila de Osa Rainforest Lodge close to Corcovado NP is an unimaginable, sustainble eco-lodge within the rainforest overlooking the ocean – principally, paradise!
  • The right way to Get Round: Public transportation is superb in Costa Rica. Buses will get you all over the place it’s essential go!
  • Prime 3 Highlights: Ziplining & hanging bridges by way of the cloud forest cover in Monteverde, snorkelling in Corcovado Nationwide Park, white water rafting in La Fortuna.
  • Earlier than You Go: Book travel insurance!

What to Pack for Costa Rica

Suitcase packed with beach essentials next to a snoozing dog.
Backpack or suitcase? Jeremy prefers his Away suitcase, however Lia swears by her Pacsafe carry-on backpack! (Our canine, in the meantime, hates all baggage as a result of it’s an indication that we’re about to depart for a visit – until we begin packing her stuff too, after which she will get all excited.)

What to Pack Stuff In

Positive, you may get away with a suitcase stuffed with bunched-up garments, however you’ll be a lot happier with well-organized baggage – particularly in the event you’re touring for an extended time frame or visiting a number of locations!

Unpacking and re-packing each few days is such a chore, and staying organized will make it a LOT much less depressing.

Right here’s what to pack your stuff in so that you keep organized and may simply transfer from place to put.

  • Carry-On Baggage: For many journeys, you’ll need to pack carry-on solely to economize and problem. You don’t need to be lugging an enormous suitcase down a dust street from the bus station and up 3 flights of stairs! For suitcases, we’re big followers of Away carry-on luggage (we additionally love this inexpensive Away dupe). For those who desire a sturdy backpack, Lia swears by this PacSafe backpack. It’s snug, roomy, and theft deterrent – it’s Lia’s go-to backpack for carry-on journey.
  • Packing CubesWe LOVE packing cubes. Nothing makes unpacking your stuff and placing it away once more simpler than packing cubes. To not point out it retains you organized – and sane. Even in the event you aren’t a packing dice convert, we suggest rolling your clothes quite than folding it, which saves area and in addition helps forestall wrinkles. Win-win!  
  • Laundry Bag, Toiletry Bag, & Shoe Bag: While you’re touring, something inside your baggage is gonna get throughout all the pieces else. So we maintain them separate utilizing totally different luggage (plus packing cubes for our clothes). Our laundry goes in a laundry bag so it doesn’t get moldy or odor up our clear garments. The footwear we aren’t sporting match into a little bit shoe bag so we don’t get no matter we’re strolling by way of throughout our stuff (gross). And this hanging toiletry bag retains our belongings protected against leaks, spills, or moisture. FWIW, we’ve tried utilizing plastic luggage – however they tear actually simply and are rather a lot tougher to interchange whereas touring than you’d suppose! Plus, re-usable luggage are additionally extra earth pleasant.
  • Day Bag: We sometimes every carry a day bag on journeys. This cute backpack is ideal for some snacks, a few jackets, a travel umbrella, cameras, telephones, and no matter we’d like for the day. It additionally doubles as our lockable carry-on valuables bag whereas on transit, which is essential for security (by no means let your passport, digicam, or laptop computer out of your sight on journey days)! For extra energetic days, we pack up a Camelbak Hydration Pack that matches 70oz of water along with all our gear. It’s good for hikes or exploring on sizzling days whenever you’ll want to remain additional hydrated!
Lia Walking on Beach in Corcovado National Park Costa Rica carrying a pair of shoes
Rocking these pants and carrying my Allbird Tree Skippers. Why am I not sporting sandals on the seashore, you ask? As a result of we rode horses to get to this seashore and I used to be instructed to put on close-toed footwear! Would I like to recommend sporting cropped pants on a 4-hour horseback trip? No. Don’t do this. (The footwear have been nice, although.)

What to Put on in Costa Rica

After we pack for Costa Rica, we’re often aiming for consolation above cuteness – however I do wish to sneak in a little bit of each every time I can!

OK hear, I’m simply gonna be actual with you: my main objective for my clothes in Costa Rica is to maintain me from drowning in sweat (or no less than, assist me cool off rapidly if/when I’m inevitably sweaty). Second precedence, odor (no thanks). Third precedence, truly trying cute.

One other main problem is to pack for a wide range of actions and temperatures. On most up-to-date journey, we wanted to pack clothes for rain, the cool mountain air of Monteverde, the new tropical rainforests of Manuel Antonio and Corcovado, mountain climbing, and snorkeling/diving/swimming.

Some days, we dressed for a hike or horseback trip, become beachwear midway by way of, dried off, after which put our previous clothes on. So all of our clothes wanted to be very quick-dry and packable too (as a result of nothing makes a hike or horseback trip extra depressing than a large, heavy backpack).

However it may be achieved! We’ve received just a few essential solutions which might be as much as the challenges of Costa Rica, and sure, a few of them are even cute.

Right here’s one of the best clothes to pack on your journey (for women and men, and everybody in between)!

  • Wool Clothes: Sure, critically. Merino wool is a miracle journey material. It retains you cool when it’s sizzling AND retains you heat when it’s chilly. When it will get moist, you’ll keep snug whereas your clothes dries. It naturally resists the expansion of fungus and micro organism, so it by no means stinks – essential for journey! It’s even flame retardant. What extra might you ask for? Right this moment’s efficiency wool isn’t just like the itchy wool of the previous – it’s skinny, stretchy, and tremendous mushy to the contact, like cotton. We extremely suggest wool clothes for journey. Right here’s what we introduced:
  • Hemp Clothes: Very like merino wool, hemp is a incredible journey textile. It’s additionally temperature regulating, which means it’s cool to the contact and retains you cool when it’s sizzling (but additionally insulates you when it’s chilly out). It’s additionally naturally anti-bacterial, so that you received’t get that pungent “I’ve been sweating on this for per week straight” odor. And as an enormous bonus, hemp is extra sustainable than most different textiles, requiring little water and nearly no pesticides to thrive and develop. Hemp is even in a position to clear up polluted soil, making it a device for truly preventing towards local weather change. Hell yeah! As a result of it’s not an excellent well-liked textile (but), it’s a little bit laborious to seek out. Considered one of our favourite eco-friendly clothes manufacturers, prAna, makes a fantastic hemp line – browse women’s and men’s. (Lia loves this comfy t-shirt!)
  • Fast Drying Shorts (His & Hers): We’re obsessive about the Zion line from prAna, which is what our favoite mountain climbing pants are constructed from. These shorts are constructed from the identical stretchy, high-tech, quick-drying material! Jeremy’s shorts double as each the shorts he wears on daily basis and a swimsuit. They’re a 2-for-1 (which implies much less area in your carry-on) they usually look nice, too! They dry rapidly, making them good for hopping out and in of waterfalls, rivers, and the ocean after which resuming your regular journey actions.
  • Climbing & Journey Journey Pants (His & Hers): You’re going to wish a pair of pants that serve a number of functions and are up for journey anyplace: seashore, jungle, river, mountains, and metropolis. Fortunately, these superior prAna mountain climbing pants have been designed with journey and mountain climbing in thoughts and have been as much as each problem we threw at them. They’re additionally quick-dry, so I even wore them whereas white-water rafting and waterfall rappelling in San Gil.
  • Breezy, comfy everyday pants: Permit me to introduce you to the right sizzling climate journey pants! I found these wonderful pants at Outdated Navy whereas searching for my journey, and it was love at first try-on. They’re SUPER light-weight and take up little or no suitcase area when rolled up. They’re snug and stretchy, quick-drying, and simply the fitting size. And so they’re cute as hell! I purchased a bunch of differet colours as a result of typically stuff goes out of inventory and by no means comes again, and I want these pants. (I additionally love these pants, constructed from the identical material however with vertical zippers, which can be tremendous journey pleasant. And so they are available in a wider vary of sizes as much as 4X.)

Word: We didn’t listing out all the pieces right here, so ensure you pack loads of fundamentals! Normally, for warm climate I actually love cotton/cotton blends and linen, along with hemp and merino.

Lia and Jeremy on the beach at Manuel Antonio National Park in Quepos, Costa Rica.
Let’s faux we’re fashions and name that sweat a pleasant “glow” from the hike to get to this seashore at Manuel Antonio Nationwide Park. Jeremy is sporting his Teva Sandals and quick-dry shorts, and Lia is sporting her favourite hot-weather travel pants and Teva sandals.

The Greatest Sneakers to Pack for Costa Rica

From mountain climbing within the cloud forests of Monteverde to canyoning and white-water-rafting in La Fortuna to exploring town streets of San Jose, we had all kinds of actions deliberate for our journey to Costa Rica.

Fortunately, we introduced alongside 3 good pairs of footwear that have been up for all the pieces!

We’ve got sturdy opinions on journey footwear – we have now full posts about our favourite women’s travel shoes & men’s travel shoes.

Listed here are the three important footwear we suggest bringing with you in your journey:

  • Climbing Sneakers: For those who’ll be going mountain climbing like we did, we suggest a pair of light-weight path runners (His & Hers). They’re light-weight, breathe properly, and have insane grip. They have been made for operating on mud, dust, and gravel, so their high quality is unimaginable. Additionally due to that, they’re good mountain climbing footwear. So no, you don’t must stuff your heavy mountain climbing boots in your baggage!
  • Teva Sandals (his & hers): When it’s sizzling, we just about put on these footwear every time we’re not mountain climbing. Not solely are the snug and rugged sufficient to stroll for miles snug (sure, you may even hike in them!) however in addition they double as water shoes. They are saying strapped tightly to your toes within the water and are good for journey sports activities like canyoning or rafting. Plus, they’re light-weight, sturdy, and cute!
  • AllBirds Slip-On Sneakers (His & hers): For days whenever you don’t need to put on your mountain climbing footwear or your sandals, these are the right on a regular basis journey shoe. They’re light-weight and breathable, good for warm climate – and the only is constructed from merino, which implies it takes rather a lot for them to get smelly and also you don’t must put on them with socks! These are the footwear we sometimes put on on metropolis days and journey days.

With these three footwear stuffed into your suitcase (don’t fear, they’ll match) you’ll be greater than lined for all of your adventures!

What to Pack for Rain in Costa Rica

We booked our most up-to-date journey to Costa Rica in July, which falls squarely in the course of Costa Rica’s wet season. However don’t fear: all meaning is that it’s just about assured to rain as soon as per day, particularly within the jungle or the rainforest.

For those who’re ready, rain on a visit is not any massive deal (and actually, we love a very good excuse to take a seat indoors and do nothing however chill out and hearken to the rain).

For those who’re not ready, it may be tremendous irritating, inflicting you to cancel enjoyable actions and even smelling up your bag with moist clothes. Yikes!

Listed here are the three necessities you’ll need to convey to organize for rain:

  • Extremely-Gentle Rain Jackets (His & Hers): Our favourite rain jackets are a number of the finest jackets for journey. They’re ultralight and pack down into nothing in order that they’re simple to hold round in our day luggage every day simply in case, they usually’re extremely water repellant.
  • Travel Umbrella: This teeny travel umbrella is extremely light-weight, teeny tiny, and even has a helpful carrying case in case it’s essential fold it up and shove it again in your bag. Regardless of its small measurement, it does its job nicely, and it dries rapidly when it’s achieved! That mentioned, it’s not like .. essentially the most STURDY umbrella – tremendous excessive winds will certainly flip it inside out. However we adore it as a result of it’s so small and light-weight that we simply go away it completely in our day bag and neglect it’s there till we’d like it, and we’re at all times glad to seek out it once more!
  • Waterproof SocksFor those who’ll be mountain climbing in rain or mud, you’ll need to pack a pair of those so that you’re not squelching round all day lengthy. We don’t carry cumbersome mountain climbing boots with us, so these are welcome boost to our path runners.

Simply maintain these 3 rain necessities in your day bag every day, and also you’ll by no means be caught unprepared in a rainstorm!

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