Coming to Costa Rica on vacation? Here are some quick and easy tips on what to pack for your vacation in Costa Rica. Of course, what you need depends on where you are going and what you will do, but these general guidelines will serve you well.
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- Choose clothes that you can mix & match and wear more than once. Vacation rentals also usually have laundry facilities, so you can wash clothes during your trip, allowing you to pack less.
- Quick-dry, nylon or similar non-wrinkle outdoor clothing is best for Costa Rica’s variable climates
- Comfortable beach-wear and light tropical clothing for the coasts and lower elevations
- At least one long-sleeved shirt, light sweater or jacket for chilly evenings in higher elevation places, such as San Jose, Monteverde, San Gerardo de Dota, Irazú and Poás Volcanoes, etc
- Water-resistant rain jacket or poncho with a hood: it rains in the rainforest!
- A sun hat or ball cap – a must for protection against the hot tropical sun
- Comfortable footwear, including good all-purpose walking shoes, light beach sandals, and at least one pair of closed-toe all-terrain sandals or running shoes for adventurous activities.
- Small backpack / daypack for day trips
- Small travel flashlight or head lamp
- If you are into wildlife viewing and bird-watching, bring binoculars
- Travel alarm clock or just use your cell phone
- Sunscreen – a sports waterproof type with at least 30 SPF
- Insect repellent
- Daily hygiene products and personal medication
- Small travel first-aid kit
IDENTIFICATION & MONEY
- Passport – must be valid for at least six months after your trip finishes. When out on tours, leave your original passport in a safe place and carry a copy.
- Valid driver’s license for vehicle rentals
- Credit cards – Visa and MasterCard are the most widely accepted; be sure to alert your bank of your travel plans.
- Cash in U.S. dollars (note that $100 bills are hard to cash except in a bank). Nearly all banks have ATMs where you can use your ATM or debit card. Exchange for Costa Rican Colons in a bank rather than at the airport for a better exchange rate.
- Emergency contact information; put this information in your luggage and wallet.
- Cell phone or tablet (Wi-Fi is common in Costa Rica now). Don’t forget the chargers and necessary cables.
- Camera with extra memory card and batteries.
Article by Shannon Farley