A Simple and Epic Costa Rica Packing List

Here we bring you a simple Costa Rica packing guide for your trip to this diverse and captivating country. Whether you’re exploring the rainforests, lounging on the beaches, or hiking through the mountains, we’ve got you covered with everything you need to know about what to pack.

Costa Rica Packing Guide

Costa Rica is a land of contrasts, with its diverse regions and varying climates. From the lush rainforests to the sunny beaches, each area has its own unique charm and demands specific items in your suitcase. So, let’s dive into our comprehensive packing list tailored to different regions and activities, ensuring you’re well-prepared for your Costa Rica adventure.

Essentials for Your Costa Rica Packing List:


– 4-5 T-Shirts:

Opt for 100% cotton and consider bringing some long-sleeved shirts for mosquito protection and sun exposure.
– 1-2 Long Pants:

Convertible pants are a versatile choice, and a dressier option is handy for evenings.
– 3-4 Pairs of Shorts:

For women, avoid overly short shorts, especially for adventure tours.
– Socks and Underwear:

Bring extra pairs as they may get wet or muddy.
– PJs or Similar:

Always have something to wear in case of unexpected situations.
– Light Jacket or Windbreaker:

Even in warmer areas, it can get chilly occasionally.
– Sweater or Jacket:

Essential for higher elevations where temperatures can drop significantly.
– A Couple of Bandanas:

Handy for various uses while on the go.

Costa Rica Packing Guide


Dry Bag: Protect your electronic devices during water-based activities.
– Swimsuit: Choose a comfortable sports swimsuit for water activities and a nice swimsuit for beach relaxation.
– Raingear: A poncho is recommended to cover yourself and your belongings during unexpected downpours.
– Shoes: Bring a good pair of hiking boots, tennis shoes, sandals, and water shoes for different activities.

Personal Care:

– Repellent and Sunscreen: Bring both cream and spray versions of repellent and use them wisely based on your activities.
– First Aid Kit: Include essential medications, tweezers, and scissors for minor emergencies.

Tailoring Your Packing List to Different Regions:

San José:
The capital city’s elevation means it can get chilly, especially from May to October. Pack closed shoes, long pants, a light jacket, and something dressy for evenings.

Caribbean Coast:
For both the North and South Caribbean, bring fresh clothes, bug repellent, and rain gear due to the region’s rainy seasons.

Costa Rica Packing Guide
Tortuguero in the Caribbean Coast

Pack appropriate gear for boat tours and hikes, including rain ponchos, waterproof hiking boots, swimsuits, and dark clothes if visiting during turtle season.

North Area:
For destinations like Sarapiqui and Arenal, be prepared for muddy trails and various activities by bringing convertible pants, fresh clothes, hiking boots, and rain gear.

Southern Mountains:
In areas like Savegre and San Gerardo de Rivas, pack warm clothing including long pants, long sleeve shirts, a sweater or jacket, hiking boots, and rain gear.

North Pacific:
For Monteverde and surrounding areas, bring clothing suitable for cooler temperatures including long pants, long sleeve shirts, a sweater or jacket, hiking boots, and rain gear.

Tamarindo Beach |Costa Rica Packing Guide
Tamarindo Beach | Costa Rica Packing Guide

North Pacific Mountains:
Pack versatile clothing for destinations like Rincón de la Vieja and Tenorio including convertible pants, fresh clothes, hiking boots, and rain gear.

North Pacific Beaches:
Enjoy the sunniest and driest area of Costa Rica with swimsuits, sandals, flip-flops, and casual dressy clothes.

Manuel Antonio National Park | Costa Rica Packing Guide
Manuel Antonio National Park | Costa Rica Packing Guide

Manuel Antonio Packing List:

Here is our suggested packing list for visiting Manuel Antonio :

– Lightweight, breathable clothing – shorts, t-shirts, tank tops. Bring some lightweight pants and long-sleeved shirts for layering.

– Bathing suit

– Waterproof sandals

– Hiking shoes/boots if you plan to hike in the national park

– Hat and sunglasses

– Sunscreen and bug spray

– Small backpack or daypack for hikes and excursions

– Rain jacket – the rainforest sees a good amount of rainfall

– Light sweater or fleece for cool nights or air-conditioned interiors

– Camera and binoculars to see wildlife in the park

– Biodegradable toiletries – reef-safe sunscreen, soaps, etc to protect the environment

– Motion sickness medicine if doing boat tours

– Photocopies of passport, cash, debit/credit cards in case originals are lost/stolen

– Universal adapter and portable charger for electronics

To wrap it up!

Remember to tailor your packing list based on the specific activities you have planned. Whether it’s hiking through the rainforest, lounging on the beach, or exploring the mountains, being prepared is key to an enjoyable trip.

If you have any questions or need further assistance in planning your Costa Rica adventure, feel free to contact us. We’re here to ensure you have an epic experience in this beautiful country. Safe travels!

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