What to pack for Costa Rica

  • What to Pack
    by GracesTrips
  • A steamy lens not cleared
    A steamy lens not cleared
    by steve28
  • alka-seltzer
    by Tom_In_Madison

Most Viewed What to Pack in Costa Rica

  • GracesTrips's Profile Photo

    Electrical Plugs

    by GracesTrips Updated Nov 24, 2014

    Miscellaneous: Good to know the electrical outlets in Costa Rica are the same as the United States. 3 prong not as prevalent as 2 prong is what I read but all the hotels we stayed at had 3 prong. No need for converters if you are coming from the USA! Whoo hoo!

    Was this review helpful?

  • GracesTrips's Profile Photo

    Should Bring

    by GracesTrips Updated Aug 28, 2014

    Luggage and bags: Plastic bags to put dirty or wet clothes in for the return trip home

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Swim Suit
    ExOfficio Bug Repellent Lightweight Jacket
    Good athletic shoes

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Bug Repellent Spray/wipes

    Photo Equipment: Camera
    Underwater Camera

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Snorkel gear

    Miscellaneous: Wine Opener
    Starbucks Instant Coffee
    Mosquito Nets (for sleeping)
    External Battery Charger for Phone
    110V Power Inverter Car Adapter for cigarette lighter

    Related to:
    • Diving and Snorkeling
    • Beaches
    • Eco-Tourism

    Was this review helpful?

  • Amanda8oP's Profile Photo

    Travel for adventure!

    by Amanda8oP Written Sep 12, 2012

    Luggage and bags: If you are doing excursions, make sure to bring some type of drawstring backpack for change of clothes, sunscreen, and bug spray.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: For excursions water shoes are a big plus! You need to wear something on your feet and sneakers will get really messy and take a long time to dry.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Suncreen and bug spray are both a huge help. I would also recommend taking dramamine and headache medication because it's a very exhausting trip.

    Photo Equipment: A camera with a strap!

    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • steve28's Profile Photo

    Things not to forget

    by steve28 Written Apr 26, 2009

    Luggage and bags: Split all your luggage in half as Iberia dont have a very good safety record with baggage

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: You need lots of light weight cloths that you can wash as it is very hot and steamy Boots we found very usefull especially in the forrests lots of uneven ground

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: lots of repellants we used deet and came away without any bites

    Photo Equipment: Make sure you have plenty of film /storage cards also beware that coming from an a/con room to the outside might cause your camea problems A good zoom is a must

    A steamy lens not cleared
    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism

    Was this review helpful?

  • monica71's Profile Photo

    You really do not need that much with you!

    by monica71 Updated Apr 29, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: expandable duffel bags, small backpack for daily trips

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Rain poncho is a must. You will also need a pair of sneakers, canvas hiking boots or an additional pair of sneakers, flip flops (for the pool area, hot springs or the beach). Make sure you also get a light sweater with you, it may get chili at night.

    For the 7 nights we stayed there, I packed a pair of shorts, 2 pairs of convertible pants (I wore one of them on the way to CR), 7 pairs of socks, 3 T-Shirts, 1 long sleeve cotton shirt, 1 hat, 1 pajama, 1 bathing suit, 1 pair of sneakers (I wore them on the way to CR), 1 pair of canvas shoes and 1 pair of flip-flops, 1 rain poncho that I used a lot. I also had a fleece jacket with me that I wore while staying in Alajuela since it got a little bit chili there after 6pm.

    My husband had 1 pair of cotton shorts with lots of pockets, 1 pair of convertible pants, 7 pairs of socks, 1 pajama, 3 T-Shirts, 1 swimming shorts, 2 pairs of sneakers, 1 pair of beach sandals, 1 poncho and 1 long sleeve T-Shirt.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: we had lots of stuff with us, just in case we needed it: tylenol, imodium, dramamine, aspirin; band aids, neosporin; 2 of each: travel size shampoo, travel size shower gel, travel size after shave; toothpaste and toothbrushes; deodorant;

    Photo Equipment: digital camera and big memory card

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: sunscreen, insect repellent with deet

    Miscellaneous: knife for fruit (we bought one from La Fortuna and we used it a lot to eat fresh fruit that we bought), guide book (I used it a lot) and small dictionary with phrases (I used it a little bit, but would have made it without it also)

    Was this review helpful?

  • tropicalchris's Profile Photo

    January & early February we didn't use hardly any

    by tropicalchris Updated Apr 27, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: mosquito repellent. We had tons with us and used the 100% deet spray 1 time on the sunrise mangrove boat trip and use a few of the
    "OFF!" individual towlettes at dusk, and that was it. Bitten a few times, mostly no-see-ums. Not as bad as the Everglades in January & February! We were mostly in the rain-forest on birding tours.

    Photo Equipment: BATTERIES GO DEAD FAST. We had rechargeable batteries that we had to replace at least 2 times a day and recharge every night. You
    can't buy any new ones either unless you can find a camera shop and then only maybe.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Good light weight hiking boots were a must.

    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Birdwatching
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • ceesong's Profile Photo

    Pack and prepare to stay healthy on the road

    by ceesong Written Jan 22, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: By all means, pack light. If you plan to visit more than one or two cities, it is easier to get around with a backpack rather than a luggage with wheels. You have to consider muddy, unpaved condition of roads unsuitable for wheeled luggage.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Bring socks that will dry faster. If you plan to hike, your shoes will get muddy. So make sure you pack kind of hiking shoes that will breath, but let least moisture in, and easy to clean. It rains alot in CR, so you might want to bring compact hairdryer to dry damp clothes. And don't forget light rain jacket or coat.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: If you have enough time, take Malaria pills before you go. Malaria is one of disease mosquitos carry. And you will be bitten by at lease a few of them. It is important to bring mosquito repellents and netting for your bed(if you plan to stay in cheaper lodgings).

    Was this review helpful?

  • most you can buy there

    by charbay Written Nov 26, 2007

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: rain ponchos
    You need runners at least for many of the jungle trips but expect they will get wet
    PLUS sandals that can get wet ie Teva type

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: tampons if you use them
    insect repellent - remember to reapply after your evening shower. I got more bites during the night (not from bed bugs) than during the day

    Miscellaneous: flashlight - if traveling to any off the track places as it gets dark fast and by 5:30

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Jungle and Rain Forest

    Was this review helpful?

  • ThamaraSD's Profile Photo

    Mosquito repellent and long pants

    by ThamaraSD Written Jun 12, 2007

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Light coloured cotton long pants and shirts to wear at night and when hiking. Even though it is warm here the insects are out in thousand. Comfy shoes and cotton socks to wear for plenty of walking.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Lots of strong Mosquito Repellent

    Photo Equipment: Film/disks for your camera. Not available in rural areas.

    Related to:
    • Jungle and Rain Forest
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • tahoesasha's Profile Photo

    Easy on the go...

    by tahoesasha Updated Jan 13, 2007

    Luggage and bags: backpack or rolling weekender

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: walking sandals, tank tops, light dresses, ponytail holders, sunglasses, tshirts, shorts, sarong, rain poncho, breathable underwear

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: shampoo, conditioner, sunscreen, lotion, floss, toothpase, toothbrush, razor, chapstick, face soap...

    Photo Equipment: water resistant gear is a must, ziploc bags

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: sunscreen, frisbee, sunglasses, hammock

    Miscellaneous: mosquito repellant, band aids, bite spray, baby powder, snacks, journal, pen, money belt, emory board, pocketknife, travel toys/games/cards, maps, spanish phrasebook, cell phone?

    Related to:
    • Surfing
    • Beaches
    • Adventure Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Packing List

    by travel10000 Written Nov 29, 2006

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: - a light rainjacket that packs small (useful in case of rain, or windy weather on top of volcanoes or at higher elevations)
    - light pants (if going to a cloud forest or higher elevations), actually fast drying hiking pants would be best
    - sneakers were fine for all the hiking we did (a lot), but next time I would bring good breathable hiking shoes (not boots)

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: - mosquito spray (but we didn't actually need it)
    - sunscreen

    Photo Equipment: - photo camera and binoculars with the best zoom you can get

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: - plastic bags to line your backpack to keep the contents dry if it rains

    If you are going white water rafting:
    - water sandals that strap on (so they don't fall off)
    - a strap for your sunglasses (or you might loose them)
    - waterproof camera

    Miscellaneous: - a flashlight (for walking after dark)

    If you will be driving:
    - a good driving map (www.mapcr.com seems to have the best) - print out the free pdf file or buy one
    - a large black plastic bag (if you rent a 4x4 use the plastic to cover the trunk contents that will be visible)
    - tire pressure gauge

    See a great packing list at the website below.

    Was this review helpful?

  • ahouse2003's Profile Photo

    Jacket Required

    by ahouse2003 Written Jul 3, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: If you are traveling to the Pacific and Caribbean side of the country, the climate is completely different in both locations. I needed a light jacket on the Pacific side, and was dripping with sweat on the Caribbean side. I recommend dressing in layers.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Mosquito repellant, to my surprise, is not required.

    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • newtodtown's Profile Photo

    A poncho can be your best friend!

    by newtodtown Updated Jun 16, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: Make sure to bring a backpack to take on your daily excursreions.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: You'll need a pair of sandles, hiking boots & tennis shoes. And ladies don't forget the heels!

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Motion sickness pills, advil, first aid kit, bug repellent and one of those sticks with stuff to put on bug bites (in case the repellent fails you!)

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: PONCHO!

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Adventure Travel
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • Helga67's Profile Photo

    What to bring

    by Helga67 Updated Sep 7, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: Small rucksack for your day trip in the rain forest

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Bring light cotton cloths, a sweater or jacket for the nights or cooler areas in central Costa Rica, good walking shoes, slippers for the beach and a raincoat during the rainy season. Don't forget your sunglasses and head protection.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Insect repellant with DEET, good protection for the intensive sun (factor 20).
    Medical precaution: hepatitis A and B.
    We didn't bring anything against malaria.

    Photo Equipment: Bring lots of films or memory cards and a big zoom lens (min. 300mm or 10x optical zoom) for those wildlife shots.
    Don't forget your video camera for all those rain forest sounds and active wildlife.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Bring a flashlight because at night it sometimes happens that there is no electricity for short periods.

    Miscellaneous: Bring an adaptor if equipment is not 110 Volt and american standard.
    Make a copy of your passport and drivers licence and keep the originals in your hotel safe during day trips.

    Hanging bridges

    Was this review helpful?

  • OCNJBritt's Profile Photo

    Extended Stay: Pack the following...

    by OCNJBritt Written Jul 24, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: Water resistant back pack with interior zipper compartments.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Large beach sarong (this will double as your beach cover-up, towel, and blanket). Hiking sandals (waterproof) and light weight rain coat or wind breaker.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Sun block is sorta pricey in CR, so bring it with you. In the capital city you can get whatever you need, it just probably costs more than what you'd pay at home. There is little selection in female razors...bring them with you if you're picky.

    Photo Equipment: Bring batteries and film. Secure your film in plastic zip-loc bags to ensure quality.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Bring a handsome man-servant to take care of this stuff.

    Miscellaneous: Anti-insect repellants are at times useless in CR. The only one i found that worked moderately was OFF Deep Woods, but it stinks and makes your skin clammy. Just deal with the bugs. Most of them aren't blood suckers anyway. I recommend a sunblock with Bug Repellant in it...look at Aveda.com.

    Was this review helpful?

Costa Rica Hotels

See all 681 Hotels in Costa Rica

Top Costa Rica Hotels

San José Hotels
534 Reviews - 910 Photos
Quepos Hotels
191 Reviews - 496 Photos
Liberia Hotels
47 Reviews - 93 Photos
Jacó Hotels
165 Reviews - 312 Photos
Monteverde Hotels
184 Reviews - 453 Photos
Tamarindo Hotels
148 Reviews - 227 Photos
Puerto Viejo Hotels
158 Reviews - 265 Photos
Puntarenas Hotels
44 Reviews - 78 Photos
Montezuma Hotels
95 Reviews - 166 Photos
Tortuguero Hotels
110 Reviews - 325 Photos
Alajuela Hotels
60 Reviews - 174 Photos
Sarapiquí Hotels
21 Reviews - 26 Photos
Arenal Hotels
106 Reviews - 262 Photos
Santa Elena Hotels
4 Reviews - 12 Photos
Sámara Hotels
64 Reviews - 192 Photos

Instant Answers: Costa Rica

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

45 travelers online now


Costa Rica What to Pack

Reviews and photos of Costa Rica what to pack posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Costa Rica sightseeing.
Map of Costa Rica