The following list of things to pack for Costa Rica will keep you prepared and traveling light for any type of Costa Rica itinerary. It also includes a few precautionary guidelines to ensure your personal safety and satisfaction.
Follow these tips on what to bring to Costa Rica and you’ll surely be prepared for a trip of a lifetime!
- Valid passport + copy of the photo page
- Airline tickets
- Drivers license + copy
- Insurance card and contact information
- Money belt and passport pendant for important documents
- Day pack or fanny pack
- Soft sided luggage to avoid going over domestic flight weight limits
- Waterproof bag for wet/dirty clothing
- Zip lock baggies to keep cameras and iPods dry in your back pack
- Eye drops
- Insect repellent
- Pain relievers (acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and/or just a simple aspirin)
- Waterproof sunscreen
- Contact lenses and cleaning solution
- Personal medicine prescriptions in the original prescription bottles
- Any over the counter medicines that you prefer. Most U.S. brands are not available in Costa Rica.
- Your personal toiletries
- Hiking or walking shoes
- Beach sandals or flip-flops (dressy sandals optional)
- Long sleeved T-shirts (recommended for sunburn protection, hiking and fishing)
- Swimsuits and a casual beach cover-up (for ladies)
- Hiking shorts (quick dry) and cotton shorts
- Lightweight pants and shorts
- Sun hats or baseball caps
Although Costa Rica is very casual, we recommend that if you are going to spend time in San José, that you bring along a pair of longer pants, good walking shoes, and a bit more formal clothing than you would wear in the laid back beach towns. This helps you to stand out less as a tourist.
- Light weight jacket or raincoat (poncho style); something warmer for higher elevations or on the open ocean.
- Camera (batteries and charger)
- Swiss army knife
- Key chain flashlight
- Nalgene or other water bottle
- Wet wipes/antibacterial hand gel
- Cork screw
- Leave photocopies of your passport, drivers’ license, credit cards, airline tickets and any reservation that you have prepaid with your home emergency contact person
- If you are visiting from US or Canada, there is no need to bring electric converters as they are the same in Costa Rica
- There is no point in carrying all of your keys
- Make sure you have plenty of storage on your memory card(s)
- Leave expensive and irreplaceable jewelry at home
- If you plan on using your credit card frequently, it is very important that prior leaving your trip, to inform your bank that you will be in Costa Rica.