Costa Rica has a very humid climate filled with jungles, mountains and beaches. Depending on your itinerary, you could be packing for a few different atmospheres. I did a 10 Day Road Trip Around Costa Rica with my friend and traveled from the Caribbean coast to the pacific coast and down to the Osa Peninsula. Being prepared for all the changes in weather that you may encounter is essential while traveling through tropical Costa Rica. Here is a packing guide to help you prepare for a great trip.
-Passport + ID
-Wallet + Cash (Colon & USD)
-Camera + Batteries & Charger
-Bandaids (can double for blister relief)
-Toiletries (Deodorant, Toothpaste, Toothbrush, Chapstick, Lotion, etc).
-Socks & Underwear
-Day Pack - This will help bring your essentials with you for day trips whether it’s hiking, adventuring, or the beach.
-After Sun Aloe Lotion
-After Bite Cream
You can read my Jungle Packing Guide here for more detailed info, but here are some of the basics:
-Long Sleeve Shirts
-Sturdy Water Resistant Hiking Boots
-A Second Pair of Shoes (preferably running or hiking shoes)
-After Bite Cream
-Rain Jacket / Poncho
-Backpack Rain Cover
-Camelback Water Pouch
If you are traveling to some of the higher altitude mountain areas, you may want to consider packing a light jacket or a few warmer clothing options.
My experience in most of the country was that it was very hot and humid, with hard rain coming about once per day at some point for short periods of time. It’s best to be prepared for everything but be sensible about what you are packing, and try not to overpack.
Like many other countries in the world, Costa Rica has plenty of supermarkets and stores that make it very easy to buy anything that you forgot to bring on the trip, so don’t stress too much about forgetting anything (except your passport!).
Remember, you can always do laundry on your trip and reuse your clothing. This can help you pack light and save room for all those souvenirs you’re going to want to bring back!
Tip: if you are traveling internationally, on the return trip home you are allowed to bring one duty free bag onto the plane with you. So if you have run out of space, you can bring a plastic bag of extra items with you through security and then buy some gifts in the duty free store and throw them in the bag. Just make sure to get a bag big enough for your excess belongings.