top of page
Image by Sumit Chinchane


The Ultimate Costa Rica Packing List

This post contains affiliate links.

Heading to Costa Rica soon? Get ready for an adventure in this tropical paradise! From lush rainforests to breathtaking waterfalls and pristine beaches, Costa Rica offers a diverse range of activities, making it essential to pack wisely for an unforgettable experience. Here's a comprehensive guide to ensure you have all the essentials for your Costa Rican vacation.

Before we jump into the packing list, essentials like underwear and toothbrushes are a given, so let's focus on what you'll need specifically for Costa Rica.

Clothing Must-Haves for Costa Rica

The weather in Costa Rica tends to be hot and humid, with average temperatures around 80-83°F (27°C). Whether you're exploring surf towns, hiking through rainforests, or spotting wildlife, pack comfortable, versatile clothes that allow for activity without leaving you drenched in sweat.

  • Athletic shorts: Opt for breathable, quick-drying shorts suitable for hiking, exploring waterfalls, or unexpected rain. Bringing along a couple of pairs ensures flexibility.

  • Tank tops: Choose versatile tops suitable for various activities—breathable for hikes yet stylish for casual outings. Consider options like athletic crop tops or breathable tanks for varied coverage.

  • Hiking boots and socks: Given the muddy trails and diverse terrains, sturdy hiking boots and proper hiking socks are essential for comfort and support.

  • Baseball hat: Shield yourself from the intense Costa Rican sun with a lightweight and breathable hat, especially crucial for jungle hikes.

  • Hiking sandals: Opt for comfortable, durable hiking sandals that double as water shoes for waterfall exploration or river hikes.

  • Sundress: While Costa Rica leans casual, having a slightly dressier option can come in handy for evening outings.

  • Raincoat and umbrella: Be prepared for the frequent rain showers during the rainy season; pack a reliable rain jacket and a compact travel umbrella.

What to Pack for Costa Rica’s Beaches

Given the abundance of water-based activities, including beach outings and waterfall explorations, packing smart for beach adventures is essential.

  • Several swimsuits: Expect to spend a lot of time in your swimsuit, so having multiple options ensures a dry suit for every adventure.

  • Coverups and sun hat: Pack cover-ups like kimonos for quick transitions from water to land, and don't forget a sun hat offering ample protection from the intense sun.

  • Rash guard and sunglasses: These items not only protect against sunburn but also come in handy for water activities like snorkeling and surfing.

Water Activities Essentials

  • Dry bag: Keep electronics safe and dry during water activities while doubling as a secure way to safeguard belongings on the beach.

  • Beach towel and snorkeling set: Bring along a beach towel for comfort and your snorkeling gear for convenience and hygiene purposes.

What to Pack for Costa Rica Hiking

For those planning to explore the trails and wildlife, a few additional essentials are crucial.

  • Reusable water bottle: Stay hydrated during hikes and outdoor activities. The water in Costa Rica is generally safe to drink.

  • Binoculars and backpack: Spot wildlife more easily with binoculars and carry essentials comfortably in a foldable backback.

  • Sunscreen and bug spray: Protect yourself from the intense sun and pesky bugs during outdoor adventures.

  • Dramamine: If prone to motion sickness, carry some to ease discomfort during water-based tours.

Tech Gear

  • GoPro and accessories: Capture your thrilling adventures, from surfing to ziplining, and consider additional accessories for various activities.

  • Mobile hotspot and battery pack: Ensure connectivity and keep devices charged up throughout your travels.

This comprehensive packing list covers all the essentials for a fantastic Costa Rican experience. Have any additional items to suggest? Feel free to share your tips in the comments!

Follow our adventures on Instagram @thepixieplanner for more travel inspiration!



bottom of page