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The Ultimate Costa Rica Packing List


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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!

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