What should I pack for my trip to Costa Rica?

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What should I pack for my trip to Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is well known for its unforgettable lively towns, pristine tropical forests, alluring beaches, and adventurous attractions. While there are many things to do in this paradise, you need to carry a variety of essential stuff in order to make sure that you enjoy a comfortable travel experience throughout.

To help you better, here is a list of things you should pack so you can experience a fulfilling vacation in Costa Rica:

Travel Documents

Costa Rica is a peaceful country, where you can enjoy a relaxing and smooth vacation. As a tourist, you should carry the following essential documents:

  • A valid passport to seek entry in the country
  • A valid visa
  • A round trip ticket
  • Yellow fever vaccination card if you are visiting from Sub Saharan Africa or South America
  • Itinerary, insurance card, drivers license, credit cards, and a list of emergency numbers are optional


Deciding what to carry while traveling to different destinations of Costa Rica is difficult. Your choice of clothes will depend on the activities you participate in as well as the weather in Costa Rica.

Summer Essentials

For summer, pack light clothes. Preferably carry cotton t-shirts, shirts, shorts, and trousers. Sun screen lotion, sunglasses, scarves, and hats are useful to protect yourself from the scorching heat. Flip-flops and sandals are the right footwear for summer, particularly while visiting beaches.

Winter Essentials

An umbrella or a jacket is a must for the rainy or winter season. It is recommended that you carry clothes that dry quickly. You should also pack at least two sweaters to keep you warm on winter nights. Furthermore, carry an extra pair of t-shirts and shorts during the raining season, particularly for an adventure tour.


It is recommended that you prepare a separate kit of the following essential accessories which are handy while traveling anywhere around Costa Rica:

  • Alarm clock
  • Camera charger
  • Video camera
  • Memory card
  • Flashlight
  • Electronic adapter
  • Extra batteries

You can also pack some personal favorites like mobile phone, music player, beach toys, swimsuits, etc.


Although most hotels provide basic toiletries, it is preferable to carry personal toiletries while traveling to different cities. They will prove to be useful throughout your journey. Some essential toiletries include:

  • Shaving machine
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Bathing soap
  • Sleeping mask
  • Napkins
  • Towel
  • Toothbrush and a toothpaste
  • Laundry bag


Since Costa Rica is a tropical country, tourists here often succumb to different health issues such as dengue, malaria, or injuries during forest tours or water sports activities. That’s why you should take safety precautions to deal with any health issues during your trip. A personal first aid kit can contain:

  • Insect repellent
  • Pain relievers
  • Eye drops
  • Band aids to prevent infection by closing sudden cuts
  • Tablets to prevent motion sickness
  • Personal prescriptions or other medicines that you consume on a regular basis
  • A medical insurance card (if applicable in Costa Rica)


Although many places in Costa Rica such as parks, tour operators, restaurants, and hotels accept U.S. dollars, it is better to keep some local currency in hand that you can use to pay bus fare or use during a medical emergency.

Guide Books and Maps

If you are traveling to Costa Rica for the first time, then you might want to carry some guide books, such as:

  • Costa Rica map for directions
  • An itinerary
  • A Spanish-English mini phrase guide
  • A local guide-book to plan activities

Optional Items

Every individual is a unique traveler and has a personal checklist. Some of the optional items to consider to pack as per your convenience include gaming gadgets for kids, a travel pillow for a comfortable night's sleep, diaries to pen down memories, novels to read on beaches, etc.

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