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Costa Rica Packing List

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Below are some general packing tips and information.
Please read the luggage requirements and travel information carefully.


Your clothing should be breathable, light-weight, hand-washable and quick drying. Here are some suggestions –

  • shorts, mid-thigh or longer
  • long pants (zip-off pants are useful)
  • short-sleeved shirts
  • long-sleeved shirts
  • undergarments
  • sweater, jacket or windbreakers
  • rain jacket with hood and pants or rain ponchos
  • sun hat preferably with brim and chin strap
  • bandana (for dust, washing, etc.)
  • swimsuit


  • sturdy, comfortable, walking closed toes shoes preferably waterproof
  • hiking shoes or sneakers
  • sandals or flip flops
  • comfortable and breathable socks


  • suitcase or duffel (20 kg or 44 lbs max for internal flights, if applicable)
  • day pack for daily activities and easy access (bring rain cover, if available)
  • waterproof plastic bags for storing clothing and camera gear (Ziplocs works)
  • packing cube, compression bag, clear toiletry bag for airplane
  • money belt, security pouch and document organizer

Electronics and/or Camera Gears

Store electronics in sealed waterproof bags (double bagged if possible) –

  • headlamp or flashlight
  • camera, lenses, filters and memory cards
    • 18-200 mm lens or 18-100 mm lens (recommended)
    • telephoto lens, 300 mm or more (recommended)
  • tripod
  • cellphone
  • extra camera batteries and chargers
  • plug adapter is not needed since it’s the same as in the US/Canada


  • soap
  • shampoo and conditioner
  • shaving supplies
  • nail clippers, file, brush
  • toothbrush, toothpaste
  • moist toilettes (handi-wipes)
  • hand sanitizer
  • lotion (badger foot balm is also helpful)
  • hairbrush, comb, mirror
  • small towel
  • toilet paper
  • sunscreen
  • lip balm with sunscreen
  • insect repellant

First Aid

  • Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen
  • Band-Aids/ plasters
  • Disinfectant, antiseptic cream, antibiotic ointment
  • Gauze bandages and tape
  • Throat lozenges
  • Vitamins
  • Diarrhea medicine (Cyprolfaxin works great)
  • Antihistamines
  • Ace bandages
  • Melatonin, Acetazolamide or other sleep aids
  • prescription drugs/ medicines


  • document organizers
  • Airline tickets, e-tickets (make sure the names on the ticket and passport matches)
  • Medical insurance card/ Travel insurance
  • Make copies of passport, visas, drivers license, airline ticket and schedule, travel itinerary, credit cards (front and back), travel insurance and emergency contact information. Leave a copy with someone back at home and put another copy in a travel companion’s luggage and email them to yourself.


  • sunglasses preferably with straps
  • eye glasses, contacts, contacts solution
  • binoculars
  • pencil and pen
  • energy bars, hard candy and snacks
  • duct tape
  • matches or lighter
  • clothes line, sink stopper, detergent
  • cash, credit card (including some small bills and make sure bills are printed after 2002)
  • guide books, maps, language books
  • water bottle or camelback
  • Steripen, water filter, iodine or chlorine dioxide purification tablets


  • Bottled water is available for purchase at the hotel and local markets.

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