PACKING RIGHT FOR COSTA RICA
When it comes to packing for Costa Rica, you will really need to get this right for safety as well as comfort. The country sits between a continental divide meaning you have weather fronts from the Caribbean Sea as well as the Atlantic Ocean. Yes the weather can almost be as unpredictable as the UK and being British I am a little obsessed with weather! A girl/boys gotta look right at all times!
When I was researching what to pack for our trip, I read a few blogs that gave me ideas however in the UK not many people had experienced the climes of Costa Rica and therefore I asked for advice from our travel planner at Costa Rica Expeditions. The advice was most helpful but in the end I decided to do the very sensible thing and plan out what activities were on our Itenary and plan what was required based on that.
The first thing to remember about Costa Rica if you’re going in the summer months (Dec-April) as we did, humidity is going to be very high and wet/damp clothing will take a lot longer to dry than usual. Another factor we had to consider was that we were taking domestic flights with Air Sansa, who have very strict luggage restrictions, with maximum capacity being 10-12 passengers and therefore luggage has to be kept to a minimum. The domestic flights are very small and to avoid further charges our main bag had to weigh no more 14Kg and have linear dimensions of no more than 114cm (height x width x length). We were allowed a handbag/small carry on backpack weighing 4.5Kg and linear dimensions of 50cm.
Now if you are planning to spend a lot of your time lounging around on the beach then packing will be dead easy for you! However if you are planning lots of activities and have a very varied itenary like ours then packing is a little tricky but definitely achievable. If ou haven’t already you can compare our itenary with yours here and also have a peek at The Pura Vida Series while you’re there! It’s a case of packing, then re-packing and then striping down to the items that you really actually need!
CONTENTS OF LUGGAGE
Here’s what my luggage contained (boys, you’ll just have to substitute!)
Merrell Gtx Ladies Hiking Boots with Gore-tex sole • Merino hiking socks x 2 pairs • Nike dri-fit pants x 1 • The North Face pants x 1 • Nike dri-fit T-shirts x3 • Nike dri-fit long sleeve tops x 2 • The North Face waterproof Coat x 1 • Hat/Cap • Sports bras x 2 • Fleece/warm top
Swimwear x 1 • Shorts x 1 • Smart/Casual dresses x 3 • T-shirts/smart tops x 4 • Long pants x 1 • smart flat sandals • Havaianas • flat shoes
Sun hat Sunscreen • Insect repellent • Sunglasses • Mini first aid kit • undies • Toiletries decanted into 100ml containers • Cameras/chargers/voltage converters/adapters • Plastic bags/Ziploc bags wet items • Small torch (handy for remote lodge locations) • EXPED Bags (fab for storing phones/cables/chargers and electricals including cameras to prevent humidity damage) • water bottle for hikes • Binoculars (if you’re a keen ornithologist these will be very useful however, Naturalist guides carry very sophisticated scopes that give you fab pictures with a smart phone) • Packing cubes • Lonely planet guides • Travel documentation in a waterproof wallet
Being frequent travellers, we had most of the above, however we did invest in a pair of walking boots and Merino socks (which were invaluable and helped prevent injury on varying gradients and terrain) and EXPED dry bags of varying capacity (came in handy to store hiking boots when not in use). We made our purchases from Cotswolds Outdoors, Nike and Blacks
MY TOP TIPS
1 Try and travel as light as possible
2 Be prepared to be weighed at the domestic flight terminal
3 Packing will be so much easier and organised using packing cubes (I prefer ebags!)
4 EXPED bags were one of the best investments we made
5 A travel First Aid Kit is a must. We supplemented ours with extra antiseptic creams, painkillers, tweezeers and dressings. Cuts and grazes are inevitable when hiking.
6 Areas of Costa Rica such as the Monteverde cloud forest, can become quite cold in the evenings so make sure you take a fleece top or warm cover-up
Well I hope my Costa Rica packing guide has been of some help with your trip planning. Feel free to get in touch via the comments below if you would like more advice or if you have been to Costa Rica, what would your packing tips include?
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