8 essentials to pack for Costa Rica

You are going to Costa Rica, congratulations! Costa Rica is a beautiful country with countless things to do and see. I have been to Costa Rica many times as my family (husband’s family) lives near San Jose. Every time we go, we do something different, and the country never fails to amaze me with its beauty and wonderful people.

All of these items are essential items I pack based on my experiences over the years.

8 Essentials to Pack For Costa Rica

Motion Sickness MedicationWhale wathcing Costa RicaPack this for two reasons. Number one, if you get sick in the back of a car or are using shared vans, you will need it. On most roads in the country, you are going to experience many twists and turns. Secondly, if you booked a catamaran, you will want some Dramamine. I grew up going fishing and being out on the lake, so even though our catamaran went through choppy water, it didn’t get to me. However, almost half of the boat was not feeling too well. Hopefully, your day will be full of sun, but just in case it’s not, pack Dramamine with you.

Hand Sanitizer and Baby Wipes – These are great to have if you pack a lunch or just want to wipe off because of sweat. Hand sanitizer is for those times that there are no sinks or skins but no soap, which happens.

Travel Size Kleenex – Believe me you will want this. When the restroom that you went to is completely out of toilet paper, and you don’t have it, you will be cursing the heavens that you didn’t listen to me.

Forget Packing a Towel – Bring a Sarong – A sarong is a trick my Costa Rica - View of Manuel Antoniolow maintenance friend taught me. Lay on it on the beach, use it as a skirt or dress, dry yourself off after a shower, or use it as a blanket or scarf! It also takes up much less room in your luggage.

Calamine Lotion – In my other blog (click here to see that list), I mention bringing mosquito repellent, but an item most packing lists forget to tell you is calamine lotion. You will probably get bit even with repellent and this will save you from scratching those pesky bites.

Fleece Sweater or Rain Jacket – Temperatures can be a lot cooler in some areas of Costa Rica than others, compared to the beach, especially at night. When temperatures get to around 65˚F (18˚C), it can feel especially cold because of the high humidity. If you are traveling in May through November, remember this is the rainy season in Costa Rica, however in many areas it can rain at any time of year. It’s a good idea to pack a lightweight raincoat or at least a poncho no matter where you’re going.

sandals-1407733_1920Keen’s Sandals – These are pricey for most people at $75-$100+, but many travelers love them. They provide the support you need in many different types of terrains, and they have excellent ventilation. Most of the time your not going to want to wear socks with these unless you are hiking. If you are kayaking, you will want to have a second pair or wear tennis shoes as your back-up. Once items are wet in Costa Rica, it takes quite a long time for them to dry.

Yoga Pants – Why would you want yoga pants in Costa Rica when you are not doing yoga? Unless you are, then bring them. Well, if you go zip lining or repelling you might want them. If you have athletic shorts on, you might show the people below you or who are stopping you on the zip line all your goodies. No one wants that! For your male friends or spouses make sure they pack shorts that are not too loose around the legs.

Check out my other post. “The Ultimate Costa Rica Packing List.” Click here to make sure you pack everything you will need for a great trip.



Traveling to Costa Rica. Read the Essentials to pack for Costa Rica. asoutherntraveler.com