Travelers can visit Costa Rica any time of the year. Temperatures are relatively consistent year round, comfortably warm in the highlands and hot along the coasts. There are two distinct seasons based on typical rainfall, the wet and dry season In Costa Rica, we have selected a variety of charming accommodations ranging from ecologically friendly remote jungle lodges to comfortable city hotels with all of the modern conveniences. In general, we use small, family-run lodges that are locally owned and characteristic of each area instead of luxury chain resorts. For more information, check out our Costa Rica Lodging page to view pictures of our standard hotels/ lodges. 4. Do I need a converter/ adapter for the electricity? Costa Rica uses 110 volt, 60 cycle electricity, same as the US.
Costa Rica packing list for wildlife adventures Costa Rica is one of the most naturally beautiful countries in the world, and if you are planning a trip to Costa Rica, chances are you are going to visit some National Parks and see Costa Rica’s amazing wildlife.
Here are some suggestions on the best for spotting wildlife. Packing for wildlife adventures requires a little more thought, than for city-based holidays. You will be spending more time outdoors and the last thing you want is to be distracted from wildlife watching by the soggy shoes or the sunburned face. The thing to keep in mind is that for a relatively small country, Costa Rica has quite a range of temperatures between the coast and the mountains of the continental divide.
Driving from , for example, to , you will be changing from a swimsuit to a fleece and maybe even a jacket. Tamarindo beach, Guanacaste Another consideration in the tropics is the high chance of rain. While the formal rainy season in Costa Rica lasts from May to November, it can rain absolutely any time. And when it rains in the tropics, it pours. We spent two weeks on a road trip through Costa Rica’s national parks, and despite thorough planning, we still made a few blunders.
Check out the essential items from my Costa Rica packing list and avoid the mistakes we made. In this post • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Costa Rica Packing List Clothes Every day wear Most of the time in Costa Rica you will be wearing t-shirts and shorts or three-quarter pants. The weather is mainly hot and humid, so are a good idea. Also, try to stick to the natural breathable materials.
Layers However, if you are planning a visit to Monteverde Cloud Forest or or any other destination along Costa Rica’s continental divide, make sure to pack a fleece and a pair of long pants. It gets quite chilly at the higher elevation, particularly in the evenings. We underestimated Monteverde chill on the evening we arrived and were rather miserable as we waited for our food at the street vendor’s shop.
The following evening I was toasty warm in my and a pair of . Getting the first taste of Monteverde chill Rain jacket The rain jacket is an essential item for any tropical destinations.
It is particularly handy for the long boat trips. If you are heading to Corcovado National Park from Drake Bay and get caught in the tropical downpour, you’ll face two hours under the rain in the open boat.
The best rain jacket for Costa Rica is a lightweight one, that packs small enough to easily fit in your daypack, like the . It may not keep you as dry as a Goretex jacket, but it will keep you cooler and it won’t take up most of your daypack. We made the mistake of not packing the rain jackets in our daypacks for the boat ride to Corcovado NP from Drake Bay Shoes Walking shoes If you are staying in Costa Rica for more than a few days, you will need two pairs of hiking shoes to give each pair sufficient time to dry out after getting wet.
A pair of hiking boots and a good pair of runners is a good compromise. Waterproof hiking boots are difficult to wear in the tropics since they don’t let your feet breath. And in a proper downpour, they will still get wet and will take forever to dry. Instead, pack a lighter pair like my favourite . They are almost weightless and dry very quickly. Sandals The best sandals for Costa Rica is a pair of .
They are perfect for walking the jungle trails where creek crossings are involved, like in Corcovado. They are also the best option for wearing in the rain because they are quick to dry and there isn’t much to them to get wet in the first place. They are also invaluable for all the beach landings you have to do if you are travelling to and from Drake Bay and Corcovado. Creek-crossing in Corcovado is easy done in sandals Do I need gumboots for Corcovado?
If you are planning a trip to , you may have seen suggestions to bring gumboots to walk around the park’s muddy trails. I found them completely unnecessary. While the trails are indeed very muddy and involve many creek crossings, it did not justify the discomfort of gumboots for me.
I did end up with wet hiking boots after the first walk but then switched to wearing sandals and was perfectly fine. Sarong Perhaps the most versatile item on your Costa Rica packing list, a sarong can be used as a skirt, a towel, a beach towel, a pillow case and a cover-up during prolonged exposure to the sun. You can pack your own, or pick one up as soon as you get to Costa Rica.
They also make for the perfect souvenirs. Hat A hat, particularly a baseball cap is super handy in Costa Rica because it protects you from both: the sun and the sudden rain. Clip it to your daypack with a carabiner to make sure you always have it when you need it. Swimsuit With the unending supply of picturesque waterfalls and sandy beaches, Costa Rica will definitely entice you to take a swim now and then.
So pack your swimming suit and keep it handy for any impromptu dips. Essential Accessories Dry bag When the rain can come out of the blue with a moment’s notice, one of the most essential accessories you’ll have is a dry bag.
They come in different sizes, to fit your needs. If you are an avid photographer, you’ll be hiking with your camera and possibly additional lens. So make sure to pick a bag that would fit your gear and any other items you may like to keep dry. The dry bags come with a handy shoulder strap, which makes them easy to carry around when stuffed.
I carried my with me every time I headed on a hike or a boat ride, and it became a lifesaver. Phone waterproof case Whether you have the dry bag or not, a for your phone is a must.
Some of the cases will allow you to operate the touchscreen of your phones, so you can take those dramatic videos of the tropical rainstorm. Rain cover for luggage If you plan on taking any boat rides, a rain cover for your luggage is a very good idea. While the boat drivers will always attempt to stash the bags under some type of cover, sometimes there is just not enough room. Headtorch If you are going on any wildlife watching night walks, having your own good quality head torch is a good idea.
While many tour operators will supply you with a torch, it won’t be a very good one Plus a hand-held torch is not that great for spotting wildlife since the source of light needs to be near your eye level for you to pick up animals’ eye-shine.
And if you are going into trouble of looking for wildlife at night, you may as well give yourself the best chance of finding it. Ledlenser torches are some of the best on the market, and I have been using their for many years and I swear by it. Just remember that it is quite bright and try not to blind people by talking to them with your torch on. They also have very good if you are looking for something even more powerful.
Ziplock Bags Sealable bags are always handy in the jungle, primarily for taking your rubbish back with you and disposing of it properly. And in places like Corcovado, they become lifesavers. It is normal to share you jungle accommodation with a few species of insects, but in Corcovado, ants are a big problem. You’ll need to ziplock all your food and rubbish to avoid having your room completely overrun. Portable charger for your phone Another handy accessory to have is the portable charger for your phone.
If like me, you can’t help yourself but keep taking photos and videos on your phone, it may not last you all day. You will thank yourself for bringing a portable charger, like this waterproof when you emerge from your hike with an almost empty battery.
You’ll also need a good to use overnight to keep all your torches, cameras and other equipment running. Reusable Water Bottle Costa Rica’s climate is so humid, that you work up the sweat just casually strolling around. And this means that you need to keep hydrating. And instead of buying & then throwing away dozens of plastic water bottles carry a refillable one.
You can even grab a , like this one. Wildlife Guides Whether you are a serious wildlife watcher or just curious about animals, the wildlife guides are indispensable for identifying the species you are looking at.
There are a number of wildlife guides published for Costa Rica, pick the ones that would be more helpful to you. Environmentally friendly Toiletries Following the leave no trace philosophy, you should always attempt not to use any products that would be harmful to the environment you are in.
Sunscreen is a good brand to get – they have a selection of different sunscreen products that are made from natural ingredients and even safe for snorkelling. And since you can never have too much sun protection in the tropics, I always go for SPF 50. Mosquito spray There are a number of natural mosquito sprays on the market which have various degrees of effectiveness.
Natrapel is a popular brand – it has the strength of DEET-containing repellents, but made up only of natural ingredients, which makes it the . Biodegradable soap & washing liquid For all your washing needs, pick up some biodegradable soap. The is the perfect combination of a shower gel, hand wash and washing liquid in one. Frogs, like this Strawberry poison dart frog, have water-permeable skin. They will absorb any harmful chemicals you may leave in the jungle Hoffmann’s two-toed sloth with a young in Tirimbina Reserve One last thing I always enjoy buying before the trip is a on the plane and a spare for my camera.
What are the essential items in your bag for the tropical adventures? Share your tips in comments Follow me on my quest to see all species of wild cats in their natural habitat & to explore our planet’s spectacular wilderness areas and wild creatures that inhabit them.
This wildlife travel blog is a collection of travel stories, field diaries and image galleries from my journeys. Hope you enjoy your visit. Margarita Steinhardt • • • •
best dating costa rica packing list - The Lost Girls � Blog Archive � Costa Rica Field Trip: The Ultimate Packing List
If you don’t have a Blue Heeler to tell you what to pack for Costa Rica you can use the handy list below | | | | Packing is a personal process. I’ve seen people arrive with nothing but baggy shorts, flip flops, a t-shirt and sunglasses. I’ve also seen travelers with two huge roller suitcases bulging with who knows what. What to Take to Costa Rica?
Obviously, what you take depends on how you are planning to travel, how long you stay, and your personal preferences. We’ve developed the following list over the course of more than a decade of trips to Costa Rica. It takes into account most of the situations you are likely to encounter: outdoor activities, a little nightlife, being invited into a home or to a special family occasion (more likely than you might think), and a lot of tropical relaxation.
Paring the pack down for an overnight Pacuare rafting trip. Every week or so we repack everything, reorganizing for road trip mode, , or business meeting mode. The list below includes most everything we’ve ever packed for Costa Rica with notes on why. Obviously don’t try to take it all. Edit it down to what makes sense for who you are, how you travel and the activities you plan to participate in -or- jump to: | | | | | | | Gear for Costa Rica Plugs and voltages are the same in Costa Rica as the U.S.
(120V flat prongs) but big power surges are common – see • – there are a LOT of indispensable things in our first aid kit that are not on this generic list because we would never consider going anywhere without it.
• or Flashlight – Power outages occur and the return path from a beachfront restaurant to your bungalow may not be obvious after sunset. We finally found a fantastic USB rechargeable Li-LED headlamp and it’s only $15 (). Old school travelers may prefer the headlamp we used for years – extremely rugged, reliable and waterproof but not rechargeable (3 AAA) and costs three times as much. If you prefer a flashlight try the amazingly bright rechargeable . • Phone – a few years ago it was impossible to use a U.S.
or Canadian cell phone in Costa Rica but it’s getting easier and cheaper. Buy an international plan from your carrier prior to travel () to avoid extremely expensive roaming charges. • Pocket Knife or Multi-Tool – don’t forget to put it in checked baggage for flights. • Camera – Forget about monkey and sloth pictures with a phone. A phone is fine for beach shots but .
We’ve field tested over 20 cameras in Costa Rica and there are two very clear winners that we carry every trip. For wildlife photography the pairs a crazy 65x telephoto zoom with unbelievable image stabilization. The is compact, indestructible, super fast lens for low light, also takes amazing shots on land and the LED supermacro microscope mode makes leaf cutter ants look like monsters.
These two cameras cover every conceivable photo op (also see the ). • – pack them or not? Binoculars are a tough call. They are heavy, a bit fragile and unless you spend a minimum of about $250 probably not even worth bringing because they won’t be bright enough to use in the forest.
If you’re an avid birdwatcher they’re probably the first thing you pack. If you’re a casual wildlife enthusiast thinking about buying a pair just for Costa Rica you may want to skip it and spend the money on guides instead. Naturalist guides usually carry a powerful spotting scope mounted to a tripod and aim it at the animal of interest for you. We used to be avid enough to drag binoculars everywhere and found the . They are obviously and remarkably better than super cheapos but our eyes aren’t good enough to see much difference between the Monarch and the .
Good Budget Binoc – Celestron is the best budget brand and you’ll see them in the hands of many guides in Costa Rica. At just over a hundred bucks their waterproof, nitrogen filled, BaK-4 prism is a great option for casual wildlife and birdwatching. For the past couple of years our binoculars have gotten less and less use as we’ve discovered that it’s easier to see things clearly and more magnified on the digital display of our superzoom camera (see above).
• – It can be a bit unwieldy when hiking but if it’s really raining hard an umbrella is the best protection and unlike a jacket or poncho you can keep your camera or binoculars dry while in use. A bit geeky but we and many professional naturalist guides we know carry umbrellas. The (pictured) at about $22 is proof you don’t have to spend a bundle to get a tough, compact, functional (it has wind dumping dual layer construction so it won’t invert) travel umbrella.
Oh, and it has a lifetime warranty. We recommend the darker muted colors (gray, green) if you’re planning on wildlife watching. Resorts and eco-lodges often provide “house” umbrellas and it won’t be necessary for rain on the Pacific side during but almost as important to have as a sun shade. • /Monopod – trekking poles are great not only to keep you from ending up face down in the muck while hiking but can be used to poke things like a log across the trail where you thought you might have seen a snake slither in… If you add a panhead mount one pole can double as a camera/video monopod to help get blur free shots in the dark understory of the forest.
• Water Bottle or Bag – Our favorites are the and we usually carry a 1 L small mouth for convenient access on the trail. jump to: | | | | | | | Clothes If you’re planning on choose your wardrobe accordingly. Birds and animals definitely notice bright colors and may take off. There’s no need to go full camo but if you have a choice between fluorescent pink or muted tan or green pick the more neutral color. It can be surprisingly chilly. Popular destinations like Poás and Irazú volcanoes, Monteverde cloud forest, and Chirripó peak are at high elevations – sweater and jacket weather most of the time.
You may also be surprised to find that neither your hotel room nor (older) rental cars have a heat setting on the thermostat. Water is another consideration when planning your wardrobe.
Cloud and rain forests have little regard for phrases like “the dry season.” It may not rain during your visit, but the saturating humidity dripping from the leaves and the spray from the inevitable waterfall will make you glad for quick-drying garments.
is a great way to keep your bag light but laundromats are few and far between in Costa Rica. Laundry services are fairly common in tourist areas (they wash, dry and fold for about $10-$15 a load). Hotels often have laundry services—expect to pay a buck or two per item. Hand washing isn’t too onerous if you only have a few items (things like jeans can take forever to dry). • 3-5 T-shirts – The biggest variable when choosing T-shirts is natural fiber vs. plastic.
We recommend natural fibers like cotton, hemp, wool, or bamboo – if you haven’t tried consider it – soft, breathable, odor resistant. • 1-2 Long Sleeved Shirts – for mosquito protection, bushwhacking and to cover your sunburn if you don’t use enough sunscreen the first day.
I have a like the one pictured and I like it because it’s got tabs to hold the sleeves up and it’s classy enough to wear to a casual business meeting (we have to work in Costa Rica sometimes). • 1-2 Dressy Shirts or Blouses – if you’d like to clean up a bit for dinner or drinks and dancing. • 2-3 Pairs Shorts – one or two pairs of quick drying nylon and one or two pairs of dressy cotton shorts or tropical weight/length skirts.
• 1-2 Pairs Long Pants – Something dressy and something for the bush. They’re a bit nerdy but are super practical for travel – long pants and shorts in one. Travelers are often surprised that we recommend long pants for the tropics but rain forest plants and insects have chemical and physical defense mechanisms that you don’t want to experience first-hand. Long pants help protect your legs from scrapes, scratches, injections, and insect invasions in the lowland jungles and from the cold at chilly high elevations on the volcanoes or in the cloud forest.
• Underwear – obviously a personal preference item so we won’t “go there” and tell you what to wear in Costa Rica. However, I will warn you that I field tested the “round the world” and was not at all impressed.
The material was shiny and clingy and felt a bit like wearing a plastic bag with holes punched in it. They also started pilling after about 20 miles of trekking. Not recommended. I tossed them out and went back to the old reliable options – Hanes cotton boxers, lined running/sport shorts and commando. We didn’t field test the but the material seemed to be about the same. • Sports Bra – comfortable for adventure activities • 2-10 Pairs Socks – type and count varies a lot.
We often wear sports sandals or flip flops without socks. If you’re going to wear closed shoes most of the time you’ll want extra socks because they’ll get wet and stinky fast either because of tropical perspiration or precipitation. • PJs or a long T-shirt – in case you have to wander around the hotel in the middle of the night • – It is the tropics, but you will need something to keep you warm at higher elevations, or on the open ocean. It gets genuinely cold in the cloud forest and on volcano rims.
We recommend a lightweight pile jacket, and a water and wind resistant jacket that can be folded into its own pocket. The important criteria isn’t so much the weight as the packed size. If it’s small enough to cram in your fanny pack or pocket, you’re much more likely to have it when you need it. • Poncho – Personally we’re not poncho fans but many people swear by them. The biggest issue is getting stuff that’s under the poncho (camera, binoculars, bandana, water bottle) out from under the poncho when you need it.
• Bandana – bandanas are practical retro apparel. Dip it in a stream and wipe your brow, clean your glasses, shade your neck, sling a broken arm… use your imagination • , Baseball Cap or Brimmed Hat – to keep the sun off. If you choose the baseball cap, bring a bandana to hang out the back and protect your neck. • Mesh Bag for Wet Clothes – Some people suggest a plastic bag or dry bag, but if you go the waterproof route don’t leave the clothes in the bag more than a couple of hours or you might as well just throw them away.
If you forget they’ll putrefy. • Oh yeah, don’t forget your Swimsuit – active/sports swimsuit and a tanning suit (guys you may not know what we mean, so just bring your suit). You may also want a sarong or other casual beach cover-up. jump to: | | | | | | | Shoes Shoes are a difficult decision. Gear heads would want several pairs to match the wide variety of terrain and conditions in Costa Rica.
Good choices include amphibian hikers, nylon/gortex® boots, army surplus jungle boots, high top tennis shoes, or just your most comfortable walking shoes. For heavy slogging it’s possible to borrow or rent the rubber muck boots that the locals favor. However, don’t expect to find anything larger than men’s size 11 (size 45 European).
I love my Vasque Skywalks, but leather mountaineering boots are typically designed for boulder fields and glissading and are not ideal for rainforest conditions. They weigh a ton, can cause blisters when they are wet, and in Costa Rica they will never dry out. Not recommended. When traveling ultra-light (unsupported bicycle touring), we’ve always worn Alp sandals as our only pair of shoes.
This company started in a garage in California with an exceptional design, was bought out by Teva, who produced a similar design for a while before Rafters brand came out with a near perfect knockoff and finally Keen copied the pattern and added a toe guard. The is the best sport sandal we know of. One pair is a compromise and sometimes we didn’t have the ideal traction, support or protection, but the light weight, ultimate breathability, rapid drying, ease of washing, and comfort more than made up for the negatives.
Unless you’re trekking or bikepacking you might a couple of different pairs – some combination of… • – advantages include lightweight, fast drying and reasonably good traction. The main disadvantage is they never quite seem to fit quite right. We’ve tried , , , and others and they all rub and blister some.
• – these could include lightweight hiking boots like Merrell or just sneakers or trail runners with good traction. • – like we mentioned above, if you only have room or the budget for one pair something from this category is the most versatile and probably the best choice • Beach Sandals/Flip-Flops – a note on flip flops – many organized tours like rafting, rappelling, ziplines, and canyoning require closed toe shoes.
• – the most talented canyoneering guide and waterfall climber we know does it all in Crocs. Can’t say they work for me but obviously ideal for some people.
• Dressy – nice sandals or light weight dress shoes If you’re going hardcore trekking and want a definitive statement then take the advice National Geographic Conservation Fellow Mike Fay gives after 456 days and over 2,000 miles on foot across the central African rainforest. ” Don’t bother with shoes or boots. Water and sand mix in shoes to turn feet into hamburger. I wore sport sandals every day—and when needed some duct tape.” We saw the hamburger that Mike mentions when the only Tico member of our insisted that he was going to wear mountaineering boots.
His feet ended up so mangled he had to be carried by the Gringos in their water shoes and indigenous guides in Crocs and Flip Flops (seriously, one guide completed a transcontinental trek in flip flops!). jump to: | | | | | | | Snake Proof Shoes We’ve taken a lot of flack from people who let us know that our recommendations for wearing sport sandals or mesh amphibian hikers are reckless and unsafe. We’ve been told many times, “Because of the danger of snake bite you should really recommend hiking boots.” While our critics are correct in assuming that the sandals and water shoes won’t provide any protection from snake bite they’re mistaken in thinking that most hiking boots will be better.
You might as well be wearing slippers when it comes to terciopelo fangs. Scientists and others who spend time in areas where snakes are common know this and use what are called snake gaiters (see image).
They’re light-weight kevlar and cordura armor that covers the top of the foot and the calf nearly up to the knee. They are expensive and a bit clumsy but they work. The second best option are the rubber muck boots worn by farm workers and ranchers. They won’t stop the fangs from penetrating but unless you have huge calves they are usually floppy enough that they may keep the fangs from reaching your leg. Not great, but maybe better than nothing. The best defense against snakebite regardless of the sort of armor you’re wearing is to look carefully where you are placing your feet and hands.
If you don’t step on them or grab them most Costa Rican snakes are very unlikely to bite. jump to: | | | | | | | Toiletries & Health All of these items are readily available (except tampons in more remote areas) in the local Supermercado or Farmacía, but unless you’re on an extended trip bring them from home and spend your time on the beach rather than in checkout lines.
• – yes we know we are repeating ourselves – it’s worth repeating. As an absolute minimum you’ll want headache remedy of choice, Imodium, tweezers, antihistamine but we recommend and always carry .
• Sunscreen – bring about twice as much as you think you need because the sun will be about twice as intense as you expect. It’s very expensive in Costa Rica • Aloe Vera – in case you don’t use enough sunscreen – it really helps sunburns. Get 100% gel without any additives or fragrance.
• Mosquito Repellent – DEET is our go to but in the past few years a couple of more natural alternatives that actually work have come on the market (). • Razor – and spare blades. • Toothbrush with Cover, and Toothpaste • Shampoo & Conditioner • Brush or Comb • Antiperspirant • Towel – if you’re staying anywhere that charges less than $US 30 per night, they may not be provided.
Even if your hotels provide towels, they may not appreciate you “borrowing” them for your hike to the rain forest waterfall or hot spring. are small, lightweight, wringable, and quick drying- great for everything except modesty (too small to cover much). • Washcloth • Toilet Paper or Kleenex – not all restrooms are always supplied • Cosmetics – unless you like sporting a Goth racoon look consider bringing waterproof mascara etc. • Prescriptions – should be filled before you leave home.
Although it is probably possible to get any medication you might need, it’s not worth wasting the time it might take. • – don’t mess around with your eyes. Get 100% UV blocking and when choosing a shape, remember that water and sand can reflect dangerous rays around the bottom and sides of the glasses. • Tampons – hard to find in rural areas, and expensive when you do find them.
If you use them bring them. • Contact Lenses and Cleaning Solutions – available in Costa Rica but it may be hard to find specific brands and they’re relatively expensive. If you rely on them, bring enough for your whole trip and a pair of glasses just in case.
• If you wear prescription glasses, pack a spare pair jump to: | | | | | | | Documents & Info If you’re traveling with more than one person you should spread your important documents out so if something happens to some of them you’ll have a back up.
For example I carry both passports and Sue carries both driver’s licenses. That way we at least have ID if one of us loses our wallet. There’s a if you want more info.
• Passport – it was once possible (although ill advised) to travel from the United States to Costa Rica with only a drivers license for documentation. Now a passport is required. Your passport will also be required to board a plane, for bank transactions, checking into hotels, car rentals and of course to return home.
• Drivers License – required to rent a car or drive and a good backup ID. Keep it separate from your passport.
U.S. Canadian and European licenses are all valid. • Money – – make sure you’ve got at least a couple of days worth of cash and a credit/debit/bank card as backup. • Money Belt or Passport Pendant – somewhere to carry your documents. • Your Login Information – if you have devices that log you in automatically at home and work you may not know your passwords. You will need them if you’re using a hotel computer. You won’t be able to use “forgot password” if you can’t access your e-mail.
• Both Authentication Factors – If you have logins with two factor authentication (aka two step verification) be sure you have your other factor(s) available. For example gmail will detect that your account is being accessed from a foreign country and almost certainly require you to further identify yourself; usually by texting a code number to your phone.
If you didn’t bring your phone you won’t be able to access your e-mail. • Insurance Information – medical care in Costa Rica is nationalized and it is unlikely that your health insurance will be accepted however some providers may pay for medically necessary evacuation.
jump to: | | | | | | | Books & Maps Besides some light reading and a you may also want to pick these up. • – It’s nice to have an overview of where you’re going and an accurate backup for . • – The Lonely Planet pocket phrase book is specific to Costa Rican Spanish.
• by Gary Stiles and Alexander Skutch, Illustrated by Dana Gardner is the bird watching gold standard but we prefer the smaller lighter and easier to use Zona Tropical publication by Richard Garrigues and Illustrated by Robert Dean. • Serious naturalists might want Janzen’s “” This would also be a great gift for an exceptional guide; it’s considered the bible of Costa Rican Ecology.
• is a 12 panel laminated quick reference card with hundreds of common species. Kids love them. jump to: | | | | | | | Miscellaneous • Plastic Bags – plastic may be the worst enemy of our environment, but it might be the travelers best friend.
Reuse, recycle and dispose properly but take advantage of this miracle of modern science. • A Photo of Your Home or Family – can jump start a conversation. Family is very important to Ticos. • Don’t forget your Address Book so you can make everyone at home jealous with retro snail mail post cards. • Clothesline – hang muddy pants on the terrace or for a quick hand wash in the sink (see ). • Blanket – no kidding.
Especially mid-priced hotels (expensive enough to have air-conditioning but not luxury enough for duvets) will often make the beds with just a sheet. The idea is to save on electricity costs by reducing the use of the A/C. If you’re just under a sheet you won’t want the room as cool. That’s fine if you stay the same place for a week and find the perfect setting. If you’re only there a couple of nights you’ll probably be off a bit on the setting and without a blanket to pull over you the only option when you wake up freezing in the middle of the night is to turn on the light and fiddle with the A/C setting – probably 3 or 4 times because you’ll be sweating in half an hour… Lightweight pile blankets are common in small shops and even supermarkets and we usually just buy one (under $10) instead of packing it.
• Insulated Beverage Container – to go cups are becoming more common but still hard to find outside fast food and chain coffee outlets. A travel mug is much more environmental anyway. • Croakies® or other glasses retainer system for your prescription or sunglasses.
• Zipties – useful for repairs and to “lock” your backpack. Obviously anyone with a knife can cut the tie, but it will reduce opportunistic pilfering. Anyone with a knife can also slit the pack open. • Gifts – small tokens of your appreciation, or something to keep a small child entertained so you don’t have to listen to them cry on a 200 km bus ride. jump to: | | | | | | | Cool Gizmos and Gadgets for Costa Rica • – most people think of these as a backup for their cell phone but we use it for all of our gizmos – most digital cameras allow in camera charging so plug into the power bank for a couple of minutes and get that sunset photo you would have missed otherwise – head lamps, i-pad/tablet, kindle readers, portable GPS, and of course phones all get a quick boost anywhere.
• – Amazing for night hikes; our naturalist guides always beg us to sell ours after they see them in action. Actually it’s a bicycle light but they slip easily off the mounting bracket and are incredibly bright (think car headlight), waterproof, rugged, and run about 4 hours continuously on a single charge of the lithium polymer batteries. • – we are avid readers and firmly believe the Kindle paperwhite e-ink is the best innovation for travel in the last 10 years (cell phones and digital cameras are pretty good too but they’re older)!
Download a good guidebook and something to read while swinging in a hammock on the beach, when the ferry is a couple of hours late, or you miss your bus and have to wait for the next one.
• – a nail clipper sounds frivolous but can prevent a lot of bloodshed. Untrimmed toenails will cut into the adjacent toes on a long hike. Handy if you forget to do it before you leave or stay for a couple of weeks and they grow.
The knife blade is sharp as a razor and the scissors are indispensable for cutting mole foam and surgical tape to cover the cut if you forget to clip. • – This tiny little gizmo is a combination 3200 mAh portable charger and UV flashlight. We bought it because scorpions light up like neon signs when you point it at them and UV light reveals all sorts of patterns on bugs, plants and other interesting creatures.
It attracts moths and butterflies when pointed at a light colored surface at night (called a light trap), and can be used to check to see if the sheets are really clean in a hotel room.
It’s also handy because you can run the rechargeable lithium polymer battery backwards to get about a 50% charge on an iphone. • – Phone, kindle, i-pad, led flashlight, digital camera, portable power bank – the long list of things we need to recharge when we check into a new lodge. There never seem to be enough outlets and the power coming straight out of the wall in Costa Rica can be extremely “dirty” with surges and spikes that can damage sensitive electronics.
The rotating travel outlet strip is compact, grounded, surge protected (for your laptop or other 110v a/c plugins), plus it has two built in USB ports that allow you leave a whole armload of device specific power supplies and battery chargers at home. The evolution to a complete power solution is obvious to us although no manufacturer has figured it out yet – pack a couple of Li-polymer cells inside adding unplugged portable power bank recharging for phones and devices.
For now you’ll just have to buy a separate battery pack. – Need a third USB charger for the travel Power Strip? The Power Pirate gives you one without sacrificing an outlet. Hold the Pirate against the outlet then plug a two prong power cord through it. If you use it on one of the outlets on the strip it will be surge protected too.
• Green Laser Pointer – Surprisingly helpful to show others where the tent making bat is hanging 40 feet up in the forest canopy. Don’t point it in the animal’s eyes. Point it at a leaf of trunk a few feet away and tell the kids to look “just above the green dot.” Human eyes are most sensitive to the green part of the spectrum so a green laser works best but they are getting hard to buy because people are pointing them at airplanes and interfering with pilots vision.
Red works okay too. • – At about the size of a fat ball point pen and as cheap as a couple of bucks a flexible dimmable USB powered LED lamp is one of the most useful and versatile travel gadgets you can have. It’s bright enough to plug directly into your outlet strip and light a small room, can be dialed down to personal reading lamp intensity, plugged into a laptop as a keyboard light, or used with a Li-polymer power pack as a super bright flashlight for the path back to your beach bungalow after dinner.
Something to Put It All In – Packs & Luggage We’ve used suitcases, soft duffels, rolling duffels, carry-ons, backpacks and even just plain old cardboard boxes as luggage. There’s no real ideal choice for Costa Rica. While a small rolling suitcase is great for the airport, paved areas around lodges or inside the hotel the people wearing backpacks will fare much better when they encounter gravel driveways and paths or uneven vertical curb concrete amalgams that pass as sidewalks in Costa Rica.
The best advice we can offer is instead of worrying about choosing the ideal bag try to keep whatever you carry to a minimum. You’ll be much happier carrying 20 lbs than dragging around 50lbs no matter how it’s packaged. When we don’t have to travel with giant cases (stuff for work or U.S. shopping being delivered to expats) we use . other specialized lists: | | | | | Ray & Sue
It can be hard to choose just what to do when you are faced with the number of options a country like Costa Rica can offer you. A little help can be useful; so we have compiled a list of the best packages we have sold.
Who are these best Costa Rica vacation packages for? This selection of Costa Rica vacation packages represent a fine balance of most popular packages with different travel styles in mind. The curated list caters to both families and couples. If your party isn’t the ideal 2 or 4, no worries! Any of these packages are completely customizable, feel free to browse them all and pick the one you find most attractive.
Give us specifics of your travel plans (dates, number of adults/kids) and our travel consultant will get back to you with an exact quote for your vacation package. The most popular occasions our clients entrust us with planing their are: • family adventure and relaxation trips • celebrating Christmas in the tropics • adventurous honeymoons Most of them feature a mix of jungle explorations and beach relaxation. We are also proud to welcome any nature enthusiasts, bird watchers, yoga aficionados, or experienced anglers.
Our travel consultants are eager to share their extensive Costa Rica expertise about any of these topics. How to pick which area to visit? The big ticket names such as Manuel Antonio, Arenal volcano and Papagayo peninsula are featured throughout our best . With their postcard panoramas, year round great climate and a plethora of activities, these locations not only amaze new visitors but keep seasoned travelers coming back for more.
Each area is famous for different set of attractions and activities you can partake: • Adventurers will definitely want to visit Arenal volcano area, the capital of hear racing experiences in Costa Rica. • If you want to see some wildlife and stay near the beach, choose , set on the Central Pacific coast of Costa Rica. • All-inclusive and luxury resorts are set on the north Pacific, and are perfect for a week long relaxing vacation and indulgence in extravagance. • Nature lovers are in for a treat!
Basically, any destination you pick will showcase a great array of wildlife. Birdwatchers’ hot spots are Monteverde, Osa peninsula and Tortuguero National Park.
• Surfers and yoga practitioners will be more interested in the secluded beaches of Nicoya peninsula. Anglers will enjoy both Jaco’s famous Los Suenos Resort and Manuel Antonio area. Explore the enlisted vacation packages and find out what suits you best!
How to Pack for Everywhere in Costa Rica