Do you have a suggested packing list for 2 weeks in CR? We are going to Arenal, Monteverde, Manuel Antonio and Drake Bay, taking shuttle buses mostly, except flying back to San Jose from Drake Bay. Thanks.
Oh, yes, we are going for 1st 2 weeks in February
*UPDATE April 9, 2015
We now have a blog post with more detailed info on packing. You can find it here: Packing for Costa Rica: The Essentials.
Hi Carolyn, We don’t have a packing list but that is a great idea for a blog post. Until then, here are our suggestions for your two-week trip:
- Clothing: Keep it casual. Costa Rica is a casual country for the most part and you’ll find yourself wearing your more comfortable tank tops, shorts, and sandals most of the time. Bring some layers (lightweight pants, long sleeve shirts) for Monteverde, where temps are cooler, especially at night. Drake Bay will be very hot and humid so bring lots of lightweight clothes too.
- Raincoat or light waterproof jacket: Feb. will be the dry season so it shouldn’t rain much (if at all) but Monteverde can be cooler and misty and rain is always a possibility in the jungles of Drake Bay.
- Hiking boots or sturdy sneakers: If you plan to hike, you’ll definitely want some sturdy shoes. Closed toe is best because of biting insects but a lot of people love wearing heavier hiking sandals like Keens.
- Flashlight or headlamp: Definitely bring one for Drake Bay; we have these ones and they have lasted us several years already.
- Sunscreen: This one is obvious but sunscreen is really expensive in Costa Rica so be sure to bring however much you’ll need.
- Sun Hat
- Spanish Dictionary: English will be widely spoken in all the places you’ll be visiting, but you’ll run into people who only speak Spanish in smaller restaurants and cab/van drivers, etc. If you don’t speak Spanish, a pocket guide can be handy. We always used to travel with this one from Lonely Planet.
- Water shoes: If you have them, bring them. If you’re taking the boat shuttle from Sierpe, they will be good for the beach landing in Drake. Also good for visiting waterfalls.
- Bug spray: It shouldn’t be too buggy, but you never know. When you eat at outdoor restaurants in the evening you might want to put some on your legs. Bring a travel size one or the wipes work good too. You can also readily find the aerosol spray type here in CR if you wanted to wait.
- Beach towels/Sarong: Good idea if you plan on hanging out at the beach. You can also rent chairs in Manuel Antonio from some of the restaurants on the beach.
If you run out of toiletries, etc., there are stores where you will be able to find just about everything you need in all the places you’ll be visiting. The only exception is Drake Bay- make sure to stock up on whatever you need in advance as shopping is very limited there (and everything is more expensive). Hope that helps! Let us know if you have any more questions.
Hello,Would you please also post a packing list for the rainy season? We are traveling at the end of June through the beginning of July – Monteverde, Arenal & Manuel Antonio. I just found your blog and have really enjoyed it! Thank you for any help in advance.
Hi Megan, it doesn’t get too rainy until Sept. in most areas so you should be okay for your trip. If you haven’t seen it yet, you might want to read our post on the rainy season: http://www.twoweeksincostarica.com/visit-costa-rica-rainy-season/. We answered your question on packing list below. Let us know if you have any more questions and enjoy your trip!
Packing List for Rainy Season
All of the stuff we listed above in response to Carolyn’s question plus these things:
- A good raincoat that is breathable: Jenn has this Columbia one and loves it and Matt really likes his Patagonia one because it packs up really small.
- Shoes that you don’t mind getting wet: If you’re going out to dinner, etc. and have to walk, it’s nice to have some casual waterproof shoes like Crocs in case it’s pouring rain.
- Raincovers for your backpack if you’re going to be backpacking
- Bug Spray: It’s in the list above, but we can’t emphasize enough the importance of having it for the rainy season. Costa Rica has some mosquito-borne illnesses that you don’t want to get. Here’s a link for some travel size options.
- Lightweight pants: If you’re going to be hiking/walking in the forest, lightweight pants are good for avoiding bug bites. They are also great if it gets a little cool ut
*Also check out our post on traveling to Costa Rica in the rainy season. It has lots of tips and info on advantages/disadvantages as well as best times to visit.