Answer for Do you have s 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.

*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.

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