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What to pack for your Costa Rica vacation!

May 07, 2021 3 min read

Are you planning a vacation to Costa Rica? Or replanning your trip to Pura Vidadise because the 'Rona cancelled your prior plans? Great!

If you're like me, planning the trip is the easier part -- it's deciding what to pack that's hard!


Palm trees in Costa Rica. Costa Rica photography print by Kristen M. Brown of Samba to the Sea.

*Palm Tree Adventures*

So lucky you, because after living in Costa Rica for almost ten years and going back + forth several times a year, I've got this "what to really pack for Costa Rica thing down". 

What to pack for your Costa Rica vacation

  1. Rain jacket 
    Especially if you're headed up to the volcanoes and cloud forest and always recommended during rainy season!

  2. Moisture wicking long (yoga) pants and long sleeve shirt
    Great not only for the plane, but also for visiting the volcanoes and if the AC in your hotel room is too cold!

  3. Natural bug spray 
    Overall, the mosquitos in Tamarindo are not bad at all, but better to keep those annoying bugs away. I use Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Insect Repellent.

  4. Reef safe sunscreen
    This is a MUST! Sunscreen in Costa Rica is expensive - - 2-3x the price! For your face, I highly recommend Bare Republic or All Good. It’s the only SPF I will put on my face when I surf. It’s all mineral, reef safe, oil free, high water resistance, no migration (not going to get in your eyes!), and chemical UV filter free.

  5. HydroFlask water bottle
    Did you know the water in Costa Rica is safe to drink from the faucet? Avoid spending way too much on water at the airport (and throwing away a single use plastic bottle) and bring a reusable water bottle. I LOVE my HydroFlask - - it keeps cold water COLD for hours and is perfect to stay refreshed in hot Costa Rica.

  6. Running Shoes / Closed Toe Shoes + Water Shoes
    For hiking, zip lining, ATV tours, and chasing waterfalls. I love me lightweight hiking shoes from Lems and I have my eye on a pair of Tevas or Chacos!

  7. Bikini / board shorts that stays on during your surf lesson AND a rash guard
    I’ve tested pretty much every bikini and rashguard out there for surfing and my top choices are one pieces from Dkoko, and Seea. If you really want to protect your skin, grab a pair of cute surf leggings as well! For board shorts, check out Faherty Brand, Greenlines, Vissla, and Outerknown for their board shorts made out of plastic bottles!

  8. Beach hat and sunglasses
    Costa Rica is located 10 degrees north of the Equator = the sun rays are intense!

  9. Shampoo and Conditioner Bar
    Say goodbye to bulky and heavy shampoo + conditioner bottles, and say hello to easier travel (especially if you plan on traveling with only a carry on bag!) with shampoo and conditioner bars. My favorite bars are from Ethique. And the best part -- you're ditching the plastic bottle too = a happy planet!

  10. Facemask
    Until we're on the other side of COVID, you will need to wear a face mask inside any establishment  you enter in Costa Rica. 

  11. My Sunset Chaser embroidered tee shirt!
    Be sure to chase Costa Rica's magical sunsets in Sunset Chaser style with my embroidered Sunset Chaser tee! Available in five super comfy, relaxed fit dreamy colors. 
Sunset Chaser tee shirt designed by Kristen M. Brown.




P u r a   V i d a,





P.S. Do you have more questions about Costa Rica?

Click here to read more of my Costa Rica tips, check out the highlights in my Instagram stories "CR Tips", or feel free to email me and ask away!


*[Blog post originally posted on 11/9/18, updated 5/7/21]*


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