Packing Guide: Costa Rica + FREE printable checklist

June 19, 2015,

It was the third day into my two-week trip to Costa Rica and I had already learned so much. I learned that my Spanish is a lot better than I had remembered (especially in emergencies!!) and I also learned that when asking for directions, it’s important to be very specific. For example, if you want to go to Quepos city centre (the downtown) then ask for directions to Quepos Centrale not just Quepos (trust me – you’ll avoid getting lost).

I also realised that I focused on packing a lot of safety items (bug repellant, mosquito net, electrolytes, etc.) but neglected to pack a lot of essentials. Of course, you could always go out and purchase anything you might have forgotten – which I did. But imported luxury goods (like sunscreen or lotions) are very costly in Costa Rica. Bringing these items from home will save you the extra money that can then go towards tours, fresh juices and more.

From my experience in Costa Rica, I created this packing list for you. This packing guide is useful to travellers visiting cities (such as San Jose) as well as the greener areas, like Manuel Antonio.

Here is a sample of the list. You can download the complete packing list for FREE below.

Sample of Costa Rica Packing List by

Click the image below to download your FREE Costa Rica packing list. 

I am sure that you find this list helpful for your trip to Costa Rica. Because Costa Rica has a warm climate and is very sunny, you can allow yourself to pack more liquids and creams (like aloe and sunscreen) as per this list – compensate by packing very light and minimal clothing (also as per the packing checklist). I also wore my hiking boots on the plane to save space and weight. 

Over to you! Which one item do you never leave home without?
What do you pack when traveling to warmer climates? Share below! DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE COSTA RICA PACKING LIST: complete checklist with clothing, toiletries, cosmetics and other essentials! // at

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  • Reply Ilena Ciricillo June 19, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    I was excited for your first post from Costa Rica! Great advice about bringing those little things we take for granted from home. It does make sense as you said…the money you spend there for those ‘little’ items would be appreciated on juices, tours etc.

    Thanks for the tips and I’m looking forward to your posts and photos…

    I love the middle one…what lush greenery!

    • Reply happiestwhenexploring June 21, 2015 at 5:02 pm

      Thank you! Second one coming up shortly 😉
      Yes, I’m learning that now but at least I can share my learnings with others and with my future self!

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