Costa Rica

Travel Tips

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Know Before You Go

Before you begin packing for Costa Rica, preparing your passport, and checking the weather to determine the best season for your travels, we have some tips we want to share!

We are here to help guide you down a path of preparation and planning that enables you to experience Costa Rica in all its glory—without the “oh crap I totally forgot about that” moments.

Your Costa Rica travel guide, Zane, has been in your shoes. He has the answers to your questions, because he’s had the same questions at one point! (And he’s had to learn the hard way a few times.)

Take it from an expert, one who wants to share the solutions you need, so you don’t have to feel anxious, unprepared, or overwhelmed before your unforgettable adventure.

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What to Pack for Costa Rica

It’s not difficult to pack for Costa Rica! As a matter of fact, less is more when packing for your adventure. Traveling as light as possible is ideal. Besides, anything you end up needing, you can purchase in Costa Rica!


The best travel bag for Costa Rica is the lightest one you can find. The last thing you want is a heavy suitcase weighing you down. Keep your travel bag to a minimum, in case you need to pick it up and travel around.

overhead shot of person packing their suitcase

Clothing for Costa Rica

Costa Rica fashion is relatively relaxed during the day. Pack clothes you can wash by hand, like underwear, socks, shirts, and shorts. Depending on the season, you’ll likely find lots of natives wearing shorts in Costa Rica.

Pack clothes that won’t look wrinkled when you pull them out of your suitcase. You probably won’t want to take the time out of your trip to iron clothes! Roll up each clothing item individually, and pack tight. If possible, leave extra room for any items you purchase along your journey.

Think of outfits that go together before you start packing. Try not to pack too many items that only work well with one other piece of clothing.

For those who enjoy wearing dresses, choosing travel-friendly dresses that won’t wrinkle is a must! Lightweight dresses are ideal, you could even pack reversible dresses for more options with less to carry.

Dressing in layers can keep you comfortable as the weather changes throughout the day and night. Costa Rica is located in the tropics, but parts of this beautiful country (like areas under the rainforest canopies) remain cool year-round.

When humidity and rain mix, the temperature can get pretty chilly too. Beaches are the warmest areas, but your custom adventure may include a beach and a mountain on the same day, so dressing in layers allows you to remove clothing or add clothing as you need.

Pack with rain in mind! A lightweight rain jacket and layered clothing will keep you warm, dry, and comfortable.

The number one question for your Costa Rica packing list should be, “how many bathing suits should I pack?” There are countless excursions and adventures that allow you to swim, get a little wet, or bask in the sun – so pack accordingly!


The best shoe to wear in Costa Rica will depend on the adventures you choose. Zane recommends packing 1 pair of water shoes, 1 pair of flip flops, and 1 pair of hiking shoes (if your water shoes don’t double as hiking shoes).

Pro Tip: Take only what you need. Leave the extra toiletries at home! Only pack a small tube of toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner or soap. Don’t fear that you’ll run out of resources. You can always purchase them there! Besides, visiting a Costa Rican store is fun; it’s a part of the cultural experience.

Zane's Recommended Brands

Astral shoes are the best shoes for Costa Rica wet season (or any season for that matter). These shoes are high-performance, high-quality outdoor shoes for the water and the trail.

Unbound clothing is ideal for Costa Rica’s changing weather. This clothing is naturally antibacterial and moisture wicking to keep you clean and dry throughout your adventures.

REI offers a variety of sustainably-sourced clothing and gear, with tons of lightweight clothing items, comfortable dresses and skirts, and high-quality, practical backpack gear.

The Best Costa Rica Packing List Includes:

  • Shirts, pants, shorts, socks, underwear and bras that are lightweight, wrinkle-free, and hand-washable.
  • 1 lightweight rain jacket
  • A few reversible dresses
  • 1 pair of water shoes
  • 1 pair of flip flops

When you book your trip with Zaney Travel, Zane can personally help you to create your very own Costa Rica packing list with specific suggestions based on your adventures, your preferences, and your budget!

overhead shot of person packing a suitcase

After booking my flight to Costa Rica I contacted Zane and that is when the fun began! He had so many ideas and possible opportunities to try... His knowledge and experience adventuring in Costa Rica are remarkable! I knew I was in the best hands possible. Every excursion I went on, everything that I did was magical. The people, the region, the "happy vibe" of the country is so beautiful and pure... I can't wait until you feel "pura vida" for yourself... it will forever change you.

Ready for the adventure of a lifetime?

Extra Peace of Mind

These gluten free restaurant cards are translated into Spanish and written in a friendly way.

While there are many other gluten-free cards for Celiacs available, we prefer our version because it speaks to the culture of Costa Rica – which is friendly and helpful.

There are two sizes, 4×6″ and a bi-fold half page, both of which can be printed and cut for your convenience.

What it says:

Hello, I need your help, please.
I have a disease called celiac disease. If I eat foods that contain gluten, I will get very sick. I am very careful about the foods I eat.

  • I cannot eat foods that contain flour or cereals, such as: wheat, barley, oats or rye.
  • I cannot eat foods that have wheat flour or breadcrumbs.
  • I cannot eat soy sauce, MSG or any sauce.
  • I cannot eat any food that has been cooked with gluten.
  • My food should not be cooked with oil, hands, cutting boards, pans or utensils that have been used with foods that contain gluten.

If you are not sure if the food is gluten free, please tell me.

I can eat many other things that you might prepare here, such as beans and rice, cheese, corn, eggs, fruits, meat and fish, milk, potatoes and vegetables.

Thank you very much!

Fill out the form to be redirected to download the cards. A link will also be emailed to you (be sure to check your spam folder if you haven’t received it).

image of Celiac translation cards

    The celiac card looks great, and I'm really looking forward to using it on my upcoming trip to Costa Rica. I discovered your services through Taylor Silfverduk (@celiacdietician) on instagram, a while back, and then the stars aligned for me to take a much needed trip.