Packing List

Traveling to Costa Rica isn’t like traveling most places. Here are some items that we consider essential, or at least handy. Pack these, and you’ll be glad you did.

(If it’s not entirely obvious, you can click on the photos to see & buy them over at



I use these and love them. There are bigger, better and much more expensive ones out there, but these hit a sweet spot for me:

If you’re looking for something more compact:


I always love to have a headlamp handy, whether for getting to and from the restaurant at a remote lodge at night, or reading in bed when the provided lighting isn’t up to snuff:


These are great for so many uses: white water rafting, walking on the beaches (especially on exposed coral and rocks), gentle hiking, hot springs, and more.

And of course they come in styles for both men and women:


I’m biased towards this next one, and it’s most likely the last edition I will write:

This is the best all-around field guide I’ve found:


And of course, if it’s just birds you’re after:

This is a great map:



Surfers know these well, but they’re the perfect sun protection and water wear for everyone. Great UV protection, quick drying and comfortable:

These are light, cool, keep critters off and dry fast:


I like these, they’re light, quick drying and good for just about any hiking situation I’ve encountered in Costa Rica:

And for her:


I don’t have one of these yet, but it’s on my wish list:

These will help you fit more gear in a small space, but watch out for overweight charges:


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