Pack with confidence and avoid baggage fees - clothing tips and packing checklists for your vacation

What to Wear in Costa Rica

General Packing Tips

  • A lot of what you are likely to do in Costa Rica is related to conservation and the rainforest, so lightweight, but rainproof clothing is essential.
  • Our advice for men and women alike would be to concentrate on trekking/outdoor clothing and fairly lightweight but sturdy walking shoes.
  • As you can imagine, the humidity is very high here so be prepared. Lightweight natural fabrics work best and pack long pants and long-sleeved shirts to help keep the mosquitos from feasting on you.
  • In town when eating out, wear whatever you feel comfortable in. Downtown is very casual, although hotels are more dressy (dependent upon which level of hotel you stay in).
  • If you're staying in a hotel, then getting your clothes laundered is easy. Outside of this, it will be almost impossible.
  • You really need to be sure you take everything you need including sunscreen (we love the Riemann P20 range for 10 hour protection), insect/mosquito repellent, adapter plugs and converters for electrical appliances as you will find it difficult to buy these items once you are there.
  • Mosquito repellent is really important - you get eaten alive under the rainforest canopy.
  • Don’t drink or even brush your teeth in tap water. Consider taking a Water-to-Go Filtration Water Bottle.
  • As in many countries some parts of Costa Rica feel safer than others. Use common sense and don't flash your money or valuables around. You may want to consider a money belt, and leave expensive jewellery at home.
  • A soft-sided rucksack is more practical than a hard suitcase - it is easier to fit into the small planes or transfer vehicles if you are traveling around the country.

Clothing Tips for Women

  • If you are planning on visiting the beaches then remember to take your sunscreen, a sarong to use with your swim wear or as a lightweight shawl in the evening teamed with a simple sundress or skirt. Avoid revealing clothes and very short shorts.
  • We love Hotter shoes, for total comfort along with style. Or why not try the Lindsay Phillips Switch Flops range - using interchangeable shoe and flip-flop bases with snap-on decorations, you can change your look from day to evening in an instant whilst still packing light.
  • A pashmina is a versatile piece that will dress up any outfit.

Clothing Tips for Men

  • There are no specific things to bring to your attention, check out our packing list for our suggested capsule wardrobe.

Pack for the Weather

  • December, January, February, March and April are the 'dry' summer season, although you should still expect a fair amount of rain.
  • May, June, July and November have more rain.
  • August, September and October (the winter) have the highest rainfall.
  • Costa Rica is hot all year round but especially so during March, April and May.

Regions of Costa Rica

  • The Pacific coast is dry December, January, February, March and April
  • Whilst the Caribbean coast is dry August, September and October and generally more humid.

Last updated 24 February 2015.

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Pack Light

  • Less luggage to carry
  • Save time packing and unpacking
  • Save money on baggage fees

Pack Right

  • Respect local cultures
  • Feel comfortable and confident
  • Suitable outfits for all occasions

Bestsellers For Costa Rica

Water-to-Go 750ml Filtration Water Bottle

Water-to-Go 750ml Filtration Water Bottle

Purifies and filters water instantly for safe drinking

Unisex Canvas Breezy Safari / Sun Hat

Unisex Canvas Breezy Safari / Sun Hat

Popular outdoor activity hat with ventilated mesh sides

Cabin Max Fold Away Day Sack

Cabin Max Fold Away Day Sack

Ideal addition to your cabin baggage, to be used in resort

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