How to Pack for Costa Rica

Ever Packed too Much?


The art of packing for a destination that’s as “exotic” as Costa Rica is all about planning and anticipating the best and the worst. While it may be tiny in terms of the area, it has several climate zones that are varied.

Your Costa Rica packing essentials greatly depend on which part of the country you’re visiting. Here are some tips:

Anticipate the Elevation and Pack Accordingly: Much of the country is hilly. There are places like Guanacaste that is predominantly dry because it sits in the lowlands. On a bright spring and summer day, you can anticipate around 91 degrees Fahrenheit here, and the best time to book a flight to Costa Rica is December through April.

If you’re visiting the lowlands, then there’s not too much to worry about –clothing wise—in terms of the weather. A sweater or two should tide you over.

Packing for the Central Valley:
Other regions, which are high in elevation, are much cooler. The Central Valley, which is where San Jose is located, is by and large considered the best place –weather wise – in the country. If you visit any time of the year, expect average temperatures around 72 degrees Fahrenheit. The coolest months to visit are November, December and January.

If you’re visiting the Central Valley during the cooler months, be sure to bring some good waterproof outerwear, some rain boots, and a few sweaters at the very least. While you may enjoy many days of sunshine and beach time, you can never be too prepared.

Packing for the Hottest Months:
The hottest months are March through May, and at this time it’s really important to bring adequate sun protection particularly as you’re going to an area closer to the equator (the sun’s rays are fiercer during these months).

Bring plenty of SPF with you, and also loose, cool clothing (linen is a great option, especially for shorts, skirts and shirts). Also make sure you bring plenty of sandals and flip flops and a giant hat to protect your head from the sun’s rays.

The best time to visit Costa Rica may well be during the earlier months of the rainy season (the peak of this seems to be in September, which averages the most rainfall out of the months in the year); so a good time to visit would be in August. September is by far the soggiest month and you’ll be well advised to avoid it completely if possible.

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