Costa Rica Packing Guide

In this episode of Gaby didn’t do her research before traveling and ended up overpacking yet not packing enough…

I am going to walk you through the items I should’ve kept in mind while prepping for Costa Rica, as well as the ones I should’ve left behind.

I didn’t fully realize that if you’re thinking of traveling somewhere completely solo,

you should do ALL THE RESEARCH you can!!

Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Tamarindo, Costa Rica


Snug-fitting bikini — As snug as you can if you don’t want to flash the world. The tide changes like CRAZY so if you’re not careful your bikini can easily come off! I’ve been obsessed with high waisted bathing suits lately since they keep everything in place and flatter my figure.

Sporty one piece swimsuit — The brand that I would recommend, and the two surf suits that I ended up taking with me were by The Seea.

Their surf suits are so comfortable, flattering, and most importantly… they stay on!!!

Rashguard — If you are planning on going on a surf trip or taking a surf lesson here, you are going to need a rashguard. I don’t care if you think you’re too cool to wear one… everyone and their mother wears a rashguard in Costa Rica! You don’t want to get a painful sunburn on your back, trust me.

I just interviewed the founder of iaera surf, a surf wear company with great rashguards. Ahead are some of my personal favorites by her:

Reef Safe SPF Sunscreen — Do you want to damage your skin? Oh, you do? Oh okay, keep burning your face then…

If you actually want to take care of your skin, these are my go-to products:

Zinc Oxide — If you can’t see it on your face after applying it, you need to apply more.

Chapstick — With the Costa Rica heat always pounding on you, please take my advice and keep your lips smooth and sunburn free.

Hat — After seeing influencer Sivan Ayla style the Alexa straw visor in one of her Instagram Stories, I HAD TO HAVE IT! Since it instantly sold out, here are two additional beachy straw hats perfect for Costa Rica. All three hats are by Brixton:

Insulated water bottle — The weather is HUMID and can dehydrate you fast if you don’t carry a bottle of water with you at all times.

On my first day in Costa Rica I ended up almost passing out during a yoga class, and had to rush back to the house to get some fresh water because I didn’t pack a water bottle.

Remember, the colder the water—the better it is!

Changing Poncho — If you are traveling solo, specially as a woman, you need to bring one.

Document holder — This item made my airport journey so much easier. Having a document holder around my neck at all times vs having to scramble through my purse was a big timesaver.

Passport Holder — The one on the left is the exact one I brought with me. I’ve been meaning to purchase the one on the right by the Orange County local brand, Helm Street:

Sandals — A tip that I received by a local was to always bring your worn out sandals because you never know if they could get washed up or if someone could swipe them while you’re surfing. I wore my 4 year old Birkenstocks every day, they were extremely comfortable and already pretty beat up.

Rainbow  | Sandals Women's Flirty Braidy Flip-Flops |  $54.99

Rainbow | Sandals Women's Flirty Braidy Flip-Flops | $54.99

Waterproof phone case — While walking around tide pools I realized it would’ve been good to bring a water proof case. These two will do the trick:

Waterproof camera — There were so many moments in the water and during excursions that I wished I had a waterproof camera.

The following are two I’ve had my eyes on:

Hair care — The ocean’s salty water has really damaged my hair and made it extremely uncontrollable, which is why hair care is a must!

Here’s a round up of products that never fail me:

Skincare products — Being located closer to the Equator makes the sun in Costa Rica pretty intense. If you care about your skin, protect it. I kept spraying this product all over my face every chance I got to hydrate myself:

I also brought makeup wipes to take off the left over sand and dirt from my action packed days.

Close-toed shoes for excursions — If you’re planning on going on any excursions… you’re going to need some comfortable close-toed shoes. Any brand works as long as they’re sturdy!

Bug Spray — I brought it but made mistake of wanting to act like a “local” and didn’t utilize it. The outcome was getting eaten alive by bugs which caused a mild allergic reaction due to the multiple mosquito bites.

What to leave behind:

Heels and Platforms — The going out attire here is shorts, jeans, tshirts…basically pretty casual. Do yourself a favor and leave the extra inches at home. You don’t need them! And yes, I packed three pairs of heels when I went.

Source: Unknown

Source: Unknown

Makeup — If you’re planning on going on an adventure packed trip, please toss the makeup or forget about it during vacation. If you end up ignoring what I said, you’ll be sweating your makeup off non stop.

Source: Giphy

Source: Giphy

Sweaters — Unless you have AC where you’re staying, don’t you dare bring a sweater! It’s basically a slap in the face to the weather in Costa Rica ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

Source: The Office

Source: The Office

I hope these tips were helpful and keep you from UNDER AND OVERPACKING.

Feel free to SHARE your feedback BELOW, and MENTION other products THAT you think would be useful to take to Costa Rica!

Cheers and Safe Travels,

Gabriela Peregrina

Gabriela Peregrina2 Comments