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Insider Tips - What to Pack For Your Costa Rica Vacation

When planning your Costa Rican vacation, choosing what to pack and what to leave at home is essential - especially if you are going to travel by place within Costa Rica. The intra-Costa Rica Airlines only allow you to bring on a minimal amount of baggage. (The baggage allowance for Sansa Airlines is 1 piece with maximum weight of 30 lbs. /14 kgs and up to 45 linear inches / 114 cm. (length + height + width).

Don't despair - we've got your back!

We've put together the ultimate and essential packing list for your Costa Rica vacation at Casa Arenosa.


Here is your guide to packing for your stay at Casa Arenosa. Since it is tropical weather, aka hot and humid, you don’t need much in the way of clothing. You will most likely wear a bathing suit and sarong most of the day.


🗹 1 pair of lightweight pants – Avoid jeans.

🗹 1 long-sleeved shirt – loose and lightweight, in light colors

🗹 Tank-tops / T-shirts

🗹 Shorts and/or skirts

🗹 Simple, light-weight dress

🗹 Lightweight raincoat (waterproof/breathable)

🗹 1 warm synthetic top (e.g. – fleece) - only if you are going to the mountains

🗹 Underwear/bras

🗹 Yoga wear - optional

🗹 Bathing suits

🗹 Sun hat / baseball cap

🗹 Rash guards

🗹 Board shorts

🗹 Water shoes / surf booties

🗹 Sunglasses


You’ll be walking almost every day on-course, sometimes along muddy trails. Your shoes will likely get sandy, wet, and muddy!

🗹 Closed-toed hiking or tennis shoes – go for comfort with these!

🗹 Sport sandals (Teva/Chaco-type with a heel strap or light weight tennis shoes).

🗹 Socks

🗹 Water shoes! (ie: surf booties)

🗹 Flip-flops


🗹 1-qt. water bottle

🗹 Headlamp or flashlight

PRO TIP: ALWAYS use a flashlight at night!

🗹 Extra sets of flashlight batteries


🗹 Passport: must be valid for at least 6 months after your arrival date

🗹 Money - Cash is king on the Osa, and you can use US dollars to purchase items.

🗹 Watch

🗹 Toiletry articles (biodegradable soap and shampoo, toothbrush, paste, etc.)

🗹 Small first aid kit

It’s nice to have your own supply of fresh Bandaids, Neosporin, Tylenol, Benadryl, Ibuprofen, and Swimmer’s Ear Drops, Itching remedy

🗹 Personal Medications (over the counter and prescribed) – leave in original packaging with dosage instructions

🗹 2 inhalers / Epipens (if you have a prescription for an inhaler)

🗹 Prescription glasses or contact lenses: Bring a pair of glasses even if you prefer to wear contacts, and a spare set (of contacts or glasses), if you have them

🗹 Sunglasses: polarized with 100% UV protection

🗹 Sunscreen: 30 SPF minimum, water-resistant, natural water-based; bring enough to cover you for the length of your vacation!

🗹 Lip balm with sunscreen

🗹 Insect repellent: We recommend a natural or organic repellent

🗹 Umbrella (If it is rainy season)

🗹 Aloe for sunburns


We are unable to provide sports gear for guests because of the difficulty of maintaining them in high quality condition. If you know you want to surf or boogie board, we suggest bringing these things with you. They are also available for rent from Encanta la Vida, an eco-lodge across the road from us. Thank you.


🗹 Surf board

🗹 Boogie board

🗹 Snorkeling gear

🗹 Swim goggles

🗹 Yoga mat

🗹 Art supplies, for example a watercolor journal and watercolors

🗹 Writing journal and pens

🗹 A good book!

🗹 Movies

*PRO TIP: Download your movies on your devices at home before departure.

🗹 A day bag/pack

🗹 Spanish dictionary/ phrasebook

🗹 Sarongs

🗹 Waterproof phone case

🗹 Digital Devices - We invite you to unplug and relax! This is your vacation!

🗹 Camera

PRO TIP: Pack your camera in a plastic bag for protection against moisture and sand, or bring an underwater camera

🗹 Film or memory cards & extra camera batteries

🗹 Binoculars

🗹 Deck of cards, hacky sack, other small games


Please do not bring a blow dryer. Our solar power system is minimal and can not generate enough power for blow dryers. Thank you for understanding!


🗹 Ear plugs - Bring ear plugs for use on the airplane! Especially the small puddle jumper airplanes from San Jose to Puerto Jimenez.

🗹 Foldable cooler bag - This will come in handy for grocery shopping.

🗹 Fly below the radar! Don’t call extra attention to yourself and your wealth. Leave the diamonds and Rolexes at home and opt for inexpensive jewelry.

🗹 Bring cash. Cash is king in Costa Rica. While more and more places are accepting credit cards, you will mostly use cash. Also, Costa Rica vendors accept payment in US Dollars.


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