packing for Costa Rica

Old Jan 8th, 2007, 04:12 PM
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packing for Costa Rica

What are the essentials that I need to pack for a week in Costa Rica, staying at Tiskita Lodge and Bosque del Cabo. Both look very informal. What about appropriate shoes? Thanks. jmm
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Old Jan 8th, 2007, 04:40 PM
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I haven't been to CR but I have a good (at least I think it's good) Central America packing list I've honed over the years. I try to travel for 3-4 weeks each time but my list wouldn't really be different if I was going for a week or 3 months. Here it is, pasted from another forum. Happy trails!

I can pack everything I need for an extended trip into a carry-on sized bag by choosing clothes that layer. I have a carry-on sized conversion pack (straps tuck away as needed) that has an attached day pack. I pack valuables and some personal items in the day pack and most of the clothes (that I'm not wearing) in the main compartment. Here's what I'm planning to take to Honduras next summer to accommodate 2-3 weeks inland with high altitude mountain hikes included and 2-3 weeks of beach time:

3-4 wicking-type t-shirts
1 light weight long sleeved shirt
2 pairs of light weight convertible (zip off to become shorts) long pants
1 sarong (skirt, swim wrap, doubles as towel or sleeping sheet)
1 bandana
1 sunhat with strap
1 light weight sleeveless nightgown
2 swimsuits
1 light weight fleece jacket (liner type that can be worn alone)
1 light weight goretex rain coat
uns and socks (incl. 1 neoprene pair I wear under Keens for hiking and under fins for diving snorkel’g)
flip flops for beach and showers
Keen water shoes for everything else (they have great support and a rubber toe protector)

Cash, ATM and VISA cards, passport, etc.
Flight and lodging reservations, emails, receipts, etc.
Small medical kit and sewing kit
Cheap watch with alarm
Toiletries and prescription meds
Sunglasses, spare glasses, disposable contacts for diving/rainforests
Sunblock and bug stuff (Cactus Juice and Sawyer's Time Release Deet Formula, baby oil for sand flies)
Lip stuff
Water purification pump (I'm a budget traveller)
Collapsible drinking cup
LCD headlamp
Camera, etc. (and underwater bag or 1-2 underwater disposables)
Smallish waterproof binoculars
Guidebook and copied map pages
Laminated plant and animal i.d. cards
Journal/writing materials
Reading material
Small gifts for kids and hosts
Small dice and yahtzee papers
A small, flexible disc (like a frisbee)
Various ziplocks, cable ties, small bungie cords
3-4’ of duct tape wrapped around a waterproof marker
String and a few clothespins
Half a roll of t.p. removed from core and flattened

I buy water and reuse the bottle and usually pick up an inexpensive pocket knife when I get there.
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Old Jan 8th, 2007, 04:43 PM
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Off the top of my head, I usually take shorts (Columbia and the like are good for quick drying), t-shirts, quick-drying socks (TJ Maxx usually has good deals on them), a sundress if you'd like, a pair of lightweight long pants, a light rainjacket (mine is ll bean and will fold into a tiny pouch), 2 flashlights and batteries, binoculars (I have a wonderful pair that are small enough to fit in my hand), bug spray, small little candles (this is my own thing, but it's very nice to sit on the porches at BdC with them after dinner, the light attracts too many bugs), a plastic bag or two, bathing suits. If you have long hair, several barrettes or bands to keep it up, my hair drove me crazy down there. A good book, a small bottle of febreeze, clothespins, a head lamp may be useful if you plan to take some night hikes. Shoes - I usually take a cheap pair of flip-flops, a pair of water sandals (Tevo or Columbia are great), a pair of good grip tennis shoes and a pair of low-heel hiking shoes (the last pair I had looked very similiar to tennis shoes albeit with a great grip and were waterproof. I only used them for 2 trips and ended up leaving them there). Do take 2 pairs as one always seems to get wet/damp. Have a great trip
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Old Jan 8th, 2007, 05:05 PM
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Thank you for great ideas. Is rain gear a must? jmm
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Old Jan 8th, 2007, 05:38 PM
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Raingear isn't a must, no. I brought mine as I was also spending time in Alajuela & Arenal and wanted something for night when it got a little cooler.
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Old Jan 14th, 2007, 08:37 AM
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hopefulist - what exactly is an underwater bag? i've been trying to decide on what take take for underwater pics.

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Old Jan 14th, 2007, 08:49 AM
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I bought a EWA case from

Works slick - fairly easy to get the camera in and out (takes a minute or so) and really kept my camera dry through hours and hours of snorkeling. I've used it a few times in the rain, too, when I wanted to pack my camera without worrying about it. I took hundreds of pictures and was really pleased - much better than with the little underwater disposables we've used before. It's hard to see what image will be in the frame but I got good and guessing. Happy trails!
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