The less stuff you bring, the happier you will be hiking. There is no reason to bring more than the bare minimum with you into the forest. Here is my packing list:
* lightweight, quick dry clothing to wear, and one set for change
* hat and swimsuit
* hiking boots and flip flops for the ranger station
* 2-3 liters H20
* Insect Repellant
* sunglasses and sunscreen
* camera / binoculars
* sleeping sheet for dorm bed/ tent if camping
* medications or other essentials
* snacks for hike in and out
While your pack might feel lightweight in the morning, after a few hours of hiking in the heat and humidity of the tropical rainforest, that can quickly turn into the heaviest backpack ever.
The number one tip from experienced hikers in the park is PACK LIGHT.