Here's a list of what to bring for an average stay of ten days. This list came from many years working in the Costa Rica tourism industry.

All items listed below can be easily purchased in Costa Rica and Manuel Antonio. That said, most items are cheaper outside of Costa Rica.


1 amphibian hikers

1 hiking or walking shoes

1 beach sandals or flip-flops

1 Dressy sandals or light-weight dress shoes {optional}


10 T-shirts.

2 long sleeved T-shirts (for sunburn protection, hiking, and fishing). Active wear shirts or shirts that wisk away sweat are ideal for rainforest hikes and activities.

2 dress shirts or blouses.

5 pairs of shorts or skorts, preferably cotton or tropical weight

2 swimsuits and a sarong or other casual beach cover-up

2 pairs of long pants. Something dressy and something for the bush. If it's your style, zip-off legs pants can serve as shorts and long pants.

10 pairs of underwear

10 pairs of socks

1 light weight jacket or raincoat (poncho style is fine); something warmer for higher elevations or on the open ocean. A raincoat is usually too hot for rainforest sites. Most guides use a small folding umbrella. 

1 bandana

1 baseball cap

1 mesh bag for wet clothes

Cover your clothing in big plastic bags when packing, if the plan lands at the airport and it rains your cloths in the suitcase will not get wet.  They don't use covers for the luggage carriers and leave out the luggage in the rain. 



toothbrush with cover, and toothpaste.

shampoo and conditioner.

brush or comb.

deodorant and antiperspirant

1 or 2 beach towels

personal toiletries, feminine products, cosmetics


A good map, guidebook and a good map app on your phone

Spanish/English dictionary and/or phrase book

Bird guide book

other reading materials, as desired


Money belt and passport pendant for important documents

Passport (also phototocopies), never give your passport to anyone.

Drivers license (also photocopies)

Money, credit/debit card

Insurance card and contact information.


Personal prescriptions should be filled before you leave home.


Contact lenses and cleaning solutions

If you wear prescription glasses, pack a spare pair


Band aids®, and butterfly closures to close deep cuts.

Eye drops - artificial tears.

Dramamine® or other motion sickness prevention.

Neosporin® (over the counter) to prevent infection of small cuts, scrapes, and insect bites

Insect repellent for mosquitoes

Anti-histamine cream and tablets to ease irritation from bites

Pain relievers/fever reducers (acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and/or just simple aspirin)

Sunscreen, waterproof,at least SPF 20

Micro LED flashlight

$20 bill for emergency cash 

Vitamins, whatever you normally take



Plastic, ziplock style bags to keep stuff dry.

A photo of your home and family

Internet logon information

Address book



Croakies® or other glasses retainer system for your prescription or sunglasses.

Pocket knife.

Mobile device with helpful apps (bird identification app, maps, etc.) 

GPS or a GPS app on mobile device

MP3 player

Laptop or tablet

Eyeglass repair kit (small screwdriver)

100 lb. test braided nylon line

Spare contacts

Gum, for the flight 

Emergency contact information (names, addresses and phone numbers - in case of unconsciousness – of your parents, and physicians in your country of origin)


There is no point in carrying all of your keys.

Wallet contents: If you're going to carry your wallet, you can probably remove ½ or more of its contents.

Leave photocopies of your passport, drivers license, credit cards, airline tickets, and any reservations that you've prepaid with your home emergency contact person.

If you're visiting from the U.S. or Canada there is no need to bring electric converters and plug adapters as they are the same in Costa Rica.