Costa Rica is between 8 – 11 degrees north of the equator, which puts it in the climatic zone for tropical weather year-round. The temperatures will vary based on the part of the country you visit and also the time of year because there is a dry and rainy season.
What you bring to Costa Rica depends on how long you plan to stay, when you come, and where you plan to travel. Also, you might want to wear something different for a hike through the jungle than you would wear lounging on the beach.
After years of traveling and hosting guests, we do advise that you pack light, but complete. If you plan to extend your trip and travel in Costa Rica before or after your retreat, here are a few suggestions to achieve this balance.
When you sign up for a retreat with us, we send you a suggested yoga retreat packing list and other valuable and important information to help you plan well so your trip is worry-free.
Most of the time, you will be in the warm or hot zone at the beach or in the jungle. There is not only heat but humidity which is higher during the rainy season and minimal during the dry season. So, it is not difficult to go through more than one shirt per day. See our packing list below for a beach visit.
If you plan to wash clothes as you travel most hotels and lodging offer laundry services. Another option is quick dry clothing that you can wash and hang up to dry.
Higher elevation destinations such as the Poás Volcano and Monteverde Cloud Forest approach 10,000 feet where it is cool enough to warrant a sweater or jacket.
What shoes you bring depends on what you are planning on doing, like hiking, beach walking, snorkeling, or horseback riding. A good pair of sandals is a must. While sneakers are okay, they can get wet, so a pair of lightweight nylon hiking boots might be a better option, like Keens or Tevas. In Santa Teresa, the dress code is casual (no high heels).
Keeping well hydrated in a tropical climate is very important! Pack a PBA-free water bottle, such as S’well, which can be safely refilled at our retreat hotel.
Drinking tap water in most parts of the country is safe. Nevertheless, if you have a sensitive stomach, bottled or filtered water is readily available in any local kiosk or supermarket (do keep in mind that plastic bottles are not the most eco-conscious product). It is always a good idea to carry water with you on any outing. Fresh fruits and salads are fine to eat in decent restaurants even the small local places called sodas. Just use your own judgment on whether the place appears clean or not.
It’s always entertaining to have something to read. E-book readers are practical to some degree but with the sand at the beach, a paperback book comes in handy. If you are planning on traveling beyond the retreat, you might have an easier time buying Costa Rica guides before you depart on your trip.
- Passport valid for six months from arrival date in Costa Rica
- Money belt or money purse to carry documents and cash
- Cash: The airport has the worst exchange rate so check first for the current rate on xe.com. Most tourist-popular areas take US dollars.
- Debit card and credit card can be used in most places. Nevertheless, it’s practical to have local currency.
- Any important travel and medical insurance cards
What to Bring: A Costa Rica Surfing and Yoga Retreat Packing List
This list includes suggestions for what to pack for your retreat at the beach (this is not an exhaustive list)
- Lightweight clothing for hot, humid climates.
- Swimsuit or surf shorts. For women, if you are surfing, make sure your bikini fits snuggly! You can buy swimwear locally, too.
- Rashguard for surfing. This a lycra top to protect your abdomen from rubbing on the board and for sun protection. You can buy rashguards locally, too.
- For SUPing, a T-shirt to wear while out on the water for sun protection.
- Evening wear is casual beach style (sundress, bermuda shorts, etc.)
- Flip-flops, sandals (no high heels). If you plan to go zip-lining or horseback riding, bring enclosed shoes that stay on your feet.
- Sun hat and sunglasses. SUPers, a floatable strap for your sunglasses so you don’t lose them.
- Insect repellent & cream for relieving insect bites. (Mosquitos are not a problem although it’s good to be prepared if you are more prone to bites.)
- Waterproof sunblock and after sun lotion (3 oz for passing airport security check).
- Face sunblock (SPF 50).
- Mineral Reef Safe Sunscreen.
- Toiletry kit
- Small microfiber travel towel. (useful if you sweat in yoga or for water activity)
- Waterproof phone cover and float strap.
- First aid kit. (i.e. aspirin, band-aids, anti-stomach upset or nausea, insect repellant, etc.)
- Non-slip towel to put on top of yoga mat if you are prone to slip from sweat
- Journal notebook, should you be inspired to write.
- Travel yoga mat.
Learn more about our upcoming retreats in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica.
Learn more about our upcoming retreats in Las Catalinas, Costa Rica.