Yes, english is coarse in Costa Rica, particularly in well-traveled areas. But knowing a few key spanish phrases will actually set you aside from the majority of tourists. Take the time to memorize the basics : hola ( “ hello ” ), hasta luego ( “ adieu ” ), la cuenta, por favor ( “ the bill, please ” ), gracias ( “ thank you ” ). even better, sprinkle in some costa Rican sayings like pura vida, mae ! It doesn ’ t topic if your pronunciation is awful, or if you mess up the words wholly. Just trying to communicate with others in spanish conveys empathy and deference. Locals will love it. They ’ ll warm up to you immediately.
The Official Guide to Costa Rican Spanish is a bang-up resource for costa Rican Spanish, which has more than a few regional quirks. There are besides plenty of spanish smartphone apps, but they tend to focus on spanish used in Mexico or Spain, and you ’ ll motivation to carry a charge smartphone everywhere you go .
Costa Rica ’ s weather patterns are fairly predictable, but you ’ ll decidedly want a good rain crown — even during the dry season. No matter where you are in Costa Rica, it can rain at any time of the year. ( There ’ s a reason they call it a rain afforest. ) You might besides find yourself on a boat that kicks up lots of spray. Or your plans could suddenly change, and you might visit a showery character of Costa Rica. Buy a high-quality rain crown. Rain jackets, like many things in liveliness, follow a simple rule : you get what you pay for. A cheap formative rain jacket won ’ t concluding hanker. A good Gore-Tex rain jacket will likely death for years. I ’ ve been using my north Face Gore-Tex rain jacket for about a decade, and it still works great. Stuff it in the bottom of your day carry and bring it everywhere you go .
You should always carry a headlight or flashlight in Costa Rica. You never know when the electricity might go out, or when you ’ ll end up in a small town with no street lamps. In accession, many ecolodges pride themselves on express electricity, preferring candles and oil lamps. Trust me, when the sunlight goes down between 5:20pm and 6pm ( as it does throughout the class when you ’ re this close up to the equator ), you ’ ll be glad you ’ re carrying a flashlight or headlight .
I know, it seems obvious, but many people forget to pack well sunscreen or decide they ’ ll pluck some up when they arrive in Costa Rica. That ’ mho fine, but imported goods like sunscreen can be up to four times more expensive in Costa Rica. You besides might not find your darling brands. It ’ s far more economic to bring sunscreen to Costa Rica. Buy 30 SPF or higher, and when packing sunscreen put it in a ziplock bag. That way if it pops open in your bag it won ’ t get all over your clothes. And remember, the sun shines is more brawny in the tropics, specially at high elevations. If you visit the mountains, full sunscreen becomes even more important .
Your Favorite Hat
The easiest way to protect your head from the sun. The across-the-board the brim, the better .
It ’ s the tropics. Bring an extra pair as backup .
Shorts and lean clothe are coarse at the beach, but adenine soon as you head into the mountains you ’ ll want long pants. This international relations and security network ’ metric ton precisely about temperature. In places like San Jose, Costa Rica ’ south capital and largest city, locals about never wear shorts in public. They ’ re considered a bit shabby. If you stroll about San Jose in shorts, you ’ ll immediately identify yourself as a clueless tourist, which makes you target numero uno for pickpockets. security issues away, observing local norms is plainly good manners. In places like the United States, people wear clothes to express their unique identity. But in places like Costa Rica – and much of the universe for that matter – people often dress in consideration of early people. Meeting person while wearing moth-eaten clothes is considered disrespectful – a augury that you don ’ t take the other person badly. Do you actually want to be that gringo ?
Costa Rica is home to tens of thousands of insect species. Most are completely harmless — and actually quite beautiful. But mosquitoes are annoying, and in some cases they can transmit dengue, zika and early illnesses. The solution is childlike : wear potent repellent when visiting mosquito-prone areas ( Caribbean Coast, South Pacific and Central Pacific ). What ’ mho potent mosquito repellent ? Any rebarbative that contains DEET ( diethyltoluamide ), which produces an smell repels mosquitos. Apply DEET to your clothes regularly. An option to DEET is picaridin ( hydroxyethyl isobutyl piperidine carboxylate ). Don ’ thyroxine like the sound of DEET or picaridin ? Feel loose to use your favorite “ natural ” repellent … but don ’ t say I didn ’ thymine warn you. Another option is covering up angstrom much skin as potential with lightweight clothes ( long sleeves, hiking pants ). In hot, humid areas, however, being amply covered is not always comfortable .
Some gringos proudly pack only somersault flops when visiting Costa Rica. You can frequently identify them by the sores and blisters on their feet. Yes, Costa Rica is a tropical state filled with beautiful beaches. But it ’ s besides filled with mountains that rise thousands of feet to cool, wet areas. even if you ’ re lone planning a beach vacation, it pays to pack a match of hardy shoes. You might book a zipline enlistment that requires closed-toe shoes, or sign up for an amazing day trip to the mountains, or find yourself passing through an area where interchange flops aren ’ triiodothyronine ideal.
Read more : What To Wear to a Rainy Festival
Avoid thickly leather hiking boots, which can take constantly to dry. I prefer lightweight hiking boots, which provide adequate security but aren ’ thyroxine clunky. I besides like boots lined with waterproof Gore-Tex, tied though they sometimes trap water inside. If your boots fill with water, precisely take them off and dump them out. On that note, pack an supernumerary pair of socks. And bring moleskin in case you start to develop blisters .
Sport Sandals/Water Shoes
Depending on your interests, sport sandals/water shoes fall in the “ optional ” class. If you ’ re thinking about rafting, canyoneering, or hiking through wet areas, you should decidedly pack a pair of sport sandals/water shoes like those made by Keen. nothing is worse than boots filled with water and sand, which cursorily grind down your human body .
Some of Costa Rica ’ s most perplex destinations — Poás Volcano, Irazú Volcano, Chirripó — are located at elevations above 8,000 feet. even in the tropics, this means cool temperatures. pack at least one sweater, sheepskin or warm jacket. A strong hat is besides a good idea – no other firearm of clothe provides sol much warmth for so fiddling distance .
I travel a set, and I never go anywhere without packing cube. There ’ mho no better direction to keep your clothes organized – or to keep dirty clothes separate from clean clothes. Packing cubes are bum, ignite and ace utilitarian. What ’ s not to love ?
A mesh bag, which weighs much nothing, is great for temporarily storing swimsuits and wet clothes. Plastic bags trap moisture, which is a fantastic way to cultivate some of the capture molds and fungi found in Costa Rica .
ultimately, you ’ ll need somewhere to store your substantive items. Stash everything in a single day pack. That way you ’ ve entirely got one thing to remember .
Plan the Perfect Trip to Costa Rica
Order Costa Rica: The Complete Guide!
The #1 Costa Rica guidebook. Full-color and filled with insider tips.Plan the ultimate Costa Rica gamble !View on AmazonView on Bookshop.org