Thomson Costa Rica tours tick off activities like bathing in hot springs, river tubing and trekking through the rainforest – and you’ll stay in a different rainforest lodge every night as you travel around. Because of the intense humidity in this part of the world, it can take ages for your clothes to dry. A Snugpak Dri-Sak is really useful for separating your wet items from the dry ones in your suitcase as you venture from one place to another.
Temperatures tend to hover between 26 and 33 degrees all-year-round in Costa Rica, reaching up to 35 degrees in March and April. Add this to a day spent hiking through the jungle and you can see how it’s easy to become dehydrated. The best way to keep your fluid levels topped up is to drink plenty of water, but these hydration tablets can help give your body a boost.
From towering volcanoes to rumbling waterfalls and mischievous howler monkeys hanging in the trees – there are lots of reasons to keep your camera on standby in this part of the world. Make sure you pack an A / B plug adaptor so that you can charge it up.
Little ones in tow? Have a read of our article on things to do in Costa Rica with kids.
Sporty-style sandals like these offer up the perfect balance between a flip flop that will let your feet breathe and a boot that allows you to navigate uneven and potentially slippery terrain. They also dry a lot quicker than trainers, making them ideal for activities like whitewater rafting, river tubing and visits to waterfalls.
While a decent insect repellent will work hard to keep mozzies at bay, Zap-It is a useful itch-relieving back-up in case you do fall victim to a couple of bites. The device generates a low electrical impulse to deliver harmless little ‘zaps’ which will satisfy your urge to scratch.
Trekking through the Costa Rican rainforest is like being immersed in a David Attenborough show – wildlife is everywhere. So you’ll want to keep your camera phone handy at all times, ready to snap sloths dangling in the trees, bright-beaked toucans flying overhead, and the teeny-tiny red-eyed tree frogs hopping from leaf to leaf. Being in such a humid environment, though, can cause havoc for your electronics. Without the proper protection, you might find your device gives up after a couple of days. Slip your phone and camera into one of the waterproof cases from Overboard and you won’t have to worry.
Suspended at a height of 18 storeys above the forest floor, the Cloud Forest Skywalk is an ideal vantage point for clapping eyes on hooting monkeys, sleepy sloths and technicolour birdlife. As it’s so high up in the air, the temperature can be worlds away from what it is down on the ground, actually feeling quite chilly at times. For activities like this – and for when the milder evenings settle in – it’s worth throwing something warm into your bag like The North Face Fleece.
One of the best ways to see Costa Rica is on foot. That’s why our tours get you off the bus and stuck in with hikes through the wilderness at every opportunity. With that in mind, you’ll need to have a decent pair of walking boots that are comfortable, sturdy and provide good support to your feet and ankles. Millets walking boots are our number one choice.
Unsure about what currency you’ll need in Costa Rica? Have a read of our handy guide.
Like in other tropical climates, mosquitoes are a given in Costa Rica. The pesky critters are at their most rife in the evenings and in dense areas, like the rainforest. You can ward them off by keeping covered up in light, loose-fitting clothing – like long linen trousers and shirts. You should also regularly apply a tropical strength insect repellent. They’re available in various forms and those containing the active ingredient DEET are proven to be the most effective. If you prefer to use something more natural, though, there are plenty of plant-based alternatives on the market, too.
A towel is a handy addition to your bag for when it comes to drying off after dipping in hot springs or ducking below waterfalls. Just like with your clothes, you’ll struggle to get a thick towel dry in Costa Rica’s humid climate, so take a lightweight microfibre one instead. This Snugpak microfibre travel towel is a great choice.
Exploring the rainforest can be thirsty work, especially when you consider the soaring temperatures. Keep a refillable water bottle in your bag and you’ll be able to quench your thirst on-the-go. This one has a specially-designed compartment, which you can fill up with fruit so that the flavours infuse into the water. Everything from passionfruit to pineapple is grown in Costa Rica, so you’ll have no shortage of ingredients to throw in.
Jungle-dwelling monkeys and birds don’t follow the same sleep patterns as we do and after dark is when the rainforest symphony of sounds really comes to life. It’s fascinating to listen to as you drift off to sleep in your lodge. But, if you’re a particularly light sleeper, you might want to pack some decent earplugs, just in case.
There’s a good chance of rain on our Costa Rica tours – this is the rainforest after all. To keep yourself dry, you’ll need a sturdy waterproof jacket – anything less just won’t cut it. Our top choice is the Berghaus Stormcloud Waterproof Jacket from Blacks.
Whizzing over the treetops on a zip-line is an incredible experience, which you’ll no doubt want to relive. And, you can do exactly that if you get yourself one of these phone mounts that can be attached to a helmet. It comes with an app, as well, which makes it easy to edit and share with your friends at home.
Have a sneak peek at activities like zip-lining and whitewater rafting in Costa Rica by watching our video.
There’s a time and place for a Chanel handbag, but the Costa Rican rainforest isn’t it. Nab yourself a Blacks daysack and you’ll be sorted for carrying around all your stuff, like your towel, water bottle, camera and insect repellent.
Photographer: Greg Woodward, Stylist: Zoe Kozlik, Assistants: Sarah Robinson and Abi Payne-Humphries
Located on the gloriously unspoiled Matapalo Beach, Riu Guanacaste is a five-star beauty that feels like your own private paradise.
Jungle surroundings, a beach on your doorstep, and free rein of eight top-class restaurants – just a taste of what the Hotel Westin Playa Conchal has to offer.
The Riu Palace Costa Rica has a peaceful setting right on the beach. Enjoy dining in the four à la carte restaurants or chill by one of the four outdoor pools.
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