Weather & Packing List

Costa Rica: The Sea Turtle Initiative‎ > ‎

Packing List

As in most tropical countries, Costa Rica has dry and rainy seasons. The rainy season lasts from May to November and the dry season runs between December to April. Be prepared for sudden downpours during the rainy season. Temperature-wise, expect the weather to range from 75°-90+°. As this is a tropical country, it can get very hot, especially in the afternoons!

Please note: in Costa Rica it is perfectly ok to eat fresh fruit and vegetables as well as drink the water.

Suggested Packing List:

Must - Haves:

  • One refillable water bottle

  • Passport. Must be valid for up to 6 months after your scheduled departure date from Costa Rica

  • Eco-friendly Bug spray

  • Closed toe shoes


  • Short-sleeved shirts (we recommend thin, breathable shirts as it is very hot and humid during the afternoons)

  • Rain coat (light weight, water resistant for sudden, unexpected tropical showers)

  • Gym / sportswear (for hiking / working)

  • Under garments, socks to tuck pants into

  • Bathing suits & zip lock bag for suit after whitewater tubing

  • Shorts

  • A light pair of long pants (if the bugs get bad)

  • Hat & handkerchief / bandana

  • One pair of flip flops / sandals / water shoes

  • One pair of tennis shoes / closed toe sandals (these are for hiking and WILL get dirty)

  • Dark clothing for the turtle patrols (dark pants and top) - helps disguise you while looking for the turtles

*Bring more clothes than you think you need; you will sweat more than usual when you're in the tropics.

Bath / Personal:

  • Shampoo

  • Personal medication

  • Prescription sea sickness pills or patch, if applicable

  • Dramamine (if driving on windy/rough roads makes you nauseous)

  • Glasses / contacts / contact solution

  • Personal toiletries

  • Reef safe Sunscreen, Discover Corps recommends Eco-friendly, non-aerosol choices such as:

    • Badger Sunscreen

    • Raw Elements Sunscreen

*Four common sunscreen ingredients were shown to kill or bleach coral at extremely low concentrations (as low as one drop in 6.5 Olympic sized swimming pools).

  • Oxybenzone (Benzophenone-3, BP-3) - Sunscreen ingredient that disrupts coral reproduction, causes coral bleaching, and damages coral DNA. Oxybenzone is found in over 3500 sunscreen products worldwide.

  • Butylparaben - Preservative ingredient shown to cause coral bleaching.

  • Octinoxate (Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate) - Sunscreen ingredient shown to cause coral bleaching.

  • 4-methylbenzylidene camphor (4MBC) - Sunscreen ingredient shown to cause coral bleaching. Allowed in Europe and Canada, not in USA or Japan.


  • Books and/or magazines

  • Watch or small alarm clock

  • washcloth, if you prefer this

  • Headlamp with a red light setting for the turtles (they are sensitive to light). Try to find a brand with a STRONG red light for best visibility when walking in the dark.

  • Binoculars for kayak mangrove tour - excellent bird watching

  • Light day bag or pack (small backpack would be ideal)

  • Sunglasses, particularly if you’re sensitive to sunlight

  • Personal snacks that you may need or crave (such as granola bars or power bars). There are not many stores around the community we stay in so please bring any necessary snacks with you.

  • Disposable camera, film camera or digital camera - and film or memory card(s) for digital camera


  • Linens / blankets

  • Pillow

  • Hand and body soap

*Laundry service is not available during the trip. We advise that you should bring enough lightweight clothes to avoid having to do laundry during the trip.

*Electrical outlets in Costa Rica are the same as in the United States. Voltage is 110 volts. There is no adapter needed if coming from the U.S.