Costa Rica Packing List

Costa Rica Packing List // tahoefabulous.com

Greyson and I are leaving for Costa Rica in less than a month, and I am so excited. It’s been a while since I’ve been to a tropical destination, and I’ve been struggling to decide what to pack. We’re also doing a bunch of types of things while we’re there – hiking on a high volcano, a multi day rafting trip, SCUBA or snorkeling on the Caribbean Coast, etc. I don’t want to overpack, but I don’t want to forget anything either!

I’ve referenced a bunch of “What to Pack for Costa Rica” blog posts, and I even looked back at my “What to Pack for an Indonesian SCUBA Trip.” I haven’t finalized what I’m bringing, but I thought it might be interesting to write about a “packing list in progress”. 

What I’ve Bought So Far
I was hoping to limit the new items I bought for this trip, but I’ve already bought a number of things. Luckily, I haven’t had to buy anything that’s completely specific for this trip – I’ve already used or have plans to use everything I’ve bought for this trip.

Costa Rica Packing // tahoefabulous.com

  • Patagonia Fleetwith Dress ($75): “The Fleetwith Dress was built for hiking, traveling and general getting out and about. Made from a 91% recycled polyester/9% spandex blend that’s quick-drying and resists wrinkling. Fair Trade Certified™ sewn.”
  • Patagonia Capiline Cool Tees ($45): “Our most versatile performance knit for use on trails or on the water provides 50+ UPF sun protection and HeiQ® Fresh durable odor control. Made from 50–100% recycled content, Patagonia tech tees keep you comfortable when you’re working hard in conditions ranging from cool to hot. Fair Trade Certified™ sewn.”
  • Patagonia Stretch Rainshadow ($139): “Mild drizzle or epic downpour, this light, stretchy and packable rain protection with a 100% recycled face fabric has all of the essential features needed to stay moving when the weather turns.”
  • Patagonia Tropic Comfort Hoody ($69): “This comfortable, fast-drying fishing and travel hoody wicks away moisture and provides 50+ UPF sun protection and HeiQ® Fresh durable odor control for extended wear in hot and humid weather. Fair Trade Certified™ sewn.”
  • Patagonia Wavefarer Board Shorts ($59): “A Patagonia classic, the Wavefarer® Boardshorts are the foundation of our boardshorts collection. Made of quick-drying 100% recycled nylon with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish and featuring a female-specific fit, they’re the ultimate go-anywhere, do-anything surf trunks.”
  • Patagonia Island Hemp Baggies ($27): “Baggies for those on island time, the comfortable Island Hemps are made of a light and breezy 55% hemp/45% organic cotton fabric with a linen-like drape.”
  • Saloman Techamphibian Water Shoes ($100): “Featuring plentiful protection and mesh construction that breathes and drains with ease, the women’s Salomon Techamphibian 4 water shoes are global adventure sports shoes for in or out of the water.”
  • Ultimate Direction Womens Ultra Vesta ($135) “Years of innovation have made the Ultra Vesta a modern classic. Women-designed and women-approved, the Ultra Vesta has been a mainstay at the start lines–and, more importantly, the finish lines–of thousands of ultramarathons since its debut. The new Ultra Vesta is a Signature Series vest with seamless, chafe-free 4-way stretch mesh material and new Comfort Cinch technology that enables lateral sizing and stability adjustments on-the-go. As with all Ultimate Direction racing vests, two 500ml Body Bottles stow up front to give you the fuel needed for the long haul.”
  • GoPro HERO 7 Black ($329): “Record your outdoor adventures with the HyperSmooth stabilization, voice control and smart-capture superpowers of the GoPro HERO7 Black camera. It’s built tough and waterproof, even without a housing.”
  • GoPro Dive Housing ($35): “The GoPro Super Suit Uber Protection/dive housing is the ultimate armor and deep-water housing for your HERO7 Black camera. Waterproof down to 196 ft., it helps you capture epic footage anywhere.”

Costa Rica Packing // tahoefabulous.com

What I Still Need to Get
I think I’m just about set for things I need for this trip, but there are a couple more things that I plan to buy before we leave.

  • The Handler Floating Hand Grip ($20): “A floating grip that lets you snap handheld shots in and out of the water, GoPro The Handler floating hand grip is perfect for getting those selfies while you’re paddling, surfing or wakesurfing.”
  • GoPro Sleeve + Lanyard($19): “Wear your GoPro around your neck with the sleeve and lanyard, or mount your camera with the sleeve on. Perfect for protection from scratches while on the go.”

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I receive a small percentage of the sale as compensation – at no additional cost to you. I promise to only recommend products that I use and enjoy!

We’re Going to Costa Rica!

Greyson and I have taken a lot of really awesome road trips over the past five years. These trips have been amazing, but they’ve been largely mountain bike focused (with a little hiking and climbing thrown in), and I’ve been craving something different. Like the amazing SCUBA trip to Raja Ampat, Indonesia we did with his family a few years ago.

Raja Ampat, Indonesia // tahoefabulous.com
Greyson and I on an amazing, non road trip vacation in Indonesia. Take me back to the beach!

We’ve been saving up our vacation days and racking up credit card miles for awhile now, and we just booked our plane tickets to Costa Rica! We’re not going until November, but I’m excited to use the next 6 months to plan an incredible trip. Right now, we don’t have anything booked, and we only have the vaguest ideas of what we want to do. I’m hoping that we get some recommendations! Here’s the facts:

  • We’ll be there for 9 days at the end of the rainy season, flying in to and out of San Jose.
  • We want to do the mountains, the beach, some river rafting, SCUBA-ing, and potentially an overnight to Panama, if we can squeeze it in.
  • We don’t want to be traveling the whole time – we want to spend at least a few days in each place.
  • I’ve been to the Pacific side of Costa Rica before, so we want to go to the Caribbean side.
  • We’re not renting a car, so travel by bus it is!

So what I’m thinking is, first, take a shuttle from San Jose to Arenal/La Fortuna area and spend a few days there, doing hiking and hot springs. Second, a one or two day river rafting trip on the Pacuare River, using the river raft company to travel from the mountains to the coast. Third, spend some time in Cahuita or Puerto Viejo for beach time, SCUBA, and a short trip into Panama before heading back to San Jose to head home.

Raja Ampat, Indonesia // tahoefabulous.com
Diving in Raja Ampat, Indonesia

People who have done Costa Rica before, does this seem reasonable for 9 days? Also, does anyone have any recommendations, specifically for places to stay in Arenal, Pacuare river raft companies, and if Cahuita or Puerto Viejo is better for a beach town base?

I’m so excited!

Why I Got SCUBA Certified

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I’ve loved the water since before I could walk. My mom loves to tell stories about how, if there was a body of water, I was in it, despite any signs or instructions to the contrary.

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Photo by Janet Baumgartner

Most of our family vacations growing up involved a lake, river or ocean for swimming, fishing, tide-pooling and exploring. When I was in college my parents got into kayaking, and we all tried snorkeling for the first time on a trip to Costa Rica. It was just after the rainy season, so the water was so silt filled that we had barely any visibility, but I was hooked! Further snorkeling outings off the coast of Oahu, Puerto Rico and Maui cemented my love.

scuba 2

Photo by Jodi Swobody

On a couple of these snorkel outings there were a few people SCUBA diving off the boat. I never paid that much attention, since I was having so much fun snorkeling. My mom and I occasionally talked about getting SCUBA certified “someday”, but we never did.

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Fast forward a few years, and I started dating my boyfriend Greyson. His family is super into SCUBA diving, and they have been taking dive vacations all over the world since he was a teenager. With my love for the water, he encouraged me to get certified, but with all my other hobbies, SCUBA certification got pushed to “someday” again.

scuba 4

Photo by Kaya McAlister

This summer, however, “someday” came closer than I was expecting! Greyson’s parents planned a SCUBA diving trip to Raja Ampat, Indonesia, and they invited me along. This combined with the fact that my parents got me the SCUBA certification class and gear for my birthday meant that it was time to get certified. I signed up for the classroom, pool and open water dives needed for SCUBA certification through Sierra Diving Center based in Reno, Nevada. I bought my equipment there too, and Greyson and I spent a few afternoons practicing in the snorkel gear.

DCIM100GOPRO

Last week, I finished my open water dives. That means I’m officially open water SCUBA certified! I’ll write more about the process of getting certified, the class and the dives, so check back for more details. I’ll also write about getting ready for my (first!) SCUBA trip and (first!) trip to East Asia. I’m so excited, and I’m already counting down the days until March!

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Photo from Sierra Diving Center