What to wear on plane to costa rica

What to wear on plane to costa rica

It’s time to pack your bags and head off on vacation. You’ve got everything you need, from your passport to your sunscreen, but one thing is missing: your clothes!

When you’re planning a trip, it’s easy to focus on what you need for the beach or hiking—but what about the plane ride? What should you wear? Check out our guide below for some tips on what to wear when traveling by air.

Are you getting ready for your flight to Costa Rica? Whether you’re flying with a partner, a friend, or going solo, it’s always good to be prepared. Here are some tips on what to wear on your plane trip!

What to wear on plane to costa rica

You’re about to embark on a trip of a lifetime, and we can’t wait for you to experience the beauty and adventure that Costa Rica has to offer!

But before you get there, there’s just one thing we have to ask: what are you wearing?

The answer might be obvious—you’re going on vacation, so you’re definitely going to wear something comfortable and fun. But with so many options out there, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices. We’ve put together this guide to help you pick just the right outfit for your trip.

Outfits for Costa RicaWear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing and casual footwear on the plane. For safety, do not wear high heels or thong sandals that might cause you to trip or slip off during an emergency. Hide a money belt beneath your clothing.

Ultimate Costa Rica Packing List • What to Wear in Costa Rica
July 22, 2022 by Natasha
Home » Destinations » North America » Costa Rica » Ultimate Costa Rica Packing List • What to Wear in Costa Rica

costa rica packing list
Are you wondering what to wear in Costa Rica? We were, too, before we landed in San Jose in the middle of the night. The good news is that Costa Rica is an accessible destination to pack for a vacation with some strategy.

Costa Rica may look like a small country, but it’s a land of varying climates, terrains, and temperatures, and there are many things you have to consider when putting together your Costa Rica packing list. The environments vary a lot, from the steamy jungles of the Osa Peninsula in the South to the cool cloud forests of Monteverde or the arid beaches of Guanacaste.

With this Costa Rica packing list, you’ll be able to pack the right things in your suitcase so you don’t end up with unnecessary items or, worse, forget something important.

How To Dress In Costa Rica
in Costa Rica
What to wear in Costa Rica while hiking

Costa Rica is a casual destination, and the country has no dress code. Most touristic destinations are along the coast, so the average Costa Rica outfit consists of shorts, a shirt/tank top, and sandals.

Towards the country’s center, temperatures are cooler, so we recommend you wear close-toe shoes, long pants, and a light jacket. If you plan to visit higher elevation destinations like Monteverde or Arenal, you’ll want to pack a jacket and long pants.

Locals in Costa Rica are pretty casual, but it’s most common to wear pants in cities. It goes for both men and women. It’s also somewhat unusual for locals to wear leggings or yoga pants, so women might get some looks if you wear them.

What Luggage To Bring To Costa Rica?
Hardshell Suitcase

Travel Backpack

Before we jump into what to wear in Costa Rica, let’s chat luggage. I have two bag recommendations for a trip to Costa Rica. You can opt for a traditional hardshell suitcase with four wheels or a travel backpack. Suitcases with four wheels are best as the ability to roll sideways down the aisle of a train, or a sidewalk makes life a lot easier. We prefer hardshell as it does a better job at protection and security.

Our favorite hardshell suitcase is the Delsey Helium Aero 25″. However, if you’ll be doing a lot of walking to and from your accommodation in Costa Rica, you may want to stay away from a rolling suitcase, as there may be some dirt paths you’ll have to walk.

Travel backpacks are great for young backpackers, digital nomads, or minimalists! They are also great if you want to save on any checked bag fees your air carrier might charge you.

If paying for taxis or car rentals makes you hesitant, you’ll either need to book accommodation near public transport or have a backpack. Our favorites are the Peak Design Travel Backpack and the NOMATIC Backpack.

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Hardside Suitcase
DELSEY HELIUM AERO
Travel Backpack
PEAK DESIGN
NOMATIC

Costa Rica Packing List
A beach in Costa Rica at sunset

Sunglasses
Make sure to protect your eyes from the sun since you’ll likely spend a lot of time in the sun in Costa Rica. There are many sunglasses options, and everyone should own at least a pair. It’s best to ensure they have UV protection for the health of your eyes.

We first invested in quality polarized sunglasses with a pair of SMITH Optics Lowdown 2. It’s a brand name you’ll see a lot in Costa Rica, in surf towns, as it’s popular with surfers — and ski bums like us.

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BACKCOUNTRY
AMAZON
Grayl Ultralight Water Bottle
Costa Rica has excellent water quality with an abundance of rainfall. However, we like to travel with a water bottle that purifies water in Central and South America. The Grayl water bottle system purifies water vs. filters. A purifier removes viruses and virtually removes all threats of waterborne illnesses.

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AMAZON
GRAYL
Quick Dry Travel Towel
Costa Rica Travel Guide

We always recommend you pack a travel towel for just about every destination. Quick-dry towels are great when you’re out exploring Costa Rica. You can take an impromptu dip in the ocean, dry off, and head for before some fish tacos and an Imperial (local beer).

A towel is also tremendous when you hike to one of Costa Rica’s numerous waterfalls, as the towels are small enough to throw in your daypack and leave room for additional items. Most hotels don’t appreciate you taking their towels along for day trips.

The biggest complaint about travel towels is that they often feel nothing like the plush cotton towels at home. However, with the PackTowl, you can forget about all of that because they set out to create a towel that mimics its cotton counterparts with the technical features of a travel towel. It’s pretty sweet, and we highly recommend the towel!

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PACKTOWL
BEST TRAVEL TOWELS
Smartwatch
A smartwatch is often an overlooked travel staple, but having a watch on the road has become a must for me. It helps keep me on time when I’m out in the water, on a hike, or catching the next plane on a layover.

Costa Rica is a vibrant destination as two of the most popular activities are surfing and hiking. A smartwatch can track your fitness and help monitor your health vitals. We got our watches before a trip, which have become a part of everyday life. I use and love the Garmin Instinct.

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BACKCOUNTRY
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AMAZON
Shirts
Lapa Rios Lodge

A classic tee will never go out of style. We suggest sticking with solid colors like black, white, or grey. There’s also the option of a v-neck for a more stylish look, but it all depends on personal preference.

T-shirts are cheap, and we like to order a new pack before each trip as old shirts look slobbish. In foreign countries, it’s best to avoid graphic t-shirts. However, in Costa Rica, they’re perfectly intertwined with surfing culture and the laid-back vibes. If you have a cool surf shirt, throw it in your bag.

A handful of regular cotton tees are great but pack a few athletic shirts for a humid destination. Thanks to antimicrobial properties, synthetic shirts do a much better job drying in damp environments and avoid getting funky. Our absolute favorite technical shirts are the Echo line from Outdoor Research. They come in a wide range of cuts, including tank tops and long sleeves perfect for sun protection.

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Women

OUTDOOR RESEARCH
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Men

OUTDOOR RESEARCH
AMAZON
Long Sleeve Technical Shirt
Travel In Costa Rica – Eco Tourism

When thinking about what to wear in Costa Rica, remember that you are in a jungle! There are a lot of little critters in the jungles of Costa Rica. If you plan on hiking in the jungles or cloud forests, we highly recommend you pack a long sleeve technical shirt. The long sleeve Echo is a great choice. Or you can opt for a classic technical shirt like the Columbia Tamiami II.

The Tamiami II offers UV protection and is lightweight, quick-drying, and rugged. It has excellent features such as a vented back, front pockets, antimicrobial treatment, and mesh panels, making the shirt perfect for Costa Rica. Columbia is one of our favorites regarding shirts as they make affordable and well-designed clothes. You can check out more recommendations in our post about safari shirts.

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Women

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Men

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Rain Jacket
Costa Rican Rainforest After Rainfall

The number one thing you need when thinking about Costa Rica clothing is a rain jacket. In case you didn’t know, Costa Rica has a rainforest. It’s a safe bet that you’ll see one of the country’s many showers. If you are traveling to Costa Rica in the wet season (May-December), a rain jacket is essential, but I would bring one any time of year to be safe. The rain is typically short-lived, but you won’t want to get soaked during that time.

Hiking is one of the best things to do in Costa Rica, so we like to travel with shell jackets designed for hiking. They are lightweight, durable, packable, waterproof, and windproof. Any rain jacket will do, but the top-dollar ones will hold up and hold up in inclement weather.

We spend a lot of time hiking and mountaineering, so we have top-of-line Gore-Tex shell jackets. If you’re looking for a more affordable jacket, we’re big fans of Marmot’s PreCip Eco-Rain Jacket, as it’s a great value. We break down our favorite packable rain jackets in this post.

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Women

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Men

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Warm Fleece
A fleece depends on where you are traveling, but you might be surprised that parts of Costa Rica are cool in the evenings. Many areas are very popular with tourists, such as Monteverde, San Jose, and Arenal. San Jose even sees the rare freezing nighttime temperature.

It never hurts to have a comfy fleece for the plane that will also double as an extra layer of warmth when the temperature drops. Fleece is an excellent option for this as you don’t need a winter jacket for Costa Rica.

We both love Patagonia’s Synchilla Snap T Pullover and think it’s one of the best fleeces for travel. The fleece has a classic relaxed cut, perfect for walking on the beach or a cozy evening. They also make a great gift for travelers as they’re a wardrobe staple.

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SYNCHILLA SNAP T
FAVORITE FLEECE JACKETS
KUHL FLEECE
Relaxed Pants
Travel In Costa Rica – Finca Bellavista
Relaxed pants are essential on for our Costa Rica packing list

We pretty much live in relaxed pants when at the beach. After wearing several different pants, we both landed on pants from prAna. Not only are the pants awesome, but we love the company’s commitment to sustainable practices.

Their women’s Summit Pant is made out of hemp and recycled polyester and offers 50+ UPF protection. They are perfect for beach destinations, especially if you find yourself in more conservative areas.

The men’s Vaha pants are lightweight and weigh nothing in a carry-on bag. They are a wardrobe staple for nighttime as they are appropriate for a restaurant and protect legs from pesky mosquitos. Something to keep in mind for men, most Ticos wear long pants, so it’s an excellent way to blend without feeling too hot in a pair of jeans.

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Women

PRANA
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Men

PRANA
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Hiking Pants & Shorts
Costa Rica Packing List

Lightweight pants that are from synthetic material are tremendous to have in your pack. It’s what we wear most days when traveling between destinations in Costa Rica as they’re comfortable, antibacterial, and protect our legs from mosquitos.

We recommend neutral-colored pants as they’re great at hiding dirt and can match most shirt colors. What’s great is they’re helpful beyond Costa Rica as they are a travel staple, and we pack a pair everywhere we travel. For excellent hiking pant that is super comfortable, check out the trailhead pant from Coalatree.

Of course, you can’t spend every day in pants! It’s a great idea to pack some of your favorite shorts for Costa Rica as the weather is warm and humid. Ticos aren’t adverse to shorts, either.

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Women

COALATREE
Men

COALATREE
Swim Suits
El Silencio Villa Hot Tub

You’re heading to Costa Rica, so you will probably hit up a few of their splendid beaches. I always bring at least two suits to have a dry one to change into when I travel. For all of that, you’re going to need a bathing suit.

One of my favorite brands for swimsuits is Andies Swim. Andies Swim makes high-quality swimsuits for active women. Many of their pieces are stylish yet supportive. So if you’re planning to go surfing, bodyboarding, kitesurfing, or play beach volleyball and want to ensure your ta-tas stay intact, these swimsuits are for you.

The Quicksilver’s Amphibian shorts are a fantastic pair of board shorts for men. The material looks like heavy cotton, but they’re super lightweight and durable. Best of all, they look great on the beach or in town.

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Women

ANDIES SWIM
Men

AMAZON
Sandals
Beach Packing List

Flip-flops are never a bad idea at beach destinations and should be on every traveler’s Costa Rica packing list. Our favorite brand is Rainbow Sandals, as they last forever and are super comfortable once the leather forms to your foot. Another attractive option for women is the Yoga Sling 2 from Sanuk.

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SANUKS
RAINBOWS
TRAVEL SANDALS

Hiking Boots/Shoes
Costa Rica Packing List

Costa Rica is a destination worth a walk in the jungle. We went on many hikes to waterfalls, through the forest, and sloth searching. There is nothing else I would rather be in these environments than a pair of ankle-high hiking shoes or boots.

Seriously, bring proper footwear because many critters are roaming around. I still have nightmares about getting attacked by fierce jungle ants when I mistakenly walked on a trail in my flip-flops. We also saw multiple venomous snakes on hiking trails in the Osa Peninsula, so the ankle protection was good to have in footwear.

On top of that, due to the abundance of rain that falls in Costa Rica, trails are often very muddy with standing water. A good pair of hiking boots will come in handy if you have plans to explore. We love the Merrel Moabs II that comes in both women’s and men’s versions.

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Women

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ZAPPOS
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Men

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ZAPPOS
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Water Shoes
travel in Costa Rica

These used to be super hokey and ugly. No longer as there are several manufacturers and shoe companies who have created stylish water shoes. They look more like traditional shoes but are breathable and made with waterproof materials.

If you plan on many visits to waterfalls and it’s worth it to pick up a pair. They will help you grip the slippery rocks and protect your feet from cuts. Check out Tropicfeels for a couple of travel shoes that double as water shoes.

Water shoes are great if you walk around Costa Rica rocks, cliffs, or waterfalls. I’ve been caught a few times without them, and my feet have paid dearly for my mistake. The other option would be to bring along a pair of hiking sandals that hold better than traditional sandals.

Awesome Water Shoes
BEST HIKING SANDALS
TEVAS OR CHACOS
TROPICFEELS
Women’s Costa Rica Packing List
Cute Summer Dress

When you’re walking around the islands or cute seaside towns, a loose-flowing dress is a great wardrobe choice. I’d leave the jeans behind as they’re heavy, restrictive, and hot in the sun.

I love to wear a cute summer dress in Costa Rica. Choose a classic dress like an exposed shoulder top or a slip dress, and go with light colors for a classic look. You can also opt for a more bohemian beach style which I love! My favorite dresses come from Salty Crush.

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SALTY CRUSH
Yoga Pants
Costa Rica Travel

Costa Rica is a destination for health-conscious people; with that, yoga is all over the islands. Most of the big resorts even offer yoga classes in the morning or evening.

Pack at least two pairs of yoga pants in your suitcase. My absolute favorite yoga pants and sports bras come from a women-owned brand names Handful – you won’t find higher quality for the price – trust me!

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HANDFUL

Men’s Costa Rica Packing List
Linen Shirt

It’s our favorite item to wear when we travel. Linen is as practical as it is stylish. It’s great as it tends to dry faster, feel lighter, and cope with sweat better than its cotton counterparts. Pair a linen shirt with sandals, shorts, jeans, or shoes, or even go barefoot. It will always work.

A versatile piece of Costa Rica clothing that looks good for both sexes and works at the beach or a restaurant. It’s perfect for excellent resort wear, but you won’t feel out of place walking around a sleepy surf town. It’s tough to find decent linen shirts online, but I love the quality of J. Crew’s linen shirts.

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J. CREW
AMAZON
Chinos
If you have plans for a night out at a resort, then plan to have dress pants like chinos. It’s a classic look that, when combined with a dress shirt, has a classic look. I always pack a pair of these pants in my bag! It’s a solid choice for resort wear if that’s where you’ll spend your time in Costa Rica. Otherwise, it’s best to leave them at home as surf towns are very casual.

Bluffworks specializes in men’s travel clothes and makes some awesome pants, shirts, and blazers. Their travel clothes are all comfortable, wrinkle-resistant, and stain-resistant. Amazing for travel!

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BLUFFWORKS

Baseball Cap
Travel in Costa Rica – Cameron Seagle

I usually advise travelers to avoid the baseball cap, except there are a few locations where that is an exception, like in Costa Rica. I love to wear hats as they help keep the sweat and sun out of my eyes on a hot sunny day. At the very least, you’ll experience some hot and humid weather in Costa Rica!

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BEST HIKING HATS

Costa Rica Packing List Accessories
Insect Repellant

Costa Rica has year-round warm weather and lots of rain, which is a breeding ground for mosquitos. They love to hand around forests, ponds, lagoons, or anywhere with still water. We recommend packing a bottle of insect repellant with DEET in it so you’ll scare away those annoying biting demons.

And in a worst-case scenario, it reduces the chances of Dengue Fever — although it’s rare in Costa Rica. Remember that DEET can destroy plastics, so mind your sunglasses or camera when applying.

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REI
Sunscreen
Costa Rica Sunny Beach

Skin cancer is for real! Don’t forget your SPF when traveling around Costa Rica as you’re close to the Equator. We recommend ordering some online before leaving the house, as you will find much higher prices in Costa Rica.

We highly recommend getting an eco-friendly sun cream that does not contain harmful chemicals. They’re mineral-based and usually only cost a few dollars more to help protect our oceans. If you’re not going to swim in the ocean, just go with a reliable name brand — granted, runoff often still ends in our oceans.

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REI
Hand Sanitizer
Walking around and participating in everyday activities in Costa Rica can get pretty dirty. While Costa Rica is one of the cleanest and greenest countries we’ve ever seen, many local soda shops still lack hand soap in the restroom.

It became a reoccurring theme to find hand soap nowhere. You can’t go wrong bringing some hand sanitizer and baby wipes in your bag — consider it a travel essential anywhere you go.

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AMAZON
Binoculars

If you’re going on a jungle trek in Manuel Antonio or Corcovado National Park, a pair of binoculars will certainly help you see wildlife better. Binoculars offer you the chance to view wildlife much better than your bare eye – and you’ll likely see lots of wildlife in Costa Rica.

Yoga Mat
Yoga on the beach in Costa Rica

In Costa Rica, you’ll hear the words “Pura Vida” many times. Pura Vida means Pure Life, which is not just a saying but a way of being in the country. You’ll find many yoga studios around Costa Rica, and I would highly recommend going to a few. I brought a travel yoga mat, so it’s on our Costa Rica packing list so we can practice wherever.

Manduka has a lightweight travel yoga that we now use for travel. It’s not as robust as a regular yoga mat, and it can be painful on hard surfaces. However, we like it on a soft carpet, on the beach, on a towel, or over a yoga studio’s public mats for a more hygienic experience.

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BEST TRAVEL YOGA MATS
MANDUKA TRAVEL MAT
Hammock
What to wear in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is undoubtedly an easy place to lounge around and do nothing. A travel hammock that you can string up between trees or railings is excellent for those times when you want to relax. It’s perfect for those times when you want to relax in nature.

The ENO hammock was the original producer. Now, you can find many cheap ones online as they’re easy to manufacture in China, and people love to buy and sell them on Amazon. I’d just stick with the original.

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Headlamp
After driving across Africa, we got in the habit that a headlamp is never a bad idea. Our Petzl headlamp came in handy when we did night walks in the jungle, searching for frogs, and staying at a treehouse community off the grid and without power.

Dry Bag
Best Places to Stay in Costa Rica
Dry bags are great if you’re going to be spending time at the beach. They will protect your phone and any other electronics from the ocean, or more importantly if it starts to rain.

BEST DRY BAGS FOR TRAVEL
Gum Boots/Wellies
Travel in Costa Rica – Treehouse – Finca Bellavista

They may have extra rubber boots for you to borrow if you’re staying at a lodge or guesthouse. We found this at a couple of places, but this isn’t guaranteed. These are also super specific, but they will come in handy if you’re chasing nature, like in the Osa Peninsula or some cloud forests.

Most likely, traveling with these bulky boots is not worth the hassle. Don’t forget a tall pair of socks for those jungle treks. If you do, bring them!

Daypack

We chased a new waterfall every day, hiked through the rainforest, or enjoyed the beach. You can also get a cheap foldable backpack that will do an excellent job securing your things.

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BEST DAYPACKS FOR TRAVEL

Spanish Phrasebook
We found that most Ticos could speak English very well, but practicing your Spanish in Costa Rica doesn’t hurt. Here’s a small pocket-sized one.

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AMAZON
Costa Rica Packing List Electronics
Camera
Travel in Costa Rica – Rio Celeste Waterfall

A high-quality camera is a critical packing item for Costa Rica if you want some great shots during your vacation. The one camera we universally recommend is the Sony RX 100 or the Fuji X Series.

They make several models at different price points, but using a point-and-shoot camera that anyone can operate is simple. It also takes superb images with a 20mp resolution and full manual controls.

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BEST CAMERAS FOR TRAVELING

GoPro
Costa Rica Zipline
A GoPro is the perfect camera to bring to Costa Rica; you’ll see them everywhere. Costa Rica has plenty of adventures, from surfing to hiking or ATV Tours to Snorkeling.

Don’t risk bringing a fancy camera to the beach and getting sand in it. Or even worse, water. We just picked up the GoPro Hero 10 and have loved it so far. The Hypersmooth motion capture is a total game-changer. Just make sure to attach it to a wrist strap so it doesn’t get lost!

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AMAZON
B&H
REI
Power Bank
I love traveling with a power bank to ensure my phone never dies. Most of the time, I don’t need to use it on long flights as some of the more excellent airlines provide entertainment systems with USB ports! We also make sure to find a charging point during layovers, but getting to a new city without your hotel reservations and map can be a significant pain in the ass.

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AMAZON
Kindle Paperwhite
What to wear in Costa Rica

While I love having a perfect book when I sometimes travel, it’s just not practical because of the weight. I’ve recently switched to a Kindle Paperwhite, which is small and compact, plus it has a backlight for reading at night without a harsh glare.

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AMAZON
You Need This To Travel To Costa Rica
Travel Insurance
costa rica packing list

Buying clothes in costa rica

Take a look at the best places to shop in Costa Rica for a soul-satisfying shopping experience whether you are visiting with your friends or family!

  • Mercado Central. …
  • Mercado Nacional de Artesania (National Craft Market) …
  • Avenida Escazu. …
  • City Mall. …
  • Avenida Central. …
  • Multiplaza Mall. …
  • Galeria Namu. …
  • Central Farmer’s Market Escazu.

Shopping In Costa Rica: 10 Best Places To Shop Till You Drop!
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Shopping Cost Rica Cover

Written by

Mani Arora
1765 views

Costa Rica amazes, enthrals, entices and mesmerises travellers from the world over who visit this tiny Central American country in pursuit of a wealth of travel experiences. While nature lovers can admire its unique landscapes and steal some serene moments on this bountiful paradise, adventure junkies can test their limits while riding class four rapids, zip-lining across forest canopies and scaling tropical waterfalls. Costa Rica is a nothing short of an enticing smorgasbord of unforgettable experiences that make for a fulfilling and rejuvenating holiday.

While you live the quintessentially Costa Rican pura vida (pure simple life) and gather memories for a lifetime, it is also a good idea to pick some unique souvenirs and gifts to take back home. Shopping in Costa Rica promises to be just as exciting as the country itself, with plenty of options. From quirky boutiques to shopping malls and luxury shopping in Costa Rica, here’s our lowdown on the best places to indulge in retail therapy.

Shopping In Costa Rica: Top 10 Places To Shop
Take a look at the best places to shop in Costa Rica for a soul-satisfying shopping experience whether you are visiting with your friends or family!

  1. Mercado Central
    Mercado Central
    Image Source

One of the best places for shopping in Costa Rica, the Central Market in San Jose with its numerous small stalls and narrow alleyways is a fun place to feel the local vibes. From clothes, souvenirs and grocery shopping in Costa Rica, this bustling market is the go-to place for good deals and interesting variety of wares. Fresh flowers, local produce, knick-knacks, clothes, hats, and cigars and much more can be found in the winding lanes. Visiting Cafe Central for some great coffee and an enviable range of beans to take back home is highly recommended. Small cafes called sodas serve delicious local food which you can savour while you stroll through the market.

Must Read: Costa Rica With Kids: An Ultimate Guide To Plan A Funtastic Trip With Your Little Ones!

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  1. Mercado Nacional de Artesania (National Craft Market)
    Mercado Nacional de Artesania
    Image Source

Right in the heart of San Jose is this one-stop-shop for souvenir shopping in Costa Rica and picking up handcrafted items made by local artisans. You can shop for paintings, sculptures, ceramics, textiles, beads, jewellery as well as wood & leather products right here. Most merchants speak English & are ready to negotiate prices. There are beautiful products created by local craftsmen and you must check out the hammocks available in a range of colours along with other interesting items. The iron wood statues of sea creatures also make for unique gift items.

Location: San José, Costa Rica, calle 5, avenida 6, costado Sur de la Plaza de las Garantías, San José, Costa Rica
Timings: Daily, 8AM-8PM

  1. Avenida Escazu
    Avenida Escazu
    Image Source

For a relaxed outing with family coupled with good shopping in Costa Rica, head to one of the classiest malls in the region and you won’t be disappointed. While the beautifully landscaped grounds, mountain backdrop and interesting sculpture welcome you to the area, plenty of trendy stores allow you to shop to your heart’s content. There are many upscale restaurants and food chains to satiate your hunger pangs and interesting events during the weekends to keep the kids entertained. The Lego store, Barbie store and jumping water fountain are sure to hold the children’s interest.
Location: Avenida 2, San José Province, San Rafael, Costa Rica
Timings: Open 24 hours

Suggested Read: 10 Airports In Costa Rica To Start Off Your Vacation The Right Away!

  1. City Mall
    City Mall
    Image Source

This shiny new destination for luxury shopping in Costa Rica is the perfect spot for some cool shopping and wholesome entertainment for the entire family. The City Mall is home to numerous floors lined with big brands and high fashion stores where you can pick up the trendiest clothes, bags and footwear. There are some interesting stores selling unique Costa Rican items as well as plenty of food outlets to keep hunger at bay as you indulge in retail therapy. Cinemas and fun rides for kids make this a wonderful place for a family outing. Check out the wood craft store selling beautiful souvenirs and jewellery.
Location: Radial Francisco J. Orlich, Alajuela Province, Alajuela, Costa Rica
Timings: 10AM-9PM (Mon-Sat); 10AM-8:30PM (Sun)

Suggested Read: 10 Day Trips From Costa Rica To Witness The Never-Ending Beauty Of The City!

Planning your holiday but confused about where to go? These travel stories help you find your best trip ever!
Real travel stories. Real stays. Handy tips to help you make the right choice.

  1. Avenida Central
    Avenida Central
    Image Source

This bustling street in the heart of the capital city is not just a great place to stroll along and savour the sights and sounds but also lined with some wonderful possibilities for shopping in Costa Rica. One of the busiest avenues in San Jose, Avenida Central has stores and boutiques selling indigenous products and souvenirs. The beautiful pedestrian street also showcases sculptures & murals as well as many wonderful restaurants to grab a bite and rest your weary feet. Yu can also witness live music performances, shop souvenirs at charming stores and check out departmental stores like Universal and La Gloria.

  1. Multiplaza Mall
    Multiplaza Mall
    Image Source

Whether you’re looking for some high-end clothes shopping in Costa Rica or splurging on trendy footwear, Multiplaza Mall is the place to be. One of the largest and most well-organised malls in the country, this one is home to your favourite designer stores like Lacoste, Kenneth Cole, Diesel, Calvin Klein and many more. You can stroll through the huge department stores, stop by for refreshments at the umpteen food outlets or even catch a movie at the lovely theatre. There are many interesting events in the evenings to keep everyone entertained and engaged.
Location: Boulevard Camino Real | Off Autopista Prospero Fernandez Hwy, Escazu 10201, Costa Rica
Timings: 10AM-9PM (Mon-Sat); 10AM-8PM (Sun)

Suggested Read: 10 Zoos In Costa Rica & Other Wildlife Sites That You Must Visit To Let Out The Kid In You

  1. Galeria Namu
    Galeria Namu
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Galeria Namu is one of those authentic, fair-trade places for shopping in Costa Rica that bring to you a unique & eclectic collection of artwork and handicrafts from the far reaches of Costa Rica and Central America. While you can pick some outstanding collectibles like the Brunka masks, intricately woven Wounaan baskets, Guaymi dolls, reed mats, pre-Columbian pottery, Wounaan carved tagua and folk art pieces, your purchase goes a long way in supporting indigenous artists.
Location: 7th Avenue | Between 5th And 7th Streets, San Jose, Costa Rica
Timings: Monday to Saturday – 9AM to 6:30PM; Sunday – 1 to 5 PM

  1. Central Farmer’s Market Escazu
    Central Farmer’s Market Escazu
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While you’re wondering ‘is there good shopping in Costa Rica?’ we have a very special recommendation that’s not just about buying stuff but experiencing the local way of life. There’s no better place than a farmer’s market to shop like a local and walk away with some truly cool & healthy picks. Located in the heart of Escazu, the market is packed with farmers selling everything from exotic fruits, fresh seafood, artisanal cheese and hand crafted goods. Don’t forget to pick & taste some delicious Costa Rican empanadas, corn tortillas, patacones and fresh pipas (coconuts).
Location: South of San Miguel Church in the centre of Escazu
Timings: Saturday – 7AM to 1PM

Suggested Read: An Ultimate Costa Rica Travel Guide To Explore The Best Of This Paradise Destination!

  1. Mall Real Cariari
    Mall Real Cariari
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This 3-storey modern shopping mall offers more than 100 stores to satiate your urge for some last-minute shopping in Costa Rica, as it is conveniently located just 10 minutes away from the international airport. You can pick up clothes, sports gear & books or catch a movie at the multi-theatre if you have time on hand. The mall also has a decent selection of food outlets to take away or enjoy a hearty meal enroute the airport.
Location: 111, Heredia, Costa Rica
Timings: 11AM-10PM (Mon-Sat); 11AM-7PM (Sun)

  1. Souvenir Museum
    Souvenir Museum,

This is a very special store and one that would stand out from your entire shopping in Costa Rica due to the cause it supports. With an aim to promote local artisans and indigenous crafts, this place doubles up as a museum showcasing the various indigenous cultures, their customs and artistic traditions. All the handcrafted collectibles at this unique store are beautiful and the owners ensure that the artisans receive fair price for their labour. Take our word and visit this heart-warming store when in the vicinity.
Location: km al Norte de los Tribunales de Justicia, 712, Provincia de Alajuela, Alajuela, Costa Rica
Timings: 10AM-6PM (Mon-Sat)

Tips For Shopping In Costa Rica
In bustling markets like the Central Market in San Jose, be vary of pickpockets and thieves who may take advantage of the huge crowds.
It is advisable not to carry valuables and important documents in your handbag when you head out for shopping in Costa Rica.
The movable stalls in front of the National Museum in San Jose are also great to pick bargain stuff and knick-knacks, but be prepared to haggle and offer just 20/30% of the quoted price.
Sarchi, the main town in Alajuela is one of the best places for handicraft shopping in Costa Rica. You must pick up the famous and unique miniature ox-cart to take back home.
Further Read: An Extraordinary Guide To An Enticing Family Trip To Costa Rica!

You can save you liquor purchase for duty free shopping in Costa Rica airport to ensure authentic brands and best prices. So, now you know how to spend a beautiful vacay in Costa Rica. Don’t wait and plan a trip to USA before it’s all gone!

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Frequently Asked Questions About Shopping In Costa Rica
Which is the recommended place for shopping in Costa Rica?
Mercado Central is one of the most recommended places for shopping in Costa Rica. The place is at the center of the city and it has a variety available for shopping. So you can always access the place at any hour.

What is the specialty of Costa Rica?
Paintings, sculptures, ceramics, textiles, beads, jewelry, wood & leather products are popular here. These arts are so popular in the city and are appreciated worldwide. Hence the similar items are shopped so much by the people from all around the world.

Which are famous malls in Costa Rica for shopping and window shopping?
There are a lot of malls. But to mention the visit-worthy – Avenida Escazu, City Mall, Avenida Central, Multiplaza Mall. Besides these mentioned, you can always the visit the malls that are near your tour destination. Each mall is equally amusing.

Where to see handcrafted and unique products?
Mercado Nacional de Artesania (National Craft Market) is an apt place. The city where art is seen everywhere. This is the place from where you can actually purchase it. The place is very good to explore.

Where do I get the unique products in Costa Rica?
At Galeria Namu you can find the range of unique products in Costa Rica. Here you can get very unique products that are only seen in Costa Rica. You can carry it as a keepsake or for gifting.

Where do I get to experience the local tradition in Costa Rica?
At Central Farmer’s Market Escazu, you can experience the local life of the place. At this place, the original tradition and culture of the city is seen. Local people come for their routine shopping and the nice scenario is formed. You must visit the place to see the local culture live.

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