Beyond our general Costa Rica packing list, you’re going to want a day pack. Well, at least, you’ll want one if you’re anything like us. We carry our day packs everywhere. Because, when you’re vacationing at a beach that borders on tropical dry forest, which cozies up to jungle waterfalls, that then spill into sapphire ocean… well, who knows what the day’s adventures will bring?
Obviously, what you throw into your daypack depends on your personal beach style. There are the standards – bathing suit cover-ups, sunglasses, sandals/flip-flops, a good book, etc. – that we know you’ll pack. But there are a few additional things you really wouldn’t want to forget. Here are our musts:
If there’s one, can’t-miss item to take on all your Tamarindo day trips, then it’s some powerful (30 SPF, or higher) and water-resistant sunblock; the sun is strong and it can shine up to 12 hours a day! We do well with a lotion + spray combo: lotion first, SPF spray down the part of our hair (we’re burners!), and then regular re-applications (every hour or so) with lotion or spray. Don’t forget to throw in a lip balm with SPF!
I’m a mosquito magnet and sometimes, even I don’t need any repellent. But, you never know what your Costa Rican adventures will hold, so we always recommend bug spray. Better yet, pack two kinds: a natural repellent– for example, a lemon-eucalyptus blend – and then a heavy-duty repellent, for when you trek into the jungle.
Hiking Sandals/Water Shoes
For all but the most serious hikes, a water-resistant hiking shoe or sandal– think: Merrell sandals or Vibrams – is perfect for Tamarindo. You can walk over rocky beaches, skip out onto outcroppings, walk into the hills, dive into waterfall pools, and even take shorter hikes around the area – all, in the same pair of shoes.
Children and adults, alike – you’re going to want a wide-brimmed hat for everyone! Again, the sun here is beautiful and warm, but it’s also strong. Protect yourself!
While oversized beach towels may take up a lot of packing space, you can’t go to the beach without one, right? And, who knows when an impromptu dip or beach lounge could happen? You want a towel in your daypack! (Tip: If you’re looking to save some space, then know that some of our Tamarindo vacation rentals provide designated beach towels for your use.)
Depending on the day trip, you could get wet. We’re talking waterfall hikes, rainforest tours, mangrove floats, and almost any day trip during the rainy season (May through November). Keep your electronics and money safe with a compact dry bag (like this), which can roll into your day pack until (and if) you need it.
A Change of Clothes
Again, you never know when you might get wet. We always throw a light change of clothes– shorts and a t-shirt or loose tank – into our day bag, so we can run into the sea or a waterfall, whenever we want.
Travel Water Bottle
One of the big benefits to traveling in Costa Rica? The water is safe to drink! So, do Mother Earth a favor and bring a collapsible and/or travel water bottle (here’s an example) with you everywhere. It’s even a convenient place to store your ice-cold pipa (fresh coconut) water!
That’s what’s in our bag, for all our Tamarindo day trips. Did we miss a must-pack from yours? Let us know!