With tourism representing around 6% of the GDP of Costa Rica, that figure is more significant than it might seem. It represents billions of dollars devoted to people traveling to the country to see its beautiful landscapes. If you’re thinking about a vacation to Manuel Antonio, you’re making a decision that could make memories that last a lifetime.
Before you head for the airport, here are 7 things you absolutely need to pack.
1. Casual Outfits
As a general rule, you should feel free to keep it casual all throughout your trip to Costa Rica. While there are parts of San Jose that are more professional, the majority of the country is far less formal than your office or workplace back home. You can leave the ties and the wingtips at home and opt for something a little more relaxed.
If you want to go out for some nice dinners, simple dresses and polo shirts will do just fine. Bring an extra pair of shoes if you decide to go someplace nice, otherwise, sandals will do the trick.
If you want to go hiking, save room for longer socks and sturdy hiking boots or running shoes with good traction.
Costa Rica is still lovely, even when it rains. If you visit between May and November, you’re likely to see it rain at least a couple of times. When you’re out on the beach, a nice sunny day can quickly turn to a downpour.
Always be protected by packing a light rain jacket.
Pack something that is stylish and goes with everything else that you’re bringing. Be sure that it’s light enough to toss in your bag and carry with you if you end up heading out for a long day of lounging or sightseeing.
3. Dry Bag
As mentioned above, you never know when it could rain. It’s also a fairly humid country so you might find you want to keep things out of your pockets for logistical and technical reasons. Your phone or personal electronics might not survive if they’re exposed to rain or extreme humidity.
Having a dry bag means you can walk near the water with everything you have and not worry about it getting wet. Even if your bag falls into the water, everything inside will still be protected.
Even if you just get a dry pouch for small items like phones and digital cameras, it’s worth protecting electronics when you travel.
The worst souvenir from a vacation is a sunburn. While people will want to comment on how great your tan looks when you return from vacation, they’ll cringe when they see you looking sunburnt.
Not to mention the fact that sunburns can lead to permanent skin damage and even cancer.
Bringing sunscreen is never a bad idea. If it’s sunny out and you notice yourself heating up, just a light application could make the difference between a tan and a burn. It’s never a bad idea to protect yourself.
Since it’s such a beautiful country with such lovely beaches, you might want to be spending your time in Manual Antonio near the Playa Escondido. This beach is lovely all year round, no matter the weather.
Once you get there, the sun reflecting on the water could keep you from enjoying yourself. To make sure this doesn’t happen, bring sunglasses.
That way you can casually stroll along the beach and enjoy the view, no matter how bright it is out.
6. A Beach Towel
When you’re out by the beach, you’re going to need to bring a towel. Because you’ll be near a national park, you won’t easily find any shops that could sell you one. Pack a thin one that you don’t care about too much in case anything happens to it.
When you pack a towel you also pack a utilitarian piece that can double as a shawl or a scarf if it gets cold. It could get you out of a bind if there’s a downpour and obviously it can dry you off after a dip in the water.
When you pack a cheaper or thinner towel, you can ditch it if need be. Should you find yourself shopping for some nice fabric, you might find you need extra room in your suitcase. Your towel could be the first thing to go.
7. A Phrasebook
A simple phrasebook can get you out of trouble or help you enjoy a night out on the town. If you’re looking for a dance club or an art museum, you could cobble together some basic phrases to know where to go. If you’re looking for a particular type of wildlife near Manuel Antonio, you could use your book to help out.
When you’re traveling, you need to ask all kinds of simple questions to find restaurants, bathrooms, or simple compass directions. A phrasebook will keep you out of trouble and ensure that you always know where you’re headed.
It can also help when you’re trying to socialize. Nothing helps you feel like a real member of the community than when you can relax and enjoy a coffee or a drink with a local. The best way to do that is to strike up a conversation on a common topic.
You’ll be able to talk about the things you’ve seen or are interested in seeing with the right book.
A Vacation to Manuel Antonio is One to Remember
When you choose to go on a vacation to Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, you’re choosing one of the most relaxing places on earth. The beautiful beaches and complicated wildlife make it one of the most attractive landscapes around.
If you’re looking for a family-friendly tour of Manuel Antonio, check out our guide to find the perfect match for your family.