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Last year, we visited Costa Rica during the rainy season. While it didn’t rain the entire time, there was definitely a lot of rain, especially in the Could Forest of Monteverde and the town of La Fortuna, near the Arenal Volcano. While we were pretty prepared for the rain and stayed fairly dry, there were still a few extra things we wished we would have brought. We came up with The Perfect Packing List for Rainy Season in Costa Rica, so you won’t make the same mistakes we did.
The rainy season in Costa Rica goes from May to mid-November. During this time, most of the country sees a lot of rain. We visited Tamarindo, Monteverde, La Fortuna, and San José during rainy season and saw different amounts of rain. While we didn’t get to the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, it’s said that they see less rain during rainy season than the rest of the country.
This packing list for the Costa Rican rainy season will all fit into a travel backpack. We used our trusty Osprey Farpoint 40 when traveling in Costa Rica.
Probably the single most essential item on a packing list for rainy season in Costa Rica is a good rain jacket.
Without a rain jacket that actually keeps water out, you are going to get soaked. If you’re traveling to Monteverde or La Fortuna, you will definitely want a rain jacket, but we recommend one even if you’re sticking to the beaches in Costa Rica because it will still rain there.
A rain jacket will keep you dry and warm in both light rain and torrential downpours. This is one thing you won’t want to be without when traveling in rainy season. Here are a few of the most recommended rain jackets:
While our trusty traveling backpack, the Osprey Farpoint 40, is not waterproof, it is water resistant and holds up well in the rain. However, you won’t be hauling this around as a day pack, so you’ll need a smaller, waterproof bag to keep things like your camera in. For this, we recommend The PNW Sea to Sky Pack.
This backpack is completely waterproof. It can even be submerged in water, and your things will still stay dry. It’s the perfect waterproof travel backpack for Costa Rica.
Two Pairs of Shoes with Good Traction
If your Costa Rica itinerary looks anything like the one we put together, then you’ll be wanting shoes with a bit of traction.
If you’re wanting to explore Cloud Forests, do night hikes, and look for animals then tennis shoes with little to no traction won’t do the job. You’ll be sliding around on the trail and it won’t make for a pleasant time. having shoes with just a little bit of traction will make your time in Costa Rica that much better.
They don’t have to be all-out hiking shoes. In fact, we recommend more trail running shoes because they will dry out faster and have enough traction to keep you from falling on your ass. We also say two pairs because when one inevitably gets wet, you’ll be able to put on the other if they’re not dry yet.
Here are a couple pairs we recommend:
Quick-dry socks go hand-in-hand with the shoes. There’s nothing worse than having to put on wet socks and shoes, so solve that problem by getting fast drying socks.
Any more athletic-style sock will do, just please, please, please do not bring heavy, thick socks. Unless of course you want to slip on damp socks in the morning.
This is a must for almost any kind of travel or backpacking. A quick-dry towel is lightweight and comes in handy a lot. It dries you off fast and then dries off fast. What more could you want from a towel?
There’s clearly a similar theme going on here. Moisture-wicking clothes will keep you dry, which is good for both staying warm and cool. This means that they are the perfect addition to a rainy season Costa Rica packing list!
Rain-soaked moisture-wicking clothes will also dry faster too because that’s what they’re made to do. There are tons of brands with different styles out there. You can go for the more athletic look or the more fashionable.
A GoPro is perfect for the rainy season in Costa Rica because it’s waterproof, but if you don’t have one, make sure to get waterproof cases for your other cameras. They say water and dust are a camera’s worst nightmare, so make sure to protect your’s because there will definitely be water during Costa Rica’s rainy season.
If you don’t want to waterproof your camera or phone, make sure to get a waterproof bag. This works even if you don’t have the waterproof backpack we mentioned before—The PNW Sea to Sky Pack.
The full waterproof backpack is better in our opinion, but this is a good backup. It can also be an extra layer of protection for your electronic or valuables. Plus, it’ll also come in handy on other trips you’ll take.
Aside from the above items to pack for traveling to Costa Rica during rainy season, make sure you bring all your other travel essentials, so you can have a wonderful trip.
If you’re looking for more travel gear recommendations, check out our Travel Gear page where we have all our recommended travel gear and accessories to make your travels even better.