Costa Rica With Kids: Family Packing List

I created a packing list for our trip to Costa Rica with Kids.  We were traveling in June, the beginning of rainy season.  We would be in Costa Rica for two weeks to explore the country and learn Spanish. Our visit to Costa Rica with Kids includes San Jose, Manuel Antonio, Playa Flamingo, and the Papagayo area.

Costa Rica has two seasons, rainy and dry.  But they also have about a dozen climates. Each climate in Costa Rica has unique conditions that factor into the weather.   Our family packing list includes items for the rain, cool mountain areas and warm tropical rainforest and beaches.

Visiting the volcanos in Costa Rica? Be sure to pack layers and jackets with hoods to protect from the strong wind and cooler temperatures.

Each of us had one carry-on suitcase for our clothing and a regular sized backpack for electronics and small essentials.  I planned to do a load of laundry in Costa Rica, and that helped us to pack a lighter load.  This packing list for contains everything we brought with us to Costa Rica including, a few items I wish we had.

Costa Rica with Kids: Family Packing List

Health and Medical Items:
Travel First Aid Kit
Prescription medicines
Allergy medicine
Tea tree Oil for bug bites
Vitamin C

Hiking Gear:
Waterproof hiking boots or
Old sneakers
Personal flashlights

(This was our first-time “hiking” with the kids and I really wanted to make sure the kid’s feet were protected, especially in the event of rain. They didn’t need it as much as I expected, old sneakers like we had for my husband and I  would have been fine for them.)

Rain Gear:
Rain jackets

In Costa Rica weather can often be unpredictable. Pack an umbrella and rain jacket for your trip.

Two sets of bathing suits or trunks
Sarong or swim cover-up
Flip Flops
Water shoes for climbing waterfalls or rocky beaches
Wet bag (waterproof bag) for cell phones
Hats and sunglasses
Swim goggles

(Note: We didn’t need to bring beach or pool towels.  We used the sarongs if we happened to be at a beach or pool and forgot to bring a towel from our hotel.)

Insect Repellent

(Note: Bring both the green bottle (Deet or deep woods) and orange bottle (no Deet) of insect repellent. We found the orange bottle more effective in Playa Flamingo.  I used the Skin So Soft Avon Brand, green and white bottles.)

Sun Protection:
Sun hat or cap


Bring plenty of sunscreen for your trip to Costa Rica. Even in the early rain season, expect lots of sun.


(Note: Backpacks are easier to carry then purses and beach bags, but can also identify you as a tourist.  I also prefer for my kids to be responsible for their belongings inside their backpack)

Reusable water bottles

(Note: The steel bottles keeps water cool.  Also, most established hotels in Costa Rica have drinkable water or offers a water cooler to refill bottles.

Seven bottoms including one pair of jeans, one pair of long lightweight pants, and 1 pair of sweatpants for cooler temps
Ten tops including one long sleeve shirt
Undergarments for seven days
Three sets of pajamas

(Note: We plan to do a load of laundry during our trip.)

Old sneakers
Hiking boots
Flip Flops
Water shoes

Reading Material:
Writing journal
Coloring books
Lego set
Summer workbooks

Battery charge pack for on-the-go charging

Clorox Wipes
Hand Sanitizer
Wash clothes
Room deodorizer
Inflatable pool toys or floats

(Note: most hotels or homes in Costa Rica do not supply washcloths.)

Bar of soap
Body Lotion
Lip Balm
Nail clipper and file
Shampoo & Conditioner

Dry snacks:
Granola Bars
(Note: Snacks are not allowed in most of the National Parks in Costa Rica to protect you from the animals. )

Driving Map of Costa Rica

Costa Rica Animal Guide

Supplies for Spanish Language Immersion Classes:
Pens and Pencils
Index Card
Spanish-English Dictionary

If you would like to add to this Packing List for Costa Rica Family Travel, please leave your tips in the comments below.



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