Costa Rica Travel Tips

Costa Rican flag at the overlook

Traveling so easy a Gingerbread can do it!

  • Bring water shoes.

Canyoneering required us to be completely submerged underwater. Not wanting our only pair of sneakers to get wet, we purchased a $10 pair of water shoes when we booked our activity. They also would have been great for the hike in Montezuma to our surf lessons.

  • Purchase an underwater camera.

Before the trip, we ordered a set of 2 Fujifilm Disposable Underwater Cameras to bring with us canyoneering, visiting waterfalls, and snorkeling. After developing the photos, we invested in an underwater camera. While some of the photos turned out well, some were grainy and dark.

  • Invest in travel insurance.

We easily found affordable insurance satisfying the G Adventures requirements at Travel Insurance.

  • Don’t bring your favorite roller bag.

My carry-on roller bag couldn’t handle the rough Montezuma terrain. Dragging my bag along the dirt roads caused damage beyond repair. Many of our group members recommended Osprey Travel Packs.


  • Bring sweat wicking clothing.

Most of our trip involved hiking, climbing, rivers, or traveling without air conditioning in the hot Costa Rica temperatures. We wore sport shorts and quick drying tank tops most of the trip.

  • A raincoat is essential in the rain forest.

Although we had packed a raincoat, the unexpected bursts of rain still caught us off guard a couple of times.

  • La Fortuna has the best souvenirs.

Shops with any souvenir imaginable are scattered throughout La Fortuna. The only touristy shop we found in San Jose was located in Mercado Central and wasn’t open during our early trip to the market. Montezuma has small shops and street vendors, but the selection is limited.

  • Rest comfortably regardless of accommodations.

We brought our Therm-A-Rest Compressible Pillows to get some rest on the long bus rides, but also used them almost every night in addition to the hotel pillows. The pillows are compact and took up very little room in our bags.

  • Consider taking an Uber instead of a taxi.

We took a taxi from the Juan Santamaría International Airport to the hotel. Comparing costs later with group members, we learned Uber was significantly cheaper than a taxi.

  • Pack a sarong.

Knowing our tour involved quite a bit of traveling, we only packed carry-on bags. With limited space, we didn’t want to bring a beach towel. I packed a sarong that doubled as a dress and towel on our excursion to Isla Tortuga (read about our excursion to the island here). I frequently packed it in my day bag for an emergency towel.

April 2018

Author: The Traveling Gingerbread

My husband, Mitch, and I have been traveling together over 6 years. Living and working full-time in Pittsburgh, PA, we travel as much as our vacation days and finances allow. We cram each adventure with activities, tours,  and experiences to maximize our time. We always try to visit to a local brewery and can't walk by an Irish pub without stopping in for a pint of Guinness. CREATION OF THE TRAVELING GINGERBREAD: In Tokyo, we smiled every time we saw someone talking on their large, animated phone case. We had to buy one. Having an obsolete IPhone 5, the selection was limited. We purchased a gingerbread off a neglected rack in Shinjuku, Tokyo and The Traveling Gingerbread was born. You can purchase your own gingerbread friend here! The Traveling Gingerbread offers realistic budget travel tips for full time employees, fun facts, and where to find the best craft beer.

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