Packing for any country for 3 to 4 months is difficult, but packing for such a diverse climate like Costa Rica is uniquely challenging. Here are a few tips from the things I wished I would have brought and things I was glad I did.

Less is more: The trick is to pack as if you were packing for a two week trip.  You will have your clothes washed every week, so don’t worry about running out.

Bring clothes that are easy to mix and match. Solids, simple dresses, and multipurpose shoes will be your packing best friends.

One interesting thing about Latin American culture is that most everyone wears pants. It is so interesting to me because this is a topical country. In the summer, my jeans are usually buried in a box under all my sweaters. But if you want to look anything like a local here in Costa Rica, make sure to bring some jeans or long pants, comfortable sandals, and a light sweater.  

Dresses and skirts: Although they are not as common as pants, non-revealing dresses and skirts are perfectly acceptable in Costa Rica.

Last week I came back to my host home after a long day of class and threw on a pair of workout shorts and a t-shirt. When my Tica mom came home, she asked how my run was.

An interesting thing about the United States is that we have decided that workout clothes are acceptable everyday wear. At my university it’s impossible to walk anywhere without seeing a girl in Nike shorts or a guy ready for the gym (even if no one is actually planning to go to the gym). Here in Costa Rica, that trend has not taken root. One of the things I love about this culture is that people nearly always look nice and put-together.

There is really no way to pack perfectly because although the day might start out hot and steamy, by 3 pm you could be ready for a sweater and some hot chocolate. The key to packing for Costa Rica is to make sure to bring things that are versatile, easily layered, fairly modest, and most importantly that make you feel unique and comfortable!

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