July 12th, 2014 |    mangotree

To make your trip and experience the best ever there are few items to bring with you that you might not have thought about: a hat, an umbrella, a flashlight, video-camera if you have one, a beach towel, band aides, an underwater camera for snorkeling, a thin long-sleeved cotton shirt, hiking boots, one pair long pants, a rain poncho and bug repellant.

Most people forget to bring a hat. When the sun is out it is intense. Last year in January and February it felt like 113 degrees F in the sun. If you go to the beach you will need a hat. . I also recommend a thin cotton button up shirt to protect you from an intense sunburn on the beach or if you go out in a boat to go snorkeling or whale watching. On the other side of the coin, it can also rain every day in the afternoon (usually), so bring an umbrella. One of the little fold-up kind is very handy. If you visit Costa Rica in the rainy season, consider bringing a rain poncho.

The last group that rented from me was advised to bring flashlights. The organizer questioned me, “Don’t you have outdoor lighting?” I replied, “yes, of course” but we are in the jungle and it is not like being in the city with all those city lights. Also, we are accustomed to an occasional power outage.. Carrying a small flashlight makes night walking just that much safer and easier. You want to see those snakes, frogs, beetles, etc. on the path to your villa rental. “Dark” happens anywhere from 5:30 to 6:00 and without the moonlight it gets pretty dark. With the moon it is awesome.

Please bring your own beach towels. Hotels, villa rentals and house rentals do not allow their towels to go to the beach. You can buy an occasional one down here but they are very thin and flimsy.

If you plan to go snorkeling like to Caño Island (best snorkeling in Costa Rica) you might wish you had an underwater camera. You can also do this off the Ballena coast where the “whale’s tale” reef is located. A video camera would be a real treat to have to film the many animals you might see in Costa Rica. Imagine taking a video of Howler monkeys right off your hotel porch and capturing their incredibly loud barking sound while conversing. Remember you can hear them 5 miles away, so imagine what they are like up close. Or, capture a group of Toucans eating the papayas right on the tree, one playing sentry while the others are eating. There are so many magical things to capture while moving as well as maiking sounds. Still pictures simply don’t tell the whole story.

A natural bug repellant is worth considering. The herb Rosemary is the number one bug repellant of all the herbs. Take a branch of two of Rosemary, strip the little needle-like leaves off, put in a blender with a light oil like almond, apricot, grapeseed, holly or a very light olive oil and blend until fine. Heat the oil to 85 degrees and then strain to get rid of the Rosemary residue. Store in a dark bottle and use to keep off mosquitoes and other biting bugs. It is a good idea to cover your bug bites and scratches with band aides so you don’t break the skin and risk an infection.

Bring one pair of long pants and hiking boots if you plan to hike. These will protect you from bugs, snakes and sunburn.

You should also bring sunscreen, but please, please only bring one of these brands:

Caribbean Solutions UV Natural

Mexitan BATAB

Soleo Organics Luvea Neutral


All other brands are hurting and are harmful to the coral reefs and to the mangroves. Please read my blog about sunscreens to understand this issue.

These little extras will help to make your trip complete and help you to have no regrets. Be prepared and have a wonderful rental vacation in Costa Rica.

Rosemary MacGregor



506-2786 5300

Tags: Costa Rica rental.