Click Here for a Printable Packing List

First: What Not to Bring

Leave your rubies, emeralds, and heirloom watches at home. You won’t need them here, and if you don’t have them you can’t lose them in the surf.  Travel light ~ you don’t need much here: it’s the tropics!

Now, What to Bring!

  • Passport (valid for at least six months after your arrival into Costa Rica) – (Note: if coming to Iguana Lodge from South America or Africa – you may need a yellow fever shot to get into the country. There is no yellow fever in Costa Rica.)
  • Credit Card: Visa, MasterCard. AMEX is not used here much (although we can take it for reservations). Visa and Mastercard. Credit Cards are welcomed throughout the country
  • Cash – American dollars are fine: we don’t recommend exchanging U.S. Dollars for Costa Rican colónes before arrival into the country or at the International Airport, as the exchange rate is bad. U.S. Dollars are readily and cheerily accepted throughout Costa Rica
  • Flashlights – or use your phone. Headlamps for anyone hoping to go on a night hike. Phones with flashlight apps are great for around the lodge, but not if you are going to explore a river in the dark looking for poisonous night snakes.
  • Clothing:
  • 1 pair of long pants (you can use these on the airplane, as a cover up for sunburn, and you may want to hike in them, although most people prefer to hike in shorts)
  • 1 long sleeve shirt for sunburn protection
  • Light sweater or jacket (really you just need this for the airplane ride – if you are coming during our rainy season (April through November) you may want to toss in a light rain jacket or poncho, although inexpensive ones can be purchased here if you really need one – and the rain is warm.)
  • 2 – 3 pairs of shorts/skirts
  • 2 – 4 T-shirts, tank tops, casual shirts and/or blouses
  • 1 – 2 swimsuits (we provide sarongs in the rooms that you can use as cover-ups and as beach/pool towels – they dry a lot faster than normal towels here – and they look lovely and tropical.)
  • 1 casual dresses or skirt is totally optional and just for fun (especially if you plan on salsa dancing, although many Costa Rican women prefer jeans)


  • Flip-flops, Tevas or Crocs or combo thereof – any shoes that dry easily are highly recommended
  • Runners or hiking shoes – chances are whatever you bring will get wet, and some shoes dry better than others
  • 1 -2 pairs of socks
  • Salsa dancing shoes only for the intrepid dancers (although a trip to town is fun to buy shoes, and flip flops work well too)


(all items listed below are also generally available in town, in case you forget to bring them, or prefer to travel light)

  • Sunscreen – or get it town
  • Bug juice (optional with 15%+ deet) – or get it in town
  • Advil or the like
  • Neosporin
  • Antibiotics (some folks like to travel with Cipro and other antibiotics). The water in Costa Rica is fine to drink – not like Mexico.

Technical equipment

  • Phone charger
  • Extra sets of Eye Glasses? Several guests have lost theirs in the surf… guests tend to lose their focus after that.
  • Travel Alarm (if planning early morning birding excursions, etc)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Camera (with a decent battery – try not to forget your charger)
  • 1 small day or hip pack for day hikes
  • 1 flashlight per person – those visiting us during turtle season (May – November) should bring flashlights with a red light.
  • Binoculars for birders and avid jungle enthusiasts (I know it’s silly to remind birders of this!)
  • Ziploc baggies to keep things dry – If you bring snacks… studies show that even double bagging in ziplocs sometime won’t keep the bugs out – (persistent little guys!)
  • Dry bags if you are planning on doing a lot of hiking up rivers or kayaking (most kayak companies provide these)
  • A mask and snorkel if you would like to enjoy our nearby reef, although you can buy cheap versions in town. We used to supply them, but have lost way too many in the surf!
  • Iguana Lodge does provide beach and pool sarongs, sand mats, and yoga mats


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