Surf Retreat Packing Suggestions for Coasta Rica

Airport Transfers:

Some people will fly into San Jose (SJO) and some will fly into Liberia (LIB).  Liberia will be a more expensive flight, but only 45 minutes to the ocean. Transfer to and from LIB is included with all retreat packages. San Jose will be a cheaper flight but a five hour ride to the hotel. Thirty dollars of SJO transportation is included with your retreat package. There are several transportation options to Playa Grande. 1. Rent a car ($300-$700) 2. Local Bus ( $30 makes lots of stops, will take 10 hours) 3. Public Tourist Bus ($75 takes about 7 hours) and 4. A private tourist van will be $250 each way (recommended). These vans seat up to six people so you can share the cost. Your arrival time will determine how many people can share a ride.  We will set this up for you once your flight info is emailed to us at  Please contact us with any questions.      

Try to travel light.  You will spend most of your time in a bikini or boardshorts! 

Additional Notes:

  • Travel Insurance is recommended* (Average cost $50.00)
  • Tips: Call your bank/credit card company and let them know that you'll be traveling outside the country. Traveler's checks are not that widely accepted, so we don't recommend them. Bring enough cash for food, gifts, and emergency. $200-$400 per person is plenty. There are ATMS and credit cards are widely accepted. Majority of places take US dollars.
  • DO NOT EXCHANGE CASH in the airport. The rate is very unfavorable and you will be able to get a better exchange on colones (unit of money) at the bank.
  • If you have clothes to donate, bring with you stuff to wear and leave for the locals
  • Safety: In general, Costa Rica is one of the safest countries outside of the US. Petty theft is the most common crime encountered by tourists. It's best to be discrete with electronics, money, and jewelry or leave at home.


  • Passport Leave a copy of passport with a reliable person back in the states and one in your luggage.
  • Airline Tickets and copy of itinerary
  • Driver's License or ID card
  • List of emergency phone numbers
  • Clothing What you bring is totally up to you.  

Essential Items:

This is just a guide add or subtract as needed. Remember, you can buy most everything in Costa Rica

  • wetsuit top (ocean upwelling can occur anytime, you never know)
  • 2-3 tank tops
  • 2 t-shirts
  • 2 shorts
  • lounge outfit
  • board shorts
  • long sleeve shirt
  • light hoodie
  • 2-3 bathing suits
  • 2-3 Athletic wear outfits when doing yoga and fitness
  • 1 "nice" outfit for our dinner night out on the town
  • jeans or pants travel in your jeans and close toed shoes to save room
  • undergarments
  • running or hiking shoes
  • flip flops


  • We will have a complete first aid kit, but it's good idea to travel with band-aids, anti-bacterial ointment, pain relievers, anti-histamine, calamine lotion, etc. There are local pharmacies where most medication is available
  • Prescription Meds
  • Laundry detergent
  • Razor
  • Tweezers
  • Nail clippers
  • Extra Contacts, lens solution, eye glasses
  • Q-tips
  • Tooth Brush and paste
  • Dental Floss
  • Soap
  • Shampoo & Conditioner

Miscellaneous Items:

  • Cell phone and charger: Your smart phone will be able to connect to wifi
  • Energy bars
  • Plastic and zip-loc bags: Needed for toiletries in some airports, good for storage
  • Hat
  • 2 pairs of sunglasses
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Flash light
  • 2 Beach Towels
  • Bug spray
  • Lotion
  • Beach bag or back pack for hikes and trips to the beach
  • Zinc and/or Waterproof sunscreen SPF 30 or higher for your face and for the body
  • Spanish Dictionary: knowing spanish is not essential while traveling to Costa Rica, locals appreciate the effort in tourists attempting to speak spanish
  • Reading Material