Wet vs. dry season in Central America
Essentials to bring with you to Nicaragua and Costa Rica
- Bikini / board shorts – bring all the pairs you’ve got, even purchase some new ones upon arrival. There will be very few times that you’ll be living outside of your beach gear.
- Rashguard – cheaper to buy at home and you’ve got more choice. Provides SPF protection and will serve as a barrier between you and the board.
- Sunscreen – 50 SPF water-resistant sunscreen for the beach and zinc paste for surfing. Bring double the amount of sunscreen you usually need as your favorite brand may not be available here and in general it is at least double the price. Zinc you can purchase at camp, we’ll explain why/how to use it.
- Hat / sunshades – it’s the tropics, it’s hot and sunny (even in the wet season) 🙂 Any wide-brimmed hat will do, the sunshades should be polarized if possible or with very dark lenses at least. The sun is very strong, protect your eyes!
- Mosquito repellent – some sources recommend DEET, others mentioned mosquito repellent wristbands. At Rapture Surfcamps we’ve got our own home-made natural lemongrass oil repellent that you are welcome to use as much as you need. Tried and tested by everyone at camp, it sure doesn’t let the bugs bug you 🙂
- Flashlight / headlamp – you may need it to light the path for you if you venture out at night or it may come handy if you stay in a dorm and don’t want to bother everyone else sleeping when you come back late at night.
- Sarong for girls (or just a light towel for guys) – you can use it as a beach dress / towel. Bath towels are provided at camp.
- Power banks / battery packs – if the electricity goes out or if you are on a long bus trip, you don’t want to be caught up without your electronics fully charged. Plugs are 110 Vt, US/Canada standard, plan accordingly and bring your adapters.
- Hiking / water shoes – in general flip flops and sneakers should do, but if you plan to go on adventures bring hiking shoes and sports sandals/water shoes.
- Day pack – in addition to a large backpack / suitcase, consider bringing a small day pack for hiking trips and runs to town.
- Waterproof phone case (cord that hangs on your neck) – if you’d like to use your camera while adventuring on land and water, buy a waterproof case and a cord hanging off your neck. You don’t want to drop or soak your phone while rafting, horseback riding, or going on boat trips. For surfing you need a special case for your GoPro.
- Travel insurance – we hope you wont need it but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get it 🙂 We recommend WorldNomads for all your adventure travel.
- First aid kit – we’ve got you covered at camp with basic wound treatment and illness prevention but you may want a kit if you plan to venture on your own and do volcano hikes, camping trips and other adventures.
- Visas – visitors from most countries can get a 90-day tourist visa to Costa Rica and Nicaragua upon arrival. Have a round trip ticket, you may be asked to show a return ticket at entry (and pay $10 in Nicaragua). Check your country’s exact visa requirements before you travel.
Additional items to bring in rainy season
- Sturdy raincoat or poncho that covers your backpack too – trust us, when it rains, it pours
- Long pants – preferably water-proof if you have such or hiking pants that unzip under the knee
- Warm clothes – one sweatshirt / sweater, pair of jeans / long pants and a warm hat if you plan to hike at altitude
We can’t wait to show you the beauty of this piece of paradise called Central America. Don’t hesitate to ask us questions should any part of the travel concern you!