10 Things You Must Bring to Monteverde
What Should I Bring to Monteverde, Costa Rica?
For the last decade, I have been helping people plan their dream vacation to Monteverde, Costa Rica, and one of the top questions I frequently get is “What should I bring to Monteverde?”. So, after speaking with hundreds of customers, I developed the below list of items you should bring with you on your visit to Monteverde.
Let’s dive in:
You should bring the following items on your visit to Monteverde:
- Warm Clothing
- Hiking Boots
- Insect Repelling
- Dry Bags
- An Alarm Clock
- A Money Belt
- A Small Medical Kit
Temperatures are a lot cooler in Monteverde than the beach, especially at night when the high humidity makes it feel pretty cold.
Hardly any hotel or lodge will have an in-room heating system, so bring long pants, long sleeve shirts, and lightweight jackets.
Raincoat (or Waterproof Jacket)
Though the rainy season in Costa Rica generally goes from May through November, in Monteverde, it can rain at any time of year.
You can always buy raincoats, “ponchos,” and jackets in Santa Elena (the town next to Monteverde), but it might not be the best quality and a bit pricey, so bring your own.
And be sure to take it with you when you head out to one of the parks. It might look pretty sunny in your lodge, but weather conditions can change pretty quickly. Monteverde has more than five climate zones, so that the sun might be shining in Santa Elena while it’s pouring rain in the Monteverde Could Forest Reserve, for example.
You’re visiting Monteverde to hike, walk, and explore, and some trails can get pretty muddy, so bring some sturdy shoes.
Closed-toe hiking boots or sneakers are best because of ants and other biting insects, and you may want them to have ankle support.
Sunscreen in Costa Rica can be pretty expensive (sometimes up to 3 times what it would cost in your country), so be sure to bring as much as possible. Make sure it is at least SPF 30 (though I prefer 50+); it doesn’t sweat off that easily and feels lightweight.
Compared to other areas of the country, mosquitoes are generally not a problem in Monteverde. However, some will most definitely lurk around, especially in the parks early in the morning and then again at dusk (when you go out to a night tour or dinner). Try to go for a natural option like lemon-eucalyptus sprays. And remember to be quick and efficient at closing the door behind you whenever you go into your room/cabin at night.
Dry bags will come in handy to keep humidity off your electronics. You may also want to bring a few of those silica packets from old shoe boxes to keep the inside of your dry bag or camera case moisture-free. Bringing bags will be especially recommended during the rainy season (May through November) but valuable any time of the year.
Many hotels and lodges in Costa Rica don’t have alarm clocks, and neither do they offer a wake-up call service. Either bring along your cell phone and use that as an alarm or invest in a small alarm clock. It will come in pretty handy to get you on time for breakfast or morning tours, especially for those tours where you need to start early, such as the Monteverde Cloud Forest Tour at the Monteverde Reserve.
Money Belt (and Cash)
Overall, our country is pretty safe. Especially in touristy areas like Monteverde, however, like anywhere else in the world, crime does occur from time to time. Money belts and Passport Holders will be helpful, especially if you plan to use public transportation. They keep money and IDs hidden and safe.
On the other hand, cash is king in a small town like ours, especially to small businesses like ours who will appreciate it if you can pay with cash. Other small businesses will not take credit cards at all, so it’s helpful to bring some extra 20 mil bills (equivalent to approximately 40 USD). Having cash will also come in handy for some tours, such as tipping a tour guide after a night tour, for example. You can add a tip to your bill in other countries, but that is not possible in Costa Rica due to tax laws and regulations.
Small (Basic) Medical Kit
A small medical kit can become pretty helpful for minor injuries while hiking, like scrapes and cuts. Most parks, lodges, and restaurants will have their kits, but that will be of little help if you are deep in the forest, a couple of hours away from reception so bring with you something small and basic to erg on the side of caution.
Flashlight (or Headlamp)
In remote destinations like Monteverde, you will want a flashlight. Lighting is used little in these places. Monteverde is full of eco-lodges such as Hotel El Bosque. These lodges tend to be pretty dark because they keep light at a minimum for multiple reasons. For example, some of them are right in the heart of a private forest with many animals living around the surrounding areas, which might be affected by excessive light. Eco-lodges in Monteverde also keep lights down to be more eco-friendly by cutting back on using less power. Headlamps are pretty versatile, too, and just like flashlights, they will come in especially handy during a night tour. Usually, before starting a night tour, the tour guides who lead the walk will provide you with flashlights, but they can be low in quality, so it’s better if you carry your own. A flashlight will also be handy if you plan to walk at night because, overall, Monteverde is pretty dark, just like most small towns in Costa Rica.
Reach Out For More Specific Questions
The above list should cover all the essential items you need during your Monteverde, Costa Rica visit. But if you have a specific situation that requires you to bring certain things, and you are not sure if they will be helpful or allowed in the country, feel free to reach out, and our team will happily assist you.
About the Author
I am the founder of Monteverde Tours Online. I live in Monteverde, and I love nature, adventure, and Mountain Biking. My partner and I love spending time in the outdoors and dining out in Monteverde. We have more than 30 years of combined experience in the area, and there is no park, no coffee shop, and no restaurant we haven’t tried at least once!
We love helping visitors, connecting them with the different tours and activities to have a memorable experience in Monteverde.
If you need help planning things to do in the area, send us a message, and we will happily assist you!