Home Costa Rica 13 Impressive Items to Elevate Your Vacation Look: What to Wear in Costa Rica

13 Impressive Items to Elevate Your Vacation Look: What to Wear in Costa Rica

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If you’re thinking about what to wear in Costa Rica, then you’re in the right place. This is your ultimate fashion guide for Costa Rica

what to wear in costa rica pin
what to wear in costa rica pin

This isn’t the best Costa Rica packing list. You’re not going to find out which insect repellent to buy..but we will help you decide what clothes to wear in Costa Rica and what you’ll need to bring to Costa Rica to create the perfect outfits. 

woman in bathing suit near infinity pool in costa rica

What to Wear in Costa Rica: 13 Impressive Items

Adventure trips in Costa Rica are popular. It’s the type of rugged jungle destination where you can trek through mud, find monkeys on your balcony, and expect an unexpected rain shower. The most exciting things to do in Costa Rica include hiking, whitewater rafting, and snorkeling. But… that doesn’t mean you can’t plan stylish outfits! 

woman on chair swing in beach in Costa Rica

Wondering, how to dress in Costa Rica? What people wear in Costa Rica? These are the essential items that you’ll need if you’re wondering what to wear in Costa Rica in September or any other month. After this, you’ll have an idea of what to pack for a Costa Rica vacation. 

Weather in Costa Rica

The rainy season in Costa Rica stretches from May through to December, but peaking in September and November. You can expect almost no rain if you visit January through April.

The top places to visit in Costa Rica are beaches, rainforest hiking trails, and wildlife sanctuaries. All the best things to do in Costa Rica are outside! 

So, if you’re thinking about what to wear in Costa Rica in November or what to wear in Costa Rica in June… you know you’ll need a rain jacket and waterproof boots! 

monkey in costa rica

On the other hand, if you’re wondering what to wear in Costa Rica in April or what to wear in Costa Rica in March, you can skip all the heavy rain gear. 

Costa Rica has a warm tropical climate year-round. Highs average in the 80s year-round, and lows bottom out in the mid-60s. 

What to Wear in Costa Rica

While you read through our fashion essentials, you’ll pick up on our style vibe: It’s bright colors, bold prints, and natural materials. Picture yourself standing out amidst the green and brown jungle. Dress up in linen and accessorize with a wicker purse. 

You’ll be contrasting green jungle backdrops, so you want to stand out not blend in!

Since many of the best places to visit in Costa Rica are outdoorsy, we’ve included some versatile fashion essentials that are comfortable while you’re staying active. Pair these basics with the right accessories — and you’ve got the perfect outfit! 

1. Panama Hat

I know you’re wondering ‘what do people wear in Costa Rica?’ 

A Panama hat is one of the most essential items you’ll need while touring Costa Rica attractions. It’s a stylish and functional accessory. Most of the places to go in Costa Rica require you to be outside exposed to the unrelenting sun. 

Besides the sun exposure, the temperatures in Costa Rica can get hot, hot, hot! This hat will protect your head from overheating. It will also protect your face from those nasty UV rays that cause wrinkles. 


You can get these high quality Panama hats from the American Hats store on Etsy.

This is such a great item because it’s incredibly versatile. You can pair it with a linen sundress at the resort or walking around town. You can also pair it with cargo pants and a white short sleeve button down for a jungle-explorer look! That’s one of the best outfits for exploring Costa Rica tourist attractions. 

So, stop wondering what to wear in Costa Rica in December and what to wear to Costa Rica in July… Go out and get a Panama hat! 

2. Jungle Print Swimsuit

woman wears jungle print bikini top, round sunglasses and hoop earrings

A jungle print swimsuit is one of the best items to have for your trip to Costa Rica! It’s what I wore by the pool or during any aquatic activities in Costa Rica. If you’re wondering what to wear white water rafting in Costa Rica, this is it!

Side note for white water rafting: you will be given a wetsuit. So, there’s less reason to worry about losing a piece of your bikini. 😅

You can choose a jungle print that’s floral or leafy. It may also be fun to choose a bold animal print like cheetah or zebra. 

If you’re chillin’ by the pool, you can pair your jungle print swimsuit with bold earrings and a neutral-toned cover-up. If you’re headed out to an adventure activity, you’re better off with shorts and a graphic tee. 

The best free things to do in Costa Rica are beaches & the perfect swimsuit can really upgrade your beach look.

3. Wicker Crossbody

A wicker woven crossbody bag is the best accessory for Costa Rica. It’s made from natural elements that accent the rainforest landscape. 


I’m obsessed with these bags from Made Terra on Etsy.

If you spend a week in Costa Rica, you may realize that it’s largely impoverished. This isn’t the place to bring your designer handbags. So, thinking about accessories, wondering what to wear in Costa Rica in June? A wicket purse is your best friend. 


These awesome Bali Bags are brought to you by Nomad Nextdoor on Etsy.

This item is perfect for relaxing at your resort or hotel accommodation. It can be relaxed, yet formal when paired with a nice sundress and jewelry. Although, it’s nonchalant enough to be worn with cargo shorts and an eco graphic tee when you’re exploring around town. 

Some of the best places to see in Costa Rica don’t require you to work up a sweat. A wicker crossbody is a perfect accessory when you’re visiting an animal sanctuary like the Sloth Sanctuary in Limon. 

4. Raincoat

So, you’ve decided to travel to Costa Rica during the rainy season…and now you’re wondering what to wear in Costa Rica in May or what to wear in Costa Rica in July. You may even be wondering what to wear in Costa Rica in August. 

You’ll definitely need a raincoat! The must-visit places in Costa Rica are especially rainy and muddy during the rainy season. It’s called the rainforest after all! 

woman wears raincoat in Costa Rica rainforest

The best things to do in Monteverde involve the Monteverde Cloud Forest. This place sees 102 inches of annual rainfall! So, it’s really essential to have some rain protection in the form of a light jacket. 

5. Cargo Pants

If you are the adventurous type, you’re probably wondering what to wear zip lining in Costa Rica, what to wear horseback riding in Costa Rica or what clothes to wear in Costa Rica while hiking. 

cargo pants cargo pants

The best things to see in Costa Rica involve a little sweat and grit. Cargo pants are the most essential item for adventure tours in Costa Rica. The best ones are made from a cotton blend so that they’ll be light and comfortable. You’ll want to choose a nude, tan, or brown color in pants. If you pick out green cargo pants, you’ll disappear right into the backdrop of all your pictures. Contrast is your friend. 

cute green cargo pants cute green cargo pants

These pair nicely with a graphic tee, athletic tank, or white short-sleeve button-down. Add your Panama hat to this outfit for added flair. 

This is exactly what to wear ziplining in Costa Rica because you’ll need to protect your legs from those uncomfortable harnesses. Also, these pants will protect your legs from insect bites and sharp leaves. 

The best things to do in Costa Rica in June require an excellent pair of cargo pants!

6. Tie Front Top

A tie front top screams relaxed, beachy, & fun. It’s something you can wear hiking in Costa Rica or during any other fun activities in Costa Rica. 

tie front top in beige casual tie front top in white

Some of the fun things to do in Costa Rica are adventurous. Meaning walking, hiking, exploring. This item is great because it’s casual enough, but it’s also dressed up a bit. You know you’ll want to take a million pictures…so go one step up from athletic wear with this tie front top. 

boho style tie front top floral print tie front top

You can pick a top in a bright color like red, yellow, or orange. This will stand out in the green scenery. Pair with shorts that have a fun pattern, or horizontal stripes. 

If you’re thinking about what to wear in the rainforest of Costa Rica, or Costa Rica in November, you need this!

woman in Costa Rica jugle

7. Floral Midi Dress

What kind of clothes to wear in Costa Rica at night? After the hiking and exploring is complete, you’ll want a change of pace. You’re on vacation after all. So, you’ll need an outfit that’s perfect for walking along the beach, watching the sunset, and swooping off to dinner. 

woman wearing floral dress in Costa Rica

It’s time to wash off the mud, and get all glammed up! Take some stunning photos amidst the soft glow of the sunset and the beautiful Costa Rica scenery. 

orange floral dress red floral dress midi length

You will need the perfect midi dress for this! Something light and colorful, with a pattern that stands out. Floral prints work best here.

flowing orange dress

If you’re still wondering what to wear in Costa Rica in January, or what to wear to Costa Rica in December… stay tuned. 

8. Hiking Sandals 

If you aren’t planning to visit Costa Rica during the rainy season, you may be wondering what shoes to wear in Costa Rica. (Obviously, the shoes to wear in Costa Rica during the rainy season are waterproof hiking boots

If it’s not excessively rainy or muddy, you’ll want to skip the heavy and constricting hiking boots. So, then, what shoes to wear hiking in Costa Rica if you aren’t visiting during the rainy season? Hiking sandals are a must!

white hiking sandals (Teva) platform Teva hiking shoes

Hiking sandals are especially nice to have in Costa Rica because they can be warm and humid. Your feet will get sweaty and icky. Let those babies breathe!

Being comfortable is important while you enjoy Costa Rica sightseeing. A good pair of hiking sandals can be comfortable and stylish. We recommend brands like Teva or Chaco. 

Teva brand hiking sandals teva sandals

Some of the unique things to do in Costa Rica include hiking to a volcano, visiting a bat cave, or exploring a coffee plantation. Your hiking sandals will be the perfect footwear for any of these activities. 

9. Tassel earrings 

Tassel earrings are the perfect accessory for a rainforest vacation. They’re fun and bold, but also cheap and durable. If you lose these, it won’t break your heart. 

rainbow tassels dangling from hoop earrings cream colored hoop earrings with tassels
These cute tassel hoops can be found at Sisters of Summer on Etsy.

They’re also not flashy enough to draw attention. Remember that Costa Rica is a relatively poor country, so you can always run into desperate people that are looking to take advantage of (what looks to be) a rich tourist.

I’ll never forget when we were boarding a flight to San José and a backpacker asked me to put my ring away. This was a gold-plated ring with crystals — not super valuable in my eyes — but I could see how it looked. 

yellow tassel earrings red tassel earrings
These handmade tassel earrings are designed by Cotacoco on Etsy.

Even if you plan to spend most of your time on a resort, it’s probably best to leave your nicer jewelry at home. Tassel earrings are exactly what to wear to Costa Rica in January if you’re looking to accessorize with flair!

10. Waterproof Hiking Boots

So, you’re planning to visit during the rainy season and you’re wondering what wear in Costa Rica in October or what to wear in the rainforests of Costa Rica… The best activities in Costa Rica are going to be quite muddy during the rainy season. 

So, the best shoes to wear in Costa Rica during the rainy season are hiking boots. They’re also ideal for all of you wondering about what shoes to wear ziplining in Costa Rica. You’ll need a pair of closed-toed shoes for ziplining. It’s important to protect your toes during this activity. 

hiking boot hiking boot

Waterproof hiking boots are also great because they protect your feet from sunburn, insects, and irritation that can be caused by surrounding grasses and foliage. 

They’re not only for hiking in rainforests, but you can also wear them in town! So, if you’re wondering what to wear in San Jose Costa Rica… it’s this. 

11. Bright Backpack

A backpack is essential for Costa Rica no matter when you decide to go. You’ll need somewhere to stash your water, sunscreen, room keys & other essentials. 

Many of the things to see in Costa Rica require day trips away from your accommodation. So, you’ll need to prepare well for your activity in advance. The best backpack for Costa Rica is one that will fit all your gear. 

Thinking about what to wear hiking in Costa Rica… you may need layers, a raincoat or hat. You’ll need a place to stash these extra items in case the weather conditions change. 

12. Graphic Tee 

A graphic tee offers the unique opportunity to stay comfortable & active while adding personality and style to your outfit. The best clothes to wear in Costa Rica will help you too look amazing (and get fantastic photos), but also don’t stand out in an obnoxious way. 

Found this “Save the Amazon” Tee at Bibi Tee Shop on Etsy.

A graphic tee can pair with cargo shorts or pants. It will look great with your Panama hat. Complete this outfit with hiking sandals & you’re good to go! What clothes do people wear in Costa Rica off the resort? The vibe is generally relaxed or athletic. 

Considering what to wear in Costa Rica in February, or what to wear to Costa Rica in August, this is one item that can take any outfit from 0 to 100. All along, it’s distinctly you.

13. Cargo Shorts 

Shorts are a necessity! 

So, we’ve already talked about cargo pants… and you may now expect that you’ll also need cargo shorts. You’d be right. The weather is often pretty warm & you’ll be working up a sweat touring the best places to see in Costa Rica.

I love cargo shorts specifically for Costa Rica because they give an explorer-woman vibe. They go perfectly with a Panama hat, jungle-print swimsuit, or graphic tee. 

Many of the activities to do in Costa Rica require a change of clothes. You can layer your cargo shorts over a swimsuit & throw an extra pair of undies in your backpack. 

What do women wear in Costa Rica? Cargo shorts, most certainly. 

Now, you’ll be able to plan the perfect outfits for your trip to Costa Rica 😉

what to wear in costa rica pinwhat to wear in costa rica pin

 

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