I consider myself a seasoned traveler with a few stamps on my passport(s), but whenever I’m going to a new location, I get all sorts of anxiety about what to pack. This will be my first foray into South America and while I want to be prepared, I also want to pack light because we are going to be moving around a lot. We’re leaving in a couple of weeks so it’s about time to start thinking seriously about this.
I feel so fortunate to be going on this trip since I floated the idea last February after seeing a gorgeous brochure for Costa Rica while visiting with friends at a hotel. It was completely random but while we were waiting for them to come down from their room, I meandered over to the brochure table, curious about what sights they were recommending to their visitors. I was captivated by the beautiful photos and description of the sights of South America.
The brochure was actually for a yoga retreat and I pictured myself going solo for a week to partake in yoga, meditation, and the spa while also making time to take in the beauty of the country. Our friends had been wanting to visit Costa Rica and the vacation turned into a two family endeavor with our eleven-year-old sons. The friend took the reigns and planned the entire trip with a travel agent and input from us here and there and managed to get us book us first-class airline tickets at a quarter of the price due to a glitch with the airline. I am grateful to the planners of this world!
In order to get a grasp on the trip ahead, my first step was to really look at the detailed itinerary our friend provided a few weeks ago. How much walking/hiking will be involved (I was told not much) and any notes from the travel agent about recommended things to bring (none were on the itinerary). I knew I would need to break my Lenten shopping ban to pick up a few needed items like closed toe hiking sandals, moisture-wicking clothes, and a small backpack. I decided a selfie stick would be a good investment so we could get pictures with all of us. I also want to be sure to get a good first aid kit together for the kids because I know mine will need something at some point. Bug spray and sunscreen, check.
I hope to have everything gathered by the end of the week (thank you Amazon Prime!) and then I can spend the next week arranging and rearranging everything in my bag. And of course, I have to plan for Liam too.
Here’s a brief synopsis of our itinerary. If you have any suggestions, please don’t hesitate to let me know!
Day 1: Arrive in San Jose (we have the afternoon and evening free to explore)
Day 2: Irazu Volcano (near Cartago)
Day 3: Tortuguero (Braulio Carrillo Park and Tortuguero National Park)
Day 4: Tortuguero Canals
Day 5: Tortuguero Arenal
Day 6: Horseback riding to la Fortuna Waterfall/ Sky Adventure Hanging Bridges, Aerial Tram and Zip-lining
Day 7: Coffee and sugarcane tour near San Jose