following packing list was adapted from the blog of a very helpful former
which has proven to work very
well for our delegations. Please be sure to include any personal
items you know you will need.
Remember: the weight limit for checked bags is 50
lbs - you will be charged if you exceed this limit.
review SOUTHWEST information for both checked and carry on baggage:
"So, youíve been accepted as a volunteer at Aviarios Del Caribe
First, congratulations! Youíre going to have the time of your life.
Second, I AM SO JEALOUS OF YOU RIGHT NOW. Take me with you! Taaaaaakeee meeeee
Alright. So over the two years I looked at the sanctuaryís website, it was
evolving faster than I could keep up with. Information about volunteering would
come and go, and now I think it may be entirely removed. This is in no way
official, but from one volunteer to another, hereís what is essential on the
pack list (from my experience).
I am someone who overpacks EVERYWHERE I go. For Costa Rica, I miraculously
packed perfectly. I took a small/medium sized bag, a carry on (full of donation
stuff) and a backpack. I also packed a week before, something I never do, but
it took SO MUCH STRESS out of the process!
- Light to Medium
sweatshirt. (I took a light sweatshirt and couldíve used one a little
heavier. Some nights it got pretty cool. I remember one bus ride back from
Puerto Viejo where I was actually freezing.)
- Lightweight long sleeved shirts. I took
three cotton button downs and they were AWESOME. I wore them over
camisoles/tank tops and loved them for the mosquito protection. As a bonus,
one I bought from Sports Challet was a UV protection one. It also cost me
- Camisoles/tank tops. Couldnít have enough
of them. Iíd pack at least five (figuring a 2 week stay and laundry is done
once a week for you).
- T-Shirts. 2 or 3. More if you prefer them
over tank tops.
- Convertible pants. Shorts and pants in one
nifty package! Awesome! I wore them on chilly mornings and on Brady walks
for added mosquito protection. I bought these in gray since they were
low-rise and young, as most I found were too grannyish. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004QS8XJW/ref=oh_details_o02_s02_i00
- Jeans. I took one pair.
- Shorts. 3-4 pair.
- 2 Bras.
- Underwear. Iíll let you determine how many
you need. I changed twice a day. So keep that in mind.
- Swimsuit. Try at least once to relax on
the beach for a day. You can thank me later.
- Socks. 5-7 pair. Your feet will sweat and
stink. I am someone who doesnít sweat or stink but I sure as hell did
- Going out clothes. I didnít bring anything,
but all the other girls had a cute top or dress for going out to Cahuita.
- Solid pair of
athletic shoes with good tread, for any jungle trail walking, and working in
Thatís all I needed in the way of shoes. I also took a heavy duty pair of muck
boots and an athletic pair of mary janes. I didnít use them. Waste. Of. Space.
- Backpack. I took a
medium sized Camelback (water pouch removed) and it was AWESOME. Loads of
pockets and places to hide things, organize things, etc. It was PERFECT.
It also doubled as a nice daypack for my day off.
- Beach towel.
- Mini head lamp or flashlight. Youíll want
one of those for getting around at night or if you want to stay up and
read/journal while your roommate is sleeping.
- Smartphone and charger. Stay as connected
(or not!) as you want to to home. Itís also a back up camera and one thatís
convenient to keep on you at all times since sloths are ALWAYS DOING
SOMETHING CUTE. I filled mine up with over 600 photos.
- Binoculars. I bought a small pair.
Perfect for scoping the monkeys (los monos congos) making a commotion all
day and all night outside our cabana!
- A book.
- Camera. I had three between my iPhone,
Canon 550D, and Canon point and shoot. I am extremely grateful I did.
- MEMORY CARDS. BIG ONES. However many you
think you need, quadruple it. I took about 100 gigs worth of cards and
filled up every one. That being said, I shot a lot of 1080p HD video on the
Canon 550D which eats a lot of space.
- PENS. Several. Trust.
- Wash cloth. The commodity I missed the
most since I didnít pack one and they donít give you one.
- Snacks. A few granola bars or fruit/nut
packs can be lifesavers when you donít like whatís for dinner. There ainít
no Dominoes or Subway down there.
- Apron. Good for working with the babies.
I forgot to wear mine until the last day. I have many sloth-poo stained
shirts to prove it. And Claire the Poo Lady will get a kick out of it (tell
her Lyndsey told you to bring one!).
- Purse. I didnít take one and I wished I
did. Something just big enough to carry my passport (or preferably, a copy
WITH YOUR CR ENTRANCE STAMP ON IT), money and my iphone. I took a money
belt and never wore it once. Way too cumbersome and it SCREAMS tourist.
Just get something that will stay on you and close to your body and at the
front of your body. I used my point and shoot camera case since I was in a
- Hand sanitizer and wipes. Iím a germaphobe.
Everything to me is yucky and will give me terrible diseases. Please note
they confiscate this from you at the SJO airport upon your departure unless
it is in a checked bag. They donít care about the 2 oz. rule.
- Earplugs. God forbid you get a roommate
that snores. That, and the rainforest is alive with all sorts of sounds at
night. The burst of rain woke me up on numerous occasions and I am a HEAVY
sleeper! But it sounded like the world was flooding!
- Re-usable water bottle. A ďBobbleĒ might
be a good idea, though I didnít take mine.
- Pocketknife. Never used mine but you never
- Have a pen on the plane for customs
- Keep in mind that you should bring
UNSCENTED toiletries (lotions, deodorants...etc). The sloths don't like
- Also, for their safety, DO NOT wear
sunscreen or bug repellant when you are working with the sloths (you won't
need them then anyway).
- For walks in the
jungle and being outside at night: BUGSPRAY BUGSPRAY BUGSPRAY BUGSPRAY. I
have it down to a fine science. Go here:
Please note they confiscate this from you at the SJO airport upon your
departure unless it is in a checked bag. ďToxins!Ē
- Anti-sting medicine. You will need it. [I
still have a scar from whatever bit me there]
- Anti-itch medicine. YOU ABSOLUTELY WILL
Band-aids. YOU WILL ABSOLUTELY NEED THEM. I went thru
an entire box and someone elseís box. Below was from day 1 at camp when I
took part of my knuckle off with a vegetable peeler preparing sloth food.
- Neosporin. YOU WILL
ABSOLUTELY NEED IT. [see: all of the above photos]
- Soap. Bar and liquid.
- Hair ties.
- Small pair of scissors (check your bag so
they donít get confiscated at the airport!)
- Tweezers. (see above)
- B-vitamins, vitamins in general, or Emergen-C
packets. B-vitamins supposedly help ward off mosquitoes. I took loads
before I went on the trip and while I was there and I suffered from not
nearly as many bites as others.
- Make-up if you want (I took the bare
essentials: foundation, cover up, eyeliner)
- Chapstick. Itís humid enough you probably
wonít need it, but I like it no matter where I am.
- Blow dryer if you canít live without one.
I lived without one just fine.
- Benadryl. I donít have allergies. I had
- Pain medication like advil or aspirin.
and/or face wipes.
Costa Rica the electric system is 120 Volts
and frequency 60 Hertz. If your
device does not accept electricity at
this voltage you
will need an adapter. Outlets in Costa Rica
generally accept 1 type of plug: Flat blade
Well. There you have it. I hope this list helps you!
And hey, most importantly, have an amazing time. Itís kinda hard not to."