Cultural Experience | Costa Rica

Weekend Warrior: Costa Rica

What to bring, see and do for a seamless weekend in this Caribbean paradise.

If you’re looking for the perfect combination of relaxation and adventure in a destination, look no further than Costa Rica. Last March, I traveled to Playa Hermosa for a spring break getaway. A year later, I’m still dreaming about the black sand beaches and breathtaking sunsets. If you’re thinking about experiencing this Caribbean island for yourself, this all-in-one guide is for you!

Traveled from: Ft. Lauderdale to Costa Rica

Arrived by: Spirit Airlines

Stayed at: Sandpiper Inn— Highly recommended!

Visited: Playa Hermosa and Jaco

What to bring:

Costa Rica packing guide image

1. Sun dress— Something easy to throw on over a bathing suit and wear into the evening without getting too hot. Like these.

2. Beach bag— I usually bring a linen Free People shopping bag as it hardly takes up any room in my suitcase.

3. Sunglasses— For obvious reasons, you’re going to need these.

4. Bathing suit— Pack at least one! You’ll be living in it all weekend.

5. Sunscreen— The UV rays are extremely strong in Costa. Don’t forget to reapply frequently! Love this one from Neutrogena

6. Wet brush—This brush can tackle even the worst ocean-induced tangles.

7. Sandals— The black sand in Playa Hermosa is scorching hot during the daytime! You’ll want to wear these until you hit the water.

Costa Rica black sand playa hermosa image

8. Sneakers— There are tons of great hiking trails in Costa Rica. Bring these to make sure you’re comfortable.

9. Athletic shirt— I brought a couple of American Apparel racerback tanks to wear while I hiked and during my zip-lining excursion.

10. Athletic shorts— Pair these with the athletic shirt and sneakers for your outdoor adventures.


Surfing— Costa Rica is one of the best surf spots in the world! But while Playa Hermosa is a surfer’s paradise, it’s not ideal for beginners. I rode my first waves in Jaco, which is much calmer. Carton is a great place to rent boards at a fair price!

Costa Rica Jaco Carton surfboards image

Zip-lining— An adrenaline rush in Costa Rica isn’t too tough to find. Zip lining is available all over the island, and the views of the water are incredible.

Trits icecream sandwich—This Costa Rican treat consists of a vanilla ice cream between two graham cracker sugar cookies with a drizzle of chocolate sauce. It’s truly the best ice cream concoction I’ve ever had! You can find them at almost any convenience store on the island. Tip: There is a button of the bottom used to pop the sandwich out of its container with ease.

Graffiti Restro Café— In downtown Jaco, just a quick drive from Playa Hermosa, is a restaurant called Graffiti. It’s a bit pricier than other spots in town, but it’s worth the splurge. The seafood dishes are absolutely incredible and the presentation is even better.

Watch the sunset every night— Costa Rica sunsets are hands down the most beautiful I’ve ever laid eyes on. Make yourself comfortable and enjoy.

Costa Rica sunset image

Weekend Warrior Packing List Guide To Costa Rica


Jenna Rice

University of Central Florida | 20 stories

Jenna Rice is an alumna of the University of Central Florida. She studied abroad in Florence, Italy and seeks out any opportunity to travel within the U.S. and abroad. When she isn't working on her personal travel blog,, Jenna enjoys scouting out foodie spots, boating, online shopping, spending time with friends and taking ridiculous amounts of photos. Stay up-to-date with Jenna’s travels by following her on Instagram and Twitter at @ricejenna.

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