Either you’ve decided to come do a Costa Rica vacation or surf and yoga camp with Bodhi Surf School, or you’re looking into it and want to get an idea of what to expect. One of the big questions that you may be wondering as you plan your tropical vacation is — what should I pack?
So here is the official Bodhi Surf Packing list, which I will break into two parts: mandatory and suggested. Keep in mind that both Bahia Ballena and the bordering town of Uvita are quite small, and it will be difficult to find some of the items on these lists, so we can’t stress enough: come prepared with items that you are comfortable wearing or using (already broken in, if possible)!
- Bathing suits. Guys: comfortable board shorts, at least two pairs. Girls: there’s so much more to be said about acquiring a good surf bathing suit, luckily I’ve already written a blog post on this subject.
- Hat. The sun here is much stronger than in other parts of the world, and a wearing a hat diligently while out in the sun will help to prevent sunburns, heatstroke, and dehydration. If you are very concerned about burning, we suggest a waterproof hat with a chin strap to wear while surfing.
- Sunglasses. The sun and saltwater can do a number on the eyes, so bring your sunglasses! If your eyes are sensitive, polarized are always recommended for sun protection. If you’re worried about losing or damaging your sunglasses, it may be a good idea to bring a cheapie pair for the beach and other activities.
- Sandals. Flip flops are the Bodhi favorite for going to the beach.
- Shirts. Bring a variety of t-shirts and tank tops, if you’re coming between the months of June-November, you may want to bring a light sweater or jacket as well as it can cool off at night.
- Shorts. Bring several pairs, and again, if you’re coming between June-November, you may also want to bring light pants.
- Comfortable yoga clothes. Breathable fabrics are highly recommended as sweating is unavoidable!
- Waterproof Sunscreen. While it is available to purchase down here, it is quite a bit more expensive and there is significantly less selection.
- Reusable water bottle. The water here is potable (and delicious)! We at Bodhi Surf School care greatly about the environment and thus try to reduce our plastic consumption, and we hope you will join us in this effort.
- Running or hiking shoes. There are many worthwhile places to see in the area which involve walking or hiking, and paths can be anywhere from in perfect condition to mildly treacherous, therefore we highly recommend a closed-toe shoe with good grip.
- Day backpack. Great for the beach, hikes/walks, and other tours.
- Camera. It’s a beautiful area, and you’ll probably want to brag about your trip when you go home. GoPros with durable casings and waterproof/breakproof cameras are recommended if you want action shots (Costa Rica seems to have a way of destroying cameras).
- Books or magazines. The Bodhi Surf Lodge does not have any televisions on premises, but there are plenty of comfy areas to lounge around and read! We have a small library here, but you may want to use this time to power through your personal reading list.
- Personal rash guard. Bodhi Surf School does have rash guards, but most people who are surfing more than once like to bring their own (to ensure a good fit and to prevent rashes). Ladies with sensitive skin: rashes on the knees are quite common, so we recommend that you look into rash guard pants (or simply bring some tight yoga pants that cover the knees) if you have very sensitive skin.
- Yoga mat & towel. If you already practice yoga and have your own gear, it is recommended that you bring your own yoga mat and especially your towel as those are an important part of your yoga practice. If you don’t have your own gear or don’t have space to bring it, not a big deal — we have yoga mats!
- Natural insect repellant. This isn’t a huge issue here, but sometimes it’s nice to have for evenings on the beach when there are sometimes biting bugs.
- Some cash. Credit cards are widely accepted and there are several ATMs in town, but it’s always good to have some cash on hand at the beginning of your trip.
- Toiletries & medications. Again, most things can be found here but just in case, best to bring your own!
- Earplugs & eye mask. Only if you have issues sleeping. We are located within the community and there are certain sounds associated with that: birds, dogs, music, weed whackers, etc. Also, keep in mind that it gets light between 5-6am.
- Dressy outfit. There are several nice places to go out for dinner if you feel like treating yourself; there is no dress code here at the beach in Costa Rica but you may feel like getting dressy at least once during your stay! Keep in mind, dressy here is actually pretty casual: sun-dresses for girls and short-sleeved button up shirts/non-sport shorts for guys.
If you have any other specific questions, you can email us at email@example.com. If you have already done a yoga and surf trip with Bodhi Surf and see any items that are missing that you found indispensable, we’d love to hear what they are!