So you’ve signed up for a Pura Vida Adventures surf and yoga camp! We are so excited for you; it will be the vacation of a lifetime! What should I pack for surf camp, you ask? We have a few tips to get your packing list started!
Happily, the water in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica, is warm and comfortable all year long. With the average annual water temperature a balmy 83º, there is no need for a wetsuit during a surf camp in Costa Rica. Of course, what you choose to surf in is a personal preference, but we have learned a few things along the way…
If you burn easily, dislike lathering up with zinc-based sunscreen, or have sensitive skin, we strongly suggest long sleeve one-piece surf suits and/or surf leggings. Wearing these keeps you covered and protected when you are in the waves for several hours at a time. If you want to live the dream of surfing in a bikini (we get you!), we suggest finding ones with a tight fit that will stay put if, ahem–when, you wipe out. We prefer ones that have drawstring cinching on the sides or the back. Make sure the top has a high neck or crossing in the back to help things stay secure.
Pura Vida Adventures will also provide you with a long-sleeved rash guard to keep you protected while you are surfing. Wearing this on top of whatever swimsuit you wear is a great way to stay covered up. Just make sure to choose a size that fits snugly, as fabric often loosens up in the water.
Some people prefer to wear reef shoes or booties when they surf certain breaks because of rocks. If you have sensitive feet, you may want to invest in a pair. There are inexpensive reef shoes in Santa Teresa, but if you are a dedicated surfer, you may want to bring surf-specific booties with you.
Think cover-ups, tank tops, shorts and rompers. No need for high heels or long sleeves here. You may want some casual dresses for going out to enjoy the local restaurants during your free time during the retreat. Evenings are warm, so you may never need a jacket, but we suggest bringing a light one, a wrap or a sweater, just in case.
Our surf and yoga retreats offer daily yoga classes in a beautiful open-air shala, so bring some comfortable clothes to move in. Yoga pants can also double as surf leggings if they are tight enough!
Many of us here in Costa Rica have our “beach” flip-flops and our “going out” flip-flops. Bringing a pair of each is perfect! The beach flip-flops should be an inexpensive pair, as you may end up tucking them away under some random piece of driftwood and leaving them unattended while you are surfing. Save the nicer pair for going out on the town. We also recommend bringing a pair of closed-toed shoes for walking on their road or if you choose to go on an adventure such as zip lining or horseback riding.
Of course, you all know what to pack in your personal toiletry kit, so we won’t discuss that in too much detail! Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, medications, you get it…
A couple of things you might not have thought of include: your favorite sunscreen and a mini-med kit. While there is sunscreen available for purchase here, you may not find the selection you want, and the options may be a little pricey. A mini-med kit with a few painkillers, ear drops, Pepto-Bismol tablets, etc., is never a bad idea.
Please remember your passport…if your passport expires within three months of your expected travel dates, it may behoove you to get an updated passport. Bring pictures of or copies of your travel and flight information and confirmation numbers, along with contact numbers. WhatsApp is commonly used all over Costa Rica, even with businesses, so it would be helpful to have these numbers. In Costa Rica, you can use US dollars and Costa Rican colones, so bring either or both. If you bring dollars, make sure they are fairly perfect bills, as bills that are torn, marked or taped are often refused. We suggest bringing a credit or debit card and letting your bank know you will be traveling abroad so the card isn’t blocked. Don’t forget your phone charger, too. Also, please remember to bring a reusable water bottle; one that is well-insulated will make you happiest!
To make your vacation more pleasant, you may want to bring bug spray, earplugs, a sleep mask, hats and sunglasses. You may also want a beach bag and a book or e-reader for your downtime.
For more information about what to pack and bring with you, we’ve got you covered! We will send you a detailed list as part of your packet of information after you have registered for a Pura Vida surf camp.