If you’re squeezing in some last-minute plans for your 2023 spring break and are wondering what things to bring to Costa Rica, what you should do, and where you should say, then this one’s for you!
Things to Bring to Costa Rica for Spring Break
There are so many packing lists online, you need only search for things to bring to Costa Rica or things to pack for Costa Rica and you’ll have nearly a complete list. That said, here are a few things you really don’t want to forget:
- Reef-Safe Sunblock: The Costa Rican sun is strong! Bring a strong, water-resistant, ocean-safe sunblock and remember to re-apply – often! You may also want to bring extra sun protection, like 50 SPF clothing (ex. rash guards) and hats.
- Variety of Bug Repellent: You may worry that the tropics will eat you alive but the truth is, bugs are usually only a problem in certain environments (think: certain areas of the rainforest) or at dusk/dawn. We recommend bringing a light, natural repellent for everyday use and then packing an additional, more robust variety for some of your more nature-forward adventures.
- Extra Camera Batteries & Memory Cards: Running out of battery power can be catastrophic on vacation! And, while you can buy memory cards locally, it’s easier to just pack an extra (or two).
- Portable Battery Charger: Roaming, bright sunlight, and even 4g connections can do a number on your phone’s battery life. Do yourself a solid and bring a backup battery pack, to ensure you’re always up and running (especially if you use your phone as your camera!).
- Rain Gear (seasonal): If you’ll be here during any months that could possibly see rain (roughly, May through December here in Tamarindo), then we’d recommend packing some rain gear: quick-dry pants, a backpack cover, and a rain slicker, at a minimum. This way, Mother Nature can never rain on your parade.
Other than that, the things to bring to Costa Rica are the things to bring almost anywhere: clothes, hygiene products, medical necessities, makeup, and more. If you need access to specific products – even products that are sold “literally everywhere” back home – then bring them. What is widely available here may not be the same as what’s widely available back home.
But if you’re wondering whether it’s easy to stock up on shampoo and conditioner, or liquid hand soap, or even the above-mentioned sunscreen or repellent here, then the answer is yes. They may be sold at a bit of a premium, since they’re imported, but they are available. Crisis, averted!
What to Do for Spring Break in Costa Rica
As long as we’re talking about things to bring to Costa Rica, don’t forget to bring your sense of adventure, joy, and wonder!
Catamaran Sailing with Open Bar
There is no better way to spend your spring break than sailing. For at least part of your vacation, at least! No exaggeration: Catamaran sailing is one of our personal favorites, offering an ideal way to enjoy the beauty of our coast, stunning landscapes, incredible beaches, and amazing marine life.
We offer shared and private sails aboard several choices of catamaran, from an intimate 37’ perfect for smaller groups to our new 51’ Leopard Powercat with 3 levels, perfect for a celebration. Our catamaran tours can be booked with standard or premium open bar – a great choice for spring break! – paired with snorkeling tours, gourmet catering for snacks and full meals, and ocean equipment, including stand-up paddleboards and ocean kayaks.
The Tamarindo area is one of the world’s most popular sport-fishing destinations, so it’s no surprise that this one makes our list! We offer several tours so you can hunt for a variety inshore ( roosterfish, snapper, grouper, and others) and offshore species (blue marlin, tuna, mahi-mahi or dorado, wahoo, and sailfish).
We operate a variety of boats, each well-equipped and ideal for various types of sport-fishing excursions. Our captains and crew are highly experienced, both in navigating the Pacific and in finding the right areas to throw in your line. Half, three-quarter, and full-day excursions are available on boats up to 48’.
If we had to pick one, you’re-not-going-to-BELIEVE-it! kind of activity, it would be this! Welcome to Rincón de la Vieja Volcano, an active volcano and home to some of the most high-octane adventures in Costa Rica.
Join us on a full-day adventure to this volcano and national park, where you’ll enjoy your choice of combo, which includes everything from zip lining, hiking, and horseback riding, to rock climbing, river tubing, rappelling, and hurtling down a 400-meter jungle waterslide. And, lest we forget, hot springs and volcanic mud baths, of course!
We know, we just said that Tamarindo is a world-renowned sportfishing destination and now we’re going to say it’s a world-renowned surfing destination. The truth is that it really is both. And you really can’t call it spring break without even trying to get up on a board, right?
Whether you’re very experienced or brand-new to surfing, we offer private, semi-private, and group surf lessons for all ages with our local, bilingual surf instructors who have years of experience! And, since a surfboard is not usually one of the things to bring to Costa Rica (unless you’re a serious surfer, we’re also happy to help you find a board rental, if you have the experience and drive to go it alone. Whatever you do, make sure you do surf while here!
Hacienda Pinilla’s Beach Club is more than a luxury retreat on one of Costa Rica’s most beautiful beaches. It’s also our central headquarters for all things fun and leisure – your gateway to snorkeling and swimming, surfing and strolling, lounging, and luxuriating in the lava rock pools.
But of course, it’s also central headquarters for all things fun and leisure. And if that means lying under the palms all day, or swimming in the oceanfront resort pool all day, or lounging in a hammock all day, or ordering food and drinks from the restaurant all day… well, then that’s a great way to spend a day!
Zip-lining is one of those iconic Costa Rican adventures that you really shouldn’t skip, if they appeal to you!
We offer a variety of ways to get up into the canopy and out onto the cables, from combo tours (ex. our Rincón de la Vieja Volcano adventure, above) to a dedicated zip-lining adventure, which takes you out onto nine cables over two hours. Enjoy the view of the lowlands, and if you are lucky you get to see a variety of birds, red macaws, falcons, howler monkeys, white faces coatis, and more!
Where to Stay for Spring Break 2023
Holidays and spring break book up fast at Hacienda Pinilla! Our current Spring Break 2023 availability:
7 Beds | 7 Baths | 24 Guests
Craving a hefty dose of Vitamin Sea? Welcome to beachfront Casa Costa Blanca – a luxury vacation home and the perfect spring break retreat! Located at the edge of sea and sky, infused with the energy of the Pacific and warmed by golden rays of sun, welcome to “the life.”
Casa Costa Blanca is home to two master suites, a separate casita, and double living rooms.. Outdoors, spend your days at the palm-thatched outdoor living area, an expansive infinity pool, a sun-splashed and ocean-view terrace, a heated Jazzuzi, and an outdoor rancho with barbecue, and some of the best ocean views in the country. Your in-house “vacation mom” pulls the entire experience together with cocktail preparation, daily breakfast and lunch, housekeeping and laundry service. Proof positive that you can have it all, if only for as long as spring break.
4 Beds | 4 Baths | 11 Guests
Surrounded by rare tropical dry forest and bordering Hacienda Pinilla’s golf course, Casa Guayacan bids you can relax, enjoy, and wander. Because here, you’re just a quick morning stroll to the pristine beach and championship golf course. You’re also minutes to Hacienda Pinilla’s many amenities.
And yet, Casa Guayacan is your own world: a spring break getaway that includes a private infinity pool and indoor-outdoor living, walls of glass and a calming color palette, enormous bedrooms and master suites with private outdoor access. Casa Guayacan adds an additional star to its spring break amenities cap with a “house mom,” who provides housekeeping, does the laundry, and prepares your daily (except Sundays and holidays) breakfast, lunch, and cocktails.
8 Beds | 8 Baths | 16 Guests
Just steps to the beach and the spectacular Beach Club, Casa Leon is a hidden treasure that promises an extraordinary break for a true spring break, whether you’re a family, group, or several friends traveling together. world of extraordinary promise and unfettered joy.
Here, you’ll find a level of luxury you rarely experience on spring break: a private pool, gourmet kitchen, expansive interiors, indoor-outdoor living, and walls of glass. Add to that daily breakfast preparation and what we could arguably call Hacienda Pinilla’s best location: just a few steps to the sand and, from there, a 60-yard stroll to the Hacienda Pinilla Beach Club.
4 Beds | 5 Baths | 12 Guests
Welcome to everything you could want for spring break: minimalism and hygge (an environment of quiet comfort), luxury amenities and high design. Best of all, you’ll have all this and still be just 200 meters (0.2 miles) to a secluded beach, accessible only to guests.
There is much to love about spacious Casa Navidad. It’s more than the four ensuite bathrooms, incredible outdoor living spaces, shaded terrace, outdoor living room, and indoor-outdoor dining with a grill, wet bar, ice maker, and wine refrigerator. Because it’s also your very own private pool and pickleball court, a dedicated housekeeper and a secluded ambiance.
6 Beds | 4.5 Baths | 13 Guests
Named for Costa Rica’s national flower, the guaria morada (Cattleya skinnier), Casa Orchidea is a Spanish-style mansion within walking distance of a beautiful beach. Welcome to spring break paradise!
Here, spend your relaxation days at your own private infinity-edge pool, on the breezy terrace and balconies, and in the backyard retreat, surrounded by lush greenery. Indoors, this hacienda-style home has wood ceiling beams, a gourmet-ready kitchen, warm textures, and double living rooms – a home where you can gather together and then fan out into your private spaces.
3 Beds | 3 Baths | 11 Guests
If you think that you have to literally go big – as in, a sprawling mansion – to go big for spring break, Casa Palma challenges you to think differently.
Delightfully intimate, Casa Palma offers three bedrooms, each with its own private bath. Gather together in the comfortable living room and around the spectacular live-edge, tree-slice dining table, then head outdoors and enjoy the reason you’re really here: the private courtyard, swimming pool, and poolside patio, where palms sway, the breeze whispers, and your catch of the day sizzles on the grill.
5 Beds | 5 Baths | 10 Guests
Hello, everything you’ve ever wanted! Casa Serena is a take-your-breath-away, next-level kind of home, with labyrinthine indoor-outdoor living and no comfort spared. When it comes to things to bring to Costa Rica, here, the answer is “almost nothing.” Casa Serena nearly has you covered!
This luxury villa delivers on every exquisite detail: beachfront and on the sand, with a custom infinity pool (wrapped around a tree!), a full gym, and an in-home spa room. And we’re just getting started, because Casa Serena also delivers on an upscale spring break experience with its fully equipped gourmet kitchen, breezy terraces, and easy access to morning and evening strolls on the beach. Because it’s right there. And that’s why you’re here.
3 Beds | 3 Baths | 8 Guests
Whether it’s your first time in Costa Rica or if you’re back and looking to do something a little different, you’ll love Villa Alemendro’s two levels overlooking a lake. Yes, a lake. At the beach!
Here, within Hacienda Pinilla, this luxurious condo welcomes you with French doors and a shaded porch, a spacious veranda and views to tall trees and the lake. And indoors, you’ll be treated to three bedrooms and three baths of luxury living and airy interiors – a window into the glories and wonders of exotic Costa Rica and a tropical vacation.
3 Beds | 3 Baths | 11 Guests
When you seek a true retreat – an escape from Real Life, a place to relax and enjoy this much-deserved break from school or work or your everyday – then Villa Olas answers with quiet reserve and a cool sense of style.
Literally named for the waves (olas) that crash so nearby, this luxury villa is not only within walking distance of the beach, but also promises the space and exclusivity. A study in gentle arches and calming palettes, natural woods and graceful curves, its breezy color palette and flowing textiles are designed to evoke feelings of sea and sand.
6 Beds | 6 Baths | 16 Guests
With a nod to minimalist design and a modern aesthetic, Villa Uana is an honest-to-goodness oasis for your spring break wanderings and relaxation. Because here, as much as you want to explore outside, you’ll also want to stay home a bit.
And that’s all thanks to the villa’s walls of glass and double swimming pools – yes, two private pools! Thanks to outdoor night lighting, perfect for a dinner and drinks beneath the stars. To outdoor showers (two of them, of course!) and easy access to Hacienda Pinilla’s skatepark and basketball court. And a dedicated housekeeper (6 days per week), who’s available to prepare your meals (and cocktails), do laundry, and more. Welcome to the best spring break ever!
Things to Bring to Costa Rica: Your Wish List!
Costa Rica’s opportunities can read like one big wish list. Often, the hardest part is whittling it down to what you have time to do.
Did you know that, when you reserve your Hacienda Pinilla, Guanacaste vacation home with us, you gain access to our full concierge services? And by that, we mean an on-the-ground expert whose job is to explore, engage, and do everything. Cris knows her Guanacaste tours!
We know it’s a hard job, but someone had to do it, see it, and experience it all to decide on a few musts. And hey, if it has to be us… well, we accept! Because here at Luxury Villas Pinilla, it’s our job to know Hacienda Pinilla and our surrounding area. And we know a lot!
When you book with us, we’ll get in touch to help you plan all the details of your stay. Our job is to get to know you, so we can help you plan the trip of your dreams. Whether you just need help arranging transportation or would like a full itinerary – everything from your airport shuttle to a full trip’s worth of activities, private chef services, and golf cart rental – we’re happy to help.
Even better, our concierge services are always free. So, why wait? Get in touch and let’s get started!