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What to


The challenge is to travel as light as possible but bring what you think you’ll need. Avoid bringing large, hard suitcases. Be sure to bring a "carry-on" sized daypack to keep with you on orientation walks and days spent in the bus. Expect any bag you bring into the field to get dirty and wet.



•emergency numbers contact sheet

•copy of travel insurance info

•credit card or ATM card for emergencies

•Student ID for discounted entrance fees

•ID tags on all luggage

•some $, as cash and/or traveler’s checks.  US currency is universally accepted!

Bring twice as much as you think you will spend.

laundry is $7/load and can be shared, you are responsible for a few meals while in transit, approximately $8 each, $ for souvenirs such as Cooperative coffee, T shirts



•Lightweight long, short-sleeved shirts and long pants

     (quick drying material, such as cotton & polyester mix, not denim)

•Several pairs of shorts.  Some pants have zippers that can convert to shorts which is handy for changing temperatures.

•light colored T-shirts. tank tops

•light dress or two for women


•Pajamas.  You may wish to include a set of warm pajamas if you tend to get cold

•bathing suit

•warm layers such as sweater, sweatshirt, or  wool shirt etc.

•towel(s); Thin ones are better and dry faster than the thick luxury types

•raingear, such as waterproof jacket or sturdy poncho.  Water proof outer protective pants may be desired.

•Brimmed hat


•comfortable shoes to hike in.  Ideally:

with treads, can get muddy, water resistant or fast drying.

•“Teva” or “Chaco” or Crocs style shoes for Cabo Blanco

•shoes with good grip for wading in rocky intertidal areas, such as

watershoes or tevas or crocs

•socks, approx. 6 pairs (cotton & polyester mix, if possible)


Other essential items:

•a lightweight water bottle



•insect repellent

•Toiletries, such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, floss, comb,

hair ties/barrettes, nail clippers etc.

•Your personal medicines and first aid items such as:                          

small supply of pain reliever, antiseptic, Immodium (for any gastrointestinal upset), hydrocortisone cream for bites, moleskin and Band-Aids for blisters, sanitary supplies for women, vitamins, prescription medication and any other items you are most likely to use.

•extra eyeglasses or contact lenses in case yours get broken or lost.

•One or two good and bright flashlights (lightweight!) You may wish to have one small flashlight to carry with you always, for emergencies.  Headlamps are particularly handy, leaving your hands free.

•extra batteries. Pack batteries in watertight containers

•camera, plenty of memory, batteries, battery charger if appropriate

   • watertight plastic bag or storage container for camera and accesories

   • day pack

   • plastic bags, including ziplocks.  Great for packing wet items.  Bring twice as many as you think you’ll need.

•Field notebook

•Small notepad

•Pencils and small sharpener (or mechanical pencil)

•Pens.  If you desire waterproof ink, one student recommends Faber-Castell brand

•large envelope or plastic folder for handouts and other papers you will accumulate

•a wristwatch or pocket watch so you can meet up with group on time

•travel alarm clock

•snacks for on the go such as raisin-nut mixtures, etc.

•Special foods for those with dietary requirements

OPTIONAL items suggested by previous participants

•Binoculars (college has some to lend with deposit, contact instructor)

•Trekking pole (college has some to lend with deposit, contact instructor)

•Compact field guides or books

•copies of information about your special topic of interest for research

•Compact Spanish-English dictionary


•flip flops

•calculator for use in the field and to calculate exchange rates

•glue stick or tape

•colored pencils or paints

•tico boots

•underwater camera

•backpack cover for hiking in rain

•food for the plane to supplement airline meal

•small gift(s) for your favorite station guides, such as candy or other food 

   items, batteries, writing/school supplies or other small items hard to  

   come by in the jungle

Check this list over before you leave!