An Essentials Packing Guide for Visiting Playa Grande During the Green Season

The idea of visiting a destination that is almost destined to have rain during your vacation might seem a bit off putting. However, the rainy season, or more colorfully referred to as the green season, is actually a fantastic time to visit Playa Grande, as long as you pack the proper clothes and gear.

The green season typically spans from May to November. This year, the rain was welcomed very early in April though. The rain brings an explosion of life and color to the landscape, including rainbows, fiery sunsets, purple and orange land crabs, the entire spectrum of green, deep turquoise waves, and fireflies. The morning air is often visible in the valleys and fields surrounding Playa Grande, and the evenings can be pleasantly cool after the typical late afternoon showers. Until September and October, it is rare that it will rain all day. To truly enjoy the green season in Costa Rica, it is wise to pack the following essentials.

Green season at the RipJack Inn
Green season magic | © Henner Damke/Shutterstock

Rain jacket

A light weight rain jacket is a must-bring green season item. Not only will you want it when it rains when you are out and about, but it can also serve as a wind breaker and light insulator for those cooler mornings and evenings.

Light weight, quick dry pants

Even during the dry season, a pair or two of light weight “adventure” pants are key for all those exciting excursions. Wearing pants will help protect your legs from mosquitos and other bugs, as well as from plants, the sun, and other potentially harmful elements and factors. You can also find pants that zip off into shorts if you are worried about being too hot.

Long sleeve shirts

Cotton or linen long sleeve shirts are perfect all year around in Costa Rica, but are especially nice during the green season. Like wearing pants, sleeves protect you from mosquitos, gnats, and other insects and the sun. They are also very cozy to wear on a rainy day or post-rain evening.

Green reason views
Thick morning air | © Wayne Silver/Flickr

Shoes with good traction

You will want a good pair of hiking boots, sports sandals, and or water shoes when visiting Costa Rica during the green season. Most activities, outside of surfing, walking on the beach, and yoga, will require you to wear proper footwear. Traversing wet terrain can be dangerous if you aren’t wearing shoes that have a good grip. Plus, you don’t want to be worrying about your feet when you are out enjoying all of the activities and tours you will embark on while in Costa Rica.

A dry bag

A dry bag or at least water-resistant backpack is key to keeping your stuff safe and dry while exploring Costa Rica during the green season. To save space, you can buy a day pack that rolls up into the size of your palm to use on your daily adventures.

Insect repellent

Unfortunately, with the rain comes more mosquitos. Some mosquitos in Costa Rica do carry viruses like dengue, so it is very important that you always wear insect repellent, especially during the green season. As long as you are adamant about applying bug spray before you venture out, the mosquitos should not be an issue.

Green season in Playa Grande
Do take a chance with these little devils | © khlungcenter/Shutterstock


Even though a lot of the time there is cloud coverage during the green season, the sun is still incredibly strong. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you can work on your “base tan” sans sunscreen on a mildly overcast day. A bad burn will definitely put a damper on your vacation. To avoid harming the environment, make sure that you opt for sunscreen that is mineral based and doesn’t contain oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, or octinoxate.

Green season at the RipJack Inn
Don’t be fooled by these clouds | © Alquiler de Coches/Flickr

A few extra things

A good book for those rainy hours, a flashlight for the occasional nighttime power outage, a small umbrella, a few Ziploc bags to put your phone and other non-water friendly items in, and a nylon mesh bag for your dirty clothes are also smart additions to your green season pack.

Now get out there and seize the season!