December is almost here and with the 12th month comes the long awaited dry season. Daily rains have already ceased for the most part in the Central Valley, it’s getting windier, and its a degree or two lower during the night. Everyone in Costa Rica is getting ready for Christmas and us birders are also looking forward to Christmas counts. Many of us also work in the tourism sector and are therefore looking forward to the high season.
Since the high season for visiting Costa Rica coincides with the dry season, you will probably be heading on down to the land of hummingbirds and quetzals at this time.
If so, here are a few ideas and reminders for things to pack when visiting during the dry season:
- Sunscreen: Don’t forget to bring plenty of stuff to stop those strong tropical UV rays! Use the strongest that you can find to spend more time outdoors and don’t wait to buy it here because it costs more.
- Bring an umbrella: What? During the dry season? The funny thing about the dry season is that it’s not so dry on the Caribbean slope! If you plan on visiting jungles in the Sarapiqui area, around Laguna del Lagarto, or those beautiful beaches and jungles near Limon, get ready for rain. It’s also still going to rain at times in the mountains and on parts of the Pacific slope so don’t expect totally dry weather unless you keep to the Central Valley and beaches in Guanacaste.
- Bring a camera, a recharger for the battery (or batteries), and lots of space for photos: You can bet that Costa Rica will offer more than enough photo opps just about everywhere you visit.
- Don’t forget to bring binoculars: Birders aren’t likely to forget these essential items but for casual birders, or people who have never really watched birds before, it’s easy to overlook. Even if you don’t plan on watching birds, you might hope for a closer look at tropical wildlife seen such as toucans, parrots, butterflies, monkeys, and sloths.
- Bring your favorite mobile device, e-book reader, etc.: You will be able to recharge these at hotels and they will come in handy with various apps, reading material, information, and so on.
Last but not least, don’t forget to download the Costa Rica Birds Field Guide app onto your device. The Android version isn’t available at the time of this post but will be soon! Try the lite version for free.