Stories by CheapCaribbean

Central America Packing Guide

July 5, 2019 4 Comments

Woohoo! You’ve booked a fabulous trip (or you’re about to) to Central America and now the excitement is kicking in full speed. We know you’re probably anxious to start packing your bags (aren’t we all?), but we can’t let you forget these essentials that are sometimes easy to miss. Here’s a quick Central America packing guide and some insider tips to help you know exactly what you’ll need on your trip!

1. Passport

Trust us, you don’t want to forget your passport! Try to pack this first, in an easy to reach pocket of your luggage, to avoid leaving it behind.

(Photo by: @killianirish_2003)

2. Environment-safe sunscreen

We’re all about protecting our oceans and everything in it. When shopping for your sunscreen, opt for one that’s non-toxic and mineral-based a.k.a reef friendly.

3. Hat

We all love a good floppy beach hat! Be sure to pack a lightweight hat or two for long days out in the sun to protect your face and neck.

4. Reusable water bottle

Don’t just stop at non-toxic sunscreen for ocean conservation efforts. Bringing your own reusable water bottle helps reduce your plastic use while on vacay.

(Photo by: @shopgosipp)

5. Lightweight rain jacket

Central America is known for getting plenty of rain throughout the year, so it’s always a good feeling to be prepared with a lightweight rain jacket.

6. Medications

Sometimes even the most careful of travelers get sick! Be sure to pack some Advil, Pepto Bismol or any allergy medications you would reach for at home.

7. Comfortable shoes

From hiking up a volcano in Panama to strolling the sandy pathways of Belize, you’ll want a pair or two of reliable and comfortable shoes for a variety of activities.

Hiking through Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve in Costa Rica. (Photo by:

8. Bug Repellent

Central America is notorious for having lots of mosquitos buzzing around, so we suggest stocking up on the best stuff you can find to keep you and the fam bite free!

9. Hand sanitizer

Between bus hopping, hiking, renting bicycles, shopping, street food and all-day sightseeing, you’ll be glad to have some hand sanitizer on you.

10. Day bag

Whether you’re headed off to the beach or on a hike through the rainforest for the day, you’ll want to have an extra bag with you to keep your belongings in. We suggest bringing one that can easily be folded up and stowed away in your carry on.

Cocktail + a cute beach bag? We’re ready for a day on the sand! (Photo by: @liz_condreay)

And there you have it! Once you have all these travel essentials ready to go with you to dreamy Costa Rica, Panama, Cartagena or maybe Belize, you’re one step closer to paradise.

A True Beach Lover


  1. Reply

    Co co

    July 8, 2019

    For hiking in a volcano or trekking in the rain forest, you should use confortable full covered, non slippery boots, confortable long legged pants and long sleeve cotton shirt. Also remember, Cartagena is a city (not a Country) located in Colombia, South America.

    • Reply

      Rachel Tellez

      July 8, 2019

      Hi Co co, thanks for the helpful hiking tips! We also realize Cartagena is a city and that it’s not located in Central America, but we included it in the mix because of its similarities and proximity to those countries. Think of it as a special invited guest 😀

  2. Reply

    Gary Reph

    July 8, 2019

    Need info on Blue Bay Cottage, Caye Caulker

    • Reply

      Rachel Tellez

      February 25, 2020

      Hi, Gary! Unfortunately, we don’t offer Blue Bay Cottage on CheapCaribbean.