Last week I went to Arenal, one of the most beautiful volcanoes in Costa Rica.The place in itself is very special. The ambience is a mix between luxurious spas and rough and ready activities. The dress code is cold mountain meets tropical rainforest with a wide range of temperatures spreading throughout the day.
I was there for a short period of time and since I fell of a 4×4 ATV bike I got to do little of the long list of things I had planned, so I will have to go back soon before I can write a travel guide – but I wanted to give you a preview on what to take on your daily explorations. It was surprising how many first-timers I had a chat with that asked me what I recommended they packed on their trails around the region. So here it is:
First of all, if you live in Costa Rica or are travelling throughout the country, you will probably want to pack light. Due to the area and the variety of activities, you will want to take a versatile and practical bag for this trip.
A great solution is a great quality leather bag that can go from being a luxury accessory to a practical trailing sac. You will be hiking the woods, eating out in great restaurants, and visiting lush spas. For this, my personal favourite is the Kipling backpack. We all know this brand as it is a school staple and a great option for weekend bags but this particular model wins the prize. It is an unexpected luxury and fashionable piece that is atemporal, elegant, practical and above all great quality. It will withstand large changes in temperature and look great in both the rough and the luxury environments.
So here is what to take to the Woods:
- Protect your Skin
Due to the region, I would recommend you never forget to take bug spray and sunblock. Never leave these two essentials. I personally use a dermatological sunblock (in pocket size version for travel) and usually go for organic mosquito repellent – but hard times call for hard measures and in the woods, “OFF” is my best bet.
I like packing these in individual bags to avoid spills and damage on clothes and bags. So I take little pockets for storage (also kipping)
- Capture the beauty
a) camera: As you may all know, this blog began with me being the photographer. I am a visual girl, always looking for beauty to capture artistically and this environment is MAGICAL. A camera and a couple of good lenses are a must on any trip for me. As I don´t like carrying heavy professional cameras on trips, my NEX 6 is a great option as it is a mix between a pro and a simple camera.
b) Glasses: (and a case). If you walk through the woods you will walk in and out of sun and shade. Shades are a must. If you are like me, you may need to take distance seeing glasses to spot the wildlife, a case to protect them from damage is always a great idea.
- Stay hydrated
A light aluminium water bottle (lets always stay environmentally conscious)
For the Luxury Spa:
- Swim Kit
Change mosquito repellent for a bikini and blingy sandals. Most luxury spas will provide as many soft towels as you need but I like taking my banana fiber one for extra softness coming out of the shower.
- Post Spa
I always take a luxurious shampoo after spas. It just adds to the experience. But after a mineral treatment I don´t want to add much to my skin so a bit of sunblock, blush and shades do the trick.
Soon, I will go back and complete the travel guide for ARENAL. Stay tuned!
Bag by kipling, Shades Channel and Dolce Gabana, Bikini Bajo Agua, Sandals Kenneth Cole, Towe Organics , SPF Eucerine, In the photos, jeans by Zara, Blouse Mango, Boots Madewell,Bathing suit Roxy.