What to Bring


Temperatures range from 50 F with strong wind and mist, to 80 F and sunny.  The record low for Monteverde is 45 F, and it is rarely warmer than 86 F.  Rainy season lasts from May to November, as a rule. The rainiest months are September and October, with an average yearly rainfall of over three meters (that’s nine feet of rain!).  December to February is transitional season, with winds and mist.  Dry season is February to May.


Clothing:  Casual clothes are the norm in Monteverde.  Most people involved with the school wear jeans or khakis with t-shirts or sweaters.  You might like to bring a pair of slacks and sport shirt (men), or a dress (women) for a special occasion.  Ticos (especially professionals) often dress more formally (slacks and dresses daily), but ties are rare outside of San Jose.  Keep in mind that white or light colors can mildew in the rainy season.  You also should bring clothes that dry quickly.

Dress in layers: Climate varies every 50 meters up or down in Monteverde – there are many microclimates and you will change layers often in just a short distance.  You’ll want a waterproof layer (jacket, windbreaker, poncho, or raincoat).  You will also want fleece, sweaters or sweatshirts.  Fleece is especially useful since it is lightweight and dries quickly.  Also bring warm sleepwear and lots of socks (long socks for inside rubber boots are good).  Jeans are nice to have, but will take a long time to dry in rainy season.  Bring several sturdy, light-weight pants.  Dryers are uncommon in homes in Monteverde and are expensive to use.  Plan on line-drying your laundry.

Raingear:  Bring a rain jacket, umbrella, and possibly rain pants.  Waterproof ponchos, durable rubber boots and motorcycle wetsuits are available at reasonable prices here, but if you have Goretex, bring it.  It’s lighter, more durable in wind, and dries faster. A rain cover for a backpack is also useful. These can be purchased at most camping stores in the US, Canada or Europe.

Footwear:  Sneakers, hiking boots, rubber boots, “Tevas”, and ¨Crocs¨ are popular.  Sandals are great in dry weather.  Many people carry light shoes, or slippers to wear indoors as “Shoes off here” is common at many front doors and in some of the MFS classrooms.  Most shoes sold here are European sizing (28-46, no widths, low arches).

Back Pack:  Bring a backpack for daily use to hold jackets, change of shoes, poncho, flashlight, your lunch, books, and whatever food you might carry.  It is also handy to have a reusable shopping bag and a larger pack for hiking trips, etc.  Some packs are available here; quality and price vary.

Flashlight:  There are few streetlights in Monteverde, and the power goes out often in wind and lightening storms.  You may want to consider a rechargeable flashlight or rechargeable batteries with charger.  Regular batteries and flashlights are available here.  Always keep your flashlight with you, even if you don’t plan to be out after dark.

USB drive:  A “jump drive” is useful to store files and transfer from one computer to another.  They are available here, but expensive.

Cash: For employees, the first paycheck does not arrive until the end of August, so you’ll need cash until then.  You do not need to exchange dollars for colones before you come, because you will get a low exchange rate and dollars (in small bills) are accepted most places here.  You can use your credit/debit card in any of the town’s ATMs, but keep in mind that there is an ATM fee and your credit card may charge a foreign transaction fee.


FoodItems on the MFS Wish List:  Please check our Wish List to see if you can bring any of these items down with you!   

Musical instruments and electronics:  You might like to bring a camera, iPod, CD player, or musical instrument.  Keep in mind that the high humidity here can do a number on both electronics and musical instruments.   Electronics are available here but are very expensive.

Sleeping bag:  Bring polyfill, since moisture damages down, light to medium weight.  You can use it over your bed or on camping trips.

Camping gear:  Public beaches in Costa Rica are open to camping, so you might want to bring your own tent.  Snorkels, swim masks, and flippers can be great.

Outdoor protection:  Bring sunscreen, sunglasses, hats for the sun.  Although you don’t need bug repellent in Monteverde, it is useful for any travelling you might do.  All these things are available here as well, but are expensive.

Prescription medicines:  Bring your immunization records, vitamins, medications, and prescriptions signed by the MD too, just in case.  Many prescription medicines are available at the pharmacy here, without prescription, but some are hard to get.  Tampons are expensive here (OB tampons are not available). If you wear contacts, bring extra contact lens solution.

Books:  Bring your favorite Spanish-English Dictionary and a basic or specialty cookbook.  The Monteverde School Library has an excellent collection of books, fiction and non-fiction in English, with a smaller collection of Spanish.  Paperbacks are available for trade in a few stores. Those seeking English reading material also share and trade among themselves.

DVDs and videos: You may want to bring educational videos or DVDs for school as these will be hard to find here.

US postage stamps:  Bring self-adhesive stamps (the others stick together in the humidity) to send mail with people traveling to the States or Canada.  This is faster than the Costa Rican national postal system.

Special art supplies:  Colored pencils, watercolors, oil paints, and yarn are available here, but with a limited (and expensive) selection.

Specialty foods:  Some foods that are hard to get or very expensive here are: nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds, pine nuts), granola bars, favorite salad dressings, chocolate chips, loose tea, favorite spices, etc.  There is a full range of pastas and even pesto, with a variety of vegetarian and macrobiotic options.

Kitchen materials:  Teachers’ homes come with most basic kitchen tools: pots, pans, utensils, and dishware.  Bring sharp knives, if that is a priority for you.  Things that are difficult to get here: steeping teapots for loose tea, wax paper, wire cheese cutter, wooden clothespins, twist ties, etc.

Computer: You may find it convenient to bring your laptop, but keep in mind that Monteverde is hard on electronics because of dust, bugs, and humidity.  You should  never leave your laptop unattended and store it in a safe place out of sight when leaving it in your house.  The school has computers and Internet, but service is relatively slow and access is shared by many people.  If you bring a computer, bring a surge protector for use in your house. Lightning is a frequent occurrence here and a powerful strike could seriously damage your equipment.

Any special resources or tools, games, manipulatives, or techonology for classroom use: Check with a current teacher to see what is available already for use in the school.


For more information, please contact us.