When visiting the tropics, it is imperative to bring a hat! I am constantly shocked when our guests roll in to Bahia Ballena, Costa Rica — a town that is located just nine degrees above the equator, and that has average year round temperatures of around 85°F/29°C — without a hat! Wearing a hat is one of the best ways that you can prevent sunburn and sunstroke, and ultimately take care of yourself in the tropics. So what kind of hat should you bring? Well, that depends on what activities you are going to be doing! Here are a few of the things you should consider when picking out a hat to bring to Costa Rica or anywhere in the tropics.
Here is Adrianne, the Bodhi team’s tropical travel expert and the host of Bodhi’s new web series, Tropical Tidings: Tips for Your Trip to the Tropics, discussing this very topic!
First things first — you’ve got to bring a hat
You cannot get away with not wearing a hat here. Even if you don’t think you’ll need one, even if you don’t usually wear one in the summer at home, even if you think they make you look funny or mess up your hair. Whether you’re on a day tour or are just walking to the store, we have seen people tourists visiting the area burn within 15 minutes. We cannot overstate how powerful the sun is here. Not wearing a hat can lead to sunstroke, and even if it doesn’t get to that level, the sun hitting your noggin for any amount of time can speed up dehydration and make you feel tired and lethargic.
We suggest bringing your own hat from home simply because there aren’t very many options for buying a hat in a smaller town such Bahia Ballena. We have seen people burn their faces in the few days it takes them to figure out that they actually do need a hat, and by that time it’s really too late. Or realize that they need a hat, but can’t find one that fits or that they like.
What activities will you be participating in?
If you are a light packer, it’s good to bring an all-purpose hat — one that you can wear to the beach, on a hike, around the pool, in the hammock, and walking through town. The trusty baseball cap is an excellent option because works in all of those instances. Plus, it’s easy to pack and doesn’t take up a lot of room in your suitcase. A wide-brimmed hat (preferably one that is crushable and won’t lose its shape, like a bucket hat) is also a great, all-purpose choice.
If you’re surfing or doing another water activity, it’s nice to bring an actual surf/water hat (one that can strap on), one that can get wet and will dry quickly. Another option is to bring an old hat that you don’t care too much about, and attach a string to the hat to tie it onto your rash guard or board shorts so you don’t lose it if you fall in the water.
Hats are for adventures!
If you’re coming to Bodhi Surf + Yoga to participate in one of our 7-day surf and yoga camps, don’t worry too much about bringing anything fancy or fashionable. It’s all about the activities you’re doing down here (and maximizing on your time and energy), not how you look while you’re doing them. And with five surf sessions, a community walk, a visit to the waterfall, hours spent lazing around or in the pool — not to mention whatever activity you participate in on your free day — you are sure to make very good use of your hat!
If you haven’t already, learn more about out our Bodhi Sessions surf and yoga camps, and what makes them such a unique vacation. Sessions start every Saturday between November and May, and are guaranteed to run no matter how many people sign up! And for more information on what to pack, check out our ultimate surf and yoga camp packing list.