This is what I wore on the boat:
- The quick dry top and Nike sports bra were perfect because neither dragged or stretched while I was swimming or paddling. I loved the tie at the bottom of the Old Navy top because it allowed me to wear a loose fitting top that stayed in place.
- The waterproof camera was money! It was small , lightweight and took pretty good pictures. I buckled my life vest around the camera strap so it didn't fall off while I was paddling.
What didn't work:
- The Lululemon shorts were adequate but not ideal because they stretched a lot. Thankfully they had a drawstring so they didn't fall off! Also, since they fit loosely around my legs they rode up on the raft which was uncomfortable.
- The shoes and socks were also fine during the trip, but afterwards things got tricky. I thought the shoes would dry quickly, since they are mostly mesh. However, few things dry quickly in the humid jungle and the next day they were still soaked. I finally managed to get them pretty dry with the hair dryer in the hotel. Chris wore old sneakers which he ended up leaving behind because they were still drenched three days later. We also had flip-flops, but they are a bad choice for the raft since they will probably end up in the river.
Knowing what I know now, here is what I would pack:
I'd replace the Lululemon running shorts with a pair of compression shorts that won't ride up the leg or threaten to stretch and fall down when swimming (or jumping into the water). Important: If you have sensitive skin or allergies to rubber, wear longer shorts or sport leggings. You sit on the rubber raft for two hours, so take care not to irritate your skin. The brand of shorts really depends on the person. I'd probably buy a cheap pair from Old Navy since they are going in the river.
I'd leave behind the sneakers and pack a pair of sturdy water sandals. These could have been useful for the entire trip in Costa Rica as they are sturdy enough for hikes and and canyoning and quick drying after swimming in rivers and waterfalls. The covered toe protects your feet from rocks and other sharp items at the bottom of rivers and lakes.
I didn't wear sunglassses on the raft for two reasons - 1. It wasn't sunny 2. I didn't have croakies and I was afraid of losing the glasses. I wish I'd worn them because the water was constantly splashing in my face and getting into my eyes. I wore contacts so I was regularly closing my eyes or making a funny face trying to adjust the lenses.
Also, remember to pack waterproof sunscreen, a plastic bag for your wet clothes, and a change of clothes.
For the guys:
Guys should avoid cotton clothing and go with a quick dry shirt, board shorts/swim trunks and water shoes. Chris wore a cotton shirt and it stretched out quite a bit.