Old San Juan StreetsHome to lush rainforests, beautiful beaches, historic cities and mountainous terrain, Puerto Rico has a lot to offer in terms of things to do. While its varied landscape makes it an ideal destination for travelers, it also makes it difficult for visitors to pack accordingly. Many visitors under-pack, while those who are familiar with the terrain tend to overpack. You can get the packing part just right, however, with this ultimate packing guide for Puerto Rico.

Lightweight Clothing

The weather in Puerto Rico is generally hot and humid, so you should stick with clothing that is lightweight, loose and, if possible, sweat wicking. Ideally, you should pack items that are either cotton or linen. Think t-shirts, tank tops, loose-fitting shorts, skirts and sundresses. If you plan to trek up the mountains, you should also pack a lightweight jacket or sweater, as the mountain areas do get cool at night.

A Quality Raincoat 

The weather in Puerto Rico can go from sunny and humid to dark and stormy in the blink of an eye. Bring a long a good raincoat for yourself and a durable kids rain jacket for your little one. Look for coats that are lightweight and that, when folded, are compact enough to store in your backpack, purse or fanny pack.

Waterproof Bag

Again, the weather is unpredictable in Puerto Rico. In addition to the risk of being caught in monsoon-style rainstorms, chances are you will also be visiting the beach frequently when in country. Protect your most valuable belongings from water damage with a waterproof bag.

Comfortable Footwear

When visiting Puerto Rico, you’re going to want to pack at least two types of footwear, possibly three. The first is flip flops or a comfortable sandal. For trips to the beach or walks around the markets, you’re likely to prefer an open toed or breathable sandal. The second type of shoe you’ll want to pack is a comfortable tennis or walking shoe, or possibly even a hiking boot. A lot of visitors to Puerto Rico spend a lot of time hiking, biking and exploring. The third and final type of shoe is optional but nice to have: A dress shoe. If you plan on going out dancing or to a nice restaurant, you may want something a little dressier than sandals or athletic shoes.

Beach Wear

If half your time in Puerto Rico is spent exploring the rainforest and hiking the mountains, the other half will undoubtedly be spent on the beach. A trip to this part of the world will not be complete without hours put in sun bathing, swimming and playing in the sand. To make the most of your beach time, pack a bathing suit and bathing suit coverup (the latter which you can use to cover yourself during a hike to a secluded waterfall or wading pool). Don’t forget sun protection such as your sun hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. Other items, such as beach towels and umbrellas, should be available through the resort at which you plan to stay.

Backpack

Finally, ditch the purse and briefcase and trade it in for a backpack. You’re going to want your hands free when exploring Puerto Rico. You’re also going to want plenty of room to carry around a rain jacket, water bottle, snacks, currency, bathing suit, binoculars, change of shoes and other necessities you may suddenly need when away from your hotel or resort.

Though this packing list may seem daunting, you can fit everything you need into one small suitcase or backpack if you plan smartly. For instance, you’ll probably only need to pack one pair of lightweight pants, a couple of pairs of shorts and a few tank tops, as you’re likely to spend most of your trip in a bathing suit. Buying compact walking shoes and raincoat can also help to keep your luggage limited to a single bag. Bearing this advice in mind, you can ensure to pack for a trip of a lifetime.