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Packing List for Latin America

This packing list is mostly from our personal experience.

It includes necessities for all ecosystems you can travel with us.

From the high altitudes of the Andes to the Galapagos islands, from the rainiest amazonian rainforest to the pacific coast or the caribbean, and even to deserts, plains and the cloud forests. Also, it is supposed to give both women and men an idea.

It is not complete (and never will be), but should be seen as a rough overview of what you might need on your trip to South America. 

***FEEL FREE TO EMAIL US IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HAVE ITEMS ADDED***
Packing List - Passport
Passport:

Valid for at least 6 months after your return date.

Packing List - Credit Card
Credit Cards:

If you carry more than one, store them in different places.

We recommend at least 2 different ones.

Packing List - Visa
Visas:

See on our website ‘Good to know’ → ‘A to Z’ → ‘Visa’.

Packing List - Cash
Cash:

Take some US Dollars, just in case. Otherwise use ATMs for the daily cash flow.

Packing List - Smartphone
Phone:

Make sure to update it, download important apps, and free enough space for pictures and videos.

Packing List - Charger
Charger(s):

For all your electronics. A USB hub doesn’t hurt if you have a lot to charge. 

Packing List - Powerbank
Powerbank:

Keep it small, lightweight and efficient. 10,000 to 20,000 mAh are sufficient (and also allowed on planes, but only in your carry-on!).

Packing List - Universal plug
Universal Plug:

For Ecuador/Perú/Colombia/Costa Rica/Venezuela a US-American plug type is the norm.

Packing List - Copies of travel documents
Copies of all Travel Documents:

Store in different places like luggage/wallet/phone.

Baggage

Packing List - Suitcase
Suitcase / Backpack:

Size depends on the length of stay, we suggest between 55 and 75 liters in space for 2 or more weeks.

Packing List - Day pack
Day Pack:

Around 20 liters, lightweight and simple, also as carry-on on flights.

Packing List - Packing cubes
Packing Cubes:

Incredibly useful for keeping your luggage in order.

Packing List - Toiletry bag
Toiletry Bag:

Preferably with a hook to hang up .

Packing List - Waterproof bag
Waterproof Bag(s):

Thin and in different sizes to protect your clothes/laundry/gear inside your luggage.

Packing List - Laundry net
Laundry bag/net:

For the dirty clothes.

Clothing

Packing List - Pants
Long pants:

2 pairs

Packing List - Short Pants
Short pants:

1 or 2 pairs

Packing List - Underwear
Underwear / (Sports) Bras:

Enough for a week.

Packing List - Socks
Socks:

Enough for a week.

Packing List - T-Shirt
T-Shirts:

Enough for a week.

Packing List - Long shirt
Long Shirts / Long Sleeves:

1 or 2 pieces

Packing List - Hoodie
Hoodie / Sweater:

1 piece

Packing List - Jacket
Jacket / Windbreaker:

1 piece, preferably waterproof.

Packing List - Belt
Belt:

Made out of stretch material and without metal, for more comfortable traveling and to avoid stress at airport metal detectors.

Packing List - Pajamas:
Pajamas:

1 piece, if needed at all.
.

Footwear

Packing List - Hiking Shoes
Hiking Shoes:

Tight fit, maybe extra shoelaces, just in case.

Packing List - Sneakers
Sneakers:

1 pair.

Packing List - Flip Flops
Flip Flops:

1 pair.

Packing List - Hiking Socks
Hiking Socks:

1 pair, for additional comfort on long hikes.

Toiletries

Packing List - Toothbrush
Toothbrush
Packing List - Toothpaste
Toothpaste
Packing List - Shampoo
Shampoo
Packing List - Shower Gel
Shower Gel
Packing List - Deodorant
Deodorant
Packing List - Comb / Brush
Comb / Brush
Packing List - Lotion
Lotion
Packing List - Small towel
Small towel:

Might come in handy, although all accommodations usually provide towels.

Packing List - Sunscreen
Sunscreen:

Preferably SPF 50 and reef safe.

Packing List - Mosquito repellent
Insect repellent:

For Galapagos and Amazon preferably with DEET or Icaridin as an active ingredient, but use wisely due to its questionable environmental impact. See also under ‘Good to Know’ → ‘A to Z’ → ‘Health risks’.

Packing List - Hand Disinfection
Hand disinfection
Packing List - Condoms
Condoms / Birth Control Pills
Packing List - Make-Up
Make-Up
.
Packing List - Diva Cup
Female Hygiene Products:

Diva Cup or similar for reuse.

Electronics

Packing List - Universal plug
Universal plug
Packing List - Phone + Charger
Phone + charger
Packing List - Camera
Camera(s) + charger
Packing List - Drone
Gadgetry:

Drone, 360° Camera, Action Cam etc… All including accessories.

Packing List - USB-Hub
USB-Hub:

With 3 or more ports to load all your electronics at the same time.

Packing List - SD-Card
SD/microSD cards:

Better one too many than not enough!

Packing List - Headphones
Headphones

*****REMINDER: KEEP ALL YOUR BATTERIES LOADED. LOAD WHENEVER POSSIBLE!!!*****

First Aid

Packing List - Prescription Medicine
Prescription medicines:

Enough for the length of your stay plus one week more (you never know!).

Packing List - Ibuprofen/Aspirin/Paracetamol
Ibuprofen / Aspirin / Paracetamol
Packing List - Diarrhea Medicine
Diarrhea meds
Packing List - Antihistamines
Antihistamines
Packing List - Disinfectant
Disinfectant
Packing List - Bandaids
Bandaids
Packing List - Throat Lozenges
Throat lozenges
Packing List - Antibiotics
Antibiotics:

Broadband antibiotics, for a wide range of infections. Consult your doctor first!

Packing List - Water purification tablets
Water purification tablets:

To make questionable tap water usable. Otherwise, cook the water.

In addition to this Packing List, please check out our segment about ‘Health risks‘ in Latin America.  Also, please consult a medical practitioner before you travel!

Specialty Gear for ...

Hiking

Packing List - Gloves
Gloves:

Thin, but warm. Useful above 4000 meters.

Packing List - Wooly hat
Wooly hat:

Useful above 4000 meters

Packing List - Hiking Poles
Hiking Poles:

Make a difference in rough terrain as well as high altitudes.

Waterproof pants:

In case of a downpour, to put on over your regular pants.

Packing List - Headlamp
Headlamp:

Preferably an LED lamp with USB charging, otherwise bring also batteries.

Climbing to the summits

All gear besides any aforementioned will be provided for free or can be rented from our providers at an additional cost (like crampons or third layer clothing).

Let us know beforehand and we take care of availability.

Swimming and snorkeling

Packing List - Bathing suit
Swimming trunks / Bathing suit:

1 or 2 pieces should do it.

Packing List - Snorkel Mask
Snorkeling mask:

Usually provided, but some prefer their own.

Packing List - Swim fins
Swim fins:

Usually provided by the tour operator

Packing List - Neoprene Suit
Neoprene suit / top:

You can bring one if you want, but the waters in the Caribbean or Galapagos are usually warm enough to manage without. Just in case, it can be rented as well.

Adventures in the Rainforest

Packing List - Rubber boots
Rubber boots:

Provided by the lodge you stay in, but only up to around size 46. For bigger sizes please ask us first! And, since its boots, some people prefer to bring their own.

Packing List - Rain poncho
Rain poncho:

Provided by the lodge.

Miscellaneous

Packing List - Money Belt
Money Belt:

Or something else to hide away your cash besides a wallet in the back pocket (bad idea!)

A packing list must-have for every trip!

Packing List - Sunglasses
Sunglasses
Packing List - Binoculars
Binoculars:

Great for observing animals.

Packing List - Hat
Hat:

With a wide brim. The sun is brutal around the equator.

Packing List - Water Bottle
Water bottle:

Refillable, preferably with a 0.75 or 1 liter volume

Packing List - Pen
Pen:

To fill out immigration forms etc. . And maybe bring a small notepad.

Packing List - Pocket Knife
Pocket knife/tool:

Like a swiss army knife or similar, always useful!

Packing List - Guide Book
Guide book(s):

A must-have on every packing list for old-school travelers that don’t want to get all the info from these interwebs. Also great reads in general.

Packing List - Literature / Entertainment
Literature/Entertainment:

Either physical or digital on your phone, something to read, watch or listen to is always welcome at some point.

Packing List - Duct Tape
Duct tape:

Either a small roll or stripes taped on the inside of your luggage or around your water bottle. Like a knife, ALWAYS useful and essential on every packing list!

Packing List - Cable Ties
Cable ties:

Same thing as with duct tape, it might come in handy! Broken luggage or gear might get fixed easily!

Packing List - Bandana / Buff
Bandana / Buff / Scarf:

Universally applicable, as a hat, under a bicycle helmet, or as a sleeping mask.

Packing List - Zip-Lock Bags
Zip-lock bags:

For the small stuff that shouldn’t get wet.

Packing List - Plastic Bag
Plastic bag:

For your own trash.

Packing List - Gifts
Gifts:

Tiny, witty things (Maybe something special from your home?) To hand out to hosts or friendly people along the way. Little presents sometimes go a long way!

Packing List - Apps
Apps for your phone:

Useful apps during your travels. Check out our list under ‘Good to know’ → ‘A to Z’ → ‘Apps’.
Also: Update your phone, free space for pictures and videos, download maps for offline usage and register for a cloud storage service so you can save your memories immediately.

Packing List - Coin Wallet
Coin Wallet:

Since you are not supposed to walk around Latin America showing your money everywhere, it is a good idea to have a separate coin wallet, with maybe also a few small bills which you carry right in your pocket and use to buy those small things, snacks and beverages along the way.

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