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.
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Valid for at least 6 months after your return date.
If you carry more than one, store them in different places.
We recommend at least 2 different ones.
See on our website ‘Good to know’ → ‘A to Z’ → ‘Visa’.
Take some US Dollars, just in case. Otherwise use ATMs for the daily cash flow.
Make sure to update it, download important apps, and free enough space for pictures and videos.
For all your electronics. A USB hub doesn’t hurt if you have a lot to charge.
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!).
For Ecuador/Perú/Colombia/Costa Rica/Venezuela a US-American plug type is the norm.
Copies of all Travel Documents:
Store in different places like luggage/wallet/phone.
Suitcase / Backpack:
Size depends on the length of stay, we suggest between 55 and 75 liters in space for 2 or more weeks.
Around 20 liters, lightweight and simple, also as carry-on on flights.
Incredibly useful for keeping your luggage in order.
Preferably with a hook to hang up .
Thin and in different sizes to protect your clothes/laundry/gear inside your luggage.
For the dirty clothes.
1 or 2 pairs
Underwear / (Sports) Bras:
Enough for a week.
Enough for a week.
Enough for a week.
Long Shirts / Long Sleeves:
1 or 2 pieces
Hoodie / Sweater:
Jacket / Windbreaker:
1 piece, preferably waterproof.
Made out of stretch material and without metal, for more comfortable traveling and to avoid stress at airport metal detectors.
1 piece, if needed at all.
Tight fit, maybe extra shoelaces, just in case.
1 pair, for additional comfort on long hikes.
Comb / Brush
Might come in handy, although all accommodations usually provide towels.
Preferably SPF 50 and reef safe.
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’.
Condoms / Birth Control Pills
Female Hygiene Products:
Diva Cup or similar for reuse.
Phone + charger
Camera(s) + charger
Drone, 360° Camera, Action Cam etc… All including accessories.
With 3 or more ports to load all your electronics at the same time.
Better one too many than not enough!
*****REMINDER: KEEP ALL YOUR BATTERIES LOADED. LOAD WHENEVER POSSIBLE!!!*****
Enough for the length of your stay plus one week more (you never know!).
Ibuprofen / Aspirin / Paracetamol
Broadband antibiotics, for a wide range of infections. Consult your doctor first!
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 ...
Useful above 4000 meters
Make a difference in rough terrain as well as high altitudes.
In case of a downpour, to put on over your regular pants.
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
Swimming trunks / Bathing suit:
1 or 2 pieces should do it.
Usually provided, but some prefer their own.
Usually provided by the tour operator
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
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.
Provided by the lodge.
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!
Great for observing animals.
With a wide brim. The sun is brutal around the equator.
Refillable, preferably with a 0.75 or 1 liter volume
To fill out immigration forms etc. . And maybe bring a small notepad.
Like a swiss army knife or similar, always useful!
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.
Either physical or digital on your phone, something to read, watch or listen to is always welcome at some point.
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!
Same thing as with duct tape, it might come in handy! Broken luggage or gear might get fixed easily!
Bandana / Buff / Scarf:
Universally applicable, as a hat, under a bicycle helmet, or as a sleeping mask.
For the small stuff that shouldn’t get wet.
For your own trash.
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!
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.
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.