Packing Suggestions- South American Region

Your packing list will vary depending on the season, the specific areas you plan to visit and the activities you plan to do. To give you a better idea of what you will need here are some sample packing lists.

Critical Items

  • passport
  • airline tickets
  • medical insurance card
  • cash/credit card


  • broad-brimmed sunhat, sunglasses
  • small pair of binoculars
  • extra eyeglasses and/or contact lenses
  • 1 lightweight backpack
  • copy of passport & extra passport photos
  • small flashlight
  • camera and all photographic equipment
  • small notebook/sketchbook; pens/pencils
  • electrical converter/adapter plug: USA: Voltage 110; Africa & Asia: voltage: 220.

*Note see for more information on conversion tables, plugs and adapters around the globe.


  • insect repellent
  • sunscreen
  • seasickness preventives (if plan to be on boats in the ocean)
  • personal toiletries (including prescription medicine and malaria prophylaxis)
  • band-aids, antiseptic, topical antibiotic
  • hand sanitizer/towelettes
  • aspirin or other analgesic, and other medications that you use for common ailments

*Note check out for a detailed list of what one of us packed for a 10 day visit to Ecuador- the Andes and the Amazon.

Clothing – General

As the temperatures and weather conditions vary widely within and between areas in this region, packing with layers in mind is key. To layer while also packing light, use clothing items made with lightweight, quick-dry, versatile fabrics. They are worth the investment!

Gear for Trekking

  • Cotton short-sleeved shirts or t-shirts
  • Light colored long-sleeved shirts
  • Fleece or Wool sweater and/or trousers
  • Lightweight pants
  • Hiking shorts
  • Regular and long underwear (at over 13,000 ft)
  • Medium weight parka with fiberfill or down
  • Light cap and wool hat
  • Rain poncho (or rain gear)
  • Light gloves
  • Medium weight socks
  • Tennis or running shoes and hiking boots
  • Trekking poles (optional)
  • Sleeping bag (0º to –15ºC) if camping and small day pack
  • Strong waterproof duffel bag
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun block, lip balm and insect repellent
  • Flashlight with spare batteries and bulb
  • Towel
  • Swimsuit
  • Water bottle.
  • Personal first aid kit for bruises and blisters. A knee and ankle brace are sometimes useful especially if you suffer from weak knees or ankles. Include any special medication your doctor might suggest for you.

Gear for the Galapagos Islands

  • Swimsuit
  • Sunblock (a couple of bottles)
  • Bug repellent
  • Sunglasses and a hat
  • Good walking shoes, sandals or water shoes (2 pairs — one to keep dry, and the other for wet landings)
  • Quick drying shorts (a couple of pairs)
  • A top to wear while swimming (some people, because of the sun, might want to look into long-sleeved tops and long pants as well!)
  • T-shirts or short sleeved shirts (quick drying ideal)
  • A sweatshirt, fleece or warm top (the evenings on the boat get cool)
  • A waterproof shell
  • A pair of long pants
  • Light cotton scarf to protect your neck
  • Long-sleeve light cotton shirt
  • Snorkel, mask (with prescription lenses if you require them) and fins
  • Waterproof bag for gear
  • A camera and lots of film/large memory card.  We also recommend purchasing one or two underwater cameras to take photos of the animal life while snorkeling!
  • Dramamine or motion sickness pills: Depending on the size of boat you’re on, during the evening, the boats tend to sway from side to side, making some people feel a bit uncomfortable.
  • Pepto Bismol (or Kaopectate) for stomach upset and mild diarrhea; Immodium or Lomotil for more severe diarrhea
  • Plastic Bags
  • Water bottle (1 litre)
  • Binoculars

Gear for Other Travel Options

For River Running:

  • Shorts
  • Swim suits
  • Wind-breaker
  • Water sandals or neoprene booties
  • Other adventure gear as listed above for camping and evenings on the river shores
  • Light weight sleeping bag if camping
  • Certain areas have insects so bring long sleeved clothing and insect repellent
  • Sun block, lip balm and insect repellent

Sea Kayaking

  • Long – sleeved lycra
  • Neoprene booties or wet-shoes
  • Neoprene suit (short or long)
  • Hat/cap, sunglasses, gloves (if required for paddling)
  • Wind-jacket
  • Water bottle
  • Personal first aid kit
  • Warm clothes for afternoon camping including sleeping bag (-25°F /-5°C)

Rainforest Programs

  • Rubber boots (can be rented or are given at most lodges)
  • Long-sleeved cotton shirts
  • Full rain-gear and insect repellent
  • Other cotton pants and lightweight clothing.
  • A light parka or sweater (sometimes there is some cold wind flow in Peru’s southern Amazon Basin)
  • Light cap and wool hat (in mountains).
  • Remember your yellow-fever vaccines and malaria prophylaxis.

Cultural Programs

  • Good walking shoes (rubber soles)
  • Standard clothing used for traveling worldwide
  • Light outdoor gear
  • Rain protection gear, sun protection and insect repellent
  • Warmer clothes especially in the months of May – July when temperatures can vary from hot days to freezing nights.

A Few Favorite Products from Fellow Sojourners

  • ExOfficio Air Strip shirts
  • ExOfficio quick dry underwear (for men and women)
  • Gramicci QwikDry pants and shorts
  • Eagle Creek Luggage – wheeled, carry-on size
  • Merrill and Keen shoes: walking, running and hiking options
  • TeaTree Oil Ointment (an all-around great item to have in your toiletries bag)

Website Resources for Travel Stores/Products

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