A unique at at-times challenging place, the Amazon Rainforest requires a little more consideration than many other South American destinations. Primarily, because the Amazon climate coughs up particular challenges not found elsewhere. The high humidity and heat may make the unaccustomed think that all they’d need pack is a pair of shorts, a T-shirt and some flip-flops, yet it’s this very warm and damp climate which makes all three totally unsuitable items, most of the time. Packing for a trip to the Amazon is actually not all that difficult…you just need to know where to start!
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- Packing for the Amazon - Things to consider
- Amazon Packing Guide
Amazon Rainforest, South America
We’ve compiled your best and most comprehensive Amazon Packing Guide of all, which includes a printable list you can post on your fridge for daily reminders and a more thorough explanation of why certain items are essentials and others simply blissfully luxurious. After our many combined trips to South America’s premier wildlife and wilderness destination, we like to think we have the Amazon Packing Guide down to a T!
So go ahead and pack away for the adventure of your life. The splendid Amazon Rainforest awaits!
River in the Amazon Rainforest, South America
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Packing for the Amazon – Things to consider
There’s no place on earth that is as humid as the Amazon Rainforest and what that means, in packing terms, is that a wet piece of cotton clothing can literally take days to dry. And even then, trust that it will still be damp. The solution to this is a three-part tactic: firstly, all your items of clothing should be made out of quick-dry fabrics, the kind you find in adventure wear shops. Secondly, you should pack everything in airtight zip-lock bags so that what is dry remains dry, until the second you need to take it out. This also goes for camera gear, medication and just about everything else you pack. And thirdly, you may need to pack an extra change of clothes, or at least, one more than you think you’ll need. It is not unusual to want to change 2-3 times during a full day out exploring the Amazon. Aside from the comfort factor (or rather, uncomfort factor) humidity breeds fungal rashes, which aren’t really all that pleasant! Although you will be wet and damp for most of the day in the Amazon, having dry clothes to change into in the late afternoon is not just bliss but downright essential.
Sunrise along the Tambopata River in the Peruvian Amazon
The Amazon is kept alive and thriving thanks to some serious rainfall throughout the year. Just because you travel here during the ‘dry’ season, you should never expect it to be completely dry. Downpours are fierce but usually short-lived, so do bring a rain jacket or rain poncho and you will at least use it to cover your photographic gear! Most tour operators out in the jungle provide you with gumboots for hikes in the forest but if you’d like to pack your own waterproof hiking boots then you’ll arguably be more comfortable too. And don’t forget to pack extra pairs of socks. Promise you’ll use them all!
Trekking trip through the Amazon Jungle, North Peru
Insects & Creepy-Crawlies
Lightweight long-sleeve tops will be your saviours of morning and evening, both times when mosquitoes and all sorts of bitey insects come out to play. Moreover, you’ll want to wear long and loose-fitting pants on your daily hikes to prevent unwanted leeches and other creatures from hitching a ride on your skin. Along with plenty of repellents, clothing is what will protect you best in the Amazon.
An Amazon experience is not all exploration and adventure, however. There will be quite a few hours of every day when you’ll chill out in your gorgeous lodge or comfortably cruise on a river. For these times, a comfy pair of sandals, shorts and sunhat will be enough and will certainly be a nice reprieve from the long pants – socks – boots combo of your on-land excursions. So feel free to pack some comfortable gear for relaxing times.
Sunset in the Amazon River Rainforest
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Amazon Packing Guide
(2 changes per day with a 3-day rotation – fabrics which dry quickly and wick away moisture)
- 6 x tops
- 1 x long-sleeve shirt (for evenings)
- 2 x long pants (zip-off pants are awesome)
- 1 x shorts
- 6 x underwear (breathable & quick-dry)
- 6 x pairs of long socks (ankle socks just won’t cut it)
- 1 x rain jacket/poncho
- 1 x swimsuit
- 1 x sweater (for cooler evenings)
Giant Rainforest Tree, Ecuador
- 1 x flip-flops or sandals
- 1 x hiking boots (sneakers will get soggy and muddy and won’t provide traction on walks)
- 1 x hat (wide-brimmed to protect against sunburns & falling insects Not the trendiest look but surely you will rock it!)
- Camera gear in a waterproof bag
- Glasses if you normally wear contact lenses
Guided Tour through the Amazon Rainforest
- Insect repellent
- After-bite lotion
- Zip-lock bags in all sizes to protect everything
- Small daypack (for excursions)
- Head torch (many lodges switch off lights after dinner)
- Refillable, sturdy drinking bottle
- Wet wipes
- Bandana – to wipe the sweat off your eyes and keep your neck covered
- Quick-dry towel
- Extra batteries & SD camera cards
Colorful tucan in the Amazon Rainforest
- Bio shampoo & conditioner
- Soap & exfoliation gloves
- Deodorant (non-perfumed)
- Toothbrush, toothpaste
- Personal first-aid kit (don’t forget a blister pack!)
- Personal medications
- Binoculars (you WILL become everyone’s favourite hiking buddy)
- Anti-bacterial soap (it cleans off sweat better than any other soap, even though it is a little drying)
Waterfall deep in the jungles of the Amazon Rainforest, Ecuador
Click HERE to see our Amazon Rainforest Tours
If truth be told, the only difficult thing about packing for a trip to the Amazon is the fact that you will likely be adding other destinations to your South America itinerary, so will need to pack differently for those too. But never fear! It is ever so easy to include a small empty soft backpack in your usual luggage and use that solely for your jaunt into the jungle. There will usually be somewhere safe (like a hotel) where you can leave your other belongings, leaving you free to only take into the jungle what you need for the duration of your stay.
Any other questions or concerns? Call us! Here at Viva Expeditions, we’ll get you in and out of the jungle with ease and can help you every single step of the way. We offer a wealth of incredible Amazon jungle experiences to suit all ages, budgets and travel styles. After all…it’s really what we do best!