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What to pack? When most people think about South America they assume that it will be warm which is not always the case. South America is very large and with rain forest, mountains, desert and pretty much everything in between, packing can be a challenge. One thing that remains constant is that spaces can be tight, stairs often have to be climbed and hotels do not always have porters so we recommend that you bring a backpack or duffel bag and not a suitcase. It is now easy to find duffel bags with wheels which is a great mix of the ease of a suitcase and the flexibility of a soft bag. You should also bring a small backpack or a satchel/courier bag with you for excursions during the day.

Spring /Summer (November to March) Clothes

  • 1 Rainproof jacket

  • 2 or 3shorts/skirts

  • 1 sweater

  • Swimming Towel

  • 1 or 2 Jeans

  •  2 or 3 T-shirts

  • Nightwear

  • 1 or 2 Swimwear

  • Socks (lots)

  • Underwear (lots)

  • 2 Casual shirts

  • Slacks

  • 1 or 2 Collared shirts

  • Summer dress

Winter/ Fall (April to October) Clothes

  • 1 Rainproof jacket

  • 1 Jacket for going out at night (ie jean jacket or similar)

  • 2 or 3 shorts / skirts

  • 1 warm sweater or sweat shirt

  • Swimming Towel

  • 1 or 2 Jeans

  • 2 or 3 T-shirts

  • Nightwear

  • 1 or 2 Swimwear

  • Socks / stockings (lots)

  • Underwear (lots)

  • 2 Casual shirts

  • Slacks

  • 1 or 2 Collared shirts

  • 1 dress


  • Thongs/flip flops/sandals

  • Going out shoes

  • Comfortable walking shoes


  • Toiletry bag

  •  Toothpaste, Toothbrush, Deodorant

  •  Make up, moisturizers and hair products

  • Contact lens solution if required

  • Sunblock

  • Handkerchiefs/tissues

  • Insect repellent


  • Travel Clock

  • Sunglasses and sunhat

  • Plastic bags

  • Sewing kit

  • Aspirins/medications

  • Pens and writing materials

  • Camera and memory card

  • Refillable water bottles. There is no recycling in most of South America so when possible please buy large water bottles and refill your smaller water bottle to cut down on plastic.

  • Rechargeable batteries (There are not proper facilities for disposing of batteries in South America and toxins from batteries end up in rivers and lakes. Please help us keep South America clean.)

  • Power adapters

Label your suitcase inside and out with your name and your home address and perhaps attach a sticker, ribbon, patch or other unique identifier to your luggage to make it easier to spot.

Carry a copy of your passport, visas, travel and other important documents with you in your luggage. You should scan these documents and email them to yourself and also leave a copy of all this information at home with someone trusted and contactable while you are away.

Don't pack your travel documents and passport in your luggage rather take it with you in your carry luggage.

Remember to bring more than enough of any medication you might need along with you and carry prescriptions for any medications that you carry with you. Prescription medication should be packed in your carry-on luggage however please note that you are not allowed to bring syringes onto the plane so if required they must be packed in your checked luggage.

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