These are adventure trips generally a single sturdy waterproof soft-sided bag or backpack will work best. Suitcases will not work well on most trips. On some trips there are actual baggage restrictions due to limited storage space and flight limitations, etc. In general it is best to pack light!
Most people automatically assume that the weather is hot in South America, though be prepared for rain and thunder storms in the wet season, especially in the Amazon. We recommend the use of a waterproof duffel bag or backpack, whichever is easiest for you to carry. A daypack is also essential. Clothing – Generally, the Amazon is quite hot, but during the evenings if it rains, it can cool down quite a bit. Fast drying clothes that can be layered work best.
Travelling to the Amazon is a unique opportunity and the better prepared the tourist is, the more rewarding the experience will be. Yet packing light is a great advantage we have prepared a comprehensive packing list, it is not necessarily comprehensive and most travellers are well off tacking much less.
- Passport (with photocopies)
- Travel insurance (with photocopies)
- Airline tickets (with photocopies)
- USD cash and travellers cheques
- Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
- Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
- Reading/writing material
- Small tape recorder
- Cover for backpacks
- Plastic bags (zip lock bags and a larger trash bag for wet clothing)
- Concealable money belt
- Light fleece top
- Windproof/waterproof jacket
- Long sleeve cotton t-shirts
- Light cotton trousers
- Hiking pants/track pants (make sure they dry easy, jeans are not recommended)
- 1 light raincoat or poncho
- 1 pair of knee high rubber boots (Karrimor KSBs are highly recommended, most boats and lodges provide rubber boots up to size 44, if you bring a larger size with you they may buy them from you after your trip)
- Swimming gear
- Underwear and socks (including 1 thick pair)
- Sun / rain hat
- Sport sandals or old sneakers
- Torch / flash light with extra batteries
- Duct tape
- Insect repelent with DEET (diethyl-metatoluamide)
- Toiletries (biodegradable)
- Watch or alarm clock
- Camera with waterproof case
- Tripod or high ASA film, it is quite dark under the forest canopy
- Binoculars (essential)
- Purification tablets or filter
- Pocket knife
- Contact lenses
- Extra pair of eye-glasses
- Anti-bacterial soap, toilettes, or gel such as Purell
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, toiletries, etc
- Water bottle
- Small padlock to lock your bag shut
- First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking, Anti-itch cream for insects bites).
It’s surprisingly dark beneath the rain forest’s dense canopy, so bring a fast film e.g. 400 ASA or more and a flash. You’ll find a wide angle lens to be very useful and also a large telephoto for the birds and monkeys. For best result with the myriad of colorful and spectacular insects you’ll need a lens with a macro facility. It rains a lot in the rain forest, so have some plastic bags handy to protect your equipment.
With thousands of birds identified to date, the Amazon is great place for bird watching. If you’d like to keep track of what you see, ask your naturalist guide for a copy of our regional “birds checklist”. Special early morning birding outings are scheduled.