Suggested packing list - South America

Last Updated: 28th Apr 2014

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 rainforest, 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 duffle bag and not a suitcase. It is now easy to find duffle 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.

We have broken down the packing list for tours going into the Andes, such as Peru and those visiting Argentina and Brazil.

Peru

Clothes

  • 1 Rainproof jacket
  • 2 shorts/skirts
  • 1 Thick sweater / fleece jacket
  • Swimming Towel
  • 1 or 2 Jeans
  • 2 or 3 T-shirts
  • Nightwear
  • 1 Swimwear
  • Socks / stockings (lots)
  • Underwear (lots)
  • 2 or 3 Casual shirts
  • Slacks
  • 1 or 2 Collared shirts
  • A dress
  • Thermal underwear if travelling between May and October as it can get cold at night.

Shoes

  • Thongs/flip flops/sandals
  • Going out shoes
  • Comfortable walking shoes

Hiking the Inca Trail

  • One pair of convertible hiking pants that zip into shorts (can replace one pair of jeans)
  • Hiking shoes or boots (can replace comfortable walking shoes)
  • Comfortable back pack to carry your gear for the day

Toiletries

  • Toiletry bag
  • Toothpaste, Toothbrush, Deodorant
  • Make up, moisturizers and hair products
  • Contact lens solution if required
  • Sunblock, SPF30
  • Handkerchiefs/tissues
  • Insect repellent

Miscellaneous

  • Travel Clock
  • Sunglasses and sunhat
  • Warm woolen hat, scarf and gloves for the nights if travelling between May and October although all can be purchased cheaply in Peru.
  • Plastic bags
  • Sewing kit
  • Aspirins/medications
  • Pens and writing materials
  • Camera and memory card
  • (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.)
  • 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.
  • 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.

Laundry Facilities
Having your laundry done for you in Peru is not only inexpensive but makes your life way easier. For approximately $1US you can get a pound of laundry washed, dried and folded. It is not recommended that you send items with special washing or drying instructions to the laundry as they may not come back the same way. These you can either hand-wash or dry-clean.

Argentina and Brazil

Although the temperature in Brazil stays fairly constant Iguassu Falls sometimes has cold spells in their winter and the climate in Buenos Aires varies considerably throughout the year.

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 3shorts/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
  • 1dress

Shoes

  • Thongs/flip flops/sandals
  • Going out shoes
  • Comfortable walking shoes

Toiletries

  • Toiletry bag
  • Toothpaste, Toothbrush, Deodorant
  • Make up, moisturizers and hair products
  • Contact lens solution if required
  • Sunblock
  • Handkerchiefs/tissues
  • Insect repellent

Miscellaneous

  • 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.

Laundry Facilities
Having your laundry done for you in Argentina and Brazil is fairly inexpensive. For approximately $2-3US you can get a pound of laundry washed, dried and folded at laundromats in both Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro. Many hotels also offer luandry service but it may be more expensive. It is not recommended that you send items with special washing or drying instructions to the laundry as they may not come back the same way. These you can either hand-wash or dry-clean.

Questions?

x

Visas? Money? Where to go? Chat to us about travel.