What to pack for travel in South America

Travelling to South America and don't know what to pack? We hear ya - with so many diverse climates to plan for and so many different activities to dress for, it can seem like a logistical nightmare at first attempt. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered - check out our essential packing guide for your next trip to South America.

What to pack for South America

To start off, remember these three things:

  1. Comfort is key. Yes, you wanna look good in your vacation photos, but if you’re trying to mountain bike in skinny jeans when it’s 30 degrees out you’re gonna be miserable. Sporty chic is ideal.
  2. The first tip applies to shoes especially. Make sure they’re comfy, durable, and you’ve broken them in beforehand.
  3. Layers are your new bestie – it can be cold in the morning, boiling hot at lunchtime, and raining in the evening. Dress in layers and adjust during the day as needed.

The Flight Essentials

  • A carry-on that can do double-duty as an overnight bag
  • Passport (plus a photocopy and a digital copy)
  • Flight reservation number and/or booking confirmation
  • Copy of travel insurance
  • Travel document wallet
  • Eye mask
  • Tissues
  • Headphones
  • Snacks


Think lightweight, quick dry, comfy and layers.

Why? Humidity, different altitudes, quick changing weather and lots of water/adventure activities.

  • Shorts/ skirts
  • Convertible pants
  • Leggings
  • T shirts
  • Tank tops
  • Sundresses
  • Nicer jeans/ pants
  • Dressier outfits
  • Bathing suits
  • Beach cover up
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Sweaters/ jumpers of different warmth levels
  • Poncho
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • PJs


  • Toiletry bag and contents
  • Aspirin/ medications
  • Altitude pills
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug repellent


  • Hiking shoes/ good walking shoes
  • Flip flops/ thongs
  • Sandals
  • Water shoes
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Buff/headband
  • Cloth bag for the beach/pool
  • A cross-body bag or mini backpack for adventure activities
  • Plastic bags for wet clothes
  • Local currency
  • Collapsible water bottle
  • eReader
  • Camera
  • Portable charging pack
  • Power adapters
Beach outfits