6. What to take

Money-belt - containing those items stated in section 1.5 (Document Checklist)

Medical kit

  • Anti-diarrhoea tablets and Dioralyte sachets of re-hydration salts
  • Antiseptic/antibiotic cream
  • Insect-bite ointment/insect repellent (please see section on Malaria)
  • Lipsalve + sunscreen (high factor with protection against UVA and UVB rays)
  • After-sun lotion
  • Sticking plaster
  • Painkillers
  • Personal medication

N.b. all these items and many more can be purchased over the counter in pharmacies throughout Latin America.

6.1 Clothing - General

When embarking on any of our tours or tailormade itineraries, the following clothing list may be useful as a guide to what you will need to take. For warmth it is usually better to wear several thin garments rather than one thick one. If your route takes you to both the high Andes (where it is often very cold at night) as well as to jungle or very hot regions, then three or four shirts/t-shirts and one medium-weight jersey is a much better combination than one shirt/tshirt and one thick jersey. If travelling to Brazil, Yucatán, Belize, Venezuela, Galápagos Islands or the Caribbean and lowlands of Central America you will need to adapt your clothing for primarily hot weather. Pack light cotton t-shirts, shorts, skirts and trousers.

For travel to Patagonia, and high-altitude regions, you can expect some days of severely cold weather, especially in the Chilean/Argentinian winter (June to October) and year-round in the Bolivian or Peruvian highland (altiplano). For these trips it is advisable to bring thermal underwear and good quality outer-shell clothing, including gloves, hat and scarf.

6.2 Amazon and Mato Grosso/Pantanal Trips

Temperatures are typically tropical in all months with average midday temperatures in the range 27°C/80°F-32°C/90°F. Frost is almost unknown, although in Mato Grosso/ Pantanal occasional cold spells lasting a day or two and known as friagem can cause night temperatures to fall below 10°C/50°F from May to September. Rainfall throughout the year is above 1,500mm/60in a year and in much of the region over 2,000mm/80in.

Clothing should be casual, comfortable and resistant. Light colours are beneficial against sun and bugs. Dark clothes attract mosquitoes. (The best colours to wear are light tones, like brown, beige and green, which don’t highlight you in the landscape, not scaring the animals. Avoid strong colours like yellow, blue and red.) It is important that you always keep at least one set of dry clothes for the evening.

The following items may prove useful:

Clothing

  • Short and long-sleeved shirts/t-shirts (light-weight wicking fabric controls perspiration and dries quickly)
  • Long-sleeved shirts light colour (cotton)
  • Lightweight trousers
  • Shorts
  • Swim suit
  • A light sweater (it gets surprisingly chilly in the rainforest, especially on boat trips)
  • Sun hat/cap

Footwear

  • Comfortable outdoor shoes/trainers for evening use
  • Rubber boots up to size 10 are provided at most lodges

Foul Weather Gear

  • A lightweight raincoat or waterproof poncho
  • Cold fronts can sometimes pass through the Amazon and Pantanal very suddenly and temperatures can drop drastically; heavier clothing can be beneficial.

Travel Accessories

  • Insect repellent (50% deet)
  • Sunglasses (suitable for strong UV conditions)
  • Torch with extra batteries/head torch
  • Water bottle/canteen
  • Antihistamine tablets and an epi-pen for people with serious allergies to stings
  • Zip lock bags - to keep things dry
  • Swiss army knife (this cannot be taken as hand luggage during your flights)

For some excursions to the jungle and Pantanal lodges, you may find you are restricted to a maximum baggage allowance of 10kg (owing to limited space in canoes or light aircraft). In these cases, the local operator will provide secure storage of the remainder of your luggage.

6.3 Galápagos Islands

Clothing requirements onboard boats cruising the Galápagos range from very informal to "smart casual", depending on the grade of vessel. The smarter boats prefer you not to wear jeans, shorts or trainers for dinner. Maximum luggage allowance for the flight to the Galápagos is 20kg (one suitcase/bag).

The following items would prove useful:-

Clothing

  • Lightweight trousers
  • Shorts
  • Short-sleeved shirts/t-shirts (cotton is cool in hot climates, but  light-weight wicking fabric controls perspiration and dries quickly)
  • Long-sleeved shirts light colour (cotton)
  • Light sweater or sweatshirt (nights can get rather cool and you don't want to miss stargazing on deck)
  • Wind resistant jacket
  • Swim suit
  • Wet suits are recommended in the cold water months (July to Sept). These can be hired locally; some boats provide them.
  • Sun hat/cap

Footwear

  • Sandals (for the boat)
  • Trainers (for dry landings and rocky shores)
  • Teva-style sandals (for wet landings)

Travel Accessories

  • Sun screen or sun block
  • Sunglasses
  • Beach towel and bath towel (most yachts provide bath towel)
  • Water bottle/canteen
  • Camera and plenty of film or - if digital - plenty of memory! (underwater camera beneficial)
  • Binoculars
  • Most yachts will provide snorkelling equipment (but if you have your own equipment, we recommend bringing it)

At the luxury/first class end of the spectrum you can use credit cards, and there are laundry facilities. These facilities are not available on budget/tourist class vessels.

6.4 Trekking

If you intend to do any hiking or trekking, you should get into training by doing a few long walks before departure. If you have bought new walking boots, this will provide a chance for you to wear them in. If you are doing any walking in very wet conditions or difficult terrain, you will need waterproof boots or trainers that provide ankle support and have a solid sole.

Before undertaking a hike involving points of high altitude, you should take a few days to acclimatise in a town or village over 3000m. If you have any heart or respiratory conditions, you should consult your doctor before going to high altitudes and should avoid strenuous hiking or trekking altogether.

The hikes that we offer in the south of Chile or Argentina do not involve ascending to high altitudes but the weather conditions can be severe and it can be rough or boggy underfoot. Please be sure you have all the equipment you will need for hiking before leaving your home country, since good quality gear can be difficult to obtain and be more expensive in some destinations. The degree of comfort you feel will be directly related to the effectiveness of your clothing and equipment. If not travelling in a supervised group, the dangers of hypothermia should not be overlooked. In Patagonia it is particularly important that you have windproof garments.

For our group tours, please see individual trip dossiers for detailed equipment and clothing lists. Bespoke clients should ask their travel consultants for specifics though the following general equipment list may be useful:

Clothing

  • Should be suitable for different types of weather, light and fast drying
  • Lightweight trousers (consider convertible trousers - where the below-knee can be unzipped)
  • Shorts
  • Short-sleeved shirts/t-shirts (cotton is cool in hot climates, but light-weight wicking fabric controls perspiration and dries quickly)
  • Long-sleeved shirts (as above)

Footwear

  • Good quality, well worn-in walking boots
  • Trekking/thick socks
  • Comfortable outdoor shoes/trainers/Tevas for evening use

Foul Weather Gear

  • Rain/wind proof jacket or poncho (+ similar trousers if desired)
  • Warm sweater/fleece pullover (layering lighter garments is better than one heavy fleece)
  • Gloves and scarf

Headgear

  • Warm hat
  • Sun hat/cap

Travel Accessories

  • Suntan lotion/sunscreen and lip balm
  • Torch with extra batteries
  • Insect repellent
  • Water bottle/canteen
  • Sunglasses (suitable for strong UV conditions)
  • Swiss army knife (this cannot be taken as hand luggage during your flights)
  • Plastic bags of various sizes for keeping things sorted out in your baggage. Zip-lock bags work well. (They’re also great for camera gear.)

6.5 Camping

For group tours, see individual trip dossiers for details of what you should take if you are joining a trip that involves camping. Bespoke clients should ask for specific information from their travel consultants. As a general rule, sleeping bags are often available locally but we cannot ensure their quality. For that reason some clients prefer to take their own sleeping bag or a sleeping bag liner.

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