Packing Checklist For Travelling To Latin America

By | 10 April, 2019

One of the best and worst things about travelling in South America is the diversity of the continent. While the sites are endless and the history is astounding, packing for such an extensive variety of climates, altitudes, terrains, and activities can be quite the challenge. Yes, good old Latin America can put even the most experienced travellers to the test when it comes to making sure that you’ll have everything you need along the way.

But don’t worry, we’ve got your back! Whether you’re sightseeing in Buenos Aires, hiking in the Andes or discovering old Inca ruins in Peru, we’ve got you covered with this perfected “I’m off to South America” packing list.

1. Backpacks and Bags

Before you start packing, you need to decide if the luggage you have is suitable enough for the trip. A sizeable bag that comes loaded with compartments, locks, and weatherproof coverings is an ideal choice. This will help to keep your items organised and easily accessible. Make sure your bag also has a few extra plastic bags for clothes and shoes that might get dirty along the way.

2. Apparel

The weather in South America can often be unpredictable and locations can have completely different climates. We suggest you pack the following:

  • Waterproof jacket
  • Fleece jacket or hoodie
  • A thin long-sleeved shirt
  • A pair of jeans
  • Hiking pants
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 2 short-sleeved shorts
  • A collared dinner shirt
  • Swim shorts
  • Hiking boots
  • Flip flops
  • A sun hat and a beanie

This list might vary depending on how long you’re planning to stay, but with plenty of laundromats available, you should get by on these few essentials.

3. Toiletries

When it comes to toiletries, we really recommend that you stick to the basics and keep to a “no frills” approach. Start with a waterproof toiletry kit and pack the following:

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Shower gel
  • Basic skin cream
  • Antiperspirant
  • A miniature well-stocked medical aid kit
  • Disposable Pure Optical contact lenses (if necessary)
  • A hairbrush and nail clippers

Remember to also add a lightweight towel and facecloth to your luggage as some hotels and hostels do not supply these.

4. Technical Devices and Gadgets

Apart from a reliable Smartphone and a good camera, you might find the following devices handy to have around on your travels:

  • A GoPro
  • Earphones
  • A waterproof cell phone case
  • A portable power bank

Don’t forget to pack the chargers for your devices and at least one set of spare back-up batteries.

5. Documents, Money & Safety

Pick a safe compartment in one of your carry bags to keep the following documentation safe:

  • Your passport/visa
  • Plain, bus, and train tickets
  • Cash (local currency)
  • Printed hotel booking confirmations
  • Travel and medical insurance details
  • Travel maps

To keep your documents crisp and smudge-free, make sure you slip them into a waterproof document bag before you add them to your luggage. Seal your load with a reliable lock to keep prying fingers away from your valuables.


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