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Caiman Amazon wildlife spotting Brazil

Ross’ Packing Tips for the Amazon Rainforest


You’re heading to South America, land of beaches and historic cities and hot sun. And if you are anything like me, you may well leave your packing until 24 hours before you are due to head to the airport and begin your adventure. So you might be forgiven by thinking to yourself this is easy: I need summer clothes, sun lotion, flip-flops, sun glasses a camera and a hat. Oh and maybe your passport…
Decorative torn edge

On my recent trip, I decided to throw myself into the heart of the Amazon rainforest, travelling by canoe, kayak, jeeps, vans, and on foot. Besides the obvious items, I needed to pack for the Amazon accordingly as I would often be in places with no local shops to pick up supplies.

Amazon Manaus city river cruise Brazil
Tourists in the Amazon jungle on guided walk Brazil


After speaking with the experts and doing some online research it was apparent that a small rucksack (5kg) would be my essential kit, and the great news being that I would be able to lock up my main bags in the office of the guides taking me, allowing me to pack lightly for this portion of my adventure. Here is a list of what I packed for my adventure and a great guide to what to pack for the Amazon:

Must have items to pack for the Amazon…

  • Daypack
  • Sturdy shoes or hiking boots for trekking
  • Sandals/flip-flops for lounging in your free time.
  • Camera, memory cards/film & if you are clumsy like me a waterproof case
  • Clothing – The Amazon is hot but can cool down rapidly in the evening and during rain, so layers are better and anything quick drying is helpful – don’t forget a light waterproof jacket or swimwear if you fancy a dip!
  • Sunblock of at least 15 SPF – the tropical sun is strong
  • Insect repellant with DEET (diethyl-meta-toluamide)
  • Any medication your doctor has prescribed for the trip

Now, the above items are my must haves that I believe you cannot do without, but if you want to be a lot more practical (and prepared) than I was, below are the items I didn’t pack for my Amazon trip and sorely missed, so be a good adventurer and always be prepared… or suffer the consequences as I did!

Additional Items to pack for the Amazon…

  • Contact lenses/Extra pair of eye-glasses
  • Anti-bacterial soap, toiletries, toothbrush (yes I left this locked in the office…doh)
  • Flashlight or headlamp with extra batteries
  • Swiss army style knife
  • Plastic bags (zip lock bags and a larger rubbish bag)
  • Water bottle
  • Travel alarm clock
Brazil Caiman in the Amazon river
First aid kit travel safety what to pack

And for the more safety-conscious of you…

First Aid Kit that might include:

  • Pepto-bismol for mild diarrhoea
  • Throat lozenges
  • Motion sickness medication
  • Sunburn salve such as aloe vera gel
  • Aspirin or other pain-killer
  • Antibiotics for traveller’s diarrhoea (TD)
  • Antacid tablets
  • Plasters

Pack well for your Amazon trip and you can enjoy your adventure fully, escaping any health or comfort worries along the way, which makes for a much more rewarding experience.

And lastly don’t forget your toothbrush or (if you are travelling with Rickshaw) your travel vouchers, as this has been known to happen!