There are few undeniable facts that you have to realize before a trip to the Ecuador Amazon Basin, its luxury Rainforest lodges.
It’s wet, humid, and hot. In the span of one day sunny blue skies may greet you in the morning, rain in the afternoon, and chilly temperatures in the evening. There is no escaping the humidity- will be damp, shoes will get soaked, and the sun can beat down at midday.
Tours from Amazon lodges, like the wildlife, take the weather seriously. Trips start early in the morning, where the midst is thick and the creatures are stirring before retreating for cooler ground when the sun sets in. Rain ponchos and boots are provided, but packing accordingly means a comfortable escape to the deep reaches of the jungle.
Packing light and with multi-purposing in mind gives you an edge. Keep reading for a list of essential things to bring.
Flexibility and durability are two key traits of what to bring. Ditch the hard luggage and think about duffel bags, packs, and backpacks. Luggage is transported in boats, where space is a commodity. Porters carry your belongings from docks over walkways to tributaries of the Napo River- rolling suitcases don’t really work well here. There is a 44-pound (20kg) per person baggage limit on the flights. Waterproof bags for clothes and gear are crucial.
Rain can come at a moment’s notice, and day trips by boat expose cameras and computer equipment to sun, humidity, and rain-a triple threat for sensitive electronics. A decent sized day-pack is your goto bag when on excursions on the water, hiking, and for trips by plane. Waterproof is again the main concern-rain can seep in through zippers making for a damp change of clothes when out and about.
In the jungle- lightweight, breathable clothes make the grade. Waterproof trousers, short and long sleeve shirts that dry quickly, and layers make it easy to strip off in the sun, cover up in the shade, and air out at the end of the day’s activities.
A major consideration is bugs when thinking about what to bring. It might be hot and muggy, but mosquitoes and larger stinging insects are everywhere. Covering up isn’t just because of the temperature-it’s to avoid getting stung!
For the sun that starts in the morning and continues to the early afternoon-or starts at lunch and continues until nightfall-a good hat is a priority. It’s not the Sahara of Africa, and a big brimmed hat or baseball cap, depending on your sensibilities, will do the trick. Style is also a consideration, but party hats are likely to get squished on the journey to and from your luxury Amazon lodge retreat!
A good, light-weight, water-proof jacket is also a must. Waterproof is the keyword, lightweight comes in second. Ideally a rugged rain slicker that can be minimized for travel in a day pack is the best. Like the fairy tale-too big will fill up space and too small will easily get soaked through flimsy material.
Shoes can be a tricky subject for the jungle. Amazon Basin Lodges provide wellies when trekking through the forest in muddy areas, but finding the right shoes for the rest of the journey means multitasking.
Rugged, waterproof, lightweight hiking shoes or ankle boots suit most of the climates of the jungle in Ecuador. Sloshy boat bottoms, muddy trails, and indoors in cabins and the common areas of luxury lodges have seen a lot of footwear.
Conversely, boat shoes that you don’t mind getting wet, and hiking shoes that keep the elements at bay are another option. Flipflops and Tivas are also well-suited for relaxing and leisure time. The thing to remember is weight and volume. Three pairs of shoes for a four day trip tend to overstate the matter.
While our insider team is purposefully writing this as a guide and not a list, the latter can’t be avoided. What the following doesn’t do is give you a number of pairs of underwear, shirts, trousers, and socks to bring-that’s up to you. Luxury Amazon Lodges like Napo Wildlife Center, Sacha Lodge, and La Selva Lodge have laundry services, so you’re not left high and dry when it comes to clean clothes.
The Ecuador Amazon Basin is the perfect setting for adventure-the climate-albeit muggy and damp, creates the environment for the thousands of species of flora and fauna to thrive. It’s a rugged landscape that has challenged explorers for centuries.
With the advent of eco-tourism and the rise of luxury rainforest lodges that provide comforts and services that rival world-class hotels, it’s a journey well worth the effort to get there.
For more information about your next adventure to the wilds of the Amazon River Basin, and the luxury rainforest lodges that can take you deep into the depths of the jungle, contact a member of the Ecuador and Galapagos Insider team.