Many people consider Amazon Rainforest holidays for some of the best wildlife-watching opportunities on the planet. But the thought of heading into the jungle with all of those critters and mosquitos can be an intimidating thought for some… So we’ve put together a complete Amazon Rainforest packing list to ensure you’re well-prepared for your jungle experience. We’ve even included all the essential information you could need, from vaccination requirements to internet access.
Amazon Rainforest Info:
- The Amazon is the world’s largest tropical rainforest, covering more than 2.5 million square miles
- Over half of it lies in Brazil, but it crosses 8 other countries too, including Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia
- It is thought that around 10% of the world’s species live in the Amazon Rainforest, and 20% of the world’s bird species
- More than 20% of the world’s oxygen is generated by the Amazon, giving it the title ‘the lungs of the world’, but despite this, the rainforest is severely threatened by deforestation
- The Amazon River is the second longest in the world, at over 4,000 miles long, and during the wet season it reaches 120 miles wide in places
Amazon Rainforest Packing List
- Lightweight, practical clothing – It’s hot and dirty in the jungle, so comfort wins over style. Long sleeves and trousers are advised to protect you from insect bites, and you need to make sure your clothing is lightweight to keep you cool.
- Quick-drying layers – On an evening the temperature can drop so it’s a good idea to pack layers, however make sure your warmer clothes are still lightweight and quick-drying as downpours are common.
- Waterproof – A waterproof jacket is essential in the wet season, and in the dry season it can be used as an additional layer to keep you warm. Some lodges provide ponchos and wellington boots during the rainy season, but it’s best if you’re prepared.
- Swimsuit – You may or may not want to go swimming in the Amazon, but pack one just in case.
- Walking boots – You’ll need sturdy shoes for trekking through the jungle as the ground is uneven and you’re at risk of standing on spiders, snakes etc. so your feet need to be protected.
- Sandals or shoes you don’t mind getting wet – These are for walking around the lodge, canoeing, and possibly swimming in. Walking boots take too long to dry so you need a second pair of shoes.
- Daypack – You’ll need a lightweight daypack to take with you on hikes, to carry your water, a change of clothes, swimming things, torch, insect repellent etc.
- Camera with waterproof case – If your itinerary involves canoeing or exploring the Amazon River, a waterproof case for your camera is essential. Plus, in the rainy season you’ll struggle to keep your camera dry without one.
- Extra sun cream – Because of the moisture in the jungle you’ll need to apply your sun cream more frequently, so ensure you pack enough.
- Hat and sunglasses – To protect you from the sun. The hat is also good for when it rains and to stop insects falling on your head.
- Binoculars and a torch – The Amazon ranges from dense jungle to open clearings, and every species seems a master of camouflage, so anything that will help you spot the wildlife you’re there to see is a bonus!
- Medication – As well as prescription medication, we recommend taking a personal first aid kit.
- Nothing Valuable – We don’t recommend taking valuables into the jungle, as lost possessions are unlikely to be found, and expensive jewelry and watches are not necessary.
Only take what you need into the jungle. It varies from country to country, but there may not be porters to help you with your luggage between the airport and your jungle lodge, which means lifting heavy suitcases on and off boats, buses, vans etc. So, if possible, leave your luggage in secure storage at the hotel you will be returning to, and only take a small bag with you into the jungle. If you are flying into the jungle, especially in Ecuador, there may be weight restrictions in place on the plane for your luggage.
Vaccinations for the Amazon Rainforest and Other Health Concerns
- Your booster immunisations should all be up to date prior to travel, including tetanus, typhoid, diphtheria and hepatitis A and B.
- Anti-malarials are necessary for Amazon Rainforest holidays, so speak to your doctor about the different types available before you travel. Most cause some side effects so it’s good to be prepared for these as well, and your doctor may even recommend doing a trial before you travel to see if they are suitable for you.
- Yellow fever is widespread in the Amazon, so a vaccination is essential. You should be vaccinated at least 10 days before travel, and are then protected for 10 years.
- Dengue fever is another health concern in the Amazon, but unfortunately there is no vaccination against it. It is spread through mosquito bites, specifically from Aedes mosquitos which are active during the day, so it is recommended that you use a DEET-based insect repellent and cover up as much as possible.
- A rabies vaccination is not necessary for travellers to the Amazon Rainforest, with the exception of those who will be visiting extremely remote areas and handling animals. You are highly unlikely to come into close contact with bats, who are the main carriers of the disease, and most Amazon lodges are within a day’s reach of medical facilities should you get bitten by anything anyway.
Water and Electricity in the Amazon
Water is usually heated via solar power, so expect cold showers first thing on a morning especially. Bottled drinking water is provided in all lodges. Most lodges use generators for electricity, which are usually switched off at night as they can be very noisy. Some lodges don’t have plug sockets in guest rooms, but most do in communal areas.
Phone Signal and Internet Connection in the Amazon
This varies from country to country and lodge to lodge, but in general you will not get a phone signal or internet connection in the Amazon Rainforest. There are ways to get messages to friends and family if needs be, and you can give them your lodge details in case of emergencies. If this is a deal breaker for you then consider some of the more luxurious lodges in the Brazilian Amazon, many of which have both phone and internet connection.
Air Conditioning and Mosquito Nets
Air con varies from lodge to lodge, but in general your accommodation will be an open structure, with walls that don’t go all the way to the ceiling and open windows. This helps the air to circulate and keeps the room at a bearable temperature. It does mean that insects, spiders and mosquitos may wish to join you, which is why you’ll be provided with a net covering your bed. Ensure it is completely sealed before you go to sleep, and use insect repellent as well to be safe.
More Information for your Amazon Rainforest Trip…
For more information on Amazon Rainforest holidays, including specific country information, click here.
And for ideas of things to do on your jungle adventure, click here!
Alternatively, contact one of our South America experts for information about tailor-made trips.