Not sure what to pack for an Amazon River cruise?
For many Rainforest Cruises customers, an Amazon River cruise is an adventure that happens once in a lifetime. Many of our customers have never been to the rainforest before, so its important to know exactly what to pack. Being prepared for your Amazon Cruise will ensure that when a magic moment occurs, you have captured it on film, or have seen it in living color with your binoculars.
The Amazon basin can be hot and muggy, but not always. During hikes under the canopy, or during a rain storm it can be quite cool, even cold. So it is important to dress appropriately. Many adventure companies, such as Colombia, produce high-quality pants and jackets that are light and quick-drying. These pants are versatile, and ideal for the rainforest hikes, but can also be used in other environments such as the highlands - so ideal for vacations that include multiple destinations.
A hooded, wind-breaking, water-proof jacket can be a life-saver, and is generally more comfortable than a heavy raincoat or poncho. This will arguably be the most important piece of clothing you pack!
Be sure to choose one that has pockets to hold valuables or essential equipment during the hike, such as a flashlight or headlamp, snacks, repellent, pocket knife, and camera.
As for the rest, we find that light, cotton shirts, socks, and underwear do the trick. Be sure to bring along plenty of changes so that you have fresh underlayers to wear each day. In the jungle, clothes dry at a frustratingly slow speed.
Take note that mosquitos can often bite through clothing, so outer layers such as jackets and pants should be tightly woven to help prevent pesky bites in unwanted places. Mosquito repellent with high deet concentrations should be applied generously.
In the jungle the best form of footwear is the traditional rubber boot, or 'Wellington'. Expensive hiking boots are great, but the protection provided by simple rubber boots is ideal. Not only will your feet remain completely dry, but because boots rise up to below your knee, you have additional protection from insects, snakes, and thorny vines and shrubs. Most cruises provide rubber boots for their travelers, or they can be inexpensively bought on site.
In the Amazon you will have great opportunities to see incredible diversity of wildlife, but generally not great densities. During your Amazon River cruise, quite a bit of time is spent aboard your boat or in your skiff. Observing animals from a distance is the norm, so a strong pair of binoculars is critical. The birds and monkeys you are searching for are often perched atop giant trees, hundreds of feet away, so binoculars with strong magnification are key.
The same goes for your camera. The best camera is one that can shoot many frames per second, and has a telescopic lens of some sort. Be sure to bring plenty of batteries and a water-proof pouch for any camera equipment.
Note: It is suggested that your binoculars and camera remain outside your cabin. Taking your camera or binoculars from your air-conditioned room out to the observation deck in a rush will probably mean you have foggy lenses, losing the opportunity for a great shot! Storing your camera with silica-gel to mitigate humidity is a good idea. Some boats have special humidity-free compartments for convenient storage.
So, here is our list of essential equipment you should have for your Amazon River cruise:
Light, quick drying pants
Rubber boots for excursions
Camera with telescopic lens and multiple-shot function
Light, cotton under layers (T-shirts, Long Sleeve Shirts, underwear, socks)
Hat, Sunscreen, Sun Glasses, Lip Balm
Sandals and / or Sneakers (for use aboard the boat) Crocs work quite well!
Flashlight (head lamps are ideal)
Penknife, Snacks (granola bars) & Water Bottle