The “What to bring” question when traveling to Ecuador is not so easy to solve – Ecuador is a small country, but has various different climate zones! On a typical 14-day tour including mountains, jungle & Galápagos, you will be able to use shorts or bikini as well as your warmest winter jacket and gloves. Even within Quito, known as the city of eternal spring, you have several microclimates – it might be raining cats and dogs in the South, whereas there is sunshine in the North or vice versa. Barefoot Expeditions made a little list for your orientation to help you pack your bags 🙂

 

What you need for Galápagos

The climate of the Galápagos Islands is mostly pleasant (temperatures range between 18º-27ºC (68º-86ºF)) so that you won´t need any really warm clothes:

Galapagos Adventure
Galapagos Adventure
  • T-Shirts
  • Shorts
  • Sandals for the wet landings (TEVA style is best)
  • Light sweater or windbreaker for mornings and evenings when it tends to be cooler
  • Bathing suit/bikini/shorts for swimming and snorkeling (in the time from August to October you might need a wet suit due to the cold water temperature, which is usually provided by the cruise operators for an extra fee)
  • A shirt to wear when you are snorkeling (to avoid sunburn on your back)
  • Lots of sun protection (remember that the sun is a lot stronger along the equator)
  • Rain jacket (the wet season is from January to June, the wettest months are generally March & April)
  • Hat or cap for the day tours on the islands
  • Sunglasses
  • Water bottle (which you generally can fill on the boat for free)
  • Comfortable walking shoes (terrains isn´t rough usually)
  • light cotton scarf to protect your neck
  • Day pack
  • waterproof camera for snorkeling or diving
  • waterproof bag or sealable plastic bags for your gear
  • Binoculars
  • Insect repellant
  • Seasickness medication (if needed – the sea is rougher in the months from August to October)

Notes: Domestic airline regulations permit 20 kilos (44 pounds) per suitcase on a flight to Galápagos. On a cruise, you are provided with towels in your cabins.

 

What you need in the jungle

The weather in the Amazon Basin is very humid and warm (temperatures range between 23º to 26º C (72º to 80º F)), so comfortable and lightweight clothes are a must. Life in the jungle and on the jungle tours is very informal. Clothes made from fast-drying materials are a plus as it is probably going to get wet more than once (especially between March and September – that´s why it´s called the rainforest; -):

Waorani Expedition
Waorani Expedition
  • Long, light, quick-dry pants for jungle walks
  • A few pairs of cotton socks to wear in the rubber boots
  • cotton shorts
  • quick-dry long-sleeved T-shirts for jungle walks
  • light sweater or fleece if it gets a little chilly at night on the boat
  • sneakers
  • sandals or flip flops
  • Bathing suit/bikini/shorts
  • hat / cap
  • sunglasses
  • rain gear
  • good insect repellent
  • sunscreen
  • flashlight with extra batteries
  • binoculars
  • water bottle (can be filled up in the lodges for free)
  • big thick plastic bag as protection for your backpack
  • day pack
  • malaria pills (depending on the part of the jungle you are going to – talk to your doctor before your trip)

If you are going on a jungle tour, the operators generally provide rubber boots for walks through the jungles, rain ponchos, and mosquito nets in the cabins or rooms. In most of the jungle lodges (apart from the more exclusive ones), there is no electricity apart from a generator where you can charge your camera in the morning. Everything is lit by candles, which creates a very special and beautiful atmosphere and protects the environment.

 

What you need at the coast

The climate at the beach is generally hot – temperatures range between 24º-32ºC (80º-96ºF). Check the packing list for Galápagos! There is a risk of Malaria in some parts of the coast, so be sure to check it out before you go.

Ecuador Beach
Ecuador Beach

 

What you need in the Andes (highlands)

The temperature in the mountains ranges between 5º and 25ºC (41º-77ºF) – so we recommend wearing several layers. Be prepared for chilly mornings and rather cold nights and remember that the higher you are, the colder the weather can get. The dry season in the highlands is from June to September – during the rest of the year, it is usually sunny in the morning, but be prepared for some heavy showers in the afternoon during the rest of the year. The weather in Quito can be crazy – you can have sunshine, rain, hail, and thunderstorms the same day. Here are the recommendations:

  • fleece jacket
  • wind- and waterproof jacket
  • a pair of warm pajamas for the cold nights in the highlands (remember that generally there are no heaters in hotels or hostels (apart from the more expensive ones), some have chimneys)
  • if you are usually freezing quickly, bring a warm sleeping bag
  • functional hiking boots (if you want to go trekking) or at least comfortable shoes for walking for all other tours
  • gloves, scarf, and hat (for places at high altitude like Cotopaxi, Chimborazo or Quilotoa)
  • sunglasses
  • sun protection (be aware that even if there is no sunshine, you can get sunburn as you are close to the equator)

 

What you need if you want to practice adventure sports during your trip

  • Rafting

If you’re going to make a rafting trip with Barefoot Expeditions, you will be provided with the complete rafting gear which includes the raft (obvious), a paddle, a helmet, a life jacket, a spray jacket if you feel cold and a wet suit for rivers with cold water temperatures (Quijos river). Additionally, you will need the following stuff:

  • Towel
  • River sandals (no flip flops)
  • Bathing suit/shorts
  • Quick-drying shorts and shirt
  • Dry clothes to change after the rafting
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Cash for extra expenses or tips

 

  • Mountain climbing

If you want to climb one of the several volcanoes or mountains in Ecuador (like the Cotopaxi) and book your tour with Barefoot Expeditions, the tour price generally includes the special climbing equipment (unless you would like to use your own):

  • Polar pants
  • Polar jacket
  • Waterproof pants
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Plastic climbing boots
  • Crampons
  • Ice Axe
  • Climbing harness
  • Gators
  • Outside gloves

Additionally, you will need the following equipment:

  • Warm sleeping bag for the night in the refuge
  • Drinking water
  • Camera
  • Clock
  • Big and small backpack
  • Inside polar gloves
  • Sun protection
  • Sunglasses
  • Warm hat
  • Energy drinks and snacks
  • Two batteries AAA
  • Headlamp (!)
  • Several pairs of socks (2 of the very warm)
  • One pair of fleece pants
  • Two tight long-sleeve shirts (no cotton, synthetic material is best)
Diego Altamirano


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