This is a list complied from the Rainforest Expeditions website as well as from a selection of past residents. Many of the items are personal preference, some are obvious, some are necessary, to help know which is which there are comments alongside each suggestion.
Any comfortable, lightweight clothing, quick drying material is a plus. Some advise against cotton due to the dam and humidity, cotton will take a longer time to dry, but I found that my pair of very thin pyjama bottoms were fine. It helps if trousers and sleeves are cuffed. Essentially you’re aiming require to stay cool, dry, and bug free. Colours, bright colours and white attract insects, black and other very dark colours also attracts insects. Aim for pale and muted, especially for items of clothing you plan to wear on the walks. Between 6am and 5pm while in the lodge it’s okay to not cover up so much. So do bring some (loose fitting) t-shirts, shorts even. I did see some guests wearing leggings but.. they seemed comfortable but I could comment!
I was comfortable wearing certain items, shirts and trousers, for a couple or even a few days at a time, but plan to have a few changes of clothing as insects are also attracted to body oder. There is a service to get clothes washed for 4 sol per kg. You may also of course wash your own clothes, in any case simply ask the staff at the lodge and they should be able to help you.
- Lightweight scarves - This is for covering your neck area on walks and on the evenings. I also found a ski snood to work well. It’s necessary to take a few of these as you’ll use them often.
- Baseball cap or wide-brim hat - Wise to wear on walks (added protection from bitey/stingy things falling from above) - on a string is useful
- Warm layer - for boat ride to and from trc (can be pretty chilly)
- Light, packable jacket, rain mac, poncho - also useful for the boat if it’s raining but also necessary for taking with you on walks incase it downpours.
- Walking boots - although there are lots of of wellies available in many sizes and that you can borrow for the walks.
- Old sneakers - to travel in and wear on the way to the first lodge before you have access to any of the wellies. Not necessary if you’re packing walking boots.
- Flip flops/sandals for the lodge - something comfortable to walk around in. Bare in mind that at night you might want to be able to tuck your trousers into your socks.
- Underwear.. bras, pants, socks.. - socks are important, bring a variety, long thin socks for the evenings, thick sock for walking boots/wellies, etc.
- Bathing suit - no promises made but just in case!
- Sunglasses (with lanyard) - optional, I didn't end up wearing mine
- Headlamp and batteries/ recharger - high powered with far range would be great but any will do - this will be useful mostly for any night walks you might join in on. At night the new solar bed lamps will help you to find the bathroom.
- Good binoculars (10X24 work well) - for spotting the wildlife. The guides will lend you there’s but it does help to have your own.
- Backpack (small) - mostly for taking on walks, keeping the essentials in (bug spray, rain mac, headlamp, binoculars, camera, water)
- Water bottle - you can fill this up at one of the many tap about the lodges. Some prefered a more substantial water bottle and carabiner for the walks.. I just used a plastic bottle and kept it in my bag.
- Plastic bags - very important for packing - for leaving things back at the office in storage and keeping the clothes you take to the lodges from becoming damp before you’ve even put them on. Best to keep everything sealed, plastic bags are a good cheap way of doing this.
- Ziplock plastic wallets - great for keeping things from the humidity, sketch books etc.
- Clothes pins - extra for using to dry clothes
- Collapsible fan - a suggestion, for the heat, I took one and didn’t use it
- Credit card for spending and cash for tips - in terms of spending, drinks at bar are generally 15 soles, gifts or convenience item at gift shops are generally more expensive because of shipping costs
Toiletries and Medicines
As well as the usual...
- Lots of bug spray - DEET (for exposed feet and hands) and Natural (for general use)
- Sunscreen - I didn’t find myself in the sun all that much but good to have to hand.
- Antihistamines, Pain Killers, afterbite/neosporin/anti itch creams, diarrhea/constipation relief, plasters/bandaids - you’re a long way from anywhere, take anything you think you won’t be able to do with out in this department.
- Vitamin B - (new info, haven not tried this) apparently good for water tummy, to be taken for one month prior to travel
Take what materials you’ll need as you’re not likely to find any traditional making materials there.
Most artists have been finding that pads of paper can stand the humidity (although it depends on what month you go) but that some of the materials used to draw do not hold their crispness so well, graffit will bleed etc. Very wet paints might not dry very quickly. I found I had to do a fair amount of experimenting until I found something which worked for me.
- Scissors, rulers, brushes, tools… again if you think you’ll need it take it.- Big plastic sheet - there are tables in the public spaces which you will be able to work on. The plastic sheet is so that you don’t damage the table. It can also be used if you want to place art materials on the bed or anything else that could do with remaining paint free!
- Research materials - as you won't have access to Internet, there is some wifi but please don’t rely on it!
- 10 x 10 images on a USB stick - for presentations, the usb stick which can be hooked up to the computer.
Rain covers for gear - **Tip: Keep everything exposed to environment rather than shocking it, you can use silica gel/rice but if everything is in constant use, much better not to - as it increases risk for condensation forming - I shot 35mm film and never had a problem, aside from a shorter battery-life
- Cards or games or books
- Spanish -english dictionary- the staff really appreciate when you attempt to speak in Spanish, and will gladly help you to improve.
- Snacks - the meals are the same times everyday, same drill every week. Past residents have said having home comforts / their own snacks to be a welcome variation. Do remember to keep these in the safe away from animal intruders.
What you will not need:
- You don't need clothes detergent or soap/shampoo/conditioner as they have it at the lodge.
- Malarial pills are not recommended as they haven't had a case of it for thirty years. The best thing to get is bug spray, wear long clothes when it is at all dark out and bathe frequently, as the only real threats are leishmaniasis, bot flies and dengue fever (if you're in the city). However, it's your call.