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What to bring when going to the Amazon, Sani Lodge
Luggage and bags: While going to Sani Lodge I left some of my luggage at the hotel in Quito. I packed the things I was bringing to Sani Lodge in a big backpack, but also brought a smaller daypack to use while at the lodge.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: I left my hiking boots in Quito as Sani Lodge provides rubber boots for all hikes during the stay there. As it can be wet and muddy rubber boots is a much better option than hiking boots. Instead I brought my tennis shoes and a pair of teva sandals. When it comes to socks to use in the boots/shoes it is good with long socks that you can tuck your trousers in.
Sani Lodge will provide you with good rain ponchos while you are there, and during the boat ride to and from Coca. Especially the boat ride to Coca can be cold and for this ride it is good to have a lightweight jacket or fleece. I also brought a few t-shirts and lightweight long sleeved shirts. I brought two pair of long legged trousers (but only needed one pair) and a pair with shorter legs.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Sani Lodge will provide you with a towel, soap and shampoo, even if you are staying at the camping. When I travel I always bring a few small plastic bottles and I had filled the largest of them with body lotion and the smaller ones with soap, shampoo and conditioner. Of course I also had a toothbrush and toothpaste with me. I brought contact lenses for every day, plus a few more, deodorant and a hairbrush. Sun block is important to bring as the sun can be strong and you should also bring insect repellant. I thought I was going to use a lot of insect repellant but in fact I only used it twice. I never travel with a big medical kit, but I brought a few plasters, and a few tablets if I would get a fever or problems with the stomach. I didn’t have to use any of them. I had also brought malaria tablets as I had been recommended that when I made the reservation. At the lodge I heard that not everyone was taking malaria pills and had not been recommended to do so either. Our guide said it was not necessary here.
Photo Equipment: Be sure to have plenty of space on your memory cards, to have more than you think you will need is better than to have too little space for new photos. I brought both my camera batteries and a charger. If you are staying in a cabin you can charge your batteries there, but if you like me are staying at the camping you can charge the batteries at the reception as there is no electricity at the camping.
Miscellaneous: Other things I carried in my backpack was sunglasses, a book to read, a notebook, a pen, my passport, binoculars (not very good ones), my spectacles and water bottles (to fill with water available at the lodge). I also brought a few plastic bags and zip-lock bags to put things in if the rain was going to pour down. And I had a head torch, which is absolutely necessary at the camping where there is no electricity, but also at the lodge as there is not electricity throughout the whole night there, and spare batteries.Related to:
- Jungle and Rain Forest
- Hiking and Walking
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What to bring when hiking in the Quilotoa area
Luggage and bags: If you are hiking between the villages in the Quilotoa area it is good to leave some of your luggage somewhere else, as you will be hiking for many hours at high altitude. I left many things at Hostal Tiana in Latacunga, where I stayed both before and after visiting the Quilotoa area. I was away for a week. I packed what I needed for that week in my big backpack which has good support around the hips and is comfortable to carry. In the photo you can see the backpack I carried. I also brought a smaller backpack, which is very light and can be folded, to carry around things in when I was in one of the villages, or went on the horseback riding tour and hiked around the Quilotoa crater.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Besides my hiking boots, which are very comfortable with good support around the ankles I brought a pair of sandals to use at the hostels. I brought three pair of socks, but also a pair of knitted woollen socks that I had bought in Ecuador, because in places like Quilotoa a pair of ordinary socks was not enough to wear with the sandals, even if I was inside.
I brought three t-shirts, one of them was to sleep in, and one thin long sleeved jumper, a fleece and a woollen sweater. And I brought a thin rain- and wind jacket, but no rain trousers. I brought two pair of trousers though, one pair to hike in and a pair of jeans to wear later during the day (and good to change with if it would rain during the hike). I also had a scarf, a hat and woollen gloves with me.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: In every place I stayed I got a towel, but as I didn’t know that beforehand I had brought a small thin one. I also got a soap in each hostel (except at Llulu Llama in Isinliví). At Posada de Tigua I also got shampoo.
I have got a few small plastic bottles . In the biggest one I brought body lotion, in a smaller one soap, and in two, even smaller ones, I had shampoo and conditioner to be able to wash the hair at one occasion during the week. It is important to bring sun block as the sun is strong at the high altitude. And of course I also had a toothbrush and toothpaste with me. I brought contact lenses for every day, plus a few more, deodorant and a hairbrush. I never travel with a big medical kit, but I brought a few plasters, and a few tablets if I would get a fever or problems with the stomach from food. I didn’t have to use any of them.
Photo Equipment: Be sure to have plenty of space on your memory cards, to have more than you think you will need is better than to have to little space for new photos. I brought both my camera batteries and a charger.
Miscellaneous: Other things I carried in my backpack was sunglasses, copies of a few pages of my guidebook, a book to read, a notebook, a pen, a torch, my passport, my spectacles and water bottles. I also brought a few plastic bags to put things in if the rain was going to pour down (even if I have a cover for the backpack).Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Hiking and Walking
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Sunscreen is a must in Ecuador. Even if its not hot or sunny, you can get burned. Becuase Ecuador lies on the equator, the sun's rays are more direct. Also, if you're in the sierra region (such as in or around Quito or Cuenca) you are closer to the sun.
Never go anywhere without TP
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: A hat is a must for the hot sun. I was in Quito and the Galapagos in early June, technically their winter but it's dry and the days were hot and sunny. A skort was perfect...skirt type thing that has built in shorts. Lightweight and cool. Columbia Sportswear makes a great one. And comfortable cool walking shoes. I loved the Salmon shoes you can see me wearing in the photo. They were comfortable from day 1.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Always carry tissues or toilet paper as many public toilets don't have any. And hand sanitizer! Also bring sunscreen and use plenty.
Photo Equipment: I had recently purchased a new Canon PowerShot SX110 IS with a great telefoto lens, it was the perfect one camera to bring. Can be used as a point and shoot but has many more features and a powerful flash. A little bigger than most pocket point and shoots, but a lot smaller than the big EOS with long lens. I was thrilled with the animal photos I got in the Galapagos, and it did great indoors for those sneaky museum shots with no flash and muted sound.
don't carry much
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Almost everything is needed in this small but so diverse country. If you want to be as smart and elegant as you are in your country, which, in my opinion, is absolutely unnecessary, carry your favourite clothes. Even if you come in summer you will need a jacket. How warm it should be depends on your sensitivity to cold. If your jacket is light at least take a good woollen sweater. A raincoat is useful, too, as the weather on the Andes is not so predictable. Those that fold into a very small packet are perfect.
Good walking shoes are necessary as you are going to walk a lot.
The good thing is shopping is a pleasure here as you can find almost everything at low prices.
Clothes are very cheap. Bathing suits, too.
Generally don't carry a lot of things as you are always a target for robbers. And don't carry your valuables in the big bag. Always in the day pack.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Get your medicine if it is something special; the usual ones, as painkillers etc are easy to find.
Toiletries and cosmetics are good and a little cheaper than at home.
Sunscreen and hats you will need but you can buy them here.
Photo Equipment: Batteries are not good at all here ; they get empty very easily even if you buy good quality ones, which cost about 2$ dollars a pair. Don't buy those sold in the street for 0.50$ because the next day you will need more....
Photographic equipment is supposed to be ok. But if you want to be sure get some supplies from home.
Miscellaneous: Don't please don't come wearing your gold jewels! You will never see them again!Related to:
- Family Travel
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: - Waterproof gear. You'll be in the forest, it's wet, get used to it.
Photo Equipment: - Long lens, at least 300mm, to ensure the birds are up close and sharp.
- At least a monopod, if not a tripod. It can get dark, and you're shooting far away... don't want blurry pics.
- Fast film (or digital sensor) to combat the darkness of the forest.
Miscellaneous: - An umbrella. Without a doubt, the best thing I brought with me to Ecuador. Saved me a lot of pain and hassle. Kept my camera dry all the time.
- Binoculars. Helps to see the birds, usually look for around an 8x power (8x40 or 10x50 were very common).Related to:
- Jungle and Rain Forest
For surviving jungle exploration
Luggage and bags: - Waterproof sack for your backpack... something to slip over and keep it dry.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: - Waterproof jacket. Very waterproof.
- Waterproof boots. Even rubber boots to combat the mud.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: - Mosquito repellent... even up to 100% DEET if you feel like it... these suckers bite.
Miscellaneous: - An umbrella. Without a doubt, the best thing I brought with me to Ecuador. Saved me a lot of pain and hassle.Related to:
- Jungle and Rain Forest
- Hiking and Walking
Luggage and bags: A backpack is not only essential for doing multi-day hiking trips but makes traveling by bus a lot easier.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Sturdy hiking boots with good ankle support are necessary for backpacking and sandals that stay on your feet are handy for river crossings. They also double for around town casual wear.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Tampons are difficult to find in all but the biggest cities so bring your own if that is what you use.
Photo Equipment: A wide angle lens comes in handy for not only architecture photography but also landscapes. A good zoom is great for wildlife photography and a macro (which I do not unfortunately own!) would be handy for the jungle.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: A tent is pain to carry around for a long trip but made our Cotopaxi trip the special one it was.Related to:
- National/State Park
- Hiking and Walking
What not to bring...
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Don't get carried away and bring lots of shorts and sleeveless tops. Long-sleeved shirts and long trousers are a much better and more environmentally-friendly defence against insects than chemical insect repellent. For the same reason, stick with socks and shoes/trainers, rather than sandals - mosquitoes love feet....
The Equatorial sun can really burn you, too, so that's another good reason to cover up.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: It's very easy to buy recognisable brands of soap, shampoo, toothpaste, sunscreen, insect repellant, etc., so buy them in Ecuador rather than bringing them with you and you'll be helping the local economy too. Small villages have very little choice, but you can get almost anything in the big supermarkets and pharmacies in cities and large towns.
EXCEPTIONS: Ecuador does not have antiseptic cream (they use liquid alcohol instead, but it is very drying to your skin), so bring your own Savlon/Germolene, etc. Nail brushes are not always easy to find, bring your own to keep your nails clean and so reduce the risk of tummy troubles.Related to:
- Budget Travel
For Ecuador you have to pack a bit of everything!!
Luggage and bags: Backpacks are by far the most comfortable - especially if planning to go to the Amazon and to the Galapagos. Also the best option if you shall be travelling by bus.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: So Ecuador has hot, humid lowlands as well as ice capped volcanos - so you have to pack both your swimsuit as well as your thick jackets ... Don't forget that the capital, Quito is at altitude 2800m so it can get quite chilly especially if it is windy or at night. It is best to take clothes you can layer on top of each other. A rain poncho is a must if visiting areas in the rainy season. Also be sure that you have some good hiking boots, preferably waterproof and good for all kinds of weather, be it snow & cold, or hot and rainy!
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Malaria tablets are a must for certain areas in the lowlands, particularly the amazon. Consult your doctor about which ones are best for your use. Always carry a first aid kit as certain stuff is difficult to find in certain areas. If you are planning on visiting the Galapagos also consider seasickness tablets - they really work and are worth it!!
Photo Equipment: Lots and lots of film or memory cards!! It is quite common to find internet cafes that will burn your pics to a cd but it is best to get your own card reader as more often than not, they don't have any. It is also best to get full supply of good batteries as they seem to be lacking everywhere except for in Quito. Long lenses are a must if visiting the Amazon, but are also useful to get great close-up portraits in the Galapagos.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Daypack for hiking
Miscellaneous: A leg pouch or money belt for the cash and any other items of value. Ecuador is know for its pickpockets so it's better to be safe than sorry.
Binoculars for the amazon - the animals don't get that close!!
Large plastic bags for non-waterproof bags & for buses - just not to get your packs wet or filthyRelated to:
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Take ALL that you need
Photo Equipment: Make absolute sure and protect your camera and power supplies are more than sufficient. At the time, I was shooting 2.1mgp, and took well over 1,000 pictures. Splurge and get the 2500mA batteries. Make sure your camera has traveled well, one poor sole on our trip, with an expensive Nikon, it locked up after about 30 pic's - the very first day, and he was not able to get it to work during the entire trip.Related to:
- Diving and Snorkeling
Miscellaneous: After 116 years dealing with sucres, Equatorians bid goodbye to their old currency in 2000 and adopted the US dollar as the new one. Ever since, Equator is by no means a cheap destination, but, at least, there is no need to make difficult calcullations when translating prices into Euros.
Credit cards are widely accepted and cash dispensers are plentiful in the urban areas, so there is no need to bring along a lot of cash.
In your bagpack!
Luggage and bags: First of all, you need a bagback to travel in Ecuador. This is the best way to deal with transportation...
A protection for your bagpack is a good idea since it will be placed on the roof of the buses or in other places not particularly clean. So if you care, think about it.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: You need warm clothes (for the Andes) and light clothes (for the coast). Think about something to protect you from the rain as it may be rainy.
Take tennis shoes or even trekking shoes. Don't need to take you richelieu with you...
As far as warm clothes are concerned, however, please note that clothes in alpaca (very warm and sympathic souvenir) are sold everywhere for nothing. A good way to travel light and come back with souvenirs.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Toiletries are available even in the small towns but bring with you the needed medical supplies. Don't forget mosquitos' repellent!
Photo Equipment: Take your own photo equipment with you, as it is quite expensive and not always reliable in the country.
There are internet cafes everywhere where you can burn CDs or downloud pictures.
Layer clothing in the Ecuadorian climate
Luggage and bags: Pack light if you plan to move around as porters are not plentiful even at the airport.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Layered clothing such as Polar Tec jacket with a quick dry t-shirt with stretch pants for the Quito area which can be warm in the day and cold at night. Most hotels do not have heaters. Shoes I wore "Aqua Socks" as they were light weight for Quito, Galapagos and general walking. Hiking boots recommended if treking around the volcanoes.
Photo Equipment: I used both 35mm and digital cameras so brought plenty of 400/800ASA film and 2nd set of rechargeable batteries with recharger. Regular film is expensive here ($6 for a 36 roll of 400ASA film) and so are batteries.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: I mostly wore quick dry t-shirts, Polar Tec jacket and Aqua Socks.
Miscellaneous: Plenty of cash in small denominations ($1/$5/$10) as most people did not have change for $20 or larger bills.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: It is a good idea to bring clothing that you can layer, especially if you'll be travelling in more than one area of Ecuador. The mountainous Andean region can get very cold at night, sometimes reaching freezing in Quito for example. But since Ecuador lies on the equator, it can also get very warm during the day, esp. when the sun shines. Breathable but modest clothing is recommended for the jungle and the coastal areas.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Insect repellent is advisable for the jungle and for sub-tropical regions. Bring sunscreen, even if you are only in Quito. The sun is much stronger here since you're at the equater.
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Av. de las Amazonas, Banos, 2000, Ecuador
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