How to Pack for an Amazon River Cruise

How to Pack for an Amazon River Cruise

Just so you know, you don’t have to match! We both happened to like the same shirt.

When cruising to the Amazon, we cannot stress enough that the most important thing you can do before an Amazon river cruise, like the one we did with International Expeditions, is to make sure you have the right gear.


If you are out in the rainforest and you’re wearing cotton, not only will you sweat and it will stay soaking wet, it will add literally pounds. We found you could easily get by with just a few pair of pants, pair of shorts and a few of these kinds of lightweight shirts. International Expeditions offered daily laundry service for no charge so it wasn’t a problem to have just a few outfits for the 10 day trip/9 night trip.

We love shirts by Exofficio. You will definitely want long sleeves, that’s important to protect your skin from the sun and bugs. They offer some that are long sleeves but also can be rolled up. Exofficio also has some great pants that have multiple pockets, a built in belt and the coolest thing is they zip off into shorts. So make sure you have at least one pair of this type of pant in your luggage.

It’s not all about the cruise itself, you do get onto land and hike the rainforest. Make sure you have the right shoes. We each have an excellent pair by Salomon. They are easy to put on and off, very comfortable, light and more important very supportive.

GearAnd don’t forget good socks. When you are in a hot and humid climate like the Amazon, definitely go with wool or a moisture wicking type sock.

Another very very important article of clothing and often overlooked is underwear. And there is nothing worse than traveling, especially in the Peruvian rainforest, in wet soggy underwear. That’s an item most people don’t think about. They get the right shirt, pants, socks and shoes and they are wearing just regular, old, cotton underwear. That is a sure fire way to make that day very miserable. So, we used Exofficio underwear this entire trip. Right on the box it says: “17 countries, six weeks, one pair of underwear, okay may be two.” We went with the two.

So here’s how it works, at the end of the day you’re hot and sweaty. So, you either wash them in the sink or you can just shower with them on. Take them off, roll them up in a towel, hang them up and within 2-4 hours they are dry.  They’re anti microbial and mesh so they dry real quick.

It makes a huge difference because when you’re sweating, it doesn’t matter how much moisture your outer clothing wicks away, you can’t have soggy underwear.



Some of our clothes were also treated with insect repellent and also were designed for sun coverage. But for our face and other exposed skin we used SPF30 Sunscreen from Sawyer. It was lightweight and gave us great coverage. We never got burnt.

And for insect repellent we used Sawyer’s Picaridin Insect Repellent. Most people go with Deet. However, Deet will melt plastic and we needed an effective repellent that wouldn’t harm our camera equipment. Sawyer’s Insect Repellent didn’t have an odor either.

Huge thanks to Brant at Bill Jackson’s Shop for Adventure in St Petersburg Florida for helping us pick out all our gear and get us ready for our Amazon adventure.