What To Pack For Ecuador And The Galapagos Islands In January

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While it has been a while since I went to Ecuador, I found my old packing list and decided to put it up here.  Every time I cleaned my room while I was home I would find the list (written out!) and say I’m going to make this a post, I never did.  Well, now and I am and you’ll know just what to pack for Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands in January.  Since Ecuador is right on the equator, this parking list may work for most of the year.

As usual, it will be broken down by clothes, toiletries, electronics, and other stuff.  Keep in mind, this was for a photography class and was for two weeks.  I’ll tell you now, I definitely overpacked and think my Central America packing list would be good for Ecuador with a few warm additions.  It’s more backpacking oriented than this.  I’ll include everything on my list and I’ll say if I wouldn’t bring it again.  I had enough to get by without laundry.

I loved visiting Ecuador and miss it a lot!   One of my friends lives in Ecuador and I would love to go back and visit and see more of the country.  It has so much to offer and is gorgeous!

street by Basílica del Voto Nacional basilica in quito ecuador


Light winter jacket – this wasn’t a full winter jacket, maybe fleece-lined Goretex or something similar.  It was really old but I think it’s equivalent to this Northface jacket I have.  Buy the new version of my jacket here.

Fleece sweatshirt – I just brought a Columbia fleece jacket like this.  It’s nice because it has zip pockets.  Check out the sweatshirt here.

Hoodie – I wouldn’t bring this again if I’m already bringing a fleece jacket.

Socks – I’d probably bring like 15 pairs because I sleep in them and wear them all the time, but you may not need as many.  I would bring some good hiking socks if you plan on being in higher elevations and doing hiking.  I love these hiking socks.

Underwear – you know this.

Swimsuits – I brought two since we were going to the Galapagos and would be in the water a lot.  I probably could have managed with one.

Jean shorts – I brought two pairs and would again, especially if I went longer.

Gym shorts – I mostly just use these to sleep.

Jeans – I stand by traveling with jeans.  I wear them all the time at home so I brought them with.  Any pants you are comfortable in would be fine, but if you plan on climbing Cotopaxi or hiking a lot, hiking pants may be a good idea.

A nice outfit – I probably didn’t need this and wouldn’t bring it for a regular trip.  A dress, maybe.

T-shirts – Seven to twelve would be good.  I just bring regular shirts, no special hiking ones, but they would be good if you’re hiking in rainy places.

Tank tops – two or three would be enough for warmer days or layering.

Longsleeve Underarmour – This was really good for layering on cold, windy days.  Plus, it’s super warm.  Check out my shirt here.

Yoga pants – I like my Fabletics pants, but any yoga pants are fine.  I usually get them on Poshmark because they’re cheaper and I hate the Fabletics VIP thing.

Spandex shorts – I don’t know why I brought these and wouldn’t again.

Flip flops – these are good for beach days and hotel/hostel showers.  I would probably just bring and wear Chacos now because I hate flip flops.

Tennis shoes – these would be good for cooler weather hiking, but I’d bring hiking boots if you’re doing mountain/jungle hiking.

Water shoes – Tevas, Chacos, or Keens would be good for this, but I don’t know how much I used these.  I would just usee my Chacos.

Gloves/mittens – I just used these when we were at Cotopaxi, but I’m glad I had them.  These are the gloves I have now and would bring.

Scarf – perfect for any cool-weather hiking.  A thin one would probably be fine, like a fashion scarf, versus a bulky winter scarf.

A note on shoes: If you bring some kind of hiking sandal that can get wet, I think those and tennis shoes would be sufficient unless you’re doing a lot of intense hiking, then I’d bring hiking boots.

giant tortoise galapagos islands


  • Birth control
  • Vitamins (I wouldn’t bring them again because I don’t take them)
  • Immodium
  • Allergy stuff
  • Cough drops
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Advil
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Brush (I wouldn’t bring this again just because I don’t use one)
  • Chapstick – I LOVE this lip balm and would definitely bring this now.
  • Razor
  • Hand sanitizer

Basically, I would just pack a little basic drug kit but maybe adjust what I put in it a little now.

red and green iguana galapagos islands Las Tintoreras


While I brought different camera gear, I’ll be listing my current camera equipment, which is similar, just newer.

Camera – I have a Fuji XT-2 and I love it!  It’s light but takes great pictures.  Buy my camera here.  That links to the body and lens I have.

Fuji XC 50-230 zoom lens – This would be great for wildlife in the Galapagos.

Canon G10 – I actually brought this and it’s a great mid-size camera if you want more than a point and shoot and less than a DSLR.  Check out the G10 here.

Canon G10 waterbody – I brought a water body for the G10 for snorkeling.  I would just bring my GoPro now.

Memory cards – I would bring one or two extras, just in case.  These are great cards to use.

Batteries – Gotta have extra camera batteries.  I would bring two extra.

Battery charger – because charging.

External flash – I would not bring this again.

Tripod – I wouldn’t bring this either because I don’t really use them.

Lens cloth – gotta keep the lens clean.

Laptop – I would not bring this again.  I brought it so I could look through pictures.  I would settle for my iPad in the future.

market in riobamba ecuador

Other Stuff

Sketchbook – I would settle with a small journal now, something like this.

iPod – Yes, it was in the iPod days.  I would settle with just my phone now.


Phone Charger

Book – I usually bring one paper book to trade in book exchanges.  Now I would also bring a Kindle.

Magazine – I wouldn’t bring one now.

Camelbak water bottle – I would get a GRAYL to bring now instead.

village near riobamba ecuador

What I wish I brought

As I write this, I can’t really think of anything else I would have brought and if I would have brought one thing instead of something else, I mentioned it above.  If I think of anything else, I’ll add it.

Winter headband or hat – for those cold hikes.

Sunscreen –  I like the Neutrogena a lot, but if you’ll be going to the Galapagos, too, or any other beaches, you’ll want a reef-safe sunscreen.  I probably brought some but didn’t have it written down.

Bug spray – this might not be totally necessary for western Ecuador, but if you go to the Amazon, you’ll need bug prevention.

Have you been to Ecuador and the Galapagos?  Is there something else I should add to this?  Or remove?

Follow along for more inspiration!

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