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25 Top Ecuador Packing List Items for 2024 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring

25 Top Ecuador Packing List Items for 2024 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring
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Ecuador is one of the most unique countries in South America, brimming with fantastic natural landscapes and bustling metropolitan cities. From the tropical Amazon Rainforest to the active Cotopaxi volcano, travelers will surely be amazed by Ecuador.

With so much to see and explore, it can be difficult to know what to pack for Ecuador. So, we have put together this packing list equipped with what to wear in Ecuador, what NOT to bring, and answers to your top Ecuador FAQs.

Don’t forget to bring an open mind, adventurous spirit, and plenty of patience!

See our product selection criteria and guidelines here.

What to Pack for Ecuador – 25 Essentials

  • 1. Neck Wallet

    A neck wallet is an essential item to bring on your trip to Ecuador because it provides a safe and secure place to keep your credit cards, phone, passport, cash, and other essential valuables. Keep it tucked safely beneath your clothes and out of reach from pickpockets and petty thieves.

    neck wallet

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  • 2. Water Bottle with Built-in Filter

    The tap water in Ecuador is not safe to drink, so you’ll need to make sure you take extra precautions while keeping hydrated. Instead of spending tons of money on plastic water bottles that harm the environment, consider packing a reusable water bottle like this one. It even comes with a built-in filter as a layer of added protection to ensure your water is free from bacteria, viruses, sediment, and more.

    Water Bottle with Built-in Filter

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  • 3. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    A VPN is an underratedly useful thing to have with you on international trips. Not only does it protect your personal information, like credit card numbers and passwords, from potential hackers, but it also allows you to access websites from your home country that may be blocked in the place you’re visiting. It can also be used to get around paywalls on popular news websites that require subscriptions.

    Virtual Private Network (VPN)

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  • 4. Packing Cubes

    Every traveler should invest in a good set of packing cubes like these! They’ll help you to stay organized while traveling and will keep you from overpacking for your trip to Ecuador. We love this set because it comes in a variety of fun colors and includes cubes in different sizes.

    Packing Cubes

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  • 5. Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger

    An infinitely useful item to bring with you on your trip to Ecuador is a lipstick-size portable charger. You’re likely to be using your camera and smartphone every day for things like photos, videos, navigation, music, communication, and more, and you won’t want to stop your day to recharge your devices. Simply toss this charger in your purse or daypack and you’ll be good to go!

    Lipstick-Sized Charger

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  • 6. Ecuador Travel Insurance

    One of the smartest things you can do for yourself is to invest in Ecuador travel insurance before you leave on your trip. By getting travel insurance, we know costs will be covered for lost or stolen luggage, emergency medical care, and flight cancellations, among many other things.

    After trying all of the most popular travel insurance companies on the market, we can confidently say Faye is by far our favorite. Their app has revolutionized travel insurance. Everything from finding the right plan to making claims and getting reimbursed is done straight from your phone. There is no other travel insurance company that makes it easier!

    Ecuador Travel Insurance

    Get a quote in less than 60 seconds with Faye ➜

  • 7. Windproof Travel Umbrella

    Don’t get caught in the rain in Ecuador without a proper umbrella! Whether you’re strolling through the streets of Quito or trekking through the rainforest, you’ll be glad you brought a reliable umbrella to keep you and your belongings safe and dry. This one’s great because it can withstand the wind and is large enough to cover two people.

    Windproof Travel Umbrella

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  • 8. Activated Charcoal

    Ecuador is one of those places where you’ll want to be prepared with everything possible to prevent and treat food and water-borne illnesses. I got both while I was there, and let me tell you, I wish I had thought to bring these activated charcoal pills with me! They will quickly expel the toxins in your body and flush them out, keeping you healthy and feeling good.

    Activated Charcoal

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  • 9. Quick-Dry Travel Towel

    A quick-dry travel towel is an excellent alternative to bringing a large, bulky towel that takes a long time to dry. A microfiber towel like this one is compact and lightweight, which is perfect for throwing in your daypack for a day at the beach or a hike through the rainforest.

    Quick-Dry Travel Towel

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  • 10. Electrolytes

    Electrolytes are another necessity for any trip to Ecuador. Add some electrolytes to your drinking water to replenish the vitamins your body loses through sweat, alcohol, or food poisoning to keep you hydrated and safe.


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  • 11. Waterproof Phone Case

    Make sure your smartphone is protected from the elements in Ecuador by keeping it in this handy waterproof phone case. Bring your phone to the Amazon Rainforest or Cotopaxi volcano without worrying about damage from dust, dirt, or water.

    waterproof phone pouch

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  • 12. Cooling Towels

    Planning on visiting Ecuador’s Amazon Rainforest, the Galapagos, or the beaches of the Pacific? If so, you’ll definitely want to bring a pair of cooling towels. They are a lifesaver for days you’re exploring in the heat and humidity. All you do is get them nice and wet, wring them out, and they instantly become 10-20 degrees colder than the outside temp! I like to drape them around my head, neck, and shoulders for ultimate heat relief.

    Cooling Towels

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  • 13. Daypack

    A daypack will come in handy during your trip to Ecuador. Use it to carry everything you’ll need with you on day trips and excursions, including a water bottle, change of clothes, snacks, sunscreen, and a hat. This daypack is awesome because it’s durable, comfortable, and will keep you organized.


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  • 14. TSA-Approved Luggage Locks

    When you’re in Ecuador, you can’t afford to have your valuables like phones or passports stolen. You can imagine the nightmare of having to navigate a foreign country without these lifelines. In addition to a solid neck wallet, luggage locks will keep thieves out of your bags during transit or while they’re sitting in your hotel room. I even like to secure my day bag with a lock when I’m in crowded cities like Quito. You can never be too careful!

    TSA-Approved Luggage Locks

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  • 15. Discounted Tickets on Ecuador Tours

    We like to book our excursions ahead of time with Get Your Guide to make sure we don’t miss out on any must-do activities. When it comes to Ecuador, Cotopaxi can’t be missed. It’s one of the highest volcanoes in the world with absolutely breathtaking views – literally. Because of the elevation, you’ll get winded more easily. That’s why we recommend going with a guide! They took great care of us and made sure we were safe and comfortable while exploring.

    Then there’s Mindo’s cloud forest for exotic wildlife spotting. Think tucans, sloths, and monkeys! Finally, you can’t visit Ecuador without straddling the line of the equator or getting a picture on the iconic “swing at the end of the world.

    Discounted Tickets on Ecuador Tours

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  • 16. Hiking Shoes

    Be sure to bring a sturdy pair of hiking shoes on your trip to Ecuador. There are plenty of places to explore throughout the country, and you’ll need to make sure you’ve got a comfortable pair of shoes like these ones that will hold up during all of your adventures.

    Hiking Shoes

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  • 17. Water-Resistant Shoe Bags

    Something you often don’t realize you need until it’s too late is a way to keep muddy shoes separate from your clean clothes. These travel shoe bags are water-resistant and keep shoe funk away from the rest of your things. It’s compact so you aren’t adding extra bulk to your suitcase, and will fit almost any pair of shoes.

    Water-Resistant Shoe Bags

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  • 18. Pashmina Shawl

    Ecuador tends to be a bit more conservative than you may have expected and in most churches and cathedrals throughout the country you’ll want to cover your chest and shoulders out of respect for local customs. Bring a pashmina shawl with you for this purpose, and also use it to spice up an outfit and keep you warm on a chilly evening or on a long bus ride.

    Pashmina Shawl

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  • 19. Altitude Sickness Prevention

    Ecuador’s capital, Quito, sits at almost 10,000 feet above sea level! And if you plan on visiting Cotopaxi, add another 4,000 feet of elevation, if not more, depending on the excursion. Needless to say, Ecuador is a high-altitude country that you want to be prepared for. These patches will help prevent and combat altitude sickness symptoms to help you acclimatize to new heights. They are made with natural ingredients like peppermint and clove to boost your body’s oxygen intake and deter nausea and headaches for 72 hours!

    Altitude Sickness Prevention

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  • 20. Hanging Toiletry Bag

    The best way to keep your toiletries organized and isolated in case of a spill is a toiletry bag with plastic zippered compartments. This one can hang just about anywhere and fits our whole family’s toiletries. The two bigger compartments fit my wife and I’s things and the two smaller ones are perfect for our kiddos. We never travel without it!

    Hanging Toiletry Bag

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  • 21. Swimsuit Cover-up

    You’ll have plenty of opportunities to swim during your time spent in Ecuador, from the thermal baths of Baños to the beaches along the Pacific Coast. Be sure to bring a trendy swimsuit cover-up like this one to throw on over your suit when you’re done at the beach and want to stop into a cafe for a snack or drink.

    Swimsuit Cover-up

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  • 22. Packable "Just in Case" Bag

    We all know how our bags tend to be significantly heavier on the way home from a trip. Instead of having to worry about whether or all of your things plus souvenirs will fit in one bag, bring a “just in case” bag. It’s the perfect solution because, on the way there, it folds up super compact and will fit in any suitcase or carry-on. And for the trip home, use it as your personal item bag to fill with your trip’s purchases. It’s a must-have to transport all the artisanal goods you’ll want to buy at the famous Otavalo market!


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  • 23. Affordable Underwater Camera

    In Ecuador, you will have lots of opportunities to swim and participate in water-based activities, whether it be soaking up the sun in Montañita or snorkeling in the Galapagos Islands. You’ll want to have a high-quality and affordable underwater camera like this one to capture all your favorite South American moments.

    Affordable Underwater Camera

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  • 24. Dry Bag

    Between the beaches, rainforest, and the Galapagos, you’ll be surrounded by water when exploring Ecuador. Keep your water-fearing items like phones, cameras, and cash safe from any accidental mishaps by storing them in a dry bag. They come in a variety of sizes and will even float if dropped in the water!

    Dry Bag

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  • 25. Latin American Spanish Phrasebook

    A Latin American Spanish Phrasebook will be super useful during your time in Ecuador. Just learning a few basic Spanish phrases will help you immensely both in getting around and communicating with the locals. Pull out this phrasebook whenever you have downtime and maximize your experience in Ecuador!

    Latin American Spanish Phrasebook

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What to Wear in Ecuador

Ecuador has only two seasons, wet season and dry season. Depending on when you travel, it will be important to dress accordingly! Ecuador also tends to be a more traditional and conservative country, largely due to its roots in Catholicism. This means you should opt for clothing with more coverage, or at least bring a jacket or shawl to cover up when necessary. On the whole, Ecuadoreans dress pretty casually, so you won’t want to be too fancy unless you’re traveling for business or are headed to a special event.
What Should WOMEN Wear to Ecuador? – (Click to expand)
Below is a sample women’s clothing list. (All items link to for your convenience).

Because there are only two seasons in Ecuador and the temperature remains mild to warm year round, women should dress for warmer weather and be prepared for rain. This means shorts, t-shirts, layers, and plenty of breathable clothing. Don’t forget a swimsuit and a good pair of hiking boots, too!

What Should MEN Wear to Ecuador? – (Click to expand)
Below is a sample men’s clothing list. (All items link to for your convenience).

Men should dress for mild temperatures year round and prepare for plenty of rain. That means packing shorts, tshirts, a rain jacket, and a sturdy pair of hiking boots. Don’t forget your swimsuit and sunglasses too, as you’ll definitely have the opportunity to swim!

Packing for the Seasons in Ecuador

Because Ecuador lies along the equator, it experiences mild temperatures year round and only has two seasons, the dry season and the wet season. The climate is tropical humid, so you’ll want to be prepared for rain and bring plenty of lightweight, breathable clothing. The Andes Mountains and regions at a higher altitude will experience cooler temperatures, so be prepared with warmer clothing and layers, too.

WET SEASON – October, November, December, January, February, March, April, May:

You can expect warm temperatures, lots of rain, and higher humidity during Ecuador’s wet season, which extends through the majority of the year. Be prepared with a good windproof travel umbrella, a raincoat, and sturdy, breathable sandals.

DRY SEASON – June, July, August, September:

Because the seasons are reversed in the Southern Hemisphere, the dry season in Ecuador is considered to be winter. During this time you can expect less rain and mild to warm temperatures. Bring lightweight clothing, shorts, t-shirts, and sturdy sandals, but still come prepared for the occasional rainfall.

How to dress for different activities in Ecuador – (Click to expand)

Ecuador’s Coastline – Typically, the coastline experiences mild to hot weather year round, so dress in casual, beachy clothing. This area is known for awesome beaches, swimming, and surfing, so definitely bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a rashguard, too!

Galapagos Islands – The Galapagos will be warm and mild throughout the entire year, though you can expect a significant amount of rainfall as the islands lie along the equator. Bring a swimsuit, warm weather clothing, and some rain gear to be safe!

Sierra Region – This region tends to be a bit cooler, so you’ll want to bring a rain jacket, warm socks, hiking boots, and a warm jacket, though a full winter parka won’t be necessary. Be prepared with a warm hat and gloves, too.

The Amazon – The Amazon Rainforest is wet and tropical, so bring lightweight, breathable, and sweat-wicking clothing with you. Don’t forget a swimsuit and some sturdy sandals, like Tevas, which dry quickly and are perfect for trekking in and out of the water.

What NOT to bring to Ecuador

  • 1.DON’T PACK too much stuff

    Ecuador is a magnificent country filled with tons to do and see. You won’t want to be bogged down by heavy luggage as you make your way through the country. Pack light and leave room for souvenirs!

  • 2.DON’T BRING expensive jewelry or electronics

    Avoid making yourself an easy target for pickpocketing and petty theft by leaving your valuables at home! You won’t want to risk your expensive items getting lost or stolen and ruining your trip.

  • 3.DON’T TAKE a winter coat

    You likely won’t need one at all. Instead, opt for layers when you’re headed to the country’s cooler destinations. Layers will take up much less space and will be much more useful and versatile throughout your trip.

  • 4.DON’T PACK clothing that’s too tight or revealing

    Ecuador tends to be a more conservative destination, so avoid wearing clothing that will draw too much attention to yourself. Opt for clothing with a bit more coverage to help you blend in and respect cultural norms.

  • 5.DON’T BRING perishable food from home

    You won’t be allowed to bring it through customs. Plus, Ecuador has a ton of delicious fruits and vegetables to try that are sold cheaply at markets throughout the country. If you want to bring food from home, make sure it’s non-perishable, like granola bars or trail mix.

  • 6.DON’T TAKE high heels

    Ecuador’s cities are full of hills and cobblestoned streets, so make your life easier by avoiding wearing high heels. Instead opt for flats or sandals, which will keep you much more comfortable on evenings out.

What clothing should I NOT wear to Ecuador? – (Click to expand)
Avoid wearing clothing that is overly fancy or will out you as a tourist, as that’s the easiest way to make yourself a target for pickpockets! For the same reason, also leave your most expensive and expensive-looking jewelry and valuables at home. Unless you’re visiting the Sierra, avoid bringing heavy or overly warm clothing, as you’re not likely to need it during your trip.

FAQs for Going to Ecuador

  • 1. Is Ecuador safe?

    On the whole, Ecuador is safe to visit, though you should be wary of theft, pickpocketing, and some violent crime. Be sure to keep your wits about you and avoid walking around alone at night. Try to blend in as best as possible and avoid standing out as a tourist.

  • 2. Can you drink the tap water in Ecuador?

    No, do NOT drink the tap water in Ecuador!! Instead opt for bottled water, or refill your reusable bottle with filtered water which will be available throughout the country. Also avoid eating fruits or vegetables that may have been washed with local water, as well as drinking lukewarm soup that may be made with tap water.

  • 3. What currency is used in Ecuador?

    The US dollar is the currency used in Ecuador. However, things tend to be much cheaper in Ecuador than in the United States.

  • 4. What’s the best way to get around in Ecuador?

    Ecuador has an extensive bus system that runs through the country and is very inexpensive. However, distances are long and busses can be unsafe, particularly overnight busses. Flights are the safest and fastest way to get around the country, though they will be more expensive than busses or renting a car.

  • 5. Do I need a visa to visit Ecuador?

    US citizens do not need a visa to enter Ecuador, though they will need a passport that is valid for at least six months past departure. If you’re visiting from outside the United States, be sure to check ahead of time whether or not you will need a visa for entry.