Collage of diverse travel destinations and vacation items.

Rain Risks?

With pleasant temperatures and a dry climate across the country, February stands out as one of the best times to visit. Rain is uncommon but still possible, so we recommend packing a lightweight rain poncho. It’s less bulky compared to a light raincoat and can easily cover both you and your gear.

Documents

  • Any relevant vaccination card you might have. It’s not mandatory, as no specific vaccine is currently required to travel to Colombia.

The Suitcase

A daypack (30-40L) + one larger backpack or suitcase (with or without wheels).

Clothing

Embrace the “onion policy” or the art of layering: ventilation, insulation, protection.

These layers serve complementary functions. To travel light, plan to do a bit of laundry or use local laundromats (very handy for 2-night city stays).

Below is a suggested clothing list. Your goal should be to pack minimally in terms of both quantity and volume, while also preparing for inclement weather, trying to utilize your regular sportswear.

  • A Goretex jacket (If visiting the Andes)
  • A light fleece (Minca and Kogi Trek)
  • 2 short-sleeved T-shirts/shirts and 1 long-sleeved
  • A pair of hiking trousers
  • A pair of light trousers (canvas)
  • A pair of shorts or zip-off trousers
  • A swimsuit
  • A large hat or cap
  • A scarf or neck gaiter
  • 3 pairs of socks
  • Underwear
  • A raincoat or preferably a rain poncho

Hygiene

A toiletry bag with items such as:

  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Dental floss
  • Soap and shampoo (travel-sized; most hotels provide these anyway)
  • Cotton swabs
  • Razor and shaving cream
  • Tissues
  • Nail clippers
  • Tweezers
  • Spare glasses or contact lenses and necessary solutions, etc.
  • Hand sanitizer
  • 2 packs of tissue paper
  • A travel towel made of microfiber, viscose, or similar quick-drying material of medium size.

Aim to minimize containers and contents.
Note that toilet paper is not always available in remote areas, hence the suggestion to carry tissue packs.

Pharmacy

Include a basic personal first aid kit in your toiletry bag: antiseptic, antibiotic cream, painkillers, a few band-aids…

For treating minor injuries on the go, here’s a non-exhaustive list:

  • Mosquito repellent: Note that mosquitoes are attracted to clean skin and repelled by the toxins in chili pepper excreted through sweat. Avoid DEET-based products as they can damage camera equipment.

In the Sierra Nevada, there are few mosquitoes but plenty of “Zancudos” or “Jején” – micro mosquitoes that are almost invisible. While they don’t transmit diseases, their bites are more irritating than those of regular mosquitoes. They particularly love ankles, where the skin is thinnest. The best strategy to keep them at bay is essential oil-based repellents, or simply wearing trousers and socks during peak hours, usually from 5 pm to 7 pm.

  • Sunscreen: Each skin type requires a specific SPF. A minimum SPF 30 is advised for the fairest robust skins, and SPF 50 for sensitive ones. For an eco-friendlier option, consider sport sleeves and a hat for sun protection.
  • Antibiotic cream (like Polysporin): Very useful in tropical countries for disinfecting wounds.
  • Sunglasses

Over-the-Counter Medications

  • Antihistamines: Standard or chewable, for allergic individuals, they help relieve symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, and itching. They’re more effective if taken before exposure to allergens.
  • Antidiarrheal: Medications like Imodium or generic brands. These stop diarrhea but do not cure the infection. Consulting a doctor for antibiotics if necessary is crucial.
  • Oral rehydration solution: Essential for rehydration in cases of severe diarrhea. Can also be improvised with a teaspoon of sugar and a teaspoon of salt mixed in a liter of water.
  • Bandages, band-aids, gauze, and tape
  • Cough syrup or lozenges
  • Ibuprofen or Paracetamol (do not mix these two)

Trekking Equipment

For the Kogi trek during the dry season, rain risk is minimal. However, we’re in the mountains, and surprises can happen.

Remember, each traveler is responsible for their pack, and you must carry it during the hike (avoid unnecessary weight).

If you can’t carry your luggage, we can arrange a mule/donkey service at an additional cost.

Backpacks

It’s crucial to bring as small a backpack as possible (around 20-25L capacity).

The comfort and fit of your backpack are important as you’ll be carrying it for several hours a day.

Opt for backpacks with a hip belt to alleviate up to 66% of the weight from your back, distributing it more to your waist.

If your backpack is waterproof, great; if not, bring a large plastic/trash bag to cover it in case of rain.

  • We can store your main suitcase securely before starting the hike.
  • We’ll have a mule to carry basic supplies.

Hiking Shoes or Boots

Essential for the trek: tennis or hiking shoes should be comfortable and provide good foot support.

Here are the best options for Colombia:

![[Calzado apropiado Araracuara.jpg]]

Regardless of the brand, comfort is key. Choose good shoes, neither too heavy nor too rigid.

Trail running shoes with a grippy sole are the best option if you’re accustomed to mountain walks.

Recommended brands: Salomon, Merrell, Adidas.

Boots are recommended during the rainy season (September to November) and are quite affordable.

Light Shoes, Sandals, Flip-Flops

Great for easy walks, flights, sightseeing, and evenings, but also to give your feet a rest.

You’ll cross rivers during the trek, so these can also be water shoes.

Clothing

  • Long clothes for the night: ideal for mosquito protection and because temperatures can drop (around 17/18 degrees Celsius).
  • A small fleece or sweater can be useful at night in the Sierra Nevada (Minca and Kogi trek).
  • Shorts and T-shirts for hiking: should be comfortable and lightweight. Microfiber clothing is recommended as it dries faster.
  • Socks: it’s advisable to bring one pair per day or more in case of rain.
  • Swimsuit: you’ll have opportunities to enjoy rivers and natural pools.
  • Towel: if possible, use a microfiber towel as it dries faster and takes up less space in your backpack.

Sleeping Bag

Not necessary for this trip, Tristan will provide one for the Kogi trek.

Silk Liner (Optional)

A silk sleeping bag liner can be useful if you’re staying in a local farm or camping.

Sun Protection

  • Sunglasses with a minimum UV3 protection
  • Cap or hat
  • Sunscreen

Headlamp

There’s no electricity in the Kogi village, so a lamp is necessary. A headlamp is more practical than a traditional flashlight because it leaves your hands free. Choose a powerful model for observation walks in the Amazon.

Plastic Bags or Drybags

Bring several in different sizes. Extra-large ziplock or supermarket freezer bags are very sturdy.
Lightweight and compact, they’re handy for organizing your bag by utility.

Plastic bags are useful for your trash but also for keeping your wet clothes separate from the rest.

Telescopic Walking Poles (Optional)

Telescopic poles adapt to all terrains. Whether you need a spring system, a more ergonomic grip, or other features depends on your budget, but these options are never essential.

Poles can reduce the strain on your knees by 10 to 15%. Make sure to tie them together during transport and add rubber tips (or similar) to protect your gear.

We can also improvise one for you on the spot.

Water and Bottle

We’ll provide purified water during the trek. Please bring a 1L Bottle.

A model with a wide opening is handy as it’s easy to fill. Some come with built-in filters.

Recommended brands:
Katadyn, Lifestraw, Decathlon

But in the end, a mineral water bottle will do.

Others

  • Optional Chlorine Tablets (e.g., Micropur) for water purification: Available at pharmacies. Anise, Ricqlès, or lemon juice can help mask the chlorine taste. You’ll have access to bottled water throughout the trip, so these chlorine tablets will only be used in an emergency.
  • A folding knife: Ah, the classic Swiss Army Knife!… (must be packed in your checked luggage)
  • Your favorite cereal/energy bars.
  • Toilet Paper (or tissue paper)
  • A needle and thread.
  • Mosquito repellent: The most commonly used is DEET-based repellent (Nopikex brand in Colombia).

Try to use biodegradable products as much as possible and avoid aerosol deodorants and sunscreens, which are highly polluting.