About three years ago I was lucky enough to take a four-week guided tour through Central America. To say that it changed my life would be an understatement. And while the tour company that I chose provided me with lots of information to help me prepare, there was lots that they didn’t.
For this reason, I decided to write my own small guide to help travelers like yourself pack everything they will need for an adventure through Central America!
Let’s get toiletries out of the way first. Of course you are likely to have small travel bottles of your daily routine, however, when it comes to Central America, if it’s going to end up in the drain, you need to be mindful, with many hostels prohibiting the use of harsh soaps.
To prepare for this, head to your local health store and pick up some natural soaps and moisturizers which you can carry with you on your adventure. When you are buying the products, be sure to tell the assistant the type of climate which you will be entering so that they can recommend an appropriate natural product. After all, what is the use of an animal-friendly moisturizer if you sweat it out in an hour?
What to Wear
The worst thing that I did was pack nothing but jeans and a pair of shorts. Sure, I had something to wear when the group all went out for the night, but it didn’t help me when we were completing any of our activities. Especially because Central America boasts such as tropical climate, I was sweating constantly!
Here’s what I recommend to start you off:
- Hiking Boots
- Pair of Jeans
- Two pairs of hiking pants
- Two pairs of shorts
- Two t-shirts
- Two undershirts
- Thick Socks
- Thin Socks
- A poncho
And please, please, keep all of these items as loose as possible! If you aren’t sure that you have the right gear for the adventure, take it from me, check out the Groupon Coupons page for Columbia BEFORE you leave, and don’t get stuck in the jungle wearing jeans and a t-shirt.
Prepare Your Mind
I saw a lot of things that I wouldn’t have seen in my own country while I was traveling through Central America. While none of it was bad, there were some aspects which came as much more of a culture shock that I would have liked. These situations could have been avoided with a bit of research.
Before you head off on your adventure or even on the plane, perform a small amount of research into the culture and the economics of the areas you will be visiting so that you can mentally prepare yourself for what’s ahead. While this shouldn’t scare you into not traveling, there are many cultures who live very differently to you which could cause some challenges.
Don’t forget to pack an open mind!
In saying that, it’s important that you take on Central America with an open mind! There will be a number of strange and different things that you will see and experience during your trip and it’s important that you don’t compare it to your experiences back home and accept it for the journey that it is.