What to pack?

We are going to Macchu Picchu and the Galapagas Islands in February, 2012. We understand that this is the rainy season in the Galapagas Islands. What are items that we should definitely pack and what are items that we should leave at home? I have a tendency to overpack and really don't want to on this trip. Has anyone gone to either of these wonderful places in February?


  • We did this trip in mid-March to April two years ago. The only rain we encountered was at Machu Picchu, and that did not interfere with our visit to this wonderful site. I have a lightweight North Face windbreaker that is a great rain jacket and served me well for this part of the trip. In fact, the misty morning made for an incredible experience and outstanding photos. I would advise long pants for that part of the trip as it can be foggy and cool. Of course, you can leave these in Guayaquil when you repack to go to the Galapagos. Lots of repacking and leaving clothes or sending them on on this particular trip! Good organization is a must!!
    For the Galapagos, a long sleeve sun shirt (think REI, Columbia or North Face) is essential...in fact, I wish I had brought two. Sunscreen!! A must! In fact, I got a terrible sunburn on an overcast day in Lima before the trip even started, and I know better!!! A number of people brought hiking shoes, but I didn't see the necessity. The soles tend to be stiff, and you need shoes that are a bit flexible to traverse the lava rocks. My husband and I used Merrill water shoes with the Vibram soles, and they were great for both places. You need water shoes for wet landings in the Galapagos, and these were perfect. They allowed us to move easily along the trails on the islands. A lot of people used Keens, and those seemed to work well also. A covered toe is essential (open toe Tevas would be problematic). We liked the idea of a more covered shoe to use in both places. Did I mention sunscreen?!!! Comfortable and cool hiking clothes worked well for our various journeys on the islands. A hat with all around the head protection (baseball caps don't work well) is needed. Our hats even had chin straps to keep them on during the rides in the pangas.
    Here's a note of caution about the most dangerous part of the trip! I think Tauck might mention something about bringing walking sticks. Many people, who had never used them before, brought them. They had not practiced with them, and, frankly, I feared getting impaled on a walking stick a fellow traveler was flailing about more than the danger of any creature I might encounter in the ocean while snorkeling!! If you are a bit unsteady, and feel the need to bring a walking stick, please practice using it beforehand! Oh, and did I mention sunscreen!!!
    Feel free to ask any other questions...out of nine Tauck trips, I think this was our favorite! Oh, yeah, and bring plenty of sunscreen!!
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