The clothes you choose to wear in the Amazon Rainforest will reflect your personality as there are pros and cons with whatever you wear. The general recommendation is to stick to loose-fitting cotton clothes, however, with so many new fabrics on the market, including mosquito-proof and quick-dry shirts and pants, you have your pick. There is a photo in the Tahuayo Lodge office near Iquitos in northern Peru (which is also the location of some of the best luxury Amazon tours) of two people prepared for the rainforest with one person in shorts, t-shirt and sandals and the other in mosquito-net-draped wide-brimmed hat, long-sleeved shirts and pants, and rubber boots. This difference reflects their personalities.
What To Wear Summary List
- Wide-brimmed hat
- Polarised Sunglasses
- Long Sleeved Shirt (cotton / quick-dry)
- Long Sleeved Pants
- Shoes that Cover the Ankle
- Sandals (relaxing back at lodge / cruise boat)
- Warm Clothes for Nights
- Waterproof Poncho
Shirts & Pants
In general, try and stick to long sleeved shirts and pants as one of the main nuisances of any tropical environment are the mosquitoes. To prevent mosquito bites, try and keep as covered as possible with loose clothing, as if its too tight against your skin mosquitoes can easily stick their straw-like mouth through the holes in the fabric and enjoy a meal.
Cotton is one of the most breathable materials and is the most recommended natural material, but it can hold water compared to other fabrics. If this bothers you, you can also try some quick-dry clothes but you may sacrifice the breathability. Take a few tested different shirts of quick-dry material and also some cotton options so you can change depending on how it feels and the activity you’re planning for the day.
Plan on taking some warmer clothes for the evenings as bizarrely the temperature difference between day and night is higher than between seasons. The drop in temperature can be around 15 degrees cooler than day, but the nightly temperature usually stays around 22°C (72°F).
For your feet, tour operators in the jungle usually distribute rubber boots which are surprisingly comfortably on long treks. This is a good move for safety as well as although the chance is minimal, 60% of all snake bites could have been prevented by wearing footwear that covers the ankle.
Sandals are a good idea to take with you as well. Sandals let your feet breathe when you’re relaxing back at the lodge or on the cruise vessel after walks in the humid tropical forest.
Welcome to the rainforest, where it rains. Because of this, one of the most important considerations for what you wear in the Amazon Rainforest is rainwear. We recommend a poncho that doesn’t open at the front (strong rain will find its way in), as this can quickly and easily be stored in a backpack and be taken out for any sudden downpour. But again, this depends on personal preference.
On your head, a wide brimmed hat is the recommendation. This will not only protect you from the sun but wil also shield against any low hanging vines, and will offer you additional protection from the rain. Be warned that it may also provide a platform for small monkeys to jump on and steal your food as you’re about to put it in your mouth (speaking from personal experience). For some more ideas, you can have a look at what to take to the Amazon Rainforest.