Lying on the planet’s equator and coated in a lush blanket of jungle canopy, Central America has the potential to throw all manner of conditions at you at any given time. Due to this it can be difficult to know what to bring – will you be going gold on one of the region’s Caribbean beaches or soaked through in seconds by one of its sudden downpours. The real skill is in coming prepared for anything that might be thrown at you whilst avoiding the temptation to overpack. The last thing you want is to have to lug around a stash of equipment without ever actually using it. Here is our general guide to what you should bring on a trip to Central America.
Most of your time in Central America will be spent in sweltering heat, so it is important to bring clothes that keep you cool and comfortable. However, bursts of rainfall can appear out of nowhere and in higher altitudes temperatures during night time can become quite chilly, so preparing for all elements is probably your best move.
Sunhat/warm hat (depending on the season)
Trainers (or walking shoes if you plan on trekking)
Most toiletries are readily available and affordable in the region’s cities. If you are going to spend the majority of your trip outside the urban sprawl it is probably a good idea to stock up on the basics before diving into the wilderness. It is good practice to bring any necessary medicines with you as they may not be easy to come by in some locations.
Shampoo & conditioner (an alternative is a combo or shampoo bar. There’s no risk of any leakages and uses less plastic)
Toothbrush & toothpaste
Medical kit (pain killers, diarrhoea remedy, rehydration salts, antiseptic cream, plasters, bandages, safety pins etc.)
Insect repellent & bite cream (we recommend using Deet 35% minimum)
Personal medication or products
Downloading entertainment like music and programs is usually a wise move as you never know when wifi won’t be available. Take extra care with your most expensive gadgets.
Mobile phone (with phone case and charger)
Plug converter (sockets differ between countries so a universal converter can come in handy)
Torch (a keyring torch is perfect)
Credit and debit cards
Reusable water bottle
Deck of cards/card game
Laptop, charger & hard drive
Camera & memory cards
Portable mosquito net