Machu Picchu. The Galapagos Islands. Latin Dancing. Beaches. Mountains. Digital nomads in South America get to experience it all. You’re guaranteed to be enthralled with incredible cuisine, stunning views of nature, and thriving cultures. With a variety of climates and environments, digital nomads can experience the exotic Amazon rainforest or the chill of the Andes mountains.
An up and coming continent for the remote worker and traveler, South America has plenty to offer!
With a huge digital nomad community in Medellin, Colombia, more and more nomads have flocked to the area over the last few years. South America makes for a great starting point for digital nomads who want a taste of the nomadic lifestyle. There isn’t a huge financial commitment to living in the area and there is a global community to network with.
When planning your journey to South America, you’ll want to bring a variety of clothing with you because of the extremely different climates. We also recommend packing lightly and consider using a travel backpack to make your travels easier.
We’ve put together the ultimate packing list for digital nomads in South America so you can focus more on your work and less about what to put in your suitcase.
- 3-4 shirts (long or short-sleeved)
- 3 pants
- 1 pair of shorts
- 1-2 dresses
- 1 dressy shirt
- 1 pair of slacks
- 1-2 sweaters
- 1-2 athletic outfits
- 1 bathing suit
- 3-5 pairs of socks
- 2 pairs of hiking socks
- 5-7 pairs of underwear
- 2 bras
- 1 light rain jacket
- 1 packable down jacket
- 1 scarf
- 1 hat
Since there are so many different climates in South America, you’ll want to pack clothing for each season, especially if you plan on moving around the continent. There are gorgeous beaches to relax on and outstanding views along the trekking trails. If you enjoy the outdoors, you’ll definitely want to bring some comfortable and athletic clothing.
If you’re a serious hiker, you can buy equipment and clothing while in South America as they’ll have exactly what you need. You can even rent these items in some cases so you don’t have to carry them around with you.
- 1 pair of walking shoes
- 1 pair of dress shoes
- 1 pair of hiking shoes
- 1 pair of sandals
- 1 pair of flip flops
You’ll want to pack comfortable shoes with you. There is nothing worse than traveling with blistered feet. Depending on the weather, you’ll definitely want to have an option between walking shoes with closed toes and sandals.
If you plan on doing a lot of hiking, like trekking along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, you’ll want to bring your own hiking shoes with you. Make sure these are broken in and comfortable.
When night rolls around and you feel inspired to go out dancing to some Latin music, you’ll definitely want to have a pair of dress shoes with you. Ladies should take a pair of heels, some clubs won’t let you in without them.
- Microfiber Towel
- First Aid Kit
- Menstrual Cup (for the ladies)
- Prescription Medication (Altitude sickness)
- Makeup (for the ladies)
Always remember that you can buy your basic toiletries at your destination, there is no need to carry them all the way from your home country. However, there are some items that we do recommend bringing with you.
Before going to South America, you should visit your doctor and ask if they can prescribe you medication for altitude sickness. If you do travel to Bolivia or Cusco, Peru, you’ll feel the dramatic difference in elevation. While it takes a couple of days to acclimate, medication can help.
For the ladies, consider purchasing a menstrual cup for when it’s that time of the month. Tampons can be hard to find in South America. This nifty device is compact, sanitary, and recommended by thousands of female backpackers.
- Computer case
- Outlet Adapter (Universal)
As a digital nomad, traveling with your technology is absolutely essential. It may even be more important than the clothes you pack! This list is just the basics, depending on your job and how you like to work, you may need to bring more with you.
When it comes to packing your chargers, try your best to condense them. If you can use one charger for two or three items, then only bring one! It will help you stay organized and from getting tangled up.
- Day Bag or Backpack
- Ziploc Bags
- Packing Cubes or Vacuum Seal Bags
- Bug Spray
- Life Straw or Filtered Water Bottle
When traveling as a digital nomad in South America, you’re going to experience some pretty amazing things. Make sure to bring some heavy-duty bug spray for mosquitoes and sunscreen. While you can buy these items there, you don’t want to be stuck without it for the first day or two after you’ve arrived.
To stay healthy and cut down on plastic use, we recommend bringing a Life Straw or a water bottle with a filter. The tap water is not safe to drink straight but is okay when filtered.
We also recommend you bring activated charcoal pills. The countries in South America have incredible food options, but they can be very different compared to other cultures. To avoid stomach problems, take these pills to soak up any toxins you may ingest. Eventually, your body will get used to the diet!
- Travel Backpack
- Rain cover
Getting around South America with a travel backpack is definitely easier than using a suitcase. However, it depends on your plans. If you’re going from country to country every couple of days or weeks, you may want to consider using a backpack.
Don’t forget to pack a rain cover for your luggage! Those Amazonian rain showers can be pretty intense. You don’t want your belongings to be ruined by water.
Every Digital Nomad is Different
Everyone has their own style when it comes to packing. Take this list as just a guide on what to consider when packing to live as a digital nomad in Europe.
Connect with other digital nomads in Europe and find out their essential travel items at Nomads Embassy: The Official Global Digital Nomad Network now!
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When I’m not writing and teaching people how to achieve a location-independent lifestyle, you can find me globetrotting, experiencing new cultures, and working on my amateur photography skills.