Normally, I am the complete opposite of a minimalist packer. I always seem to somehow bring too much stuff. This time, I was determined to fit everything I need into a carry-on and get rid of everything I didn’t need. Here is my Ecuador Packing List including what I wish I brought, what I didn’t need, and some awesome gear suggestions.
Some things to keep in mind: I would be splitting my time between Guayaquil and Cuenca, two completely different climates. Guayaquil is near the coast, very humid, and VERY hot. There is little to no AC in Guayaquil meaning that the temperature, even inside, was 80-89 degrees Fahrenheit.
On the other hand, Cuenca sits at a minimum of 7000ft in altitude. This, combined with traveling in June (their winter), meant that the average temperature in Cuenca was 65 degrees during the day and could drop into the upper 40’s/low 50’s at night.
Successfully packing for both climates is what made this a tight squeeze. Also, I did laundry once during the trip.
What I Brought
Below is my Ecuador Packing List for everything that I brought. I tried to link as many of the items as possible so that you can find them for yourselves if you want to!
Packing Related Items
- Carry-On Bag: Osprey Far Point 40L – I love this bag specifically because it zips open all the way so that you can open it like a suitcase instead of a backpack, much more efficient for constantly getting things out of it.
- Day Pack: Osprey Collapsible Day Pack
- Compression Packing Cubes (Like packing cubes but they make everything even MORE compact!!!)
Ecuador Packing List: Clothing
- 1 Capri Legging
- 2 Leggings
- 1 Pair of Black Jeans
- 2 Sleep Shorts
- 1 Pair Athletic Shorts
- 9 Pairs of underwear (Always excessive)
- 5 Shirts
- 1 Cardigan
- 2 Over-shirts (For Layering)
- 1 Tank Top
- 1 Sports Bra
- 4 Pairs of Socks
- 1 Bralette
- 1 Jacket
- Doc Martens 🙂 (My go to shoes in Cuenca where it is cold, not in Guayaquil. DO NOT WEAR THESE SHOES IN GUAYAQUIL. It is far too hot.
- 1 Pair running shoes
- 1 pair flip flops
- Hair brush
- Small bottle of Mario Bedascu cream for my skin (game changer)
- Minimum makeup for nights out- concealer, mascara, one eyeshadow single in my favorite color
- Hand sanitizer
- Ibuprofen- Don’t go anywhere without it
- Blister Bandaids (since I always have blisters on my feet) I also ALWAYS take these with me since you never know how much you’ll be walking
- Tooth paste
- Mini-sized shampoo, conditioner, and hair treatment (being fake blonde means dead hair if you don’t take care of it)
- Quick Drying towel– Perfect for hostels or packing it on the go
- Tweezers (My eyebrows get out of hand very quickly)
- Makeup Remover
Extras in my Ecuador Packing List:
- Bullet Journal/Pens and Actual Journal- I spend a lot of time thinking about improving my life so having both of these items with me helps me be my best self.
- 1 Book
- Large scarf that Eric brought me from Israel- There are many reasons behind this, it makes a beautiful scarf, it can be used a privacy screen in a hostel when hung from the bunk above you, and it can be used as a blanket
- Deck of Cards
- 2 TSA Locks for Hostels- to keep your stuff safe
- Silk Sleep Liner for Hostel- this means that you will always know that what you are sleeping in is clean
- Charging Tower– honestly a game changer for how quickly I can recharge everything
- Bluetooth Headphones
- Neck Pillow for travel
- Sleeping Mask
- Camera Charger
- Mini Tripod
What Eric Brought to Me Later Because I Wished I Had Brought It
- Hydrocortisone Cream (I got bit by ants, a lot of them)
- The Drone
- The Drone Charger
Things I Dumped Before I Left
- My Second Book
- My Amazon Fire (I wish I had brought it though)
- 3 Extra shirts
- One extra pair of pants
- Some extra skincare products
Honestly, I hate to pack up to carry-on luggage. I am always a bit panicked that I have so little space for my things. But later, when somehow I manage to take everything I need, I am glad that I do not have to worry about a large suitcase. It makes the journey much easier. And I know from experience that often we do not need half of the things we take.
oh thanks for this post. I always hate when I have to pack for a trip so it is going to be so useful. I am dying to go to Ecuador 🙂
Yes, I’m all about the carry on only! It’s just too much of a hassle to check a bag nowadays, especially with the extra baggage fees all the airlines charge. Plus, I want to be able to just hop off the plane and get to my hotel without having to wait at baggage claim. Great tips all around!
I love traveling light! It is definitely an art form and not for everyone but you laid it out well!
I think except for some of the extras, your pack list is excellent. Do you use packing cubes? They are really great for organizing your stuff. We also bought a cheap vacuum pack (a plastic bag with a vacuum valve. Comes with a pump). It can really compress stuff you place in it, and makes it a space-saver in your backpack.
Thanks for all suggestions for packing guide on Ecuador. I am also minimalist traveler with not many things to be carried out. For me necessary medications, chargers, under garments and important documents tops the packing list. Good to know that it is hot, so that shoes will not work here.
Very impressive that you were able to pack for two weeks in just a backpack! I can usually only do a backpack for weekend trips, which even then is often super packed and pretty heavy. I need to get myself one of those quick-drying towels! Also, isn’t Ecuador amazing? I’ve only been to Quito but it was so much fun. Guayaquil and Cuenca sound like so much fun!
You are lucky, you really travel light! I have my cameras and lenses, that weight around 5 kilos and all my packing is centered around them.