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No matter how much experience you have traveling, a packing list is always helpful to have. Please refer to your Course Preparation Manual CMP (pages 32 to 45) for a full list of what to pack and what not to pack. As travel time is just around the corner, you’re probably already thinking more and more about the places where we are going. You’re likely asking yourself; Am I ready? Do I have everything that I need? Hopefully, this Yak, along with the packing list, will help clear up your doubts. As always, we encourage you to pack light and bring only what is necessary as it will make your trip easier.
First of all, let’s review a bit where we will be traveling. As you know, Bolivia is located in the Central Andes and is composed of three main regions; the mountains, valleys, and rainforest. You want to be prepared for these different regions during our program as well as the small towns and cities we will be visiting. It’s also important to know that while in the northern hemisphere it is summer season, here in the south, it is winter and we will be in places where the temperature will be nearly freezing as well as in places where the temperature will go up to 85 Fahrenheit. Please pack clothing you can layer throughout the day.
It is very unpredictable what the weather will look like during our hike in the mountains, so it’s best to be prepared. During the day, it will likely be very hot and dry, and during the night it might get very cold and sometimes even near freezing. During our time in the Cochabamba valley, the weather will be more temperate, between 65 to 75 Fahrenheit. We are not going to the rain forest; however, we will be for a bit in the Yungas region located in the subtropical cloud forest. This region is hot, humid, and the only place where there is a small chance of rain. Be prepared with warm clothes you can layer. Don’t forget that a 0-degree sleeping bag is highly recommended! (although you can get by with a 15 degree if that’s what you already have. In this case, consider getting a liner for the bag). You should also pack long sleeves and pants for sun and bug protection and finally don’t forget to bring some normal light clothes for town! When packing ‘normal clothes,’ it’s important to remember cultural norms here in Bolivia. People here tend to be more conservative than in your home countries, and many locals wear traditional clothes that cover the whole body. Please bring clothes that are not revealing but still comfortable for you.
If you have any questions about any of this, please do not hesitate to ask. Other students might have similar questions. Please post a yak with them, and we will answer them for everyone.
Saludos desde Bolivia,
Luis, Ana y Alan