What Type of Clothing is REALLY needed for South America?

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Valley Center, CA
446 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Hi All,

Everytime I go on a cruise, I end up taking half my closet and then some. I figure this cruise is going to be a little different than cruising around in the Carribean.

Warm clothes are bulky, and I want to make sure I take enough......
What about rain coats, umbrellas, scarves, hats, thermals..........eek! I live in So. California, and I don't own any of these things.

I want to be WARM, so any insight you could give me, I'd really appreciate it.

Our cruise is scheduled for Dec. 17, 2006 on the Infinity, leaving Buenos Aires and ending in Valparaiso.

San Diego
4,556 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
You will want light weight tropical type clothing for Buenos Aires. Santiago and Valparisio has weather similar to San Diego, and since you will be there in late spring, you can wear light weight clothing.

Once you are south of Buenos Aires it starts to get cool. The Falklands can be cold any time of year. When we were in Ushuaia it was in the 30s and colder with the wind chill.

I recommend the following:
Fleece jacket
Windbreaker (combined with the fleece it is nice and warm)
Gloves or mittens
Stocking cap
Warm socks
Wind pants or fleece pants (polyprop long underwear is an alternative)
Rain poncho (much more practical than an umbrella)

All of this works well for both shore trips and strolling on the deck or star gazing (don't miss doing this when you are far south).

Look at REI and camping gear. I got my poncho there. This is a good time of year to find some of this stuff on sale.

I put my warm weather clothing in one of those vacuum bags. It doesn't reduce the weight but it does reduce the bulk.
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Valley Center, CA
446 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Goodness gracious.....I'm glad you answered my post...I better start shopping now! Only 9 months to go, I feel like I'm pregnant again and due in December!

I'm going to check out eBay too and see if there is some good deals to be found.

I appreciate the response,
771 Posts
Joined Aug 2001
We just returned from around the Horn cruise. We had remarkably nice weather. However, even on the sunny days, it could be VERY windy. I took shorts and tanks for Buenos Aires and Iguazu. Wore jeans and tank in Valparaiso/Santiago. We had a driving rain but then sunny in Punta Arenas where I have never experienced such wind, and I'm originally from the midwest. A stocking ski cap is what we both used. Gloves and warm socks. Used a fleece top, sweatshirt and a windbreaker (lightweight but waterproof) for Punta Arenas and the Falklands. Ushuaia was beautiful, jeans and sleeveless top. You'll want to bundle up for rounding the Horn. The sea spray alone is soaking. I love talking about this trip as it was so great. Let me know if you have other questions I might be able to answer.

We're just north of you in Orange County.
469 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
I found a rain & wind proof golf suit was ideal, not too much weight or bulk for the suitcase. At the glaciers you will need hat that covers the ears & gloves, about the same as you would use to view glaciers in Alaska.
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48 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
it can be a little chilly, yes, so bring some swaeters , socks, closed toed shoes. However, it will be summer while you are down there so it shoudn't be too cold.
Lincoln CA USA, 95648
12,739 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Layers, layers, layers. I did well with a windbreaker shell ashore, and a cardigan in the evenings.

We just returned, (3-22-06), Buenos Aires to Valparaiso, 'round the Horn, Regal Princess, and it was remarkably pleasant weather.

Port Stanley pleasant and breezy. Little bumpy up the North coast of Chile, but the Horn was smooth. Very windy at Punta Arenas. Terribly smoggy at Santiago, but told that is the norm.
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Vancouver, BC
8,026 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
Dress in layers.

You probably have much of what you need.
A good windbreaker that you can put a warm sweater under and wear a long sleeved top under that.
Warm cords or jeans are find.
Warm socks inside of runners are all I used.

I also brought (my 1 purchase) a pair of leotards that I wore under my cords and socks in the Falklands, Ushuaia and Punta Arenas - I also took gloves, a hat and a scarf all of which were most appreciated in the Falklands and 2ndly in Usuaia. The ship supplied an umbrella whcih we never used as we had great weather the whole time. Only found rain in Buenos Aries.
Southwest Florida
10,433 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
Originally posted by beijobeijo
it can be a little chilly, yes, so bring some swaeters , socks, closed toed shoes. However, it will be summer while you are down there so it shoudn't be too cold.
Famous last words! We did the same trip on HAL in December of 2004 & would have frozen to death, if we hadn't been forewarned...LOL..It was warm in RIO, BA, Montevideo & Santiago, but cold between the Falklands, around the horn, through the glacier areas & the southern coast of Chile…

Agree with the other posters about layering…We’re originally from the Northeast, but after living 18 years in Sunny Florida, are no longer used to the cold...

In addition to warm Jackets sweatshirts etc. I purchased a pair of inexpensive, flat, ankle length, rubber soled, boots in the Burlington Coat Factory & wore them with warm socks…They look a bit like dessert boots & I was very happy to have them on several excursions, especially while walking through the rocky, uneven terrain of the penguin rookeries…

Going through the Glacier areas it was very cold & windy... Wore long johns under Jeans out on deck to view the magnificent scenery..In addition HAL supplied wool blankets to those of us who were die-hard enough to remain outdoors… Of course, we didn’t want to miss anything…I wore a fur (fake) hat, gloves & purchased a scarf on board...My husband wore a knit cap & sweatshirt, heavy jacket, & scarf out on deck, but refused to take long johns…

We too packed our cold weather things in vacuum bags... Have to be careful of the Airline weight allowance as excess baggage charges can be steep...Fortunately when we traveled on AA the weight limit was 70 LBS for International travel, but they have since lowered the max to 50 LBS...There is a service that will ship one or more bags to ports in the U.S., but not sure if they have the same type of service to South America

Good Luck with your planning & hope you enjoy your trip. We would do the same trip again in a heartbeat...