South America: What’s a Tall Person to Do?

Found at
Found at

Okay, so there’s still plenty you can do. But there are some quirky size constraints that can come up — mostly in regards to outfitting.

For instance, a recent client visiting the Galapagos had to cram his size 12 feet into size 10 boots — the largest boot size offered — while hiking around muddy tortoise habitat. Though he still had a great time, I’m sure his mind fluttered a bit between “look at these crazy, dinosaur-like creatures” and “man, my feet are killing me!”

Later down the road, while spending time in Quito, Ecuador, and the surrounding mountain villages — this same, 6-foot-tall man went on a fairly harmless hike. His pants got a tinge muddy and he decided to buy a nice, clean replacement pair. Try as he might, he just could not find any pants to fit.

I turned to our Latin American travel specialist, “Did you find it difficult to find clothing that fit while you were backpacking around South America?” Surprisingly, she — a fit gal about 5’4″ — also struggled to find pants that would fit her. She said height wasn’t really her issue, but the skinniness of the pant-legs were. As an avid hiker and trail runner, she has pretty shapely legs — I was surprised. Tops, on the other hand, did not pose a problem.

So, in lieu of that extra t-shirt, consider bringing an extra pair of pants/shorts/etc. Chances are you won’t be able to simply pop-in any ol’ store and pick a pair out. If you are traveling with a local tour operator it’s a good idea to ask them questions about their gear… What’s the largest size available? How many are available? And if you wear a shoe over a U.S. Men’s size 10, be prepared for the activities you have planned. As our recent friend recalled his trip, he would have foregone some other comforts just to have access to his own set of rubber boots.