How to pack for Peru: Your essential guide
So, you’re planning to travel Peru. No doubt you’re ready to discover the ancient wonders, ready to explore the breath-taking nature, ready for a thrilling adventure; and ready to go? … Well, almost.
Peru is a wondrous place that has so much to offer; from the vibrant colonial town of Arequipa; wet Amazon rainforests; cold, misty Andean highlands; hot beaches of Paracas; sandy dessert oasis of Huacachina; or trekking the glorious Rainbow Mountain. Peru really does have it all, which can make packing all the more perplexing.
What to bring, what not to bring. The better prepared you are, the more you’ll get back from this magical country. So here’s how to pack for Peru.
- Warm and waterproof clothing
Peru’s rainy season is from November - March, and their dry season from April – October; where you’ll likely to find more consistent weather. It’s useful to know what weather to expect when packing, but regardless of season, you’ll need to equip yourself for all temperatures and climates.
Pack warm, light, quick-drying clothing which you can layer up to accommodate changing temperatures. A breathable waterproof anorak, sweater, T-shirts, gloves, hat and scarf will provide you with warmth, while allowing you the flexibility to take layers off for warmer changes in temperatures.
- Comfortable, practical clothing
From challenging hikes, mountain biking, sand boarding, rafting or zip lining; Peru offers a lot of physical outdoor adventures that will get your heart racing. Often these activities can be found as part of popular tours, so it’s important to be comfortable and ready. Pack tracksuit bottoms, leggings, shorts, hiking socks, and athletic trainers. Rafting and natural pools can also feature as part of tours, so pack your swimsuit and flipflops.
If you’re planning on more difficult hikes, then you may want to pack a pair of hiking boots with you, too.
- Jungle ready
Peru is one of the best places to experience nature’s most beautiful and diverse rainforests. Its Amazon jungle has some of the highest levels of biodiversity in the world, which means you’ll see all different types of rare and fascinating wildlife.
Whether you choose to explore the vibrant jungles of Manu, Tambopata, or Iquitos, packing well is essential as tours can last between 4-7 days. All of the clothes listed before will serve you well for a jungle trek, as well as strong insect repellent (deet), medical supplies, and sunblock.
Remember to also pack with you a smaller backpack that’s separate to your main luggage, so that you can pack your essentials for the jungle and leave the rest of your luggage safe at the tour site. It will also serve you well for other tours such as Machu Picchu.
- Don’t over pack
Make sure you leave some space in your suitcase for some shopping. Traditional woven textile is deeply ingrained in the Inca heritage, and lives on strongly today. Peruvian markets in Cusco are adorned with them, as well as the most vivid handmade trinkets and souvenirs. Scarves, ponchos, table cloths, hats or bags, you’ll find the most beautiful textiles, of vibrant colors and Andean patterns, woven together with soft alpaca wool. You’ll probably want to buy too much.
- Checklist ready
On top of the important factors to consider for Peru’s vast offerings, there are also the little essentials that feature on most big travel trips, but are just as important none the less. Here’s a final checklist so you don’t forget:
- Long sleeved Thermal Shirt
- Thermal form- fitting pants
- Polar Fleece
- Trekking pants
- Thick socks
- Waterproof Jacket
- Waterproof pants (optional)
- Insulated Jacket
- Cold weather Hat
- Buff/ handkerchief
- Sun hat
- Backpack 20-30 L
- Waterproof cover for backpack
- Trekking shoes
- Sport shoes/ sandals for campsites
- Camping pillow
- Sleeping bag liner (optional)
- Sturdy water bottle
- Trekking poles
- Plastic bags for wet items
- Toiletry kit (toothbrush, wet wipes, etc)
- Swimsuit/ quick dry towel
- Sunscreen (SPF 50+ recommended)
- Sunscreen lip protector
- Insect repellent
- Personal Medications
- Motion sickness tablets for van ride
- Camera/ Extra battery
- Personal snacks
- Hand warmers (optional)
- Leisure book for evenings
- Cash and small coins
So, follow our guide, pack wisely and explore abundantly.