What to pack for Peru ? - Essential Peru

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October 10, 2022

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what to pack for peru

Below is some basic information about what to pack for Peru according to the places you shall be visiting tips and more.

Time of the year :

As you may or may not know, March/April is the tail end of the wet season and thus comes with a possibility of a mix of sunshine and rain-associated weather—not guaranteed but probable.  

Travel Differently recommends you to be prepared for both hot and cold though, this means some sunny days and colder nights (Cusco lies at 3400m/11000 ft, approximately, for example) but during the day if you get blue skies expect the sun to be strong and weather quite pleasant. In the case of wet/cloudy weather it will not get so cold at night but comes with it the element of rain.  

Expect around freezing temperatures as the coldest to prepare for (this will be on the first night of Salkantay) but during the day could be as warm as 30 °C/90 °F (e.g. more humidity and heat in Aguas Calientes at the foot of the Machu Picchu sanctuary) with extremely strong UV and sunlight. 

This following link is a good website for checking up-to-date weather reports, here.

What to pack for Peru ? Peru Packing List :

Peru is divided into three parts, each with a distinct identity: the Pacific coast, the most populated region of the entire state; the Andes mountain range, which culminates with the highest peak of Huascarán; and finally the Amazon rainforest, which occupies most of the country.

As far as your trip is concerned, it will most certainly start with a visit to Lima, the capital of Peru, but then it is up to you to choose what you want to see. If you wish to retrace the history of the Incas, in addition to the omnipresent Machu Picchu, we recommend a trip to Puno, considered by many as the cradle of the Inca civilization. Another obligatory stop is Cuzco, the ancient capital of the Inca empire, where the buildings of the Spaniards rest on Inca constructions that have been systematically destroyed, except for the foundations, still visible, which present large carved stones aligned to perfection. It is a journey out of time that awaits you here.

Ideally the following is essential but you can find anything at the last minute in case you forget something, when arriving in Cusco. Thus, insect repellent, sun cream, medicines and camera batteries can be found in the various electronic shops, pharmacies, and camping stores widely available around the Cusco center.

What to bring on a hiking trip ?

  • Comfortable shoes, e.g. sports shoes or cross-trainers with a grip in case of wet, slippery steps. Region is rich in archaeological sites to explore, such as Sacred Valley, Urubamba, Maras or the Machu Picchu terraces. Boots with ankle supports are recommended when people are trekking but not essential in the case for your activities as often people bring sports shoes and they will do in the case of this trip. For the main treks, we recommend cross-trainers or boots, if you prefer not to bring hiking poles we can rent these upon your arrival to Cusco if easier. 

  • A rucksack equivalent to 30–50 liters in size is ideal for your personal items that you can carry on your back on a day hike (camera, any personal medications, sun-cream water, snacks, etc., this is a mid-size + something bigger for all your stuff for the main trip.

  • Waterproof jacket/rain poncho—small compact and light weight if possible 

  • Fleece and warm jackets—really important for the mountain trek or Lake Titicaca and at night—may not actually be necessary for the rest of the trip. 

  • Water carriers/pouches such as a 2 liter bag or Water can [Nalgene]. Try to reduce the plastic impact and carry this instead. Boiled water will be supplied and offered at each stop on the trek.

  • Thermal clothing—base layers may be appropriate for 2 or 3 nights in the trek e.g. when camping on the Lares trek and very likely on the first night of Salkantay.

  • Camera + case/cover and zip-lock bag to keep it from dampness is important.

  • Ziplock bags also come in handy for protecting your passport or other important documentation you carry on you.

  • Beanie/wool hat and sun-hat

  • Gloves—may be useful for the Salkantay Trek on days 1 and 2 and Lares ⅔

  • Sun cream is essential at high-altitude! 

  • Cargo pants/lightweight trekking pants ideally the quick-drying ones or that have zip off at the knees to turn them into shorts when it gets into warm weather.

  • Bug spray—mainly for when you are at Machu Picchu and although non-malarial, there are plenty of biting mosquitoes depending on the conditions of the day. 

  • Loose fitting clothes in general are ideal for the night time to keep bugs at bay and as tight leggings or tops are easily beaten by mosquito bites.

  • Sandals for walking around the main areas option for around your hotel and nearby, and airing feet after a day’s worth of hiking. 

  • Zip-lock bags for keeping important documents dry i.e. your passport.

Now that you know what to pack for Peru, now you have to put everything in your bag ! And above all (if you haven't already done so) read our article on “Things you need to know before travelling to Peru ?”

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