Heading to Peru and in need of a Peru packing list? Being a climatically diverse country, thinking about what to pack for Peru always leaves travelers baffled. Depending on where in Peru you’re going and during what season, you might need either nothing but swimwear and shorts or all of the thermals you can find!
Lima is the capital and the annual average temperature ranges from 12 to 28 degrees. Cusco has a subtropical highland climate with a wet and dry season and cold nights. Iquitos, the gateway to the Amazon, ranges between 21 and 33 degrees year round and Northern Mancora stays a steady 23-27 degrees. And then, if you want to trek in the Andes, you could be looking at mornings and evenings of minus zero degrees at any time of the year. So, unless you’re just going to one place in Peru, you’re going to want to pack layers and a variation of clothing. Here’s what’s in our Peru packing list.
The Ultimate Peru Packing List
Hiking around Peru
If you’re planning on hiking the Inca trail or go trekking through the rainforest there are some essential items you will need to take.
The first of those essential items would be hiking shoes. You’ll be trekking through some harsh jungle conditions so I would recommend not skimping or going cheap on the shoes and investing in a quality pair. My favorite are the Merrell Moab Ventilators 2 with a mid section to cover your ankle. I’ve had Merrells for years and love how durable they are. Plus they are water resistant (but not completely waterproof) and may save your feet in wet conditions.
A good pair of travel pants is important. Style doesn’t matter when you are hiking. Instead, you’re going to want to find pants that are comfortable, water resistant, and flexible. prAna makes some of my favorite hiking pants on the market. Consider checking out the Halle pant for women and the Zion prAna pant for men.
Wool SocksMerino wool socksare generally more expensive, but they are so much more comfortable on your feet when you are walking long distances.
Packable Down Jacket
I bring my fleece Patagonia sweater almost everywhere for those just in case scenarios when I am still cold with a jacket on. I wore this thing snowboarding every day and it kept me warm all winter, so it should do the job in Peru.
If you’re visiting Iquitos or other Amazonian areas I can’t stress the important of a good rain jacket enough. If you’re trekking in Peru, I would always have a rain jacket in my backpack just in case. This is another item not to skimp on as you don’t want to get wet while the rest of your trekking buddies are staying dry. I have this one from Kathmandu and it has kept me dry for years.
Long sleeved topsThin, breathable long sleeved tops are key for protecting your arms from mosquitos but will still keep you cool in tropical temperatures. See more safari style shirts here.
For Lima and the cities
You won’t want to look like a complete hiker in the cities! Make sure you pack at least one nice and casual outfit for walking around.
I’m personally not a jeans wearer, but you’ll see them all over Lima and they aren’t a bad thing put in your Peru packing list. Just keep in mind that jeans can often be quite heavy. Women may want to consider picking up a nice flowy dress for the city.
As a woman leggings are my jam. Black leggings go with any color and are always in style. Just make sure they aren’t completely cheap leggings as you can often see through them (especially in the sunlight).My favorite brand of high-quality leggings is Alala. They make activewear that truly lasts.
Mountain and Andes Gear
The mountains can get incredibly cold. You won’t regret having a pair ofthermal underwearin your backpack.
Long sleeved tops
Same from the hiking section. Throw two of these in your bag for good measure.
Again Patagonia makes wonderful fleece pull overs. They last forever too!
Other items to bring
- Packable Down Jacket
- Weatherproof socks
- Merino wool will be ideal. Spend the extra money and get yourself at least three pairs of these.
- Gloves or mittens
- Hiking pants. Perfect for hiking around Machu Picchu.
For the Peruvian beaches
If you find yourself at the beach (and you should!) make sure you are prepared for the ocean.
Obviously you should pack one bathing suit or board shorts with you no matter where you go.
SarongSarongs are always great as they act as they not only act as a cover-up, but can double as a scarf, head wrap, or even a towel to wet and cool yourself off.
I’ve had my Rainbows since 2010 and they are still going strong. I can’t recommend them enough, they might outlive me!
Accessories for Peru
If you’re hiking, you’ll want some extras like:
- Dry Bag if you’ll be hiking in the rainforest areas and want to protect your electronics
- Good hiking backpack.
- Travel wallet
- Money belt
- Slash proof bag (Peru isn’t completely unsafe, but pickpocketing and muggings do happen, especially in the big cities. It’s a good idea to invest some money into a few items to keep your belongings safe).
Electronics for Peru
Don’t forget your camera! Peru has a hugely diverse terrain and you’ll definitely be wanting to capture some shots on film. To me, this is an essential item on your Peru packing list. Here are a few more electronics you may want.
- Lightweight Camera ( I have the Fuji X Series and love how discreet the cameras are)
- Joby tripod
- DJI Mavic Air. If you want to get any shots of Peru from the air you’ll want a drone. We just got the DJI Mavic Airand can’t get over how small it is 0 making it great for travel!
- Kindle Paperwhite. The Kindle Paperwhite allows you to read in the dark with a built in backlight.
- Extra cell phone charger
- Cell phone with a quality case
- Universal Adaptor. The electric sockets vary from place to place, using both flat prongs and round prongs – so it never hurts to have a universal adaptor.
Toiletries to bring to Peru
- Quality sunglasses
- High factor suncream (Can be expensive in Peru).
- Lip balm are musts.
- Mosquito spray with DEET is essential in your toiletry bag. Malaria is present in some areas of Peru; if you’re visiting at-risk areas don’t forget your toiletry bag. Malaria is present in some areas of Peru; if you’re visiting at-risk areas don’t forget your malaria tablets.
- A general medicine kit for hiking is essential. This should include bandages, ankle supports, antiseptic wipes, anti-inflammatories
Plan Your Trip to Peru
We rely on a few trusted websites that help save us money and time when booking hotels, flights, and car rentals. Check out some of our preferred partners below:
- Accommodation: To feel more at home we use Airbnb you can check out some tips and read more about getting an Airbnb coupon code here. Or just take this coupon for your first stay!
- Travel Insurance: We never travel without travel insurance with World Nomads. We ALWAYS travel with travel insurance. World Nomads offers incredible flexible and great plans!
- Guide Book: Sometimes it’s nice just to have a real book in your hands when traveling. We recommend Lonely Planet to get you through the wireless nights.
- Water: I wouldn’t recommend drinking the tap water in Peru. I recommend the Lifestraw Go Waterbottle to save money and the environment.
This post was written in collaboration with Antoine, a Canadian writer at Traveling Life, who bases himself out of the Caribbean and travels year round. You can follow him and his travels on Facebook! He has explored much more of Peru than we have.
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