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Heading to the magical country of Peru? A magical country packed with incredible adventures waiting to be had. From the mystical Inca ruins, the misty Andes, the endless deserts and beautiful cities. But what to pack for Peru? Having just returned from Peru, this post has got you covered.
The trip I did was this G Adventures one, if you are interested!
Peru: Ancient Cities and the Andes
Before we dive into the list, it makes sense to start with when to visit and offer a few notes on how each season might differ. If there is one line of advice to take from this list. Pack layers. At the end of this post, you can also find a list separated out specifically for hikes / the Inca Trail.
What to pack for Peru – Dry Season
The dry season runs from April to October, making this the ideal time to visit the region, particularly if you want to hike the Inca Trail and visit Machu Picchu or spend time in the Andes. But this is wintertime in the country, so it is also the chilliest. This is the case for the Andes region; the Amazon is warm and humid all year round.
My trip to Peru was in early April, and I visited Lima, Nazca, Arequipa, and Cusco and hiked the Inca Trail. So dry season was what I based my packing on.
Generally, at this time of year, you can go a bit lighter on the waterproof (but DO NOT leave them out) and focus on layers. You will want to consider thick hiking socks, wool base layers, insulated jackets, hats, gloves and a warm scarf!
What to pack for Peru – Rainy Season
Unsurprisingly the rainy season in Peru runs from November to April. During this period, it rains most in the Andes and the Amazon but is dry on the coast in places like Lima. It is also a milder temperature across the whole country.
This means it is a good idea to pack lightweight clothes that are good for sweaty and humid temperatures. It will still be cold at night in the Andes, so make sure to pack those layers. But ensure that many of them are waterproof; it can really bucket it down!
What to pack for Peru – Women
Just a few notes if you are a female traveller. Peru isn’t a hugely conservative country, so there is no need to think about packing to cover up legs, chests or arms for religious or cultural reasons.
What to pack for Peru – Regions
The temperature difference between the country’s regions varies vastly, even during the dry season. So bare this in mind when packing. Temperatures in Lima generally range from 16 degrees to 26 but can easily reach into the 30s. And it is a sticky, humid heat.
In the Andes, there is quite a large range across the year. Average temperatures range from 11 to 18 degrees, but it does get cold at night. And when it rains, it pours!
If you are heading to the Amazon, it is warm and humid all year round.
I have also included a separate list of everything I took up on the Inca Trail, as I found this the hardest to know what to pack!
The Peru Packing list! What to pack for Peru
So here we go! The packing checklist covers everything you need when thinking about what to pack for Peru.
- 1 x puffer jacket – lightweight is key, and it is handy if it comes with a pack to make it smaller. The ideal layer to throw on when things get a bit chiller
- 1 x waterproof jacket– An essential for if you are hiking. Also useful for those unexpected downpours that can occur, even when you are walking around the cities and towns
- Sweater – 2-3 of these are ideal. To throw on when things are a little cooler in the evening and for taking on hikes. I recommend only packing 2, as you will want to pick up at least one Alpcha sweater in the markets!
- 3 x Long-sleeved tops – Think layers. They should be thin and thick so you can wear them under sweaters. They are also good as a hiking base layer, but they need to be able to be worn on their own as well.
- 2 x long trousers – For going out in the evening, wandering around the cities. They should be lightweight and comfortable.
- 1 x shorts – For days when it is a little warmer.
- 5 x vest tops/t-shirts – These should go with the shorts and trousers you bring. The T-shirts also should double as something to wear if you are hiking.
- 2 x dresses/jumpsuits – Something good to wear in the hotter parts of the country or if you want to dress up a bit in the evening. But do pack ones that can be layered!
- 2 x leggings/hiking trousers – essential! Not just for hikes but is good for active days, as a layer if you are cold and for travel days.
- Scarf – I have a large one that also doubles up as a blanket.
- Buff – Useful for hikes
- Beanie hat – it can get cold in the Andes!
- Gloves – See above
- Cap – On sunny days very useful to shield your face
- Underwear & Socks– This number can be left to your best judgment!
- 2 x sports bras – Definitely pack more than one!
- Nightwear – Lightweight but long-legged and sleeved to avoid mosquito bites. You may need to layer with sweaters in the Andes
- 1 x Hiking boots – Make sure they are comfy and make sure they are broken in!
- 1 x sandals – I would recommend these are waterproof. I also found slip-on much easier, plus I often rocked them with socks when it was colder. I took my trusty Birkenstocks. A look.
- 1 x trainers / Day shoes – Something for exploring the cities, to wear out in the evening, and to wear on travel days.
- Shampoo/conditioner bars
- Hand gel
- First Aid kit
- Sanitary products
- Toothbrush and toothpaste – Manual, in case you can’t charge on the hikes
- Sleeping bag liner
- Eye Mask and earplugs
- Travel pillow
- Travel towel
- Day pack
- Water bottles
- Power banks
- Chargers and cables
- Travel debit cards
- Small purse
- Bum bag
What to pack for Peru – Trekking and the Inca Trail
A lot of what I have listed above is useful for travelling around the country and hiking the Inca Trail.
If you are hiking the trail, you will need a smaller duffel bag to pack the essentials in, and then you will leave your main bag in Cusco / Ollantaytambo. You need to book your hike with an approved tour operator, and most will supply you with this bag, but it is definitely worth a check.
The porters will carry this duffel bag up the Inca Trail for you, leaving you with your day bag. Because of this, it needs to be light. For the Inca Trail, you can only pack 6kg (this is 7kg for other trails). This also includes your sleeping bag and air mattress – so you need to pack light!
What to wear for the Inca Trail
This is what I started the first day of the trail wearing. It was a sunny day, but do check the weather when you set off and layer up or down accordingly!
- Hiking leggings
- Thin jumper
- Hiking socks
- Hiking boots
What to pack for the Inca Trail – Day Bag
- Day bag – Somewhere around, a 20L bag would be perfect for this. You want to ensure you have enough space but don’t want to overpack, so it is too heavy to carry.
- Waterproof – when it rains… make sure this is downpour tested.
- Poncho – It is worth picking one of these up before starting the hike. These are so large that they cover most of you and also keep your bag dry.
- Backpack cover – to keep your day bag dry if it rains! Essential if you don’t have a poncho or your bag won’t fit under your waterproof as well as you!
- Thin jumper – you might very well start the day wearing this. But the temperature changes quickly throughout the day, so keep layers on hand.
- Hat and gloves – As above. If the sun goes away, you will be thankful for these!
- Snacks – stock up on these; you will eat more than you think!
- Water – One large bottle or two smaller ones. You will need plenty and can only fill up at camp or lunch stops.
- Power bank – Ensure your phone and camera are charged for all those photos! I had two, so I could charge my Apple Watch each night.
- Passport – You need your passport at the start of the trail and the checkpoint on the last day. So keep it with you.
- First aid kit – Suncream, blister plasters, Imodium, rehydration sachets, painkillers, antiseptic cream, bug spray, and antihistamines.
- Loo roll – none of the toilets in the campsites on the Inca trail has loo roll. But please remember to bin it.
- Poo bags – I can’t take credit for this idea. My friend brought them with her, but they were invaluable! Useful for rubbish bags, so snack wrappers aren’t loose in your day bag. And if you need to use the nature toilet, you can use them to ensure you leave no loo roll behind! Also, for any smelly clothes. We then threw them away at the end of each day in camp.
- OPTIONAL: Hiking poles – I decided not to use these. But if you want to, they are available to hire.
What to pack for the Inca Trail – Duffel Bag
- Sleeping bag – You can hire this if you don’t own one. I hired mine from G Adventures, which meant the porters backed it for me each morning! You can see what you hire here.
- Air mattress – This was also hired from G Adventures.
- Travel pillow – Lightweight and small.
- Sleeping bag liner – Useful as an extra layer if it gets cold at night.
- Microfibre towel – there are showers, albeit only freezing cold water, in some campsites. You are also given a bowl of warm water at the end of each day, so even if you don’t want to shower, you can clean yourself.
- Soap – For showers or to use with your warm water.
- Headlamp – The campsites have no lights, and it gets dark early. So a headlamp is essential.
- Wet wipes – I didn’t use the showers, so these were essential to feel remotely clean.
- Hairbrush and hair ties – It is highly unlikely you will wash your hair on the hike. So I opted for French braids, which my pal did for me each evening.
- Hiking leggings – I had one pair of 3/4 length and one pair of full length. One I wore, and the other was in my duffel bag.
- 2 x Spare T-shirts – I wore a t-shirt on day one and then packed a vest and long-sleeved top in the duffel bag. I then wore these on days 2 & 4. And my T-shirt again on day 3.
- 1 x hiking socks – I wore two pairs of socks over four days.
- 4 x underwear – Clean underwear for each day, plus a spare!
- 1 x Sports bra – I had two sports bras which I alternated wearing over the four days.
- Flip flops/sandals – These were such a relief to slip on after being in hiking boots all day. They were waterproof, so they were fine to wear if it rained and to the bathroom. Slip-ons are ideal, so you can easily get them on and off when entering your tent. And you can even wear them with socks.
- Jogging bottoms – Something comfy you can change out of to wear around camp and sleep in!
- Jumper – One jumper you haven’t hiked in, for you to wear in camp and sleep in! I bought a lovely alpaca jumper, which fits the brief nicely here.
- Clean socks – as above!
- Pack of cards – you are often in camp early; we arrived at 1 pm one day. So these kept us amused.
- Kindle/book – ONLY if you have any weight left at the end of all the above!
So that’s it, my ultimate list for what to pack for Peru!
Designed to cover everything you need for travelling around the country and hiking the Inca Trail. As well as keeping things light, so you don’t overpack and have to carry around too much.
Have any questions about what to wear in Peru?
Did I miss anything on this packing list? Then please drop them into the comments box below. And if you found this post helpful, please pin it for later!
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