Welcome to the ultimate Peru packing list! :) Here you will find not just the list, but all accompanying information you need to know before you start packing for the Peru trip.

You’ll find information about climate and geography and what to pack depending on what regions you’re visiting and what time of the year you’re going, you’ll read all about the bags you should use for this trip, lots of packing tips, what to check before leaving, how to prepare for the altitude sickness if you are going to the mountain region and, of course, you’ll find the ultimate Peru packing list.

You can't wait to see this in person. right? :) Photo by [Alexandre]

You can’t wait to see this in person. right? :) Photo by [Alexandre]

Okay, I know this article seems a bit (too) long, but read this and you won’t have to read anything more on the Internet about hows on packing for the Peru trip. Before getting to Peru packing list, let’s consider two crucial parameters: climate and geography. If you already know enough about climate and geography of Peru, or you don’t have time now to read all about it, just skip to the THE Peru Packing List part and follow the climate and geography symbols that will tell you if some list item is needed only for certain part of Peru or during some season in particular. Anyhow, it’s all explained well down there so don’t break your head now about what does this all mean. :)

Best Time to Visit Peru According to Climate and Geography

Climate in Peru can be divided in two seasons, dry and humid, but it can vary depending on the regions too. Tourist season peak is from June to August, during the dry season in Andes. That is probably the best time to go if you are interested in hiking.
But the best time to go, if you are interested in festivals and carnivals, is December to March. Majority of the big festivals are organized during that period even if it’s rainy season.

There are three main climate regions in Peru: coastal region, the mountains and the jungle, including the Amazon.

Coastal region (La costa – including Lima, Nasca, Paracas, Arequipa): climate is moderate throughout the year. The average temperature is 28 °C in summer and 18 °C in winter. Summer lasts from December to March and Winter from May to October.

The mountains (La sierra – Andes region, including Cusco, Puno, Huaraz): temperature depends on altitude. As almost everywhere in the world, the rule is – the higher you are, the colder it gets. Annual average in the low-lying valleys is 18 °C, or 64 °F, and annual average in the highest elevations is 0 °C, or 32 °F. Rainy season starts in September and peaks between January and March. Strongest insolation is between May and August and it’s very dry. Nights are often very cold.

It is interesting that, in terms of insolation, mountain region is reverse to the coastal region.

The jungle (La selva – Amazon region): climate is warm and humid throughout the year. It’s about 30 °C all year round. You can expect heaviest raining December to March.

The Amazon Jungle. Photo by: Ronnes Jacobs

The Amazon Jungle. Photo by: Ronnes Jacobs

7 Tips Before You Start Packing

  1. Make sure you check weight restrictions for flights you are going to – go to a website or call airline company or companies you will use. Every company has it’s own rules, so make sure your luggage fits rules of each airline companies you’ll use.
  2. Other than routine ones you probably got at some point of your life, there is no additional vaccination required for traveling to Peru. But still, most of the travelers take vaccines to prevent getting Hepatitis A and Typhoid from the contaminated food or water in Peru.
  3. It is advised not to bring your jewelry on a trip. This also stands for traveling anywhere. If you are used to wear jewelry, you can buy good silver and costume jewelry at the local markets in Peru. Just look for the 925 stamp on a silver pieces, it’s a sign of high quality (it’s composed of 92.5% pure silver, and 7.5% other metals, typically copper).
  4. Also don’t wear your expensive watch on a trip. Buy an inexpensive one and wear it on the trip.
  5. It is always good to be fit and prepared for long walks and hikes while on the trip. This applies even more for the Peru trip. You will probably go hiking the Inca Trail or somewhere else in the Andes. Now, those hikes are not that challenging, but it’s probably good idea to start a fitness program that suites your lifestyle. Start walking for half an hour every day, for example. (Haven’t I already warned you it’s the ultimate Peru packing list? :))

    Machu Picchu hike. Photo by: Phil Whitehouse

    Machu Picchu hike. Photo by: Phil Whitehouse

  6. MasterCard seems more popular than Visa or any other brand in Peru. Not necessarily, but you can maybe think about getting a MasterCard too, if you already don’t have one.
  7. For safety reasons, it’s always good to have copies of everything! One copy should be left to someone at home, other copy should be with you on a trip, and not in yours, but in your travel companion’s luggage. Here’s the list of things you should have at least two copies of:
    1. Passport
    2. Drivers licence
    3. Travel itinerary
    4. Credit cards (front and back)
    5. Travel insurance
    6. Emergency contact information
    7. Visas
    8. Airline tickets and schedule
    9. Any other important document

Pro tip: As an engineer, I always trust Cloud services more than I trust my laptop. I strongly recommend you to have these copies somewhere on your email or store it in a Cloud you use: Google Drive, Dropbox, Copy… In case you need these copies for some reason, you can get them from any place in the world with the Internet connection.

Bags Choosing Science Made Easy

OK, this topic is something we can discuss a lot. :) You all probably have your favorite traveling bags, and you are thinking how to pack stuff needed in those bags. That’s completely OK. You can’t make a huge mistake if you manage to pack everything you need in one bag or another, as long as you are comfortable with those bags, but some could be better and more practical than the other ones.

Luggage - Peru Packing List

You should consider taking bags that will be good for traveling by plane and then traveling across the country, by bus, by train or by car. Airline companies usually have strict rules about luggage, so first thing would be to check weight and size for bags they allow. I know this one is obvious, but this is the very ultimate Peru packing list so it was needed to be said. :)

Most common thing people do is taking one large bag and one small bag. That’s way it’s the most practical for handling it, and it’s a combination you can carry on the plane without paying for the additional bags, as long as their size is within airline company’s limits. At least that’s how most airline companies work.

Peru Packing List

Daypack. Photo by: Nichole Begonia

There could also be the third one, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be one of two previously mentioned. You need a good size daypack. It is essential that you have proper bag to put in everything you might need for a day when you’ll go do some activities, just stroll around the cities, or maybe go have a picnic in a park. It’s the best if that bag is a backpack or rucksack or knapsack. You should be able to wear it on your back and across both shoulders. Wearing a bag on one shoulder only for a long period of time (few hours for example) could cause you back pain and my guess is you don’t want that to bother you on your trip.

That daypack could be the same small bag you use as a carry-on on your flights, but if some other bag serves you better for that, then you should pack a daypack bag in a large bag. In that case the daypack bag shouldn’t be a robust one, it should be easy to roll it up and it shouldn’t take much space in your luggage.

Large bag
There are few choices for the large bag. Most common choices are a suitcase or a duffle bag. Here’s how to make decision which one to bring depending on your travel style:

Suitcase can be a good choice if you are going to one place and staying in one hotel for the whole duration of the trip. The good thing about suitcases is that they usually have wheels which make them very easy to handle. The bad thing could be that the suitcase weighs about few kilos. If the place you are going to is not really friendly to your suitcase wheels, and if you won’t have service to help you carry the suitcase, and you don’t want to have unneeded back/shoulder/hand pain, than you should think about the alternative.

One more thing that may be a problem when it comes to suitcases is that they can be broken. It happened to me when I was traveling to the US, my suitcase was completely ruined. Probably the guys handling the luggage at the airports did that while moving it recklessly from one plane to another. That was the beginning of my four months trip. You can imagine how disappointed and angry I was when I saw how my suitcase looked like.

If you are moving from place to place during your stay in Peru, duffle bag is more practical than the suitcase. Contrary to the suitcase, duffle bag doesn’t weigh much itself and it requires less space. All weight you will carry around are things inside the bag. If you don’t have full service included, like someone to handle your luggage all the way, you’ll be better with the duffle bag.

The other good thing is that the duffle can’t be broken. That leaves no worries that you’ll have to think about buying new bag in the middle of your wonderful Peru adventure.

duffle bag with wheels

Duffle bag with wheels

Now, if the weight of stuff you want to pack is more that you can, or want, to carry by yourself, there’s the third option: duffle bag with wheels. It is the blend of the good features of both, suitcase and the duffle, and the only downside are 1-2 kilos that wheel and handle system weighs.

Small bag
Choices here are to have a backpack or a small duffle bag. Small enough that airline company will allow you to take it in a plane with no extra cost.
Considering you’ll already have one hand busy with the large bag, and that you need other one to open doors, use your phone, or something like that, the bag that could be carried on your back is probably the best choice. That bag keeps your hands free.

There are a lot of different types of backpacks/rucksacks/knapsacks. There shouldn’t be a science behind choosing one for the Peru tour. Just choose one that you like the most and that its quality is good enough to at least durate the Peru adventure. One more factor should be taken in consideration if you are going to use it as a daypack for picnics, daily tours etc. – you should take water resistant backpack. You will probably put spare clothes and electronics in a daypack, enough reason to keep it dry inside. If it isn’t water resistant, it should at least have rain cover.

security pouch

Security pouch

Personally, I never wore it on me, but you might want to have a money belt with you. It’s secure and it’s practical because of the easy access to money and documents when needed. I once wore security pouch on my trip and you might think about doing the same. I felt that my money and documents were secure all the time and I was very satisfied with it. I kept it under my jacket so it was not visible to the potential pickpockets.

 

10 Ultimate Peru Packing Tips

  1. Use cheap plastic bags, ziplock style for example, to protect, well – everything. I always do that to protect my clothes, electronic devices etc. from possible spilling of liquids I also put in bags. If you’re going to travel by some old buses or trains, your bags can get wet. Even if it’s not rain outside, your bags can get wet if something spills in the luggage container. I might be paranoid a little bit about this, but I always protect everything with plastic bags. Of course, toiletries should be in a separate plastic bags, not in the same bags with the clothes or electronic.
  2. If you know what you’ll be wearing every day, you can pack clothes separately for each day. I never did that, but it can be useful idea for someone. If you are doing it this way, you don’t have to unpack and then pack again everything to find one item you need.
  3. Use bulky and odd sized items to protect fragile stuff or clothes you don’t want to move much in a luggage. Just roll fleece jacket, or something, and put it into corners or around those fragile stuff. That’s how I transported my electric guitar from the US to Europe! It got home alive and well! :)
  4. Peru is a great place to do some shopping! You’ll probably buy some beautiful sweaters, some souvenirs or some gifts to the people home. Leave room in your luggage for the things you’ll buy in Peru!

    Peruvian market. Photo by: Brook Ward

    Peruvian market. Photo by: Brook Ward

  5. Customize this packing list to fit your preferences. When you go through list, always keep in mind what time of the year you are going and what Peru region you are going to.
  6. For every item you are packing think twice if you really need it. I always used to pack more things than I need, but experience taught me when I’m going to need five pairs of socks or fifteen. Here’s some help for the things you are not sure if you’ll need them: see if it’s something you can easily buy in Peru (meaning it’s not too expensive for you and you can find it easily in the places you’ll be). If it can be easily bought, buy it in Peru the moment you feel the need for that item.
  7. Don’t pack all of your documents. In other words, it’s good to leave some documents to the people at home, so they can help you in case something bad happens, like if you lose your documents bag. You probably don’t need your driver license when you have your passport with you.
  8. Leave at least one copy of your apartment key with your friend, neighbor or someone from the family. That way you can let in people if some of your friends need something from your apartment, or if they need to send you something, or simply water your plants. You also don’t need to worry if you lose your key somewhere in Peru. You’ll know that there’s a copy in a safe place :)
  9. Pack valuables and electronics (camera, laptop, tablet computer, phone, binoculars, etc.) in your smaller bag. That way you’ll protect it from losing, breaking or getting wet. People handling luggage in some airline companies can sometimes be brutal to the luggage. I already mentioned how they completely broke/destroyed my luggage.
  10. Pack spare t-shirt and pair of socks in a carry-on. Your feet can get wet, you can get sweaty or you can spill some food on a t-shirt you’re traveling in. It always feels good and refreshing to change dirty clothes.

20 Packing-Related Tips While You Are in Peru?

  1. Always carry coins! You’ll need them for the restroom access and for shopping in the street.
  2. You also need cash for shopping in the street. Carry 10 and 20 soles bills (Peruvian nuevo sol is the currency). It is also OK to have 50’s, but most street sellers will have problem to give you change.
  3. Keep electronics in waterproof (plastic) bags. If it’s rainy season and you’ll be hiking, seal everything double bagged.
  4. If you’re traveling solo, wear backpack across chest in a crowded places, like local markets etc.
  5. Always know where are your bags. Always!
  6. Peru is known for the handmade, high-quality woven products. It would be shame not to buy some gorgeous sweater, mitten, socks, ponchos, bags or “baby” alpaca blankets. Don’t miss going to the Indian markets!

    Peru Packing List

    Peruvian woven colors. Photo by: Andrew Fleming

  7. You can buy the same sweaters, mittens, jewelry, hats, snacks, etc. in every city, so you don’t have to buy it all in the first place you see them and make your luggage heavy day one. Wait until you need that goodies. Also wait for some of the last cities to do gifts shopping for your friends and family back home.
  8. The #7 doesn’t apply for the postcards. Every city has its own postcards. They all have Machu Picchu or Nazca, but there some unique in every city. You’ll find a very good selection at the Cuzco airport too.
  9. Always carry a packet of Kleenex, a couple of hand wipes and hand washing antibacterial gel in your daypack. You won’t always find perfectly clean toilets to maintain high level of personal hygiene easily. Girls should always have some feminine care items in a daypack too.
  10. Laundry services in hotels can be very expensive, so if you want to avoid being ripped off, you should do your own washing. Pack a small bottle of laundry detergent or buy it in a local supermarket. You can do hand washing in your bathroom. You can dry your clothes on a window or somewhere appropriate. If you’re gonna do washing on your own, think about packing plastic clothes rather than cotton based, it dries much faster. Although, there are laundromats available in most major cities.
  11. Always make sure you know what currency you are paying in. Some prices can be in US dollars, and you always must check before buying something. Especially if you first get service and pay for it later.
  12. If you stay in a cheap accommodation, always wear flip-flops in a room and in a bathroom. Cheap ones will do the job. Floors in cheap accommodation may be very dirty sometimes, and you sure wanna stay clean and healthy on the road.
  13. Always have toilet paper or paper towels in your daypack! You’ll rarely find toilet paper in a public restrooms, and you’ll probably never find toilet seats, so you should be prepared for that. Also, don’t put your backpack on a toilet floor. Never. Please! Hang it over the door hook, or hold it in your hands.
  14. Paper in toilets in Peru does not go to toilet, it always goes in the trash.
  15. Have a pocket knife in your daypack, it might be useful in many situations, like for packages opening, peeling an apple or whatever. You probably won’t have problems carrying it in buses, but pack it appropriately or put it in a checked bag when flying.
  16. Always have pen and a small notebook with you. Always have written address and name of your hotel. You can write down words you learn, contacts of people you meet there, and you can have written down information you’ll need along the road. Don’t rely only on electronic devices.
  17. Use internet cafes to contact your friends and family. Price is $2+ per hour in all major tourist cities and areas. You can use your own laptop at some places because they offer wireless connection. You may also buy prepaid telephone calling card in Peru. Telephone companies usually charge up to 50 cents for the minute of the international call.
  18. Have a t-shirt and pair of socks in your daypack always.
  19. Always have a bottle of water and some tasty snacks with you. Sometimes you don’t know when is going to be your next meal, or when you’ll find drinkable water.
  20. Do as many things from this Things to do in Peru list as you can!

What to Pack and How to Prepare for the Altitude Sickness in Peru

If you are going to the mountains, there is a possibility that you’ll get the altitude sickness. It is also known as “Soroche”.

People are not aware sometimes that they suffer from altitude sickness because symptoms are very similar to the symptoms you get when you have food poisoning. Symptoms of altitude sickness are nausea, headache, sleepiness, vomiting and loss of appetite.

There are few things you can do to avoid those symptoms. The best thing you can do is to climb slowly. If you are going high in the mountains, it would be perfect if you could have a couple of days resting somewhere in the middle. You should also be eating light food and you should avoid alcohol on those days. Maybe you don’t like the previous tip, but here’s one you’ll like: you should drink coca tea. Coca tea, or “mate de coca”, is a local remedy for altitude sickness. It’s very easy to find everywhere.

Coca tea. Photo by: Nick Jewell

Coca tea. Photo by: Nick Jewell

In case you were curious, coca tea has a flavor similar to green tea, main difference is that coca tea has more organic sweetness.

Note: Coca tea is legal in Peru, but it’s illegal in most of the other countries, so unfortunately it’s not advised to buy it and bring home. Even though it’s illegal, especially to bring home raw coca leaves, many people said that they didn’t have any problems with bringing home branded boxes of coca tea, like Lipton or some other popular brand. We are strongly advising you not to try even that, we are just telling you experience of others. Don’t blame us if you get in trouble for this! :)

Even though coca tea is something you are eager to try and something that will probably make you altitude sickness free, it’s always good to bring Diamox (Acetazolamide), just in case. Diamox is a high altitude sickness medicine you can get with a prescription at home. You can also get some alternative to Diamox in Peru, and you won’t need a prescription. As they always say in a medicine commercials – ask your doctor or pharmacist regarding possible side effects. :)

There are few more things that can help you with the altitude sickness. Bottled oxygen gives you immediate relief, for example. Supplements of Gingko Biloba are also very effective. Going to a place with lower elevation is an instant cure, of course.

One more thing you probably should pack are plastic bags for vomiting. Not kidding here! At least one of you should have them, if you are traveling in a group.

OK, I said a lot here about altitude sickness, but don’t let that discourage you from going to the most amazing trip ever. You’ll be safe, especially if you are on a group tour with experienced guide and awesome travel companions.

How to Read this Packing List

As previously said, your needs in Peru differ depending on the fact whether you are going to the Amazon region, coastal region or mountain region, also it is definitely not the same if it’s summer or winter.

You’ll see that some items on this Peru packing list are marked. Items that are not marked are recommended to bring no matter where you go in Peru or what time of the year are you going. For items that are marked, here’s what each of those marks means:

☁ – needed only during winter season
℃ – needed only during summer season
☂ – needed only in the Amazon region
☀ – needed only in coastal region
∧∧∧ – needed only in the mountain region.

These marks can be combined, and you’ll see marks like this: ☂☁, ∧∧∧☀… First one means that you should bring that item only in the Amazon region if it’s winter, second one is for mountain region if it’s summer. Similarly any region could be combined with any season.

THE Peru Packing List

This could be the only part of this huge article that you’ll read, and that’s OK, you’ll understand it and it’ll be very useful to you, at least I hope so. Anyhow, I really recommend reading, or at least running through, the whole article because it’s full of useful tips and things you should take in consideration before you even start packing.

Clothing

Clothing is something you probably think about the most when thinking about packing for Peru trip. Or any trip for that matter. Here’s the list of things that might be useful on your Peru trip. Nothing is a must, and you probably shouldn’t bring all of these clothes. This list is merely a reminder of everything possibly useful in various situations you might get into while in Peru. Depending on what you are going to do while you are there, pick from this list things you think could be of use to you.

  • Shirts/T-shirts
    • Short-sleeved shirts
    • Long-sleeved shirts/turtlenecks
    • Long sleeve tops
    • Dress shirts
    • Shirt for layering
  • Pants/Shorts –Bring some of those:
    • Casual pants
    • Long pants (zip-off pants are very useful)
    • Shorts, mid-thigh or longer, don’t forget to pack exercise shorts.
    • Travel weight pants
    • ∧∧∧ Fleece pants could be useful if you’re doing the Inca Trail
    • Dress pants
    • Rain pants for hiking
  • Underwear – undies, bras, sports bras, nylons… Include undershirts for the highlands and Lima and long underwear for the Inca Trail – you’ll want to have those at least for the nights.
  • Night-clothes – Pajamas/Robe/Slippers/Cotton sweat suits
  • Socks – Bring few pairs of those suitable for hiking, or cold weather, if you gonna need them.
  • Sweaters – Peru is a good place to buy high-quality woven sweaters, and you can buy them everywhere (look for the Indian markets). You’ll maybe buy them there so you don’t have to bring sweaters from home at all.
  • Shoes – You’ll need casual shoes, sandals and maybe even dress shoes or workout shoes. You’ll also need waterproof shoes if you’ll be hiking in a highlands.
  • Hats – Depending on what time of the year you’ll be in Peru, you might need sun hat or warm hat (you can easily find high-quality ones in Peru). You might want to have sun hat with brim and chin strap in the summer.
  • Scarves
  • ☁ Gloves – Also could be bought
  • Belts
  • Suits – casual or business ones for those traveling for business.
  • Ties/Suspenders – whichever you prefer.
  • Workout clothes – I hope you do workout regularly, traveling shouldn’t be an excuse to skip the good habits :)
  • ℃☀ Swimwear – bathing suits, tops and bottoms or one piece swimsuits.
  • ☁ Plastic poncho – If you are going to be hiking in Peru (the Inca Trail for example), large flexible rain poncho is a must!
  • Bandana (for dust, washing, etc.)
  • Jackets/Coats – Depending on what time of the year and what region you are going to, you might need one/some of these:
  • Sports coat
  • Jacket
  • ☁ Windbreaker
  • ☁ Rain jacket
  • ☁ Fleece jacket
  • ☁ Layering tops
  • Blazer
  • Parka
  • Skirts/Dresses – As a man, I’m not an expert for this, but I assume ladies will pack few of those, some daytime sightseeing-friendly and some evening-friendly.
  • Dress tops – Those are light-weight and you can pack a lot of them.

Pro tip #1: Bring at least one outfit for going out, more if you think you’ll need them.

Pro tip #2: Bring some plastic waterproof bags for dirty clothing. Could be ziplocs or garbage bags.

Electronics

I’m the kind of a guy who could easily live without any electronic devices (even though I’m an electrical engineer). I could, but technology make our lives easier and why wouldn’t I use that opportunity. There’s actually only one thing I adore and without it my life would be much more complicated when traveling – Google Maps. It works if you have some appropriate device to run it on, so I have to have some mobile device, smartphone for example.
Google Maps are my favorite app when not going to an organized tours, but depending on where I’m going to and what am I going to do, I use some other electronic devices, like Camera or Kindle.

Here’s what electronic devices you should/could bring to your Peru trip:

  • Smartphone and accessories (charger, case)
  • Camera and accessories (charger, tripod, lenses, etc.)
  • Laptop and accessories (charger, extra battery, case)
  • Amazon Kindle – or some other ebook reader
  • Tablet computer – if you already use one, but don’t buy it just because of this trip
  • Voltage adapter – voltage on plugs in Peru is 220 V and frequency 60 Hz
  • Power bank – portable phone USB battery charger
  • MP3 player or some other music player
  • GPS system – if you are going to drive there, but you can have the same functionality on your smartphone with appropriate apps
  • USB cable – can be used to charge your devices (smartphone, Kindle, tablet computer…) by connecting them on your laptop
  • Network cable – some hotels have bad WiFi but they have network wall plugs
  • Selfie stick – Don’t embarrass yourself, take a group Peru tour and you’ll always have someone to take a picture of you :)

Pro tip #1: Make sure you installed and prepared all smartphone apps you’ll use there. Don’t forget to install Google Maps!

Pro tip #2: On your smartphone, load all places you’ll travel to using your Google Maps app. You will be able to use those maps offline. Save places you want to go to, when you are online, and you’ll see stars over those places on the map even when you are offline. You can even save those places using your desktop computer, but don’t forget to be logged on Google. Then you have to connect your smartphone to the Internet and the saved places will be synchronized to those you saved while using your desktop computer.

Money

There is always the same big question you ask yourself before going on a trip: should I bring cash or credit cards? An answer to that question is not the same if you are going to urban or rural regions. If you’re going to spend most of your time in rural regions, you shouldn’t count on having ATMs available when needed, so you should bring cash. In all urban Peru regions you can easily find ATMs.
What I do when traveling to urban places, or when is mixture of urban and rural, is to bring and always have some cash, usually half of my planned budget for that trip, and put the rest on my credit card. When I spend half of cash, I withdraw more at the first ATM spot.
You will, of course, be able to pay with credit card in many places. All big restaurants should accept credit card payment, but that might not be the case with the smaller restaurants in smaller towns, so you should always have enough cash for the day.
Good thing is that at almost all commercial places in Peru they even accept US dollars. You’ll often see prices in dollars and in Soles (Nuevo Sol is Peruvian currency).

Tip: Don’t change money to Peruvian Soles in your country, do it in Peru and you’ll get much better rates.

OK, here’s the Peru packing list for all things about money:

  • Wallet/Purse – I’ve already written about money belts and security pouch. Chose whatever you like, just don’t forget to pack it :)
  • Credit card/Debit card – Those are widely acceptable in Peru, so you won’t have problem. Again, read “cash or credit cards” advice above.
  • Cash – always have some with you! :)
  • Checks/Travelers checks – if you have some of those.

Medical/Health

You already saw that altitude sickness is something you should be prepared to. It is obvious, but why not say it, you should pack your prescription drugs, in case you are taking some therapy, of course. You should also pack your allergy medication, in case you are allergic to something. If you are not perfectly healthy, you should probably talk to your doctor and ask for his advice before going to this trip, even though Peru is not the destination you should be worried about regarding your health.

  • Prescriptions – If there’s only one thing you’ll pack, that should be this!
  • Allergy medication – In case you are allergic to something
  • First Aid kit – Always good to have it, but a first aid kit may be very useful particularly if you’re planning to take part in high-risk activities or going off the beaten track.
  • Sunscreen – No matter how sensitive or not your skin is, always use sunscreen with high sun-protection factor
  • Vitamins – Take those you know you will need, or take some combination of vitamins that is good for the immune system. Sometimes people don’t like the food in some parts of the world and they don’t get enough vitamins in their bodies, or healthy nutrients for that matter, so it is always good to have vitamins that can prevent decline of your immune system.
  • Hand washing antibacterial gel – You should always have some hand sanitizer while on the trip. Chose whatever you prefer, I always like to have hand washing antibacterial gel or antibacterial wipes in my daypack.
  • Pain medication – As much as I avoid taking medications, there are situations where medications make life much easier. I can handle the pain sometimes, some headache for example, if I know it will pass soon, but I’ll also use painkiller from time to time. If you are going to walk for hours or take part in some activity and you skip a meal, there’s a chance you’ll have a headache that day. That is the most common situation when people travel, so better options than having painkillers are to have pauses and not to skip any meals. Oh, I know it is difficult sometimes to stop having fun, but your body will thank you if you do so sometimes. :)
  • Insect repellent – I never had any problem with insects, I never use any insect repellent and I wouldn’t pack it, but I know many people do, so this is just a reminder in case you are one of those people.

Before Leaving

Peaceful mind is something you should always pack on your leisure trip. To ensure that, these are the things you should do before leaving:

  • Make sure not to put your house on fire – Check, then check again and then one more time if your electrical devices are all off. You can probably leave fridge on, but you shouldn’t other devices.
  • Shut down all electrical fuses in your house, or almost all, leave some on if needed (e.g. for the fridge or the alarm system).
  • Set autoresponder for your email.
  • Make sure someone will take good care of your pets or plants.
  • Pay all bills that could cause a problem while you are on the road.
  • Turn on alarm system in your house, if you have one.
  • Leave copy of your keys to a person you trust (family member, friend, neighbour…).
  • Lock up all doors and windows.

Toiletries

Very important stuff, but luckily almost all of these are cheap and could be easily find in all urban places in Peru. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be careful, I’m just saying that it’s easier to forget to pack your toothbrush than to forget to extinguish stove. :) OK, let’s be serious here for a moment – people often forget some of these things simply because it’s a lot of small and cheap stuff. And what they do when they forget something, they get nervous and angry. So I’m just saying that this happens a lot but this “problem” is very easy to solve and it’s definitely not something you should let spoil your trip. 😉

  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Soap/Body Wash
  • Perfume
  • Cotton swabs
  • Toothbrush/Toothpaste
  • Mouthwash
  • Dental floss
  • Glasses/Case/Contacts/Solution
  • Razor/Shave Gel/Aftershave
  • Cologne
  • Brush/Comb
  • Gel/Hairspray/Hair Products
  • Blow dryer – you can check if you’ll have it in places you will be staying so you don’t have to bring your own
  • Hair Accessories
  • Curling Iron/Flat Iron
  • Cotton Balls
  • Tweezers/nail clippers
  • Tissue
  • Lotion/Lip balm
  • Makeup
  • Facial cleanser
  • Pads/Tampons/Pantiliners

Laundry

Here’s what you could use while on a trip, but think whether you gonna bring those from home or you’re gonna buy those in Peru:

  • Detergent – Pack it in a small bottle, just the quantity you’ll need.
  • Stain remover
  • Fabric Softener/Dryer Sheets – In case you want to bring yours favorite one, instead of buying one in Peru, don’t pack more than you’ll need.
  • Sewing kit – Can always be useful.
  • Hangers – If you really need them.
  • Laundry bag – Plastic bag or a fancy one so you can carry your dirty clothes in style 😉

Pro tip: When there, save some Peruvian coins to use it in laundromats.

Documentation

I already mentioned that you should copy some documents and leave copies home to your friends and family. Just in case! Here’s the list of all documents you should have with you on the trip:

  • Passport
  • Visa
  • Tickets – Flight tickets and all other tickets you might have.
  • Itinerary – You will soon be able to print out itineraries from Tour Via Me website, if you decide to go on some of these Peru tours. Even if not, I recommend you have one printed copy of your itinerary.
  • Map – I’d use Google Maps on my smartphone, but you might rather use paper maps, and that’s totally OK, could even be more reliable.
  • Travel guide – You can print out, or save in your Kindle our things to do in Peru blog post, or you can buy some Peru travel guide.
  • Drivers License – If you think you’ll drive while there.

Pro tip: Keep scanned copies of all those documents somewhere on email or on the cloud (Dropbox, Google Drive…).

Miscellaneous

Here are some ideas for things that couldn’t be categorized otherwise in this Peru packing list:

  • Sunglasses
  • Watch/Smartwatch
  • Earplugs – Oh did I have roommates that snore…I tried everything: waking them up, whistling, throwing stuff at them…nothing worked except the earplugs!
  • Books – Or something else to read. I already mentioned Amazon Kindle, or some other e-book reader as an alternative.
  • Batteries
  • Umbrella
  • Binoculars
  • Games/playing cards/dice – If you’ll have some good company and enough free time :)
  • Keys
  • Jewelry/Accessories

Children Items

Smiling faces. Photo by: Alexander Schimmeck

Smiling faces. :) Photo by: Alexander Schimmeck

You might be traveling in Peru with your (or someone else’s :) ) kids. Don’t! Just kidding, of course. :) I’m sure kids will make your trip more fun. We even have family tours to offer on Tour Via Me. Here’s what you should pack if you travel with kids:

  • Clothes/Shoes/Socks
  • ☁ Coats/Hats/Gloves
  • ℃ Swimwear – Only for summer, unless you’ll find some indoor pool.
  • Snacks & Wipes
  • Sleeping bags/Pillows
  • Toys/Books/Games
  • Sports/Outdoor playing equipment

Baby Items

Depending on how you’ll be traveling with your baby, here are some things you should pack:

  • Clothes/Socks/Shoes
  • Baby food
  • Bottles
  • Blankets
  • Toys
  • Pack-n-Play – easy to transport one
  • Diapers
  • Swim diapers
  • Diaper ointment
  • Wipes
  • Baby Shampoo/Soap
  • Baby carrier/Backpack
  • Car Seat – if you think you’ll need it
  • Monitor – in case your baby will sleep in a separate room
  • Other – all the other things your baby want or need

Congratulations! :) You are now officially prepared to start packing for the Peru trip. At least you should be after reading this detailed ultimate Peru packing list.

I have two recommendations for the end of this post. First is to read our other Peru posts, especially 18 things to do in Peru article.
Second advice is to carefully look at what Peru tours tourvia.me has to offer. Tours tourvia.me offering are absolutely the best way to experience Peru, whether you want only to do the Inca Trail or you want to do the Absolute Peru tour and visit every inch of this amazing country.

I wish you the very best, full of memories and great experiences, unforgettable trip to Peru! :)