Before thinking what to pack for Peru, it is important to think about what to pack it in. For many of our Community-Based Tourism destinations in Peru, we find it easy to have a backpack plus a comfortable day pack, as some of the communities RESPONS works with are to be reached by walking over small paths. However, many travellers still prefer the duffel bag (possibly on wheels) or rugged suitcases. It all depends a bit on your itinerary; but the daypack is essential in all of them.
Clothing for the mountain area of Peru
In general it is recommended that the clothes and gear you bring on your trip into the Andes of Peru are suitable for the rural, outdoor environment (they will get dirty!). During day time it can get quite hot (especially when hiking is on the day’s program), up to 30ºC/85ºF, but here in the mountains temperatures drop considerably at night (possibly -10ºC/15ºF). The difference may be more than 30ºC/60ºF) in one day! The best way to prepare for such conditions is to wear several layers of clothing.
You’ll be peeling your clothes off like the layers of an onion every morning, and putting them all back on again once the sun hides behind the mountains!Guido – RESPONS
What to pack on your trip to the Andes of Peru:
- Two pairs of long pants (zip-off are ideal!).
- Short pants.
- Thin sweater, long sleeve.
- Warm (fleece) sweater (two, or one fleece and a warm jacket / soft shell).
- Light weight rain jacket (in the rainy season; also a good poncho).
- Thermal underwear and / or pyjama for the nights.
- Swimming gear.
- Strong hiking boots.
- (Walking) socks.
- Leisure shoes (trainers), flip-flops / sandals or water shoes.
- Sunhat or bandana for the day.
- Wool or fleece hat for the night.
Clothing for the jungle of Peru
It is recommended that the clothes you bring on your travel to the Peruvian jungle are suitable for the jungle outdoor environment (they will get dirty!). The Amazon rainforest has a tropical, hot and humid climate, with presence of torrential rains throughout the year, increased in the months of summer (December – March). The average annual temperature is 25º C, and temperatures can differ between 15º C and 35º C. The colder temperatures occur during the so-called friajes, occurring generally around June.
When you’re walking in the rainforest itself, you should definitely wear long sleeves and trousers, to protect yourself from the insects. In the accommodations and cities, short clothes can be used.
What to pack for your visit to the jungle of Peru:
- Light clothes, shorts.
- Long comfortable trousers.
- Short and long-sleeved t-shirts or blouses.
- Pairs of walking- or high- socks.
- Swimming gear.
- Hat or head scarf / kerchief.
- Rain cloths / ponchos.
- Walking shoes or rain boots / sandals.
Please do not bring too much luggage, both for the boat transfers as for the porters and of course, CO2 emissions in general. On some tours, you will be the one carrying your luggage most of the time, so bring max 10 kg p.p. in total.
An idea is to put your clothes in dry bags to protect them from the rain (same for your camera and other articles of value) and make sure you have something to cover your bag with.
Gear in general
For all of Peru, the following items are essential:
- Flashlight (have it handy and even better if it is a headlamp).
- Photo camera with enough batteries, or a portable charger for your smartphone(s).
- Swiss knife or similar.
- Sunglasses with UV-protection.
- Several water bottles per person. We highly recommend bottles with filter, so you can use tap water throughout your trip, and even fill up in rivers and other water sources (depending on the chosen bottle).
- Light-weight towel(s).
- Walking sticks (optional – they can also be rented in Peru).
- Adapters (Peru uses American-style electrical plugs but 220 volts).
If you are going on a multi-day trekking in the Peruvian Andes, you might also want to bring:
- Sleeping bag (until -15ºC) and mat (optional – they can also be rented in Peru).
Please note that any battery loses power quickly below 0º C. If temperature drops below freezing point at night, keep your electronic devices and spare batteries in your sleeping bag!
And if you are going to explore the jungle of Peru, consider bringing the following, too:
Toiletries and medicines
- Personal toilet gear. If possible, use only bio(degradable) toiletries.
- Some toilet paper (for public toilets, trekkings, etc).
- Sunscreen (high SPF: at least 30!).
- Lip balm with UV-protection. In dry season: also cream for your hands.
- Drinking water purifying tablets (not necessary if you have a bottle with incorporated filter).
- Travel first-aid kit.
- Personal medicines.
- Second skin / Compeed.
- Aspirins in day pack.
For the jungle trips you also need to bring:
- Insect repellant. Local pharmacies sell insect repellants, however these are far from being the best. The best protection against mosquitoes is proper clothing (see above).
- Products to alleviate pain and itching from bites and stings (Camphorated Alcohol).
- Anti-mite lotion, also available at most jungle cities’ pharmacies.
What to leave:
- Too much clothes.
- Big suitcases with small wheels.
- Expensive (-looking) gadgets.
- Fancy clothes or shoes.
These tips will help you to know what to pack for Peru. Please note that on most bus rides and domestic flights, you are only allowed to bring 20 kilos p.p. We discourage you to bring more! Pack wisely. If you have booked a custom itinerary throughout Peru with us, your personal travel advisor will give you an elaborate briefing by video call, including personal packing tips.
If you think we are missing any important information, please leave your comment below. Your opinion is very important to us!