Your 'Must-Bring' Packing List for Peru - Don't Forget It!

What to Bring to Peru!

Packing for Peru in the Highlands

Peru can be a tricky destination to pack for. Being so geographically diverse, Peru presents travelers with the chance to experience the frigid airs of the Andean highlands and the beating sun of the coast in the same trip – and sometimes the same day!

If you’re planning to visit multiple destinations while in Peru, it’s essential to get your packing list for Peru organized. While much will depend on which season you’ll be visiting (don’t forget seasons are reversed from the Northern Hemisphere!), there are some tips that apply year-round.

With your arrival into Lima, you can expect anything from toasty, sunny temperatures to the famous cool, foggy skies. Peru’s capital stays more temperate than other coastal areas with high temperatures averaging between 67 ° - 82 ° F. But in the coasts outside Lima like Paracas and Mancora, you’ll feel the sun much more.

Contrast that to the Highlands of Peru near Cusco where average high temperatures can average from 58° - 66 ° F. However, temperatures in the Highlands drop at night down below freezing during many nights averaging between 27 ° - 40 ° F.

If your travels are taking you to the jungle, a whole other adventure awaits. In Iquitos and Puerto Maldonado humidity becomes the huge factor, and there really is no temperature relief at night. High temperatures in the Amazon range only slightly between 85° - 90 ° F.

This endless variety means you packing list for Peru needs to be based on layers – especially if you plan to do some trekking. Here is our advice for a comprehensive Peru travel packing list ---

General Packing List for Every Peru Destination

  • Passport (and one copy), Credit Card (without foreign transaction fees)

  • Small amount of cash ($300 - $500) – For tips, cash only places, taxi, etc.

  • Travel Insurance Information

  • Refillable Water Bottle

  • Sun Glasses & Hat

  • Compact Spanish Phrase Book

  • Important Toiletries for a Country Near the Equator (Sunscreen, Lip Balm, Bug Repellant)

  • General Peru guidebook

  • Power Bank for Cell Phone

  • Lightweight Camera

  • Small Universal Adaptor with Flat Prongs (for wall outlet sockets)

  • Travel Wallet and Money Belt

  • Ibuprofen (This is Surprisingly Expensive in Peru)

  • Medication for Stomach Indigestion

Lima and the Cities

When enjoying the cultural scene in the cities, especially Lima, it’s nice to not be the Gringo that sticks out like a sore thumb. Peruvians can dress quite formally so while you’ll want your walking shoes, it’s good to fit in when you’re trying that famous Lima cuisine and enjoying the nightlife. Here’s an additional packing list for Lima.

  • Casual Dress Pants or Nice Jeans, Pairs of Shorts (For summertime only)

  • Short and Long-Sleeve Buttonup or Blouses (Lima can be fairly formal)

  • Both T-Shirts & Short-Sleeve Button Ups

  • Casual Dress (For going out)

  • Leggings

  • Comfortable Walking Shoes (Athletic shoes)

  • Comfortable Casual or Dress Shoes (Because it’s nice to not be the Gringo with only tennis shoes)

  • Sandals / Flip-flops

  • Swimsuit

  • Light Sweater (For nighttime)

  • Light Jacket

Packing List for Cusco and the Highlands

Cusco & the Highlands

If you’re like 90% travelers to Peru, the mountains are on your itinerary. Whether it’s Machu Picchu, Huaraz, Arequipa or elsewhere, using layers is the name of the game here. Warm, bright Andean skies are often punctuated by intermittent rainstorms and cold nights.

For Peru packing list for multi-day hiking and climbing adventures, we’d suggest requesting a specific, specialized gear list from your guiding service.

  • Good Daypack (The smaller, the better)

  • Comfortable Hiking Shoes or Lite Boots

  • Wicking/Hiking Shirt & Quick-dry Hiking Pants

  • Lightweight, Water-Resistant Down Jacket

  • Fleece Pullover

  • Good Shirt for Machu Picchu Day (Remember you will always have these photos)

  • Extra Pairs of Hiking Socks (2 or 3 pairs)

  • Lightweight, Waterproof Jacket & Poncho (In the event of a large rainstorm)

  • Compact First Aid Kit

  • Altitude Medication and Coca Candy Chews

  • Warm Weather Beanie for Possible Cold Weather

  • Sunglasses & Sunscreen (At all times)

  • Cash for Tipping and Market Purchases

  • Light Gloves

  • Headlamp

  • Casual Clothes for Walking Around Cusco & Nightlife (Generally Cusco is more casual than Lima)

Packling List for Peru's Jungle

Puerto Maldonado, Iquitos, and the Jungle

With all the hot, equatorial sun as the Highlands, but with no temperature relief and added humidity, the Peruvian Amazon can be a challenge. When packing, you can reuse much of lightweight, quick-dry outdoor gear used in the Highlands. Be sure to keep your insect repellent and sunscreen handy here.

It should be noted to consult with your home doctor regarding vaccinations before traveling to the Peruvian jungle. Currently, no vaccines are required but yellow fever and other vaccinations before traveling to Peru are recommended by the CDC.

  • Long Quick-dry Pants & Shorts (1 or 2 pairs)

  • Long-Sleeve Shirts Made from Lightweight, Quick-dry Material

  • Short Sleeve Shirts (3 or 4 pairs)

  • Water-resistant Light Trekking Shoes (Goretex or shoes not easily permeable)

  • Lightweight, Waterproof Jacket & Poncho (In the event of a large rainstorm)

  • Binoculars

  • Swimsuit

  • Sun Hat, Sunglasses and Sunscreen

  • Insect Repellent (Your best friend in the jungle)

  • Cash for Tipping and Market Purchases


Where do most people go wrong in what to bring to Peru? Most travelers ere on the side of packing too much. By keeping your packing list for Peru light and efficient, you’ll spend less time struggling with your luggage throughout Lima, Cusco, and beyond (between airports, bus stations, and taxis extra baggage really becomes a hastle).

In addition, by leaving extra space in your luggage and packing light you’ll have some valuable extra space for that alpaca sweater or bottle of Pisco to take back home with you.

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