The Perfect Packing List for Peru
Peru is a definitely backpackers dream. This historic country sits in the north western part of South America, bordering Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Chile, and Bolivia. Due to its bio diverse landscape, Peru has a wide range of different ecosystems from rainforests and coastal plains to the majestic Andes Mountain range. For many, Peru represents the chance to unleash their explorative nature, test their trekking skills, and truly experience a landscape and culture full of history and excitement.
Most intrepid travelers venture into this South American gem to trek along the Inca Trail and see the legendary city of Machu Picchu, but Peru has a host of other amazing sites too. First, there is the amazing and bustling capital of Lima, then, of course, there is the mesmerizing Rainbow Mountains, The inexplicable Nazca Lines, and the epic Salt Pools of Maras. These are just a few examples of the wonders of Peru and there is so much more to discover.
A packing list for Peru, together with a Machu Picchu packing list
We want to provide you with just that; a comprehensive packing list together with suggested gear and equipment. If you have been wondering what should I pack for Machu Picchu, or what to bring to Peru then wonder no more and read on!
Understanding Peru’s climate
When packing for Peru, you must first understand its climate. What doesn’t help, is that the climate of Peru is actually diverse as it contains a large number of microclimates. Coastal climates are usually dry with hot temperatures whereas the Andean highlands experience greater rainfall and temperatures at higher altitudes can drop.
The months of April through to August is undoubtedly the best time to visit Peru. These months are much drier and provide favorable temperatures too. April and May, in particular, are considered two of the best months to visit Machu Picchu for example as the rainfall is minimal, but the tourists are still scarce too. October through to March are generally months to avoid due to the higher rainfall and also mud and landslides.
The packing list
Now that you understand a little more about the climate of Peru, you can start to gather your Peru packing check list. We have broken down what to pack for Peru into three sections – generic clothing for any purpose, clothing, and gear specific to the Inca Trail, and additional gear and equipment.
Regardless of where or why you are travelling in Peru, you should have a well-rounded set of clothing that you can rely on to keep your warm, dry and comfortable regardless of the conditions and weather. As mentioned above, Peru can be extremely wet and cold, especially at higher altitudes – due consideration to this fact must be given when creating your clothing list. The following are some items you should include to help keep the elements at bay:
– Waterproof jacket (preferably lightweight)
– Fleece (again lightweight)
– Two-three pairs of durable socks
– Sock liners (for extra padding and comfort)
– Pants/trousers (Again lightweight and flexible)
– One pair of shorts
– Two short sleeve t-shirt
– 1 pair of flip-flops
– Woollen hat
Some of these items you can buy from Peru such as the woolen hat and flip-flops, but it is advisable to purchase the other items beforehand.
Inca Trail Specific Clothing
In addition to the above clothing, if you are planning to take the epic Inca Trail, you will need some specialised gear too. The Inca Trail is a rugged hike and you will encounter some difficult terrain at high elevations that your body may not be used too. Due to the strenuous nature of the hiking, and the varied climate, you must have comfortable clothing that will allow you to concentrate fully on hiking and enjoying the Inca trail experience. The following are some additional pieces of clothing we advise taking to Peru if you are to embark upon the trail to Machu Picchu:
– Approach shoes (hybrid shoes for hiking/rock climbing)
– Hiking pants (allow for breathing and moisture wicking)
– Dry bag (to store your camera, phone and wallet etc)
– Sunscreen (keep your face and lips from burning)
– Chapstick (your lips can become unbelievably dry high up in the mountains)
– Trekking Pole (for extra support and stability when hiking)
– 3L water reservoir for your backpack
– Lightweight sleeping bag
Brands to consider include Camelbak (backpacks and reservoirs), Campland (sleeping bags etc) and Karrimor (Approach shoes/hiking boots). Don’t skimp on quality either – if you spend a little more you can enjoy a comfortable adventure, as opposed to buying clothing on the cheap and potentially becoming exposed to the elements.
Gear and equipment
Aside from clothing, you will also need some additional gear and equipment – these items will make your Peruvian exploration that much easier. Items such as the ones below will help you stay organised and deal with any unforeseen event during your travels:
– Carry-on backpack (Preferably an Outbreaker or similar model)
– Torch or bike light (to help navigating your campsite in the dark!)
– Packing cubes (to help organise your backpack quickly and easily)
– Penknife (opening bottles, cutting packaging – the needs are endless)
– DSLR camera (Canon or Nikon, to document your travels)
– Camera bag and spare batteries/memory cards
– Portable charger banks
– GoPro camera
– Spanish dictionary
In terms of a camera and equipment, if you are planning on trekking then you must keep this to a minimum – you certainly do not want to be lugging around a tonne of expensive camera equipment on the Inca Trail for example. A DSLR and a small carry bag should be more than adequate to take some exceptional photos of your time in Peru.
There you have it, your ultimate Peru packing list! This list should help you prepare fully to explore this diverse and beautiful country. You can finally answer the question: What should I pack for Peru? and be safe in the fact that you are ready for whatever this country has in store for you. If you have any experience with what to wear in Peru then feel free to leave a comment below.