Peru is the pounding heart of South America. It’s an ancient land interwoven with a rich culture, vibrant soul and a diverse ecosystem, culminating in a constantly surprising and invigorating experience.
Three distinct regions dominate the ever-changing landscape. The expansive coastal deserts are home to Lima, the capital city. The jagged peaks of the Andes contain the ancient Sacred Valley and Inca ruins of Machu Picchu, and the lush Amazon jungle contains one of Earth’s most bio diverse ecosystems and civilisation’s oldest secrets.
The rich ecological diversity of Peru creates a climate that’s far from stagnant, with weather changes a constant occurrence.
We’ve curated a list of packing essentials for a trip to Peru, to make sure that you’re prepared for any eventuality.
1. HIKING SHOES AND A WALKING POLE
From the rough trails of the Andes mountains to the narrow cobbled lanes of the villages and muddy jungle paths; the last thing you want to be contending with is sore, wet feet. Good quality, supportive hiking shoes are going to make all the difference. It’s best to wear them in before you go, so you’re confident in the fit and feel of your shoes.
A hiking boot hybrid can be a good option for travelling, ensuring you have the support you need whilst not being too cumbersome to transport.
A compact, lightweight walking pole is an ideal companion for trekking in the mountains and jungle. An extra point of contact with the often uneven ground can make all the difference, especially when you’re descending steep terrain or negotiating muddy jungle paths. A point to remember for the Inca Trail, is that metal tipped walking poles need to have a rubber stopper on the tip or they won’t be allowed on the trail.
2. LUGGAGE THAT DOES IT ALL
Peru is filled with unexpected surprises and beautiful adventures; the spontaneity is what enriches the experience. Having top quality luggage solutions means you can negotiate these surprises with aplomb.
A backpack with wheels provides a solution for any occasion, allowing you to comfortably carry your belongings when using the wheels isn’t possible.
Packing cells are great for keeping your gear organised. You’ll no longer have to completely unpack every time you arrive somewhere. It also makes repacking and moving on much quicker and easier. They’re the perfect companion to any action packed adventure.
Should you be caught out by an unexpected downpour (a regular occurrence in Peru), you do not want to end up with a bag full of wet gear. Use a lightweight dry bag to keep your essentials and electronics dry inside your day pack.
3. CAMERA AND PLUG ADAPTOR
Peru is a photographer’s paradise. But whether you’re packing a DSLR or handy compact, the last thing you want is to run out of battery. Make sure you’ve packed your charger, and a 220V, double-pronged plug adapter.
4. SMALL CHANGE IN NUEVOS SOLES
Tipping is customary in Latin America, with around 10% being the going rate. You will also want some cash on hand to make the most of the beautiful alpaca knitwear available from local street vendors. Alpaca is extremely warm and an excellent clothing layer for visiting the higher altitude of the Andes.
5. RAIN JACKET AND WARM LAYERS
As mentioned, unexpected downpours are a regular occurrence in Peru; whether you’re high in the Andes, trekking in the Amazon or wandering around Lima. The climate also varies dramatically, with the altitude of the mountains creating much cooler temperatures than lower regions. For this reason it’s essential to have plenty of warm layers on hand at all times, including a hat, gloves and scarf. You can have fun shopping for these at the colourful local markets all over Peru.
We recommend staying away from cotton and instead investing in merino thermals as lightweight layers. They’re small to carry, warm in cool weather and cool in warm weather, making them the ultimate clothing for travelling.
A good quality rain jacket is also essential and ensures you can make the most of each day of your trip, regardless of the weather. For the steamy Amazon, a plastic poncho is ideal and almost every colour can be found in Peru.
If Peru interests you, we have several tours which include this stunning country. The South America Sojourn visits many countries, ending in Peru. We also have Purely Peru, Peru Galapagos Adventure, and Peru Culinary Wonders.