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What to Pack for Peru + FREE Packing List Printable

Trying to figure out what to pack for Peru? This Peru packing list is here to help both women and men! I’ve even included a useful checklist to print off at the end. (I’m all about making lists and crossing things off – it is so satisfying and ensures I don’t forget anything!)

Now, this Peru packing list is geared toward the traveler who is looking to see the highlights of Peru but not doing multi-day hikes like the Inca Trail.

I have a separate post on what to pack specifically for the Inca Trail and a post on what to pack if you’re heading into Peru’s Amazon Rainforest – as these will require slightly different packing lists.

This Peru packing list will be useful no matter what time of year you’re visiting Peru. I’ve visited in both the rainy and dry seasons multiple times and will have tips for visiting during each.

Woman standing on top of machu picchu with arms outstretched.

Top Tip for Packing for Peru

The biggest thing to keep in mind for packing your bag for a trip to Peru?

Layers, layers, layers!

Dress in layers every single day, and you’ll be golden on your Peruvian adventure! The weather and temperatures can change drastically in a day, and you’ll likely start your day bundled up and be down to a T-shirt by the end of it.

I recommend bringing lightweight long-sleeve shirts and pants for a base layer and warm clothing that is easy to take on and off, such as a packable jacket and a beanie.

I will be giving tips that are applicable for both women and men in this packing post as well. And I am always happy to answer any questions in the comments at the end! Happy packing!

*Disclosure: some of these links are affiliate links. Meaning, if you click a link and make a purchase, Have Clothes, Will Travel gets a very small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible! 

Detailed Peru Packing List for Women & Men

1.) Easy to move luggage + packing cubes

Before we get started, it’s important to have a good suitcase picked out for your trip to Peru.

You’re likely going to need to move around a lot and don’t want to make it too difficult by having a suitcase you can’t easily maneuver through the steep cobbled streets of Cusco, Puno, etc.

I highly recommend using a larger backpack like Standard Luggage (above) or the Eddie Bauer duffle with wheels below. These bags are easy to carry in spots where a roller bag is just not going to work! We have been using both of these bags for years and love them.

eddie bauer bag for Peru
My husband’s Eddie Bauer duffle.

I am also a big fan of using packing cubes, as it keeps me organized, especially on a trip like this, where you’re constantly packing up your bags and moving every few days. These are the ones I use and recommend.

You can designate different cubes for different categories of items. For instance, one cube can hold all your clothing essentials like pants, long-sleeved shirts, and lightweight jackets.

Another cube can be dedicated to your toiletries, such as shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, and a toothbrush. Don’t forget to include a small pack of wet wipes and hand sanitizer for those times when running water may not be readily available.

A man with an outstretched arm overlooking Machu Picchu.
Our day backpack we used for Peru.

2.) Day backpack

You’re also going to want a comfortable, smaller backpack to use during the day to carry your water, snacks, sunscreen, camera stuff, and layers of clothing as you peel them off throughout the day.

We ended up buying a daypack while we were in Cusco. I would recommend buying one before you go, though, that you know is comfortable for all-day use.

A couple smiling towards the camera with Machu Picchu in the background.

3.) A quick-drying travel jacket

This is perhaps the most important thing you can bring along for your trip to Peru. A jacket that has adequate pockets is waterproof (or at least water-resistant), has a hood (if you’re not planning to wear a hat), and will block the wind.

I have used my trusty Columbia jacket every time I’ve gone to Peru, and it’s been perfect. I’m also a big fan of SCOTTeVEST travel jackets – this is what I used when I did the Inca Trail recently.

A woman with her arms outstretched in front of a mountain.
My SCOTTeVEST jacket I used on my last Peru trip for the Inca Trail .

If you’re someone who gets cold easily, though, I would suggest packing a waterproof down coat, like the one my husband is wearing.

These Arc’teryx jackets are great because they are super warm, they dry quickly, and they can be rolled up into a tiny ball… so you don’t have to carry a huge coat all day long. (There are also inexpensive options on Amazon.)

Note: if you are visiting during the rainy season, I also suggest bringing a rain poncho!

4.) A sweatshirt

We would start the day with a sweatshirt under our jackets, but by midday, these would be stuffed in our backpack. We were grateful to start the day with them on, though!

I would only suggest packing one sweatshirt. These can take up a lot of precious luggage space. Plus, if you do find that you are very chilled (and need additional warm clothing), I would buy an alpaca sweater while in Cusco. They’re super comfy and warm and make for great souvenirs!

Two people posing for a photo in front of machu picchu wearing eclipse shirts.
37.5 Hoodies are thermoregulating and have UPF 50+ protection.

5.) Moisture-wicking shirts

Wearing lightweight shirts that will help wick away any sweat and dry quickly are going to be your best friends!

We personally only like to use long sleeves, as they help with bug and sun protection throughout the day.

We’re obsessed with the 37.5 Hoodies because they are thermoregulating and have UPF 50+ protection. They’re our favorite hiking shirts.

Use code LINDSEYPULS for 10% off your order.

I also brought along a flannel shirt as an extra layer that I really ended up loving! I did also pack one “nice” travel shirt for dinner and to wear under my layers.

A man standing in front of a rainbow mountain.

6.) Hiking Pants

Having good hiking pants is just as important as having a good jacket! I would suggest bringing along two pairs of hiking pants.

This way you can wash one pair in the sink (highly recommend these detergent packets for that), and let them dry during the day, while you wear the other pair.

I personally like Eddie Bauer’s roll-up pants and prAna’s Halle hiking pants. My husband is a fan of Eddie Bauer Horizon Guide hiking pants and his ReZion prAna hiking pants.

Read next: The Best Travel Pants for Men

A woman walking down a cobblestone street in peru wearing an Alpaca sweater.

7.) Jeans

My husband says jeans are not necessary – just wear your hiking pants! However, I like to have one pair of travel jeans along to wear out to eat at night.

I also like wearing them when we were doing city tours in Cusco and Lima. So, jeans are not an absolute must – but I am suggesting them, as I appreciated having a pair along.

A woman standing on top of a rainbow mountain.

8.) Hiking boots or sneakers

Now, if you’re planning to do any sort of hiking while in Peru, having a comfortable pair of hiking boots will be a fantastic thing to bring along.

BUT, I have done most of the day hikes and sightseeing tours in Cusco, Lima, Puno, and, of course, Machu Picchu – and I did get by just fine with sneakers.

So, if you have a trusty pair of walking shoes and don’t want to run out and buy new hiking boots… I wouldn’t say you need to if you’re only planning to visit the highlights and do day hikes such as Rainbow Mountain and visiting Machu Picchu.

A woman sitting on steps in front of a church.

9.) Comfortable walking shoes, flats, or sandals

This is in a similar vein as the jeans section… I liked having a pair of flats to change into at the end of the day when going out for dinner and again if I was touring around the city (especially in Lima).

I had a pair of TOMS along. (I also only used my Birkenstock sandals on my last Peru trip in November. They’re SO comfy.)

My husband says having one pair of sneakers along will more than suffice, though.

A man standing next to a statue of a Alpaca.

10.) Scarf or neck gaiter

Having a thick scarf is something that I ended up wearing every morning (like my sweatshirt) but stuffing it in the backpack by afternoon. I was grateful to have it during those chilly mornings, though!

My husband prefers to wear neck gaiters on trips like this. They’ll provide a little warmth and protect your neck from the sun.

A man in a hat is standing in front of a circular structure.

11.) Hats!

You may want to pack two different types of hats for Peru. My husband would start the day wearing a stocking cap until mid-morning and then switch to a sun hat for the rest of the day.

I have a hard time wearing hats. (I get headaches easily from them.) So, I just used my hood and scarf for warmth and was diligent about wearing sunscreen.

Two women hiking a trail in Peru with misty mountains in the background

12.) Trekking Poles

Hiking in Peru was the reason I FINALLY invested in a pair of hiking poles. My knees have been much happier ever since!

High-quality trekking poles can help reduce the impact on your knees and leg joints by up to 20 percent. They are especially useful when descending, as the load on your joints increases significantly when going downhill. I recommend practicing with them before your trip, though, as they can take a little getting used to.

I recommend choosing lightweight and adjustable trekking poles since they are easy to store and very versatile. I really like these Eddie Bauer ones (pictured above). Black Diamond and Leki are also both excellent brands for walking poles.

Remember to pack them in your checked luggage as they are not allowed in carry-on bags on flights. Also, make sure they have rubber tips to protect the trails from damage.

13.) Sunglasses

Having a lightweight pair of sunglasses that will stay on your head is very important! We both like Maui Jim polarized sunglasses.

14.) Pair of Gloves or Mittens

For colder nights, bring two pairs of gloves – lightweight liner gloves and insulated outer gloves. Consider mittens if your hands get cold.

Lindsey of Have Clothes, Will Travel wearing earth leggings and a pink REI shirt sitting on a rock by a bright blue colored lake in Peru

15.) Moisture-wicking socks + underwear

Again, you’ll want clothing that dries quickly. This will be especially true for your undergarments! I also suggest wearing longer socks to help with ankle protection from bugs – in areas like Machu Picchu, the bugs can be horrid!

16. ) Bug Spray

This brings me to bug spray… I packed spray with 40% DEET and thought that was adequate. I would buy a bug spray you know is going to work and bring it along versus trying to find some once you get to Peru. You’ll also want to pack a good anti-itch stick or cream. (I like this stuff.)

17.) Aloe + Sunscreen

You’re also absolutely going to need good sunscreen! I love Maelove mineral sunscreen for my face and Neutrogena for the rest of my body.

My husband is a fan of this spray sunscreen. (He says he’s too hairy to wear sunscreen that comes in lotion form – it’s spray or bust).

Of course, it seems no matter how good you think you apply your sunscreen throughout the day; there is always going to be ONE day you end up getting burned! Bring along a travel-sized aloe, and thank me later.

18.) Medications

Be sure to talk to your doctor about any immunizations or medication you may need to bring with you. You will be traveling in high altitudes while in Peru and may experience altitude sickness.

Diamox is a prescription you can get from your doctor to help prevent altitude sickness. (I used this on my last trip; it was great for me, as I have issues with altitude sickness. But it does come with side effects – be sure to talk with your doctor.)

You’re also going to want to bring along the usual – such as Ibuprofen, Tums, Pepto Bismol, Tylenol PM, and Melatonin. And don’t forget your prescription medications!

A woman walking a horse on a dirt path at rainbow mountains.
Peru was one of my favorite countries to photograph.

19.) Camera equipment

Peru is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever photographed. It was the first country I got to use my Canon EOS 5D Mark III in. I knew I was eventually going to invest in Mark III one day, but my first trip to Peru is what gave me the final push.

I am not suggesting you need to run out and buy thousands of dollars of camera equipment if you are not someone who enjoys photography (because holy guacamole do phones have nice cameras these days!)…

BUT, if you are into photography this is the trip where you are going to want to go all out. And you may want to keep some spare batteries handy too!

20.) Other Electronics to Consider

Apart from your camera, you should bring your cell phone with you for maps and travel arrangements, and be prepared that you may not have cellular service in some remote areas, even if you have a local SIM card.

I recommend downloading maps for the areas you will be, so you have access if you are offline. This is how to download them for Android, and this is how to download maps for iPhone. GPSmyCity also has a neat walking tour feature for cities that you can download and use offline.

And leave the hairdryer at home as most hotels provide it.

21.) Voltage and Outlet adapters

In Peru, some electrical outlets are designed for round pins (similar to European outlets), while others are designed for flat pins (like US outlets).

As a result, it’s difficult to predict what type of outlet you’ll come across. And so it’s a good idea to have a universal travel adapter with you. This is the one I use.

Also, remember the voltage is 220V here. (Phones, cameras, and laptops won’t have any issues with this, though.)

22.) Toiletries and Hygiene products

Peru is a country with tons off opportunities for outdoor activities, such as hiking and trekking.

However, due to the nature of these activities, it’s common to get dirty and not have access to basic hygiene products like water, soap, and toilet paper.

It’s a good idea to pack travel-sized hand sanitizer, wet wipes, and tissues to ensure you have basic hygiene supplies at hand.

And don’t forget to pack all your essential toiletries! You’ll need a toothpaste, tooth brush, as well as some shampoo and conditioner.

Most hotels will provide these, but if you have sensitive skin or specific brands you like, it’s probably a good idea to bring your own. (I always do, and use travel pods to reduce the amount of space they take in my luggage.)

Toilet paper is another must-have. Some public restrooms in Peru might not provide it (and none of the outhouses on hiking trails will have it), so having a roll in your bag could save the day.

If anyone has any questions at all about what to pack for Peru or traveling in Peru – please feel free to reach out in the comments at the end of the post.

Travel Insurance

It’s a good idea, no matter where your adventure takes you, to have travel insurance. You never know what might happen!

Whether you get sick before your trip and can’t go, or you become sick or injured while on your adventure – being covered with travel insurance is a must. Some credit card companies do provide this (check with yours), or you can get a free quote from travel insurance companies such as Squaremouth to find the best plan for you and your adventure.

I, personally, use Squaremouth for my trips. I even had to file a claim with my policy recently as I was stuck in Peru for an extra five days due to flight cancellations. Filing my claim and being reimbursed was incredibly easy.

Trying to figure out what to pack for Peru? This post is here to help both women and men! I’ve even included a useful checklist to print off at the end. Now, this Peru packing list is geared toward the traveler who is looking to see the highlights of Peru but not doing multi-day hikes like the Inca Trail. This Peru packing list will be useful no matter what time of year you’re visiting Peru. I’ve visited in both the rainy and dry seasons and will have tips for visiting during each.
Trying to figure out what to pack for Peru? This post is here to help both women and men! I’ve even included a useful checklist to print off at the end. Now, this Peru packing list is geared toward the traveler who is looking to see the highlights of Peru but not doing multi-day hikes like the Inca Trail. This Peru packing list will be useful no matter what time of year you’re visiting Peru. I’ve visited in both the rainy and dry seasons and will have tips for visiting during each.
What to Pack for Peru Pin

One Comment

  1. Karen Aidi says:

    Thank you so much for this packing list! My husband and I will be in Peru for ten days this coming April, so I’m taking notes about what to bring. We will be going to Lima, Cusco, Macchu Picchu, and Lake Titicaca. I have most of the travel clothes, but I think I may need some water resistant hiking pants and both of the ones you linked–the Eddie Bauer and the prana pants look great. Thanks for all of the tips!

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