Peru Packing List

There are a dizzying variety of climates in Peru, all of which require different clothing and gear. On our 14-day trip to Peru we traveled to 3 wildly different regions: the coast, the desert, and the highlands. We visited in early August which is the dry-season/winter there. When packing I assumed it would be a lot warmer on the coast and in the desert than it actually was. So check weather guides for the season you plan to travel. Lonely Planet is usually a good place to start. 

 

 

The desert region around Ica is, spoiler alert, hot and dry. We spent a night in Huacachina, a desert oasis near Ica, and that's the only place I wore the shorts and tank tops. Definitely recommend Tevas or Chacos for romping around on the sand dunes. I was worried my cheap sandals were going to break because it's like walking through quicksand.

 

 

The mountains were cold and Cusco was also very dry. Our guide said the last time it had rained in Cusco was June. That made us overly confident for our trek where it rained a bunch. Turns out there are even micro climates within the highlands. During our trek we walked through dry arid areas down by the Urubamba river, rainforest-like humid climates on the slopes of each mountain, and exposed peaks that can range from blinding sun to frigid winds. (We were graced with snow when we reached the summit.) 

 

 

Every blog preaches the importance of layering and, trust me, it's great advice! Each day I wore a moisture wicking T, performance long-sleeve, fleece, and rain jacket, any of which would be my outermost layer depending on the hour. The more layers the more options! Just make sure none of your layers are made of cotton. Something about absorbing moisture, I don't know, just don't do it! Also, bring way more hiking socks than you think you need. Those things get wet and smelly in a hurry when you are hiking 10 hours a day.

 

 

If you are spending any time in Lima, and I recommend you do, you'll want to pack something other than your trekking gear. Limeños are a cosmopolitan bunch so, saying from experience, you're going to feel out of place if you go to dinner in your dirty hiking boots. I packed a little black dress but it was always too cold to wear it. So I was stuck looking like Nigel Thornberry at the club. Don't be Nigel Thornberry at the club.

 

 

Ok, enough chit-chat. Here is a comprehensive list of what I packed for my trip. Items in red I wish I didn't pack.

Clothes:

  • 3 performance t-shirts
  • 3 performance tank tops
  • 1 performance long sleeve
  • 1 fleece
  • 1 waffle long sleeve
  • 3 regular t-shirts
  • 1 black tank top
  • 1 black dress
  • 1 waterproof jacket
  • 3 pairs athletic leggings
  • 1 pair wool leggings
  • 1 pair of bluejeans
  • 1 bra
  • 4 sports bras
  • 14-days-worth of underwear
  • 8 pairs of wool hiking socks (yes, 8)
  • 5 pairs of ankle socks
  • 1 hat
  • wool hat
  • wool ear warmers
  • wool gloves

Shoes:

  • hiking boots
  • sandals
  • sneakers
  • flip flops

Toiletries:

  • DEET filled bug spray
  • 3 oz shampoo
  • 3 oz conditioner
  • 3 oz body wash
  • travel hairbrush
  • baby wipes
  • med kit
  • moleskin
  • quick-dry towel (didn't use mine but you never know what you are gonna get with hostels)

Gear:

  • headlamp
  • Day pack
  • 2L camelbak
  • 1L Nalgene water bottle
  • hiking poles (rented)
  • sleeping pad (rented)
  • 0° sleeping bag (rented)
  • cross body purse

Tech:

  • GoPro Hero4
  • GoPro Extension Pole
  • Nikon D5300
  • 18-30mm Nikor Lens
  • 50-300mm Nikor Lens
  • 2 64G SD cards
  • 2 Nikon Batteries
  • iPhone 5s
  • Fitbit (so fun to see your stats after the trek!)
  • outlet adapter
  • Chargers for Everything!

Things I wish I brought:

  • waterproof gloves
  • chacos (for the desert day and for slipping on my socked feet at night on the hike)
  • black jeans (it was too cold to wear the dress I brought which was my only nice outfit. I felt underdressed when out at dinner in Lima.)
  • a light down jacket (it got really cold at the camp at night and I could have used something more substantial than my fleece)

These are the things I packed for my 14 days in Peru. Let me know if you have any questions when packing a bag for your next adventure in the comments section!

 

Go confidently travelers!

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