How To Pack for Traveling in Peru


  • Nicer clothes for night life in Cusco
  • Shorts (quick dry)
  • Pants (quick dry)
  • T-shirt or long sleeve shirts (quick dry) — The sun is very direct and strong in Peru. If you burn easily, bring long sleeves to help with sun protection.
  • A warm fleece, down jacket, or wool sweater
  • Underwear and socks (non-cotton)
  • Warm hat, gloves, & scarf
  • Long underwear (for treks)
  • Water proof jacket & pants
  • Comfortable clothes for after the day’s activities — These could be the same as nicer clothes for the city.
  • Good, well worn-in hiking boots
  • Sandals or other comfortable shoes to wear after your activities for the day. Keep in mind it gets cold at night.
  • Trekking poles & protective tip covers – you can rent these in Cusco or bring your own (optional for travelers not trekking, recommended for those who are)
  • If you’re doing water activities, such as rafting for stand-up paddle boarding, you should bring clothes you can get wet and sandals with a heel strap for the water.
  • If you are biking, bring clothes you are comfortable biking in. Padded shorts are nice, but not necessary.
  • Refillable water bottles (2 liter capacity)
  • A water filter — filtered water is provided by your trip operators during the day, but while you’re at your hotel, the airport, or having free time on your own, we highly recommend that you filter and drink tap water rather than buying bottled water. We recommend bringing a small hand pump filter. UV light filters don’t filter out the heave metals that might be in the water. Filtering will cut down on plastic waste, as Peru does not have the capacity to recycle plastic.
  • Sunglasses
  • Eyeglasses or contacts (if necessary)
  • Swim suit
  • Sun hat
  • Head lamp and spare batteries or charger
  • Outlet adapter (Peru uses 220 volts / 60 Hz / American style two-pin plugs)
  • Sun screen with 15 SPF or higher (bring lots)
  • After sun care
  • Lip balm
  • Insect repellent
  • Camera and spare battery or charger
  • Personal toiletries
  • Money belt or other form of securing your valuables on your person.
  • Passport and a photo copy of your passport (kept separate)
  • Day pack (large enough to hold water, camera, warm layers, rain jacket, and snacks) and a rain cover for the pack
  • Personal first aid kit to include: painkillers, plasters (band-aids), moleskin, antiseptic cream, after bite, anti-diarrhea tablets, throat lozenges, re-hydration salts & personal medication. (Your trip operators carries an extensive first aid kit & Oxygen on all trips, but these are generally for emergencies only.)


We recommend carrying on all of your most essential items on your flights to Cusco. This way, if your checked luggage is lost in transit, you will still be able to do the trek. For example, wear or carry on your hiking boots. Good, comfortable, and broken-in hiking boots are irreplaceable. Also carry on any prescription medications, sunglasses, and anything else that is irreplaceable for you. Everything else you might need (warm layers, toiletries, etc. can be found in Cusco).

Luggage on the train to/from Machu Picchu is restricted to 5 kg (10 lbs) / 20 ltrs (1300 cubic inches) carry-ons only. Any excess gear may be stored in Cusco at your hotel while you are exploring the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. If you are on a trek or other organized tour, your guide can provide you with an extra duffle bag so that you can separate your luggage.

It’s up to you if you want to take a rolling suitcase, a duffle bag, or backpack for all of your luggage. Rolling suitcases are the most challenging to use in Peru, as there are lots of stairs and cobble stones.