Light and Layers – In addition to packing light and planning on wearing layers you might want to have an umbrella and a foldable rain poncho is strongly recommended.
Temperature swings – You can expect anything from heavy rain to dry heat. Due to the fact that Peru also has drastic altitude differences, different temperatures can be registered in the same area. Also, temperatures are often different in the day and in the night. It can be quite hot at times and quite cold at other, so it’s good to have some clothes for both kinds of weather.
Swimwear – Bring clothes for swimming if you plan on visiting a place with hot springs like the ones at Aguas Calientes.
Size of your bags – Airlines and trains have bag size and weight restrictions. Domestic flights within Peru usually have lower weight limits than international flights but we have never had an issue with checking in a bag that goes all the way to Cusco. You will have to collect your bags in Lima and re-check in on the domestic side.
You will have to carry your own bags on some tours, and so it is good to pack lightly. For our excursion to Ollyantaytambo and Machu Picchu – you can always bring a smaller suitcase or backpack just for those few days and leave your larger bag at the hotel.
For the train to Machu Picchu there is a limit of 11 lb per person and 62 inches (total) for the size of your bag (though we’ve never seen them turn anyone away – it is good to be aware of this). It is not easy to lug large bags in Aguas Calientes or Cuzco. The streets are steep, uneven and cobbled, rendering bags with wheels pretty useless.
Sun Block: Due to some very high altitudes and being close to the equator, the sun in Peru is very strong and proper care must be taken to avoid unpleasant sun burns and discomfort. Light and loose, long sleeved clothing is best, along with a good, protective hat and sunglasses.
Bring sun block. Natural varieties based on zinc oxide are the safest options for your health.
Tips on Toiletries and personal items
Even though toiletries are readily available, likely your favorites are nowhere to be found – so it is a good idea to have travel sized versions of your own personal care items. Typical personal care items to consider bringing include:
* Razor and shaving gear
* Comb and/or brush
* Feminine hygiene products
Bugs – while not a big issue on your trip and we rarely encounter them – you may encounter mosquitoes, flies and other insects that are attracted to scents or that bite. If you want to bring some sort of repellent – we recommend a natural variety like essential oils (many recipes found online) or a natural one called Sawyer Premium Insect Repellent Picaridin (it is amazing!) comes in lotion and spray and totally natural. Also products like tea tree oil, citronella, musk oil or peppermint oil can come in handy as well.
Other things you might want to bring:
* Travel sized tissue packets
* Wet wipes and/or alcohol (not triclosan) based hand wipes or sanitizers
* Ziploc bags – you will find many reasons to use them
* A small flashlight – in case of any power failures and for personal safety
* A notebook or journal, and pen to record any information
* A cell phone or other small device to act as a travel alarm
* Some bandaids, or a small first-aid kit
* And of course a photo and/or video camera with proper battery or charging equipment
* Electrical converter (to change the power from 110 to 220) and an adapter that changes the prongs of your American plugs into ones that work in Peru. (there are many all-in-one models to be found on the internet)
There are also a few items which you should not bring with you:
* Valuables, such as jewelry
* Unnecessary electronic devices
* Pocket knives or any weapon-like items
* Any illegal substances