Known for Machu Picchu, the mysterious Nazca lines, and the beauty of high-altitude mountains as well as sunny, salty beaches, Peru lands itself on the bucket lists of many world travelers and adventure-seekers.
I visited the Lima area in winter and didn’t do too much outdoor trekking through mountains and forests. However, I was outside a lot visiting small, rural communities. The packing list below will suit a trip to Peru as a backpacker or casual traveler in the winter months.
You can make it sexier and more suited for city life and going out by adding dresses and slinky shoes, or bulk it up for climbing mountain trails by trading the tennis shoes for hiking boots and adding in a mummy-style sleeping bag.
Layered clothing is essential for the changing climates in relation to the different altitudes of Peru, no matter what season you travel in.
2 pairs of jeans – You’ll want an extra pair to change into if one gets wet or excessively dirty.
5-7 shirts – Pack a variety of shirts, including long-sleeved options.
3-4 layers – Select tops that can be layered with each other and your shirts. Choose things like a heavy flannel shirt, a warm fleece, and a hoodie or jacket.
1 waterproof jacket – In case it rains. It will also protect you from cold ocean breezes.
2 bras – Depending on your shirts, one skin-tone and one colored should do nicely.
>> Read all our undergarments posts for help with packing these items.
1-2 pairs of leggings – These add an extra layer to your legs, keeping them warm. These aren’t as necessary in lower altitudes.
1 pair tennis shoes – You don’t have to look like an unstylish mom from the 1980s, but you’ll need a decent pair of walking shoes that keep your feet warm.
1 pair flip flops – To protect your feet against grimy shower floors.
1 pair cute shoes – The style is up to you, but pack something that will make you feel semi-attractive to wear on weekends or for going out to dinner after long days.
Bar soap – It doesn’t leak and is easy to carry in a small plastic case back and forth from the showers.
2-in-1 shampoo & conditioner – If it’s in your carry-on, make sure it’s less than 3.4 ounces (or 100ml).
>>See HPL’s list of the best toiletries for carry-on travel.
Toothbrush, toothpaste and floss – No one likes stinky breath.
Razor – Bring shaving cream too if you don’t like using soap as a lather.
Wide-toothed comb – Or a brush, whichever you prefer.
Birth Control – Just in case.
Medicines – Keep a small, emergency supply to treat stomach aches, headaches and colds. If you get car sick on bumpy rides, pack something for motion sickness. (See what makes a good first-aid kit.)
Camera – Take as many pictures as possible to show off back home.
Laptop – Skype with family and friends, update your travel blog or upload pictures at an internet cafe or your hostel lobby. If you’re going to Peru for adventure and hiking purposes, you might want to leave this behind.
E-reader – Give yourself some entertainment on the plane or while traveling within the country.
Chargers – Charge your electronics overnight to make sure they stay juiced during the day.
>> Get more insight in this tech gear packing list.
Sunscreen and sunglasses – Even in winter, the sun’s rays are still harmful.
>> Read more in our sleep packing list.
Water bottle – Just make sure you fill it up with filtered or boiled water only. I made the fatal mistake towards the end of my trip and had to deal with parasites when I got home. Note: bring a water purifier pen, or sterilising tablets.
Would YOU add anything to this list? Leave us a comment and let us know!
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About the author: Chelsea Baldwin is a professional freelance writer who is constantly looking forward to her next plane trip to a new, exotic land. Although she’s been to a handful of countries, she’s never traveled for pure tourism. Instead, she’s traveled for work, internship opportunities, or volunteer community development work. Connect with her via her travel blog, Twitter, or her website, CarolinaFreelanceWriter.com.
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