Pack lightly. We will be on the move, so try to minimize your luggage. We recommend restricting yourself to one medium size bag (wheeled is not recommended) and one backpack or daypack. You may also consider bringing another small portable bag for any purchases you make. Be sure ALL luggage is clearly marked on both the inside and outside with your identification information.
Remember, pack essential items like medication in your unchecked luggage (but note size limitations). You will also be able to buy many basic supplies at local stores and pharmacies, so there is no need to pack to accommodate every potential need. You will also have access to laundry while in Cusco to refresh your wardrobe.
It will be the beginning of winter during our time in Peru. The weather will be cool and usually dry for the duration of our trip with temperatures normally ranging from 40-70 degrees within the course of a day and night. Light rain is possible, but not likely. During the day, expect strong sun and mild dry winds. Nighttime temperatures can drop dramatically, sometimes down to freezing. Climate will also change as we move between mountainous and coastal regions. Instead of packing every type of clothing, bring clothes that can be easily layered and serve more than one purpose.
The following items are recommended for your comfort and safety. A good tip when packing is…layout everything you want to bring, then pack half.
- 2 notebooks – one regular size for schoolwork and a small pocket-sized journal
- USB Flash drive – (strongly recommended, but we can share if you cannot purchase one)
- 2 small gifts for homestay families
- you may also want to bring a couple of photos of your family/friends to show your host family
- photocopies of passport, birth certificate (if available), credit card info, and emergency contact information to keep in your luggage
- ISIC (International Student ID card) – If you fail to bring this, you will be responsible for paying the difference price for entrance tickets which is SUBSTANTIAL!!
Recommended, but Optional
- Spanish dictionary or phrasebook (be sure to get Latin American Spanish!)
- book to read for pleasure – there are book exchanges in Cusco, so it is good to bring a book you don’t mind leaving behind for someone else to read.
- luggage lock. If you don’t have one, purchase one that is TSA approved, so we don’t have to stay behind for luggage screening.
- 2-3 Energy bars (Powerbars, Cliff Bars, etc. are strongly recommended) – NOT caffeine pills or 5-Hour energy, or other energy “sources.” You can purchase wonderfully delicious quinoa (an Andean grain) bars in Cusco, so don’t bring too many from home.
We will be on the go quite a bit, so mostly pack comfortable clothing. You may want to bring one or two “going out” pieces for our time in Cuzco. LAYERING is key! Bring fewer items that can be worn in multiple combinations. The following items are strongly recommended and the ones in bold are essential.
- Hiking boots, all-terrain sneakers or supportive walking shoes
- Socks suitable for walking – preferably cotton
- One warm pair of socks
- Long pants, jeans, leggings (shorts and short skirts are not recommended for practical and cultural reasons). Ideally, you could bring pants that could become shorter (with zips or buttons).
- Long-sleeved loose shirts – breathable fabric, enough sleeve for full sun protection
- T-shirts or light shirts you can layer (tank tops are not recommended for practical and cultural reasons)
- Light rain shell, windbreaker or poncho – probably won’t be necessary, so nothing bulky
- Warm sleeping clothes – a pair of light thermal underwear or yoga pants are great for this. Houses are generally not kept extremely warm at night, so it is important your sleeping wear is WARM.
- Jacket – try to balance warmth with bulk
- Light wool sweater, sweatshirt or fleece
- Hat with a protective brim (UPF protection ideal)
- Winter hat (covers ears), gloves, scarf – although you will probably buy these in Peru
- Sunglasses w/ UV protection
- Swimsuit (optional for hot baths near Machu Picchu)
- medication – prescriptions, allergies, motion sickness, anti-diarrheal, etc. (keep on your person at all times, do not check with luggage). Tour leaders will have a first aid kit with basic supplies like aspirin, Neosporin, band-aids, etc.
- small flashlight (Maglite minis are great) or small LED light
- camera, memory cards, special batteries, chargers – regular batteries are pretty easy to come by
- personal electronics – please bring headphones and any recharging cables
- check voltage on any electronic devices – Peruvian outlets run at 220v., check your appliances/electronics to see if they can take110/220v. If not, adapters and/or converters are necessary
- travel alarm clock or something with an alarm (cell phone is fine, but make sure the phone can take 220v, and you have an adapter for the outlet)
- plastic bag for dirty laundry. You will likely need to do laundry while in Cusco. Having a bag you can take it in will be useful.
- water bottle (optional) – bottled water is easily purchasable
- earplugs (optional, but recommended)
- Bring only the basics – shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrush, razor, etc. – when possible use travel size and remember most basic toiletries can be bought at local pharmacies so don’t bring your whole bathroom.
- contact lenses and solution, extra pair of glasses if available
- Sunscreen!!! – 30+, for both face and body
- lip balm with sunscreen is also highly recommended
- A small Ziploc bag with toilet paper or tissue pack for your daypack. Not all public restrooms will have toilet paper, so having some with you will come in handy.
- Moisturizer. It is very dry, so you’ll need to apply constantly.
- Hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes
- Bug repellent (with DEET) for Machu Picchu – a small bottle is more than enough
- feminine products – readily available at pharmacies, but if you need a certain brand bring it
- travel hairdryer – if you must bring one, check the voltage settings!