When packing for a trip to Cusco, here are a few essentials to keep in mind. First, be sure to pack comfortable pair of shoes as you will likely be doing a lot of sightseeing.
It’s also important to pack layers, as the weather can be unpredictable.
A rain jacket is also a good idea, as Cusco is in the Andes and can be quite rainy.
Finally, don’t forget your camera! It’s a beautiful city with some of the most beautiful architecture in Peru, and you’ll want to have plenty of pictures to remember your trip.
Travel Essentials in Cusco
When traveling in Cusco, we highly recommend bringing a small flashlight with batteries, essential when exploring at night.
Bringing a book is also a great way to pass while waiting for your bus. Books are available for purchase at local markets and bookshops.
Bringing a small notebook helps you jot down notes about what you see and experience during your journey.
Don’t forget your camera! The views and architecture in Cusco are stunning, and you’ll want to take lots of photos.
If you plan to bring a laptop, make sure it has a battery charger so you can recharge it after each day of travel.
Don’t forget your earplugs. Sleeping in noisy hostels can cause sleep deprivation. Earplugs are a must.
Before you leave home, you may need to buy things like toothpaste, deodorant, etc. Make sure you know how much these things cost in Peru.
Things you should know BEFORE packing for Peru.
Peru has three distinct climates: coast, jungle, and desert. Depending on where you want your trip to be, you need to bring specific clothing. Layering is always recommended, but more on that in the next section.
May through October is considered the dry season. June through September is the rainy season. In Machu Picchu, the rainy season lasts from December to March.
April and September are the two transitional months with mixed weather. Fog is common during the summer. There is less of a crowd during this time. The coast (Lima) doesn’t see any rain.
Climate In Peru
In Peru, you should bring clothing for colder times and hot weather. You should pack light because there is a lot of walking around and climbing up hills. Lima is located on the coast and is close to beaches. Lima is a cool and temperate area.
Peru is at its best between November and February. During this time, the weather is milder than at other times. If you’re planning to go to the Amazon Rainforest or Lake Titicaca, you might consider going between April and August. This would give you access to cooler temperatures.
Cusco’s temperature ranges between 71° F to 34° F, so it is important to pack layers and other warm clothing.
Rain gear is useful in Peru because you need them during the wet season. Umbrellas are also useful in Peru because you should bring them while visiting Lima, Peru, and Cusco, Peru.
For the Mountains and Highlands
Highlands are the mountainous regions of Peru. They include the Andes Mountains, the Amazon Rainforest, and the Peruvian Coast. You’ll need warm clothes for hiking in the colder mountain regions.
Rain jacket, waterproof gloves, beanie, and neck warmer for cold hiking days, pairs of underwear, cheap thermals for sleeping, trekking shoes or hiking boots, Nikes or sneakers, 3-4 pairs of thick wool socks, wool sweater, two sports bras, and enough clean underwear for 7 days. You should also bring sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, and a camera.
If you’re going to do some unassisted days of trekking, you’ll need more than this for the entire trip, but you can usually get by with less if you’re going with a group.
For the Amazon
You should wear light clothing items when hiking in the Amazon jungle. Lightweight clothes are recommended because they are easy to carry and won’t get wet. Rain jackets are also recommended because they protect you from the rain.
You need to pack light. You’ll be going into the jungle, and you’ll want to stay dry. Bring base layer clothing that won’t get wet and clothes that will protect you from bugs. Pack some extra breathable sports underwear because mosquitoes love your skin. Also, bring insect repellent, a hat, and sunscreen.
For Lima and Deserts
In stark contrast to the earlier climates, Lima and Huacachuina are deserting, receiving very little rain and getting quite hot. I also prefer to wear non-trekking shirts when I’m in cities.
I blend into my surroundings better and feel more comfortable. To help me do that, I brought a few things just for this region.
A llama shirt because why not! A dress (the one in this photo is from ASOS), a pair of cargo pants or leggings (great for flying too).
Lightweight shirts/tank tops for sandboarding in Huacachina, 3-4 lightweight shirts or tanks, a pair of cargo pants or leggings, a lightweight, warm jacket, and enough underwear for a week.
You’ll be wearing lots of colorful items while you’re there! You’ll see llama sweaters, rainbow ponchos, hats, scarves, etc. You can haggle prices down if you want. I bought a llama sweater for $12.
Personal Camping Gear and Medication
Swimsuits are required if you want to take a dip in the hot springs. There are opportunities to swim as well.
Trekking Towels are useful items. LifeVentures or Discovery provide good, quick-dying trekking towels. You may need a small or medium towel if you’re going hiking.
There are spots to buy snacks and bottled water. In an emergency, it’s a good idea to have extra cash along the way.
You’ll also need toilet paper because most bathrooms don’t usually provide this. There are many places where you can use the restroom. Most bathrooms do not provide toilet paper.
A portable power pack is a great idea because you can charge your phone or other electronic devices anytime.
Backpack Lock protects your belongings in your travel backpacks or duffel bag. It would be best to use waterproof Ziploc bags to store important/valuable items such as your money, passport, or electrical equipment.
Juice powder can be used to flavor your drink and helps replace electrolytes. It improves energy levels and aids water absorption.
Don’t forget personal medication. Diamox is, also known as acetazolamide, is a medication that can prevent altitude sickness. It doesn’t cure altitude sickness and shouldn’t be used to continue climbing higher. It can, however, help prevent the onset of sickness and is commonly used among high-altitude climbers and trekkers.
Acetazolamide is an altitude sickness pill. It doesn’t cure altitude sickness. It shouldn’t be used to continue your ascent to higher altitudes. It can help prevent the onset of symptoms of altitude sickness.
General Medications: It is recommended to take Paracetamol or Aspirin for headaches (a common Altitude Sickness symptom on the Salkantay Trekking) and Immodium for Diarrhea.
Your guide will most likely be carrying a basic first aid kit if you are joining an organized trek. For independent or unsupported hiking, you need to bring your kit.
Hikers should always carry a first aid kit. Hikers should also carry broad-spectrum sunscreen and lip balm.
No one wants burnt skin or cracks in their lips. Bring sunblock SPF 50+ and lip balm. Keep bug spray handy as you get closer to Machu Picchu.
Baby wipes are great for cleaning up spills and messes. Body wipes are also useful for cleaning up messy areas. Compeed blister plasters are recommended for those who suffer from painful blisters.
Dreaded blisters are very painful. You may experience them during your hike. They can occur due to friction between your foot and the ground. The best way to avoid getting blisters is to wear proper footwear.
Wear boots with thick soles and leather uppers. Avoid hiking barefoot. Make sure your socks fit snugly around your feet. Do not wear flip-flops or sandals.
Adjustable Trekking Poles are useful for balance and safety when crossing uneven terrain. They are also helpful for making long treks more manageable.
Your guide will probably have poles, but it’s nice to bring your own just in case.
Cusco is a fantastic city to visit. There’s no doubt about that. However, it’s not cheap to visit. To save money, try to stay in hostels rather than hotels. Hostels offer better value for money. Try to eat street food whenever possible. This way you won’t need to spend too much on meals.
The best advice we can give you is this: Go for it. Don’t let anything stop you. Go out and explore.
We hope this guide helps you prepare for your upcoming adventure. Have fun!