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36 Top Peru Packing List Items for 2024 + What to Wear & NOT To Bring

36 Top Peru Packing List Items for 2024 + What to Wear & NOT To Bring
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Peru is one of our favorite anomalies, filled with contradictions like tropical beaches along snow-capped mountains, Amazonian rainforests near bone-dry deserts, and a 10,000-year-old ancient history living in harmony with modern, bustling cities.

As home to one of the seven world wonders, Peru is simply one of the most inspiring places on Earth. But it’s also difficult to get around, wild, and a bit mysterious.

Since this destination has so many climates and terrains, we’ve put together a guide on what to pack for Peru, what not to bring, what to wear in Peru, and FAQs to help you plan. Vamonos!

Peruvian woman
Be sure to learn some Spanish so that you can impress the locals!
See our product selection criteria and guidelines here.

What to Pack for Peru – 36 Essentials

  • 1. Water Bottle with Built-In Filter

    Altitude, sun exposure, hiking, and sightseeing will all dehydrate you faster than you’re used to, and with Peru’s lack of potable tap water, it’s a wise idea to carry drinkable water with you at all times. This water bottle has a built-in filter that removes pathogens, viruses (like hepatitis A), bacteria (like E. Coli and dysentery), and other harmful chemicals like chlorine that can make water taste awful. In times when you’re in the middle of nowhere, don’t gamble with your water supply or health.

    Water Bottle with Built-In Filter

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  • 2. Peru Power Adapter

    If you are coming from Europe, you’ll need an adapter. If you are coming from the States, most of your devices will already work in Peru, but we still recommend all travelers carry a universal adapter. This is our go-to because it works in 100+ countries, can run on dual voltage, and comes with a lifetime replacement guarantee. We feel safer knowing we’re using a quality adapter with foreign outlets instead of one that could fry our electronics.

    Peru Power Adapter

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  • 3. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    Peru is a highly-targeted area for cybersecurity attacks and the risk only grows each year. Being able to browse the internet and access GPS while traveling is certainly a necessity, but searching on public networks can also pose security risks. I’ve personally had my credit card information stolen as a result of connecting to Wi-Fi at my Airbnb, and it’s not a risk I’ll take again. You’ll likely be logging into random networks at cafes, airports, and hotels to check your bank accounts or post to social media. Don’t allow yourself to become a victim of ransomware (the most common type of cyberattack in Peru).

    A virtual private network like NordVPN adds an extra layer of security encryption to your data to protect your passwords, credit card information, and private data. It’s easy to use and affordable, even with the added benefit of limiting any national censorship you may experience (like with Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, etc.) It will give you a truly private IP address that companies and hackers can’t trace.

    Virtual Private Network (VPN)

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  • 4. Quick-Dry Travel Towel

    A quick-dry towel is always useful to have, no matter the trip. In Peru, you will find it handy at the beach, hiking, and visiting famous architectural sites. Not only does it dry much quicker than a normal towel, but it’s also extremely lightweight and does a great job of repelling odors and sand. Use it to dry off after swimming, wipe away sweat, as a picnic blanket, seat cover, and more!

    HERO Travel Towel - Blue

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  • 5. Convertible Quick-Dry Pants

    Between the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, climbing Rainbow Mountain, trekking through the Amazonian jungle, and the highlands of Huaraz – you will need a good pair of hiking pants. These are stellar because they have a silver fiber lining that regulates your temperature (in case you’re traveling between the snowy mountains or humid forests), and you can unzip the pant legs if they get muddy, hot, or wet. Here’s a similar pair for men.

    Convertible Quick-Dry Pants

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  • 6. Travel Insurance for Peru

    Peru is not the safest country to visit (especially if you’re traveling solo). Medical emergencies, urgent trips back home, and theft are among the more nerve-wracking events that can all be helped with a reliable travel insurance plan. Especially since your domestic provider does not cover you overseas (including Medicare and Medicaid). Travel insurance will reimburse you if you get sick and cover transit if you’re in a remote area with limited health care facilities.

    We use Faye because they add a human touch to insurance, and we’ve found them to be completely revolutionary! Everything is handled through their mobile app so you are reimbursed quickly and supported by real people. Compared to most sleazy providers that make you jump through hoops for support, it’s an entirely different experience. Your non-refundable trip costs are generally more than you can afford to lose, but they even have add-ons like “trip cancellation for any reason,” which you’ll thank yourself for if the trip plans change.

    Faye Travel Insurance

    Get a quote in less than 60 seconds with Faye ➜

  • 7. Neck Wallet

    With any international trip, you’ll want to keep your passport close. This neck wallet will allow you to do just that and to keep your cash, cards, and ID docs safely hidden under your shirt. Essentials are still accessible when needed, and you’ll be able to walk through crowds and use public transportation without worrying about pickpockets stealing your most valuable items.

    Neck Wallet

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  • 8. Deet-Free Mosquito Repellent Bracelets

    Never underestimate the annoyance factor of mosquitos and sand flies. Not to mention, there is still some risk of malaria or other mosquito-related illnesses in this region. You may not see many mosquitos during the dry season or in the highlands, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Protect yourself with these bracelets that are deet-free, family-friendly, and wearable (way easier than respraying chemical fumes all day).

    Deet-Free Mosquito Repellent Bracelets

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  • 9. Windproof Travel Umbrella

    The rains are frequent in Peru, so an umbrella is pertinent. This one is windproof and weighs less than 1 pound, making it ideal for travel and checked luggage. Keep in mind that the wet parts of the year are between January and April, and highlands will encounter rain more frequently. Umbrellas are not allowed on the route to Machu Picchu due to safety for other tourists on narrow paths, but you will need this most anywhere else.

    Windproof Travel Umbrella

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  • 10. Hanging Toiletry Bag

    You never know what kind of bathroom you may discover while in Peru… A squat hole, a camping site, a luxury hotel, a boat, who knows! Regardless of the abode, this hanging toiletry bag will be an excellent addition to your travel arsenal. It has 4 giant pockets that hang vertically to hold all of your products, and every compartment is clear so you can quickly find what you’re looking for. Simply hook it to any door, hook, or shower pole and it will unfold to expose tons of storage in a shelf-like system.

    It will prevent your countertops from suffering through major clutter and keeps your products free of moisture since they’re away from the faucet. Also, nature may call when you’re away from a real bathroom, so keeping a toilet kit nearby is wise to ensure you have biodegradable toilet paper and compostable bags.

    hanging toiletry bag

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  • 11. Packing Cubes

    Peru requires a bit more gear than many other places due to the kinds of activities it offers. When packing, it’s nice to have a system of organization so that they’ll fit neatly into your suitcase without having to struggle to close it. These multi-size, zippered organizers make packing a breeze and even allow you to switch items from your suitcase to your day bag and back without having to unpack them.

    Available on with an exclusive 15% discount using the coupon code “HERO”.

    packing cubes

    Or view them on ➜

  • 12. Luggage Straps

    Secure your belongings for the journey ahead using these adjustable luggage straps. Millions of bags go missing each year or suffer damage from negligent mishandling (more than 25-million in 2022 alone!) and frankly… you can’t trust everything you love in that suitcase to a delicate zipper. These luggage straps will take the pressure off of your zippers so they’re not hanging on by a thread!

    Not to mention, it’s such a relief to recognize your bag at a moment’s notice and not have to push past the crowds at arrivals to check every case that vaguely resembles yours. Quickly identify your bags with these heavy-duty straps that are slip-resistant and therefore, not going anywhere! For a safer, more secure, and faster transit – these are your best bet.

    luggage straps

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  • 13. Activated Charcoal

    Especially when you’re in a country where climate, altitude, new foods, and risky water can all disrupt your digestion, you’ll want to have a backup plan. Activated charcoal absorbs toxins in your system and helps you get back to normal function so that you don’t have to miss out on prime travel days.

    Activated Charcoal

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  • 14. Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger

    The hike to Machu Picchu is a 4-day journey that is 26 miles long and reaches almost 14,000 feet in elevation. You won’t find a lot of outlets or charging stations in the middle of nowhere, and the best of Peru lies in its expansive nature. Whether you’re climbing the Inca ruins or boating along the coast of Lima, having a backup charger on-hand can be an actual lifesaver. This one has rescued us on occasions when we needed to call for a ride or get help in an emergency.

    Lipstick-Sized Charger

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  • 15. Luggage Locks

    Unfortunately, there is a decent risk of pickpocketing and petty theft in this part of the world. While it’s improved significantly in the last decades, you’ll still want to lead with caution by adding luggage locks to your checked bag, backpack, and any lockers you may need. This set is TSA-approved. We never travel without a couple of sets.

    luggage locks

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  • 16. Female Urination Device

    My wife swears by this contraption. Ladies will undoubtedly find many of the bathroom facilities in Peru to be a challenge. If there’s a toilet, it often won’t have a seat… Add that to the fact that many travelers to Peru end up hiking and camping, and you may wish you had a better solution for when you need to “go.” That’s where this odd but ingenious device comes in! It makes it much easier for women to use any toilet facilities (or lack thereof).

    urination cup

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  • 17. Cooling Towel

    When spending the day at the beach or trekking along the Amazon Basin, beat the heat with these cooling towels. They are small enough to easily fit in your daypack so you can bring them along on any excursion. They’re also super easy to use – simply wet the towel, wring it out, and instantly enjoy the cooling effects on your neck, shoulders, or face.

    towel pink

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  • 18. Fleece Jacket

    Peru has a reputation for having a warm South American climate. Still, temps can drop to freezing, Lima is much colder than you might expect! You’ll want to find major solace in layers! This fleece jacket is great for layering because it’s a windbreaker made of quick-drying material and compact enough to carry with you in your daybag. Consider adding a full-blown rain jacket in case of surprise downpours.

    Fleece Jacket

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  • 19. Discounted Tickets to Peru Attractions

    Your vacation is the sum of your experiences. Book an incredible itinerary with Get Your Guide, our favorite site for booking directly with local tour guides to ensure the most authentic excursions.
    You must see one of the 7 Wonders of the World – Machu Picchu, whether it’s on a 6-day guided tour through the Sacred Valley, a moderate 4-day tour, or an expedited 1-day trip (or if you want to guide yourself with a simple entry ticket).

    If near Cusco, we loved Rainbow Mountain, river rafting, and getting a closer look at the alien-like Inca Ruins! In Lima, you can take a city and catacombs tour or day trips to see the penguins of Ballestas Islands. We didn’t have time to see the lines of Nazca, but hear it’s an incredible sight to behold!

    Discounted Tickets to Peru Attractions

    See all Peru attractions at ➜

  • 20. Waterproof Hiking Shoes

    Hiking, walking, and exploring will take quite a toll on you if you don’t have the proper footwear. Quality hiking shoes are key, and they should be broken in before you travel with them, or you’ll run the risk of painful blisters or foot cramping. These shoes are particularly comfortable right off the bat and are well-reviewed for their water resistance, quality, and affordable price.

    Waterproof Hiking Shoes

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  • 21. Water-Resistant Shoe Bags

    These brilliant water and sand-resistant shoe bags are perfect for anytime you need to separate your wet, snowy, sandy, or muddy footwear from sparkly clean items. Not to mention, public bathrooms and city streets can add a little funk to your kicks that you may not want to pack directly in your suitcase. We bring these on every hike and water excursion!

    Water-Resistant Shoe Bags

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  • 22. Jet Lag Relief

    Direct flights to Peru are around 7 hours, but if you don’t have a nonstop flight it could be 13+ hours! Travel days can be exhausting, but we were so thankful to have these jet lag relief supplements for our last international flight. We noticed a real difference and felt way less fatigued than usual on travel days. They’re made with chamomile which feels way smoother than similar products that use caffeine, uppers, or stimulants.

    jet lag relief

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  • 23. Backpack or Daybag

    A reliable daybag will save you a lot of hassle. This lightweight travel backpack is great for hiking and shopping alike and will give you plenty of room for everything you need to keep with you on a daily basis, like your rain jacket or poncho, your water bottle, your guidebook, and your phone if you plan to bring one. Add a backpack rain cover and you’re good to go!

    Backpack or Daybag

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  • 24. Travel Toilet Paper

    Toilets are far less well-stocked in Peru than they are in the States, and that’s when you even have a toilet. Whether you’re peeing in the wild brush or squatting over a hole in the ground, these individual packets of toilet paper will offer a convenient and hygienic way to go, saving you sanitary stress and litter guilt since they are certifiably flushable.

    Travel Toilet Paper

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  • 25. Wool Headband

    Peru’s weather can be unpredictable, so you will be glad to have a reliable headband as a subtle means to stay warm and look cute. This one has a beautiful wool pattern that creates a cozy look. It’s also moisture-wicking and can be worn as a headband, scarf, or gaiter over the face in heavy winds.

    Wool Headband

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  • 26. Lightweight Collapsible Hiking Poles

    Hiking poles are not the most obvious thing to pack for a getaway, but in a destination like Peru, they will be a huge support. During difficult hikes, they will help you to conserve energy and maintain your footing. We love that this set comes with attachments for rock and pavement, mud and sand, or snow and ice, offering serious fall prevention regardless of the terrain.

    Lightweight Collapsible Hiking Poles

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  • 27. Altitude Medicine

    You may find yourself out of breath due to the scenic landscapes, but it may also be the altitude! Attitude sickness, known as ‘soroche’ in Peru, can feel like a fierce hangover and seriously slow you down. With low levels of oxygen, Peru’s average altitude is 5000+ feet above sea level. This will make the air thinner and lead to your body not functioning as well. We’ve found these altitude supplements to be a game-changer for safely getting closer to the clouds. We add a couple drops of liquid chlorophyll to our water and boom, this duo works every time.

    Altitude Medicine

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  • 28. Insulated Gloves

    The snowy mountaintops like Huascaran and Marcahuasi are epic to hike but will be uncomfortable without quality gloves. These are the best mittens I’ve found because they’re water-resistent and insulated yet still breathable with a polyester lining. Gloves will help you feel much more comfortable in the mountains, along the windy coastlines, and in areas like Puno Lake Titicaca that maintain a steady temperature of around 7°C/45°F.

    Insulated Gloves

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  • 29. Waterproof Breathable Socks

    If you’ve hiked with soaking wet, freezing feet – you know it’s one of the worst feelings. Pack smarter with waterproof athletic socks that keep your toes toasty and dry. This pair has moisture-absorbant fibers with a breathable material that will prevent blisters. With a 3-layer knit design, they even promote evaporation so water can disappear quickly.

    Waterproof Breathable Socks

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  • 30. Hand & Feet Warmers

    Hand and foot warmers are an absolute revelation! Slip them into your pockets, gloves, socks, or shoes to enjoy 10+ hours of sustained heat insulating you from the inside out. You’ll appreciate these in chilly areas, but since many areas of Peru are not very cold (Lima, Mancora, the Amazon, etc.), these could even warrant spending a bit less on a pair of gloves or snow shoes since warmers will help compensate for any lost heat.

    Hand & Feet Warmers

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  • 31. Dry Bag

    Learn from our mistakes – it’s pretty tragic to see your backpack sloshing around a boat’s wet deck or floating down the river. Then watching your cash deteriorate into a crumbly ball of nothingness. Ya, we’ve been there! Whether you’re kayaking down the Cusipata or boating around the Islas Ballestas – a dry bag is a wise precaution for holding your cash, phone, clothes, or anything else you’d prefer to keep dry. Thank us later.

    Dry Bag

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  • 32. Headlamp

    Rather than wandering dangerously in the dark at night, bring a headlamp. This will absolutely be required if doing difficult hikes, such as to Machu Picchu or areas without street lights around. My wife went into the jungle once to use the restroom and ended up in a bed of spiders! Use a headlamp to ensure you can clearly see your surroundings and safely get around in dim places.


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  • 33. Motion Sickness Patches

    If cars, planes, and trains make you nauseous – don’t risk it in areas like Cusco, Puno, and Lake Titicaca where motion and altitude sickness are common. Punta Callán is one of the windiest roads we’ve ever seen, and long boat tours or whale-watching excursions can leave you feeling seriously seasick. These patches make you less drowsy than pill forms like Dramamine, and we’ve found they can also help with altitude sickness.

    Motion Sickness Patches

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  • 34. Paracord Emergency Gear

    Peru is a wild place. Come prepared for possible emergencies with this paracord set. It’s an amazing little bracelet with an alert whistle, compass, fire starter, knife, and 12-foot paracord rope. Made with military-grade supplies, it’s the best toolkit for an affordable price that we’ve found. The LED light flasher to signal your location is a nice touch!

    Paracord Emergency Gear

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  • 35. Lightweight Binoculars with Phone Adapter

    Peru’s vast panoramas and sacred valleys make it one of the best places in the world for sightseeing. With sweeping views and top-notch wildlife, you’ll need a pair of binoculars to take it all in. Keep an eye out for jungle cats, bears, and birds in the Amazon Jungle, as well as humpbacks and dolphins along the coast. You could invest in a professional pair like Vanguard Spirit, but these are excellent at a fraction of the price. They also connect to your phone for easy sharing.

    Lightweight Binoculars with Phone Adapter

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  • 36. Packable “Just in Case” Bag

    While some places offer tacky souvenirs and gifts you would NOT want to take back to loved ones… Peru is not one of those places. With alpaca clothing, vibrant textiles, Peruvian chocolate, pisco liquor, spices, and more – you’ll want a precautionary “just in case” bag for those spontaneous shopping trips to the mercados. We like this one because it counts as your personal item on the flight home and fits perfectly under your plane seat. Muy chévere! (Very cool!)

    Packable “Just in Case” Bag

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What Should I Wear in Peru?

The best advice for how to dress in Peru is to dress in layers. The mornings and evenings can be very cold, but it can get very hot in the afternoons so you need to be able to shed a layer or two as the day heats up. Layers should be easy to carry with you if you’re not planning to stop back at your accommodations during the day to drop off jackets or change, so lightweight and comfortable fabrics are key. Be sure you are always prepared for the rain, as well, especially if hiking. Lightweight long pants and long sleeves will also come in very handy to ward off mosquito bites.

Peru’s cities have some very nice restaurants and a vibrant nightlife that you may feel like dressing up a little bit for. While you don’t need to dress super fancy, it’s worth packing a couple of smart-casual outfits for the evenings and maybe some inexpensive jewelry.

When visiting one of Peru’s many religious sites it is strongly advised that you dress conservatively and cover up shoulders or bare legs if possible. Swimwear should be reserved for the beach and poolside only.

What NOT to Take to Peru

  • 1.Expensive Jewellery

    As a tourist in Peru you will already stand out. Do not draw even more attention to yourself with expensive jewellery. Flashy goods can make you a target for thieves.

  • 2.Lots of Cash

    Peru has ATMs. While it’s OK to take a small amount of emergency cash, don’t carry around large sums. Lots of places take credit cards too, so there is really no need to walk around with wads of cash.

  • 3.Heavy Books:

    They take up lots of room and they inevitably get damaged. Apart from the odd travel guide, you should avoid carrying a library in your backpack.

  • 4.Unnecessary Electronics:

    Although you will still want to keep connected with home, if you carry too many electronics it will make you a target, or at least at risk of damaging your devices. Only take what you need.

  • 5.Sleeping Bag

    Hotels and hostels will provide all the bedding you need. Even if you are planning on camping, they will have the equipment. If you find some of the bedding a little old, a simple travel sheet should do the trick.

  • 6.Mosquito Net

    Although mosquitoes are a problem, in the places that need them, the hotel, hostel or guesthouse should provide them. Nets are simply too bulky to carry around with you.

FAQs for Your Peru Trip

  • 1. Do People speak English in Peru?

    Do People speak English in Peru?

    Many people working in hotels or restaurants will speak pretty good English. Most people will know basic words or phrases but many will only speak Spanish. Having a basic grasp of common phrases, numbers, etc. is recommended. Don’t be afraid to try speaking Spanish, locals will appreciate the effort.

  • 2. Do I need to tip?

    Most restaurants have an automatic 10% gratuity on the bill, look for the word “propina”. If they do not it is customary to add 10% if the meal and service were satisfactory. You do not need to tip taxis, but hotel porters will expect a small tip.

  • 3. What is the best way to get around in Peru?

    What is the best way to get around in Peru?

    Peru is quite a large country with many of the main attractions spaced out and divided by many natural barriers. If you want to save time, inter-city flights are the fastest way – although not the cheapest.
    The bus network is extensive and varies in quality. It’s by far the cheapest way to get around but you do need to pay more for better quality buses. Many of the routes offer overnight buses which can save a day of travel and hotel costs overnight. Theft is a problem on buses in Peru so keep your belongings close.

    Some areas are served by train lines. Most visitors use the train system in and around Cusco, Machu Picchu, and the Sacred Valley. The trains can be expensive but are the most comfortable way to do the rural scenic journeys.

    Within cities, taxis are inexpensive by western standards. The local transport systems differ by cities but the buses are usually busy but cheap and regular. Many cities also have collectivos: shared mini-vans for both long or short journeys. These can be cramped but relatively cheap and faster than buses.

  • 4. Is Peru dangerous?

    While most people travel in Peru without incident, thefts and muggings are still an issue. Take precautions with your valuables and do not carry too much cash. Be careful when visiting non-tourist areas of bigger cities, especially after dark. Make sure to read up on the areas before you book a hotel, as some neighborhoods are safer than others. Always do research on local safety and travel concerns before visiting any city.

  • 5. What is the best way to visit Machu Picchu?

    What is the best way to visit Machu Picchu?

    If you are fit and have the time, hiking the famous Inca Trail is a popular way to visit Machu Picchu. Tour companies run various multi-day hikes which leave from Cusco and finish at the Incan ruins. You’ll need to be able to complete a challenging hike and feel comfortable camping overnight. You can also get to the nearby town of Aguas Caliente by train with a local bus most of the way up to Machu Picchu – if you want to visit but cannot do the trail, it’s possible to make your way there with limited hiking.

    Check out our Machu Picchu packing list!

  • 6. Is Machu Picchu worth it?

    Yes. Honestly, many tourist attractions can feel like a let-down after so much hype, but Machu Picchu is not one of those. It’s an incredible and fascinating piece of history – a history that we don’t tend to learn much about in school. Just watch out for overpriced tours and try to get the best deal possible if you opt for a guide.

  • 7. Are there any common scams in Peru?

    The main “scam” in Peru is simply overcharging. Make sure you have a good idea of what goods and services are worth before you hand your money over. Always agree on a price before accepting a service, such as a taxi ride, or you’ll leave yourself open to service providers charging an arbitrarily high price.

    Many of the souvenirs are priced higher and labeled as “handmade” or “artisan”, despite much of them being cheaply mass-produced merchandise. Be wary of overpaying for your trinkets.

  • 8. Can I drink the water in Peru?

    Can I drink the water in Peru?

    For the most part NO. Use bottled water if you do not wish to become ill.

    Some nicer hotels will have drinkable water, but otherwise you should stick to bottles, or bring your own water bottle with built-in filter so that you can refill and carry water with you. Be careful with ice and ask wait staff if they get fresh ice delivered or use water frozen from the tap.

  • 9. Do they have ATMs?

    All larger cities will have ATMs and most of the rural places will have at least one. However, some small villages or towns will not have any so make sure you do research before you set off. Some guest-houses that accept cards in places without ATMs will let you take cash out on their machines – for a fee.

  • 10. Do I need malaria medication before and/or during my Peru trip?

    Do I need malaria medication before and/or during my Peru trip?

    Most people travel in Peru without taking Malaria medication and have no problems. The side effects of Malaria medication can be discomforting.
    If you decide not to take medication make sure to take all sensible precautions to protect yourself from mosquito bites. The Amazon Basin and Brazilian border regions have a higher Malaria rate. The risk is yours to opt in or out of, but always consult your doctor before taking any medications.