Having trouble deciding what to wear for your trip to Peru?
One of the reasons we love Peru so much is the incredible amount of diversity you can find here. But, this also can make a packing for a trip to Peru difficult. Have no fear, ALL ACROSS PERU is here to help you! Our travel guide (being published soon!) is full of tips like what you should pack and wear. Sign up for our newsletter below to get updates on when the book is released!
In this blog we’ll give you our tips for what to wear in each of the three main areas in Peru (coast, mountains, jungle).
Before we begin, here are a few of our general packing tips:
- Less is More. Trips to Peru often include a lot of moving around – You probably won’t spend more than 1 or 2 nights in one place. Due to this, we really recommend packing light – It will make packing up and moving less of a hassle and you’ll appreciate carrying the lighter luggage up to your hotel room. You can plan to do laundry often during your trip. Laundry services (Lavanderias) are very easy to find – Drop your clothes in the morning before you head out for the day and they’ll be waiting for you when you return.
- Layers (not diamonds) are a girl’s best friend. The weather in Peru changes drastically, not just when you travel to different places, but often, hour to hour. Thunderstorms pop up unexpectedly in the Sierra and clouds can roll into Lima quickly ruining your sunny beach day. Therefore, we really recommend layers – Always carry a lightweight rain jacket you can throw over your outfit. Lightweight scarves are a great way to add a little warmth and also dress up a casual outfit for a nice dinner.
- Check your season: While Peru is close to the equator and seasonal temperature changes are not too dramatic, you will want to pay attention to whether you will be traveling during the rainy season or not. It is most dramatic in the Sierra – the rainy season usually runs from November – April but rain is possible year round.
Read on for the rest of our clothing tips:
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Peru’s 3 regions and what to wear:
Peru is generally divided into 3 areas: Coast, Mountains and Jungle – When planning what to wear, it’s good to look at each area and make sure you have clothes for each place.
Your trip to Peru usually starts with your flight into Lima and most people spend at least a few days in Lima. While Lima is on the coast, it doesn’t have the traditional flip flops and sundress vibe of other coastal cities. For much of the year (Dec – Feb. excluded), there is a chill in the air and you will come to understand Lima’s nickname “Lima la gris” (Lima the gray). It is cloudy and often mists (but very rarely ever rains).
Lima is also a modern, cosmopolitan city with a high sense of fashion. We recommend bringing at least one nicer outfit for your days in Lima, especially if you plan to visit some of the famous (and highly rated) restaurants.
Beyond Lima, much of the rest of the coastal region is hot and sunny, so if you’re heading down south to Ica or Nasca or other points along the coast, go ahead and throw in your bikini and flip flops!
From Lima, you’ll probably head to Cusco as you prepare for your Machu Picchu experience. And while in Lima, you may feel out of place in trekking pants, in Cusco, you will fit right in. Hiking/Trekking clothes are the norm, even for locals and with the weather and the amount of walking you’ll be doing, you’ll appreciate the comfortable style of clothes there. The same style applies to Machu Picchu and the rest of the Sacred Valley. You’ll also want a hat – the sun is incredibly intense at the high altitudes you’ll be at and even on a cloudy day, you can end up with a nasty sunburn.
One thing to note is that it can get very cold at night and few, if any places will have heaters in your room. Bring warm sleeping clothes and don’t be afraid to ask for more blankets!
With the Amazon so accessible in Peru, we highly recommend you take a few days to visit this incredible ecosystem. There are so many great lodges where you can really experience jungle life and be overwhelmed with the diversity of both plants and animals. Dressing for the experience can be a bit difficult though – it’s hot and humid, but you also need to remain covered up due to bugs and plants you’ll encounter on your daily walks. Again, light and loose trekking pants and long sleeve lightweight shirts will be the most comfortable. We do not recommend wearing leggings here as the mosquitos can (and do) bite right through them! Also, a poncho will serve you better than a rain jacket in the jungle – it’s too hot for a jacket!
For a typical 10 – 14 day trip to Peru, we recommend:
- 2 pairs trekking pants (1 lighter, 1 heavier)
- 2 lightweight long sleeve shirts
- 2-3 short sleeve shirts
- 1 rain jacket and 1 poncho
- 1 sweatshirt
- 1 nicer outfit for fancy dinners or sightseeing in cities
- 6-7 days of underwear/socks
- Comfortable shoes!
Who is writing?
Hola! I’m Abigail, writer for ALL ACROSS PERU and lover of all things Peruvian! I live in Lima and you’ll often find me eating lomo saltado and sharing pisco sours with my patas (friends).