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What to pack for your trip to Peru?

Read all about what to pack for your trip to Peru, recommendations, how to connect to the internet, and so much more!

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August 25, 2023

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The things you pack for your trip to Peru will depend on what you plan and what you need. In this article, you will find a list of essential things for any traveler, such as travel insurance, the eSIM card to have internet, preparing immigration documents, knowing when to travel, and preparing the backpack with the clothes and accessories to enjoy your experience.

After that, you will know what other things are essential for your trip, avoiding the ‘just in case’ things. Remember to leave some space in your luggage to take back handicrafts, fabrics, jewelry, colorful chullos, candies, and the best souvenirs from this beautiful country.

Travel suitcase to Peru: List of essential things

First, we will share a list of essential things to take in your travel suitcase to Peru. We will explain if you need a visa or just a passport; where to exchange euros for local currency; what clothes to pack depending on the season you choose; how to get internet; recommendations for safe travel; and other important aspects.

Necessary documentation in your hand luggage to Peru

Passport
Don’t forget your documents and passport. Source: Pixabay

Visa and passport

Good news! Spain, Chile, and Mexico do not need a visa to enter Peru, specifically for short-term trips. This means that within the necessary documentation for your trip, you will have to put in your hand luggage the following requirements:

  • Passport with a minimum validity of 6 months and ID or DNI
  • Tickets with confirmed reservation (round trip to the country of origin)
  • Up to 90 days for Spaniards and up to 180 days for Chileans and Mexicans.
  • Current hotel reservation (or letter of invitation to the country).
  • Financial resources for the trip (cash, credit card).
  • International travel insurance.
  • Not being reported in the inadmissibility alert system.

Andean Migration Card (TAM)

When entering or leaving the country, you will have to present the Andean Migration Card (TAM), a registration and control document required by the immigration authorities of the countries that are part of the Andean community; one of them is Peru.

Initially, it was a printed form that was filled out after you arrived at Jorge Chávez International Airport. Anyway, Peru is one of the countries that recently eliminated this form, implementing the TAM online platform, to improve the immigration control process and the experience of travelers.

This virtual form replaces passport stamping, so it’s also an essential requirement for your trip.

Plane tickets and other reservations in Peru

It is very important to acquire with anticipation your plane tickets and other reservations in Peru, so you should carry out this search a few months in advance, especially to obtain offers on cheap flights and accommodation.

Remember that before checking the prices of the reservations you plan to make, you must consider the estimated travel dates and know what season of the year you are traveling.

This decision will impact your travel budget and, of course, the things you should take in your travel suitcase, depending on the weather and your plans.

What is the best season to travel to Peru?

It will depend on your preferences. However, we will give you some ideas so that you can choose the season of the year that you want to enjoy.

Travel to the Peruvian coast between December and March

La Huacachina in Peru
La Huacachina in Ica, Peru. Source: Pixabay

If you travel to the Peruvian coast, the best time to travel to Peru would be between December and March, as it is summer in this country, so you can enjoy warm weather and very sunny days.

This region includes different tourist attractions, such as:

  • The Paracas National Reserve
  • The Huacachina
  • The Nazca Lines
  • Ballestas Islands
  • Chan Chan Ruins
  • lunahuaná
  • Thermal baths of Churín (Sierra de Lima)
  • The Little Horses of Totora
  • The Royal Tombs of the Lord of Sipan Museum
  • The beaches of Máncora, and Punta Sal, among others

Get to know the Peruvian Sierra between April and October

Misti Volcano, Peru
Misti Volcano, Arequipa, Peru. Source: Unsplash

On the other hand, if your destination is the Peruvian Sierra, it is best that you travel to Peru between the months of April and October, since it is the least rainy season of the year.

Please keep in mind this advice because, in the rainy months, it is practically impossible to reach the scheduled destination, due to the so-called ‘huaicos’, sudden alluviums of mud, stones, and water that cause cuts in the road, generating great effects (such as road closures) in the region.

The tourist attractions that you can find in the Peruvian Sierra are:

  • Macchu Picchu
  • Colca Canyon
  • The White City of Arequipa
  • The Misti volcano
  • the caral
  • The Llanganuco Lagoon
  • Lake Titicaca
  • Yuracyacu Falls
  • Chavin
  • The Wari Archaeological Complex
  • The Callejon de Huaylas
  • Cajamarca
  • Tarma
  • The city of 33 churches

Discover the Peruvian Jungle between May and October

Blue Lagoon, Peru
Blue Lagoon, Tarapoto, Peru. Source: Pixabay

Now, if you want to travel to the Peruvian Jungle, you will have a unique adventure with pleasant warm weather, except for the months of torrential rains. For this reason, we recommend you travel between the months of May and October to fully enjoy the vegetation and the wonderful natural landscapes of the territory.

The most emblematic tourist places of the Peruvian jungle are:

  • Blue lagoon – tarapoto
  • Amazon river
  • Rupa Rupa
  • Historic center of Chachapoyas
  • Iquitos
  • Tambopata
  • Manú National Park
  • Gocta waterfall or ‘La Chorrera’
  • Ahuashiyacu waterfalls
  • Lost city of kuelap
  • Quistococha
  • Pacamaya samiria national reserve

As you have noticed, the weather in Peru varies a lot due to the differences in altitude between the three natural regions that make up the national geography. Now, you must be wondering: What is the best time of the year to travel to Peru?

According to seasonal calculations, the best time to travel to Peru would be between the months of September and May. They are very specific months that give you a clear signal to choose the season and book your plane tickets, accommodations, and tourist activities in advance.

Take the following aspects into account when making reservations:

  • Accommodation reservations: Do it with reliable companies such as Booking and Airbnb.
  • Book tourist plans: Always include a local guide who gives you valuable recommendations.
  • Train and bus tickets: Get your tickets with anticipation through the internet.
  • Plane tickets: Find cheap tickets in the months of September, October, and November.

Internet connection in Peru with a prepaid eSIM

Holafly eSIM card for Peru
Get your Holafly eSIM card to get Mobile internet in Peru.

Nowadays, there are many ways to connect to the internet in Peru, but to save you a lot of time, we recommend you take a look at the Holafly international prepaid eSIM card. Why? Because of the following reasons:

  • You can buy it anywhere in the virtual store
  • Use your usual payment method (credit card)
  • You do not sign contracts, or register the eSIM
  • Delivery is immediate by email
  • You get unlimited data with any plan
  • Enjoy 500 MB per day to share with others.
  • You do not depend on roaming with your operator
  • You can top up the same eSIM with Top-Up
  • You keep your WhatsApp number
  • Easy installation and activation
  • Holafly’s mobile app to manage your eSIM
  • 24/7 customer service and support in your language

All you need is a device compatible with eSIM technology. It is one of the most popular options since it works with a virtual card that is installed in the latest generation of smartphones.

If your device is incompatible, don’t worry. You can buy a SIM card for local use with a new line; activate international roaming with your operator; rent a pocket WiFi; or look for free WiFi points in the main tourist destinations in the country.

Each of these options has its advantages and disadvantages, so we recommend spending time on this search if you want to save time and find a good prepaid data plan for international use.

What to take in your hand luggage to Peru?

What to take on your luggage?
What to take in your cabin luggage. Source: Pexels.

Other things that you should also take in your hand luggage to Peru are:

  • Driver’s License (national and international).
  • Cash, we’ll talk about this later.
  • The laptop to prevent it from being damaged or lost.
  • Headphones to relax while listening to your favorite music.
  • Power bank to have as a backup, in addition to chargers.
  • Power adapters, in Peru are types A, B, and C.
  • You can put the camera in your cabin suitcase.

Cash and credit cards

Nuevo Sol, Peru currency
Nuevo Sol, Peru currency. Source: astelus.com

On your trip to Peru, it is essential that you take cash in local currency to make small purchases, pay for a taxi, or cover any unforeseen events. The official currency is the Peruvian nuevo sol and its symbol is (S/).

The denominations that currently circulate in the country are:

  • Bills: 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 soles
  • Coins: 10, 20 and 50 cents

In Peru, US dollars are accepted in hotels, restaurants, commercial premises, and service stations, although there are also currency exchange options in banks and exchange houses.

You can also find ATMs that accept Visa, Mastercard, and American Express credit cards to withdraw local currency, but the costs of these operations are usually high.

In this case, we recommend you exchange cash in your country of origin to take care of your travel budget.

Exchange currency when you arrive in Peru

It is possible to exchange foreign currency when you arrive in Peru, but it is not the most advisable option because the commissions are usually higher compared to the exchange houses in your country.

We know that there can be last-minute situations that may lead you to use these options, so you have companies such as Money Exchange or World Xchange at the airport as an option.

It is best to change only small parts while you arrive at your destination and identify other more favorable local exchange options.

The second option is financial institutions, which is the least competitive option due to the high cost of the transaction. Before going to these companies, check the exchange rate so that, when requesting the quote, you can evaluate which is the best option.

International card without commissions

BNext international card
BNext international card. Source: rankia.com

In the main airports in Peru, you will find ATMs from different national banks. Nonetheless, you will also find international bank card options without commissions:

BNext international card

This card lets you make local currency withdrawals at BCP ATMs. It is compatible with the VISA network, so you can pay at any commercial establishment since most restaurants, accommodations, and shops in Peru accept VISA.

To obtain it, you just have to download the Bnext app (available in the Apps Store and Google Play), request it, and receive it at home. With it, you can withdraw up to €500 per month without paying commissions.

International card N26

Another alternative is the N26 Card, which is also free and without commissions. It is compatible with Mastercard and you can also use it in almost all commercial establishments in Peru.

Revolut International Card

Revolut is another free international card. To get it, you download the App, which is compatible with VISA and it gives you reports of the expenses or your consumption.

Helpful tip: Use BNext to withdraw money, N26, and Revolut to pay while traveling.

With these international cards, you can travel with the peace of mind of having a payment method to cover your travel expenses, without complications. You will be able to enjoy the best of Peruvian gastronomy, visit the most emblematic tourist destinations in the country, use public transport, and take home the best memories of this experience, with handmade products.

How to enjoy a safe trip to Peru?

Health insurance

To enjoy a safe trip to Peru, get medical insurance before traveling and look at the coverage it provides, it is an extremely important point when comparing services, in case you require hospitalization due to an illness or accident because emergency at a private clinic has a high cost.

The insurance must support all the activities that you are going to carry out during the days of your stay in Peru, including risky sports. The InterMundial insurer is a viable option to take your suitcase to Peru.

Seven Colors Mountain, Peru
Seven Colors Mountain. Source: Unsplash.

Travel insurance with cancellation and return

Choose travel insurance with cancellation and return, that is, when it is canceled, it can reimburse you a higher percentage. Cases like:

  • Work or family emergencies, which require returning as soon as possible.
  • Missed flights.
  • Lost or delayed luggage.

Vaccines

Vaccines are not an essential requirement to travel to Peru. Nevertheless, if you plan to visit the Peruvian jungle, you must get vaccinated against yellow fever, at least 10 days before the trip, on the recommendation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Also, other vaccines against Hepatitis A and B, typhoid fever, tetanus, polio, and chickenpox are recommended.

Telephone numbers of interest in Peru

Here you will find a list of telephone numbers of interest with service in Spanish in this country:

  • Emergencies National Police of Peru: 105 (from anywhere in the country)
  • Huascarán National Park: 043 422086
  • House of guides: 043 421811
  • National High Mountain Rescue Police Department: 043 391163
  • Telephone Assistance 24 hours: +51 1 5748800
  • Emergency Telephone for Tourists: 0800-22221

Embassy of Spain in Lima

  • Jorge Basadre Avenue 498 – San Isidro
  • Telephone: (+51 1) 2125155
  • Fax: (+51 1) 4402020
  • Email: emb.lima@maec.es

Consultation source: exteriores.gob.es

First-aid kit what to take in your suitcase to Peru

We recommend you take with you a First Aid kit, to alleviate any discomfort during the trip.

Especially if you travel to the Peruvian highlands, where most travelers, including Peruvians themselves, have altitude sickness or ‘soroche’, which includes symptoms such as dizziness, altitude sickness, lack of oxygen, and loss of hearing.

Also, when trekking to Machu Picchu, The Mountain of 7 Colors, they offer you coca leaves to chacchando along the way. That means to go chew the leaves continuously as if they were chewing gum, to absorb a bitter substance that is released.

Fact: The coca leaf has an anesthetic effect on the cheeks, tongue, and throat.

Coca leaves, Cuzco, Peru. Source: Pixabay.

In addition to these local recommendations, you can include in the first aid kit:

  • Cocoa butter or lipstick is important to take in your cabin suitcase since the weather is really dry, your lips will be chapped.
  • Insect repellent, to prevent mosquito bites and avoid transmission of diseases by insects, such as dengue, yellow fever, or Zika in the Jungle.
  • Sunscreen, solar radiation in Peru is high and you always need sunscreen.
  • Medications: Antidiarrheals, Paracetamol, Gauze, adhesive tape, Ibuprofen, and others.

What clothes to take in the suitcase to Peru?

Choose your wardrobe by destination and season of the year

The first thing should be light clothing, minimal clothing because you are going to leave Peru with more clothing. Their clothing, whether on the Coast, Sierra, or Jungle, is attractive, and colorful, creating very original looks, and it is so varied that you will want to bring back an infinite number of clothes.

souvenirs from peru
Take souvenirs from your trip. Source: Unsplash.

This is what you should not miss in your luggage to Peru:

  • Light sweater: To wear it in the afternoons, when the temperature drops, in cities like Lima.
  • Comfortable pants: Ideal to cover your legs from mosquitoes, especially in the jungle.
  • Shorts: To be used on the beaches of the coast and in the jungle, the high temperatures of this jungle region force you to want to wear uncovered clothing.
  • Bathing suit: Always, if you are going to walk along the coasts of Peru or take a bath in the hot springs of the Colca Canyon.
  • Slightly thicker jacket: Especially for the Sierra region: Cuzco, Puno, Ancash, etc.
  • Thin heaters, wool caps: Thermal clothing to counteract the cold in the Sierra.
  • Sunglasses and cap: Essential for any part of Peru and the world.
  • Waterproof clothing: Because of the torrential rains, the same deluge, in the Sierra, the most curious thing about this Peruvian climate is that it rains, you get soaked, and then the radiant sun comes out. It’s something extraordinary!

Fact: Cuzco, sells plastic caps that are reusable and dry easily.

Comfortable and versatile footwear

To be comfortable and move around the city, you will need comfortable and versatile footwear. Check what kind of footwear you should take in your suitcase to Peru:

  • Sports shoes, tennis or sneakers: To go to the beach and deserts of Peru (short trips).
  • Trekking shoes: With a grip or trail-type sole, great for long walks in the mountains or the jungle.

Tip: To save space in your suitcase to Peru, you can wear a pair of shoes and another in your luggage.

Toiletry Bag and Sewing Kit

  • Conditioning shampoo.
  • Moisturizer, soap and deodorant.
  • Toothpaste, toothbrush.
  • Daily protectors and sanitary towels (if you are a woman)

In a sewing kit, it is essential to take a needle and thread to fix a garment. Accidents happen and this is something easy to solve if you have what is necessary.

Fact: You can take a maximum of 10 containers of 100 ml each in your suitcase to Peru.

Ideal complements to carry in the cabin suitcase

Travel guides and contracted excursions

We recommend having a travel guide or excursions hired to plan your stay, reduce unforeseen events, and prepare a budget to enjoy your trip.

The advantage of having a travel guide is that apart from speaking Spanish, they speak Quechua, the native language of Peru.

Train in Peru
Cuzco panoramic view on a train. Source: Unsplash.

The purchased excursions, also called tourist services, must be certified and from the area. The advantage of a hired tour is that the reservations for both trains and buses are on your own and save you a good part of the time looking for so many options on the Internet, especially if you travel to Cuzco-Machu Picchu.

Important: Remember to take reservations for these services, both printed and digital, in your hand luggage to Peru.

Rest kit

We are talking about traveling to the other side of the world, so it is time to prepare your rest kit for the trip.

  • Neck pillow: It guarantees a more comfortable trip, avoiding body aches.
  • Mask and ear cover: the ideal pair for a perfect rest.

Fact: If you make your plane reservations with anticipation, you can find the best seat to travel.

Books

Books are a very good alternative to enjoy your spare time, knowing important information about Peru and the local destinations you plan to visit. We recommend pocketbooks since they are small and do not take up much space in your cabin suitcase to Peru.

There are also digital books, but the mission of your trip through Peru is to capture those remarkable photos and for that, you must save battery. The topics depend on your preferences, but since a trip is an act of relaxation for your mind and body, it is of great help to read books with:

  • Positive thinking books.
  • Stories or legends from Peru, who knows, maybe you are crossing a bridge or a ruin where wishes come true and by not knowing it, you missed that opportunity.

Packing cubes, backpack, and folding bag

Packing cubes
Packing Cubes, luggage for Peru. Soruce: Pixabay.

Packing cubes let you keep your cabin suitcase organized, well-distributed, and separate your daily clothes from your underwear. It remains hermetic in a cube, preserving privacy. Also, in other cubes, you can place your personal belongings, first-aid kit, sewing kit, and others.

The great thing about packing cubes is that they maintain cleanliness, allowing you to quickly search in your suitcase for Peru, and save space in your hand luggage.

It is also essential to bring:

  • Travel backpack: Backpacking type, or rigid wheeled suitcase, look for the best option.
  • Small bags, kangaroos, or koalas: For what you need to have on hand, such as your cell phone, passport, money, cards, water, or snacks (for your trekking).
  • Folding bag: You can use it to bring souvenirs from Peru.

Notebook and pen

You should include a notebook and a pen in your list of what to take in your suitcase to Peru, prepare a written backup of contact numbers, accounts, and addresses, and write whatever you want if you run out of battery in your cellphone.

What can you take in your travel suitcase to Peru according to Customs?

When going through Customs, we want to go through the green circuit; nothing to declare. Therefore, we bring you a summary of what you can take in your travel suitcase to Peru:

  • Clothing, shoes, personal care, medicines, hygiene kit, rest, and sewing.
  • Books, notebooks, headphones, chargers, adapters.
  • Printed documents and digital backup (reservations, insurance).
  • Passport and identity document.
  • Laptop, camera, mobile, tablet.
  • Cash, less than or equal to US$ 10,000 (€8,790.36).

Avoid taking these items, so as not to fill out the Baggage Declaration and therefore go to the red control circuit:

  • Medical and dental equipment.
  • Flora and wild fauna.
  • Firearms and sharp blades.
  • Clothes and footwear that do not belong to you.
  • Beverages manufactured abroad are called “pisco”.
  • The entry of amounts greater than US$ 30,000 (€26,390.21) is not allowed.

These are the most relevant, but if you want to know exactly what you should declare and what not, we invite you to review this updated list on the Peruvian Customs (SUNAT) website.

Turn your suitcase to Peru into luggage with a green seal

Speaking of green circuits, it is ideal to turn your suitcase to Peru into luggage with a green seal, an eco-friendly trip to Peru:

  • Bottle of water, it is important to bring a reusable thermos.
  • Cloth bag, now there are different designs, you take care of the environment and you look super cool.
  • Cloth towels, not disposable wipes.
  • eSIM card to have internet without a plastic card.
  • Digital documents, to avoid the use of paper and prints.

Now that you know what to pack for your trip to Peru, you can finally get ready to enjoy an amazing experience in this wonderful country full of color and culture!

Frequent questions about what to pack for your trip to Peru

What kind of shoes should I take to Peru?

If you plan to take short walks, comfortable tennis shoes are an excellent option. On the other hand, if you go trekking (long walks), you will need shoes with a grip or trail-type sole.

What things can I take in my suitcase to Peru without a sworn statement?

You can find the list of goods and items that you can take in your suitcase to Peru without declaration on the website of the National Superintendence of Customs (SUNAT) of Peru.

What kind of clothes to take to Peru?

In Peru, you will find a variety of weather due to its geography. So, if you visit the Coast, you should wear comfortable and light clothing; in the Jungle and the Sierra, thermal clothing in resistant materials, raincoats, boots, hats, gloves, and sun protection.

What currency can I use as a backup in Peru?

Mainly Peruvian soles for small purchases, but also US dollars can be used where your credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard, and American Express are not accepted.