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I’ve made two separate journeys to Peru and the mystical world wonder Machu Picchu: first in July 2008 as part of the Peru Panorama tour with G Adventures then in February 2011 when I spent 3 weeks backpacking around the country with friends.
This week, Diana Pena prepares for her first major international backpacking adventure to Peru. She’ll be traveling for three weeks with two of her close friends.
She’s planning to visit Lima, Cusco, Puno, and Mancora. Read on to find out my top tips on what to pack to Peru in this special Q&A!
Please read this Machu Picchu Packing List for specific tips on the trek.
What to Pack to Peru
Q: I need a travel backpack and a trekking day backpack, what size would be appropriate for me? (110lbs, 5’0)
A comfortable backpack for your height would be a 40L bag. While you can probably carry a larger bag of up to 65L, the bag will be larger than you!
For a day pack, try not to go over 25L.
The secret to traveling light is to create a functional but minimalist capsule wardrobe. Learn more in my guide!
Q: Is there a particular backpack brand that you prefer?
I’m a big Osprey fan. I have previously travelled with the Osprey Aura 65 and now I travel with the carry on sized Farpoint Osprey 55 and couldn’t be happier. The main compartment is 40L and includes a detachable 15L daypack so the combined total is 55L.
You can find more information about my backpack here: Osprey Farpoint 55.
Q: How many shoes should I bring with me?
No more than three pairs and definitely no heels. You should bring a pair of flip flops and sturdy pair of trekking shoes like Merrell Hiking Shoes. I own these New Balance cross trainers which I’ve used on two separate treks to Machu Picchu.
You can bring hiking boots if you prefer the additional support however it is possible to do the trek in a pair of trainers.
In addition, you can opt to bring one nice pair of sandals, comfortable flats, or flat booties that would dress up your outfits. Check out this awesome post on stylish and practical travel shoes.
Read our top 10 cute and comfortable flats for travel.
Q: Should I pack feminine hygiene products, lotions, medicines etc.?
For three weeks you should be okay with 3 oz. travel size containers of the basics including lotion, shampoo, sun block, etc. Even though Peru is cold, it is easy to get a sunburn because of the altitude. Please make sure to wear sun block.
Learn more about how to choose travel-size toiletries.
Q: Other than a hat, are there any other accessories I should bring with me?
Peru is a great place for shopping, especially Cusco! I’d say to come with a couple of basics but buy accessories there. It’s also common for travelers to buy Peruvian woolly hats, scarves, and gloves to stay warm – very cute and great souvenirs!
Check out my favorite travel accessories.
Q: Is there a method to packing or a certain order I should pack all my belongings so that everything fits?
Packing cubes are life and space savers! They drastically minimize the clutter, keep your bag organized, and everything fits! I travel with this set and love them. Roll up your clothes and put them in one at a time. Zip it up and you’re good to go!
Check out the Travel Fashion Girl Packing Lists to choose a packing list that best suits your needs.
What else would you suggest for what to pack to Peru?
For tips more on what to pack for Peru, please read:
- Inca Trail and Machu Picchu Tours Packing List
- What to Pack for a Year Traveling Latin America
- What to Pack for Machu Picchu if You’re not Trekking
- Backpacking South American Packing List
Suggested Travel Resources:
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