Figuring out what to pack for a family vacation in Peru can be a struggle. We've set up this Peru packing list to help families figure out what they need.

Family Travel To Peru Packing List

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A trip to Peru sets in motion a series of discoveries that are almost unmatched by any destination in the world. Few countries have the unique mix of diverse culture, landscape, history, and mystery that has made Peru such a world-class travel destination. But figuring out a Peru Packing list can be almost as confusing as planning the actual trip. So we’re here to help and lay out what you need to pack for Peru.

Boy climbing Machu Picchu

Peru Packing List for Family Travel

Peru is a land of contrasts. They have the towering peaks of the Andes mountains, the lush jungle of the Amazon rain forest, and the barren deserts of the Pacific coast. And with this variety of environments, it’s important to know what to wear in Peru.

We traveled for two weeks through Peru, getting a taste for all of the incredible regions of the country from Machu Picchu, to the Sacred Valley, Lima, Colca Canyon and more. And we did this all with a 3 and 6-year-old. From our travel in Peru we learned a few things about packing for Peru.

Children playing on Lake Titicaca Isla de los Uros

What to Pack for Peru

If you are packing for Peru, it’s important to know how you plan to travel. Most families who travel through Peru do so via an organized tour. We suggest dressing in layers. Temperatures can be all over the map in Peru, even if you aren’t changing locations. Dressing in layers means you can remove clothing when you get hot and put it on if you get cold. This is how we traveled during our Peru travels.

  • Travel Bag and Luggage

If you are traveling to Peru for two weeks or less, it is very do-able to travel with carry-on luggage. But doing this means picking the best cabin bag, something lightweight and rugged for moving through the country. Don’t forget that kids travel needs are a little bit different, so make sure to pick the best luggage for kids.

  • Day Pack Backpack
  • Hiking Shoes

I’m going to highlight this right away because having the best walking boots is crucial to Peru travel. From mountains to desert, to the jungle, the landscape changes can be drastic.

  • Underwear
  • Wool Socks

Wool socks are great for hiking and exploring. They wick water away from your body and this help keeps you stay dry and comfortable. Best hiking socks for children. Best hiking socks for adults. Read more about choosing hiking socks here.

  • Rain Jacket

No matter what season it is in Peru, the possibility of rain is always there, especially in the mountains. Choose a lightweight rain jacket that breathes well. Best rain jacket for kids. Best rain jacket for adults.

  • Convertible Pants

Zip-off pants or Convertible Pants are our favorite travel pants. It’s like having a pair of shorts and a pair of pants in one package. And that really helps with packing. Best zip off pants for kids. Best zip off pants for adults.

  • T-Shirts

Light, breathable t-shirts are ideal for your Peru packing list. They keep your core dry, and warm without weighing down your bags. Best travel t-shirts for kids. Best travel t-shirts for adults.

  • Long Sleeve Shirts

The weather in Peru can change, especially as you climb in altitude. It’s important to have gear for all eventualities. Best long sleeve shirts for kids. Best long sleep shirts for adults.

  • A set of nicer clothes (We always try to have one fancy meal. In Peru it was at Zig Zag in Arequipa)
  • Pajamas
  • Belt
  • Wide Brimmed Sun Hat

The sun can be very strong in Peru, especially high in the mountains. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat will help protect your face and neck from sunburn. Best sun hat for kids. Best sun hat for adults.

  • Swim trunks and rash guards
  • Sun Glasses with UV protection
  • Lightweight Travel Jacket

The higher areas of Peru such as Patapampa Pass and La Raya can be downright chilly, even in the summer. A light puffy jacket will  help keep you warm and won’t take up too much room in your bag. Our favorite travel jacket for kids. Our favorite travel jacket for adults.

  • Bandana Scarf

We only discovered these on our recent trip to Norway, but I wish we had known about them before. Bandana scarfs are thin, stretchy fabric tubes that you can adjust to multiple applications from headbands, scarfs, face masks and more. They’re light and super easy to carry. Most are built similar, so we don’t recommend a specific brand, but you can check one out here.

Indigenous woman in La Raya Peru

Other Peru Packing List Items

These aren’t just for packing for Peru, we take these packing list items on almost every trip, and even on local outings.

  • Flashlight or Headlamp along with extra batteries
  • Camera – We recommend a shock proof camera in case of drops or falls
  • Tripod – Lightweight and portable
  • Portable power bank
  • Electricity converter/adapter
  • First Aid Kit (Read further down to see what should be in your first aid kit)
  • Water Sterilizer Water Bottle (Lifesaver)
  • Insect Repellent
  • Playing Cards 
  • Guide Book
  • Gifts for local children and guides

Smiling children at Patapampa Pass in Peru

What Peru Clothing to Buy When You Arrive

You don’t always need to pack everything with you when you head out on a trip. Peru, specifically, has an incredible variety of great clothing available, and some of it is just perfect for travel in Peru. These are especially great when considering what to wear for Machu Picchu, as they make for great photos.

  • Beanies/Toques/Hats

You can find great prices on alpaca or llama wool warm hats that are amazing at shaking off the cool mountain air in Peru.

  • Alpaca Sweaters

Like the hats, alpaca and llama sweaters will make you feel right at home in the Andes mountains. And their unique makeup is perfect for keeping you warm in the cold, but not too hot when it warms up.

  • Snacks

Food in Peru is plentiful, inexpensive, and delicious. You can always bring your own, but you won’t have a hard time finding great snacks there.

Woman posing in Colca Canyon Peru

Other Peru Packing List Items to Consider

These are items that are specific to certain types of travelers. Whether you are traveling to Peru with young kids or doing heavy hiking in Peru.

  • Child Carrier

Strollers are almost useless outside of Lima Peru. Most towns have cobblestone streets, and many archaeological sites are built on mountain or desert terrain. Bringing a good quality child carrier for young children is a great idea. You can check out our breakdown of the best child carriers for travel here.

  • Hiking Poles

If you’re planning on hiking in Peru, bringing a good set of lightweight hiking poles is very helpful. This goes double for if you are carrying a child, as hiking poles can help with balance on the uneven terrain. We recommend these hiking poles.

  • Portable Booster Seat

Most cars in Peru have seatbelts, however, there are no car seat laws. If you are traveling with a child, we recommend bringing the MiFold portable booster seat. It’s small, lightweight, and easy to use. You can find that here.

Wandering Wagars in Arequipa Peru

Peru Travel Tips – First Aid Kit

 Accidents happen, and it’s always best to be prepared. These are the items that we pack in our travel first aid kit for Peru.
  • Prescription medication
  • Malaria Pills (if necessary)
  • Ibuprofen,
  • Band-aids, liquid band-aids, and gauze bandaids + medical tape
  • Disinfectant for cuts and scratches
  • Antihistamines
  • Diarrhea medicine (it happens)
  • Antibiotics (speak to your doctor before you travel)
  • Optional – Altitude medication such as Diamox (speak to your doctor). We didn’t use this ourselves, but everyone reacts to altitude differently.

Two boys watching condors in Colca Canyon Peru

What to Pack for Peru – Documentation

Make sure you have your paperwork, travel visas, and passports in order beforehand. Please remember that rules such as visas vary from country to country. For passports, make sure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months from your planned departure date from the country you are visiting.

  • Passports (Valid for 6 months from when your plan to leave)
  • Travel Visa (if required)
  • Airline tickets (ensure all names on tickets match your passport documentation)
  • Travel Insurance

Before you leave make photocopies of all crucial documents including passports, drivers licenses, etc. Keep these in a separate bag in case anything gets lost.

You can download our FREE Peru packing list here. And if you have any suggestions, please let us know in the comments.

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Figuring out what to pack for a family vacation can be a struggle. Add in the variety of landscapes and altitudes of a country like Peru and it can be downright overwhelming! So we've set up this Peru packing list to help families who travel figure out exactly what they need to this epic destination.

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Kevin Wagar

Kevin Wagar is a creative designer and technology expert living in the Greater Toronto Area. His beautiful wife Christina impressed on him her love of travel and they have made exploring the world an integral part of their life.
With the birth of their two boys, Kevin and Christina have made it their mission to show others that travelling with children isn't as scary as it sounds and that kids can benefit from experiencing the world outside of their front door and beyond.
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10 Comments

    1. It is possible to find some that are made from synthetics, however they are very rare to come across. You would probably have the best luck find them in specialty shops in Lima and Cusco.

  1. Packing lists are so useful, but something often gets left behind anyway (like sunglasses or an outlet adapter). Luckily, most of the time we can just buy whatever we forgot on the spot!

  2. What a great packing resource for those getting ready to visit Peru! We loved the alpaca sweaters but didn’t get to buy one – they look so nice in pictures and are so warm! Or maybe we should have tried the ponchos 🙂 Thank you for the comprehensive list!

  3. Tremendous contrast in temperatures in Peru Kevin. I recall warmer temps up North but freezing temps at night in Cusco. What a mix! Pack for all 4 seasons guys. Then you’ve the Amazon humid jungle climate in Iquitos, where my wife went while I chilled in Cusco for a week. Amazing range there.

    Ryan

  4. Hi, your post was very helpful and your photo’s were just incredible. Peru is on my bucket list and you have given me a few helpful tips. Looks like you had an amazing trip!

  5. Travel to any destination when you are dealing with so many weather conditions and other variations can be a real challenge. I found this out 2 years ago when packing for a South American Cruise. I can’t imagine doing this for a family.

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