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 family 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 family travel destination. But figuring out family travel to 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 travel.

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 visiting Machu Picchu with kids, to the unforgettable Sacred Valley, playing with friends on floating islands, dancing with strangers in Lima, watching the Andean Condors in Colca Canyon and so much more. And we did this all with our 3 and 6-year-old boys. 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 For Families

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. However, many will travel independently, or in small or large groups. The weather in Peru can be incredibly variable. From the beaches of Lima to the towering mountains to the Amazon rainforest, packing for Peru means planning for every eventuality. 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 family travel to Peru.

Travel Bag and Luggage For Peru

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 a durable and flexible carry-on luggage. I recommend something lightweight and rugged for moving through the country. Don’t forget that kid’s travel needs are a little bit different, so make sure to pick the best luggage for kids.

However, if you’re like us, family travel to Peru means preparation. And I believe in making sure that we have everything we need when we are choosing what to pack for Peru. We traveled to Peru with check-in bags. This ensured we had all the Peru travel gear we needed for our two-week itinerary.


Day Pack Backpack For Peru

Picking the best daypack for your family travel to Peru packing list is crucial. There will be a lot of exploring on our Peru trip. And a great daypack is one of the only ways to carry around your water bottles, cameras, sunscreen, and all the other things needed for family travel to Peru. You can check out my guide to the best daypacks for travel here.

For this Peru packing guide, I recommend something lightweight and breathable. There is a lot of climbing, walking, and hiking in Peru, so you want a backpack for Peru that’s comfortable and fits your needs.


Hiking Shoes For Peru

I’m going to highlight this right away because having the best footwear is crucial to family travel in Peru. From mountains to desert, to the jungle, the landscape in Peru can change dramatically. Make sure you choose the best hiking shoes for Peru. I recommend lightweight, quick-drying shoes with a good grip. Because there is so much walking, you want your feet well taken care of. It’s important not to overlook your kids’ footwear either,  Choosing good hiking shoes for kids is just as important as choosing them for yourself.


The Best Clothing For Peru Travel

Underwear And Socks For Peru

What goes on underneath your clothes for Peru is just as important as the clothes itself. You can get by with just about any comfortable underwear for Peru, I recommend bringing along some lightweight, quick-dry underwear like these. That way if you need to do some emergency laundry, you won’t be waiting forever for them to dry.

Socks for Peru, on the other hand, are super important. Make sure to pack wool or synthetic socks. These materials wick water and sweat away from your body. This helps to keep your feet dry. I personally lovethis brand of socks for their lightweight, comfortable, and durable materials.

Rain Jacket For Peru

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. A rain jacket can help with many things. It can be a great windbreaker, an extra layer of warmth, and of course, something to keep you and your family dry. This is especially important for regions like the Cusco to Puno pass.


The Best Pants For Peru

Choosing the best pants for Peru shouldn’t be a challenge. You can get by with most comfortable, weather-resistant pants. Personally, I love convertible pants. These zip-off pants help me quickly switch from shorts in the lower elevations to pants in the higher elevations. But no matter what pants you choose for your Peru packing list, I recommend ones that wear well, are comfortable, and stay dry. Skip the jeans for this trip.


T-Shirts

Light, breathable t-shirts are ideal for your famiy travel to Peru packing list. They keep your core dry, and warm without weighing down your bags. They also help to wick sweat away from the body. This ensures that even if you’re sweating high up in the mountains, you won’t get chilled. I recommend something like this t-shirt for kids. A t-shirt for adults I recommend is one like this

Long Sleeve Shirts

The weather in Peru can change dramatically, especially as you climb in altitude. It’s important to pack for Peru weather that is anywhere from hot to cool. You don’t need a long sleeve shirt for Peru every day. But it’s good to have a couple on hand for time in the high elevation areas. I recommend something like this for kids. And I recommend something like this for adultsBest long sleeve shirts for kids. Best long sleep shirts for adults.

Other Clothes For Your Family Travel To Peru Packing List

When we are packing for Peru we always make sure that we have a few other items in our packing list for Peru. Here are a few other items not to forget when you’re choosing the best clothes for Peru travel.

  • A set of nicer clothes (We always try to have one fancy meal. In Peru it was at Zig Zag in Arequipa)
  • Pajamas
  • Belt – (I like to bring something durable, lightweight, and airport security-friendly like this one)
  • Wide Brimmed Sun Hat – I like these for kids, this one for me, and Kevin likes this one.
  • Swimsuits
  • Sunglasses with UV protection
  • Lightweight Travel Jacket – To save weight, I usually use something like a down poof jacket. Travel jackets like this pack up super small and weigh almost nothing. 
  • Neck Gaiter – We discovered these convertible scarf/headband/face covers during out visit to Norway. Neck gaiters can convert to multiple different styles and work great for added warmth, wind protection, and more. We don’t travel anywhere without them anymore. And they are perfect for keeping the sand off your face when sandboarding in Huacachina.

Indigenous woman in La Raya Peru

Other Items For Your Packing List For Peru

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 weatherproof/shockproof camera like this one in case of drops or falls.
  • Tripod – Lightweight and portable
  • Portable power bank– Some areas of Peru have limited power. We always travel with a battery packup to make sure we can keep our gear charged.
  • Electricity converter. The power system in Peru is not the same as it is in North America and much of Europe. Packing a universal power adapter. You can read more about the Peru electrical requirements here.
  • First Aid Kit (Read further down to see what should be in your first aid kit)
  • Filtered Water Bottle – We don’t like to contribute to the massive amount of plastic pollution in Peru. We always make sure to bring a filtered water bottle with us when we travel. You can check out our guide to the best filtered water bottles here.
  • Insect Repellent
  • Playing Cards – Sometimes travel in Peru means long bus rides, drives, or waiting at the airport. A Deck of cards is a great way to pass the time.
  • Gifts for local children and guides. Packing pencils, books, and other writing utensils can bring smiles to local children in remote areas who might otherwise not have easy access to these things. Please don’t pack candy for children as often children in remote communities don’t have easy access to dental care.

Smiling children at Patapampa Pass in Peru

Recommended Reading For Your Peru Travel

You can find great information about family travel to Peru on our website. However, I always find that it’s useful to have a guidebook on hand. It gives me something to read about the locations I’m traveling to as I’m on the road. And I can reference information while I’m in places with limited or no internet.


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 Family Travel To 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. 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

Packing For Peru – 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 (Consult your travel doctor if you are considering visiting the Peruvian Amazon)
  • Ibuprofen – Fevers, colds, and aches and pains happen. Make sure you pack both adult and children’s ibuprofen.
  • Band-aids, liquid band-aids, and gauze bandaids + medical tape
  • Disinfectant for cuts and scratches
  • Antihistamines – Even if you aren’t allergic to something at home, you may be allergic to something elsewhere.
  • Diarrhea medicine (**it happens)
  • Antibiotics (speak to your doctor before you travel)
  • Altitude medication such as Diamox (speak to your travel 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 you plan to leave.
  • Travel Visa – If required for your country of residence.
  • Airline tickets – Ensure all names on tickets match your passport documentation.
  • Travel Insurance – Always be prepared in case of an emergency.
  • Copies of documents – 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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About the Author

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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