Luggage: Whatever you’re doing in Peru or Bolivia, you’ll find that large rigid wheeled suitcases are cumbersome - you may be able to wheel them inside the airport and your hotel, but due to the condition of roads and pavements that’s often about it. As most of our tours involve a degree of adventurous activity, we strongly advise you to bring a more practical bag for these i.e. a rucksack or holdall. These are easier for both your porters/ponies (if trekking), and yourself to carry around. Suitcases are OK if your tour does nothing but cultural sightseeing, but please aim to bring small or medium sized ones rather than very large. If you are trekking, or doing a lot of travel throughout the country, then as little as possible is the basic message. A rucksack or holdall (50-80 litre approx.) for your main luggage, and a daypack for you to use during the day should be plenty. While trekking your ponies will carry your main luggage, leaving you with just a daypack with things you'll need during the day. You can also leave some luggage locked safely in the pre-trek hotel if you wish. We recommend that couples plan to leave one main bag behind, and pool their remaining luggage in their other bag for the ponies to carry.
Luggage limits: Most international airlines allow 20-23kg per person of hold luggage. Domestic flights often have smaller allowances around 15kg. As airline rules vary we recommend that you take no more than 20kg of luggage if your tour just includes international flights, and no more than 15kg if there are any domestic flights included in your itinerary. Please ask us for details if you are unsure. Any excess baggage fees will be your responsibility to cover. Most airlines allow between 5kg and 10kg for hand luggage so we suggest that you take no more than 5kg unless you have confirmed that your airline(s) will allow more than this.
Clothing & Climate: Peru and Bolivia have a climate that ranges widely depending on where and when you visit. Nights will be cold in the deserts and mountains, and the weather may be hot during the day. It can get down to -15C in the Andes, and up to 47C and 90% humidity in the jungles. The rainy season in the Andes is mostly between November and April with heavy downpours once or twice a day with the remainder of the day mostly warm and sunny. You may be lucky and get no rain at all. The dry season runs from April to October and this is when you'll get the best mountain views. Generally expect it to be warm or hot during the day but very cold at night in the mountains. In the deserts in Peru the hottest time of year is between October and May, but the nights can be cold all year round. The Amazon is very hot and humid with regular rains or showers all year round. Overall, you need to pack for all conditions, from cold to hot, and with at least a light raincoat in case of showers or heavier rains.
A large variety of relatively cheap trekking gear is available in Cuzco (fleeces, waterproofs etc.) and buying some here can save you carrying it with you, and support the local economy. However, you should definitely bring your own walking boots.
What to bring:
- Toiletries - Most available to buy on trip
- Sleeping Bag - 4 season bag, (these can be hired for the Inca Trail and in Bolivia, but most people prefer to bring their own) and a sleep sheet for comfort (especially if you plan to hire a sleeping bag)
- Small day-pack or small bag to carry daily items
- Soft rucksack or holdall (NOT a large rigid suitcase)
- Soap, shampoo, toothbrush/paste, antibacterial hand wash, lip balm & moisturiser
- Sun block (35+) and after sun, sun hat & sun glasses
- Tampons/pads (can buy in most places)
Clothes & Personal Effects
- One pair of trainers or boots, plus Sandals/flip flops/jandals/thongs
- Underwear/socks T shirts/shirts Shorts/swimwear
- Jeans/trousers/jog pants/leggings
- Skirt or dress
- Sweat shirt/jumper
- Jacket/fleece & waterproof jacket
- Camera with protective case, spare batteries, film/memory card
- Torch & spare batteries (head torch is best)
- Alarm clock
- Travel adaptor plug/charger (for cameras & mobile phone batteries)
- Money belt
- Towel &/or sarong
Recommended Medical Kit List (especially for longer or more out of the way tours)
We advise you to bring a small personal medical kit for general everyday use, as well as any personal over-the-counter medicines that you may wish to keep with you. Our guides are familiar with the nearest pharmacies, doctors and hospitals throughout the trip if you need to seek medical attention. It will be your own responsibility to carry your medical kit on included excursions and optional activities as some local operators may not have medical kits to hand.
- Antiseptic ointment/Antihistamine cream & tablets
- Nurofen or equivalent pain-killer
- Anti-diarrhoea treatment
- A couple of bandages (elasticated & triangular)
- Medication for personal allergies/asthma etc
- Insect repellent containing Deet
- Re-hydration sachets/vitamin tablets
- Assorted plasters
- 1 - 2 Sterile syringes
- Some suitable antibiotics as recommended by your doctor for infected cuts or to treat severe dysentery
Please note that in the winter months (June-August) it can be very cold, especially at altitude, so we would reccommend that you bring extra layers or be prepared to purchase some when you are in Peru & Bolivia.
Cameras and Electrical Equipment
Any easy to use 'point and shoot' or even a smartphone with a good camera will get you some good photos. For more creative and higher standard shots its worth bringing an SLR camera, but do make sure you're familiar with it first. There are internet cafes in many towns and cities where you can download/upload your photos to online storage. However, we suggest you bring several memory cards in case this isn't possible. A padded camera case or bag and zip lock plastic bags are useful to protect your equipment, especially in the sandy deserts. Polarising filters are good for SLRs to prevent over-exposed looking photos. ard to find USB cable - to connect in internet cafes or for downloading We can recommend Clock Tower Cameras for second hand cameras and lenses.
Important: In Peru and Bolivia it is strictkly forbidden to take photos of any military installations or equipment. Border posts, bridgets and anywhere around airports are also sensitive so please avoid taking photos of any of these (or risk having your camera confiscated). We recommend asking first before taking photos of people, and if doing so, please act respectfully and with discretion.