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What to Pack for Peru: Cusco and the Sacred Valley

  |   Cusco & Sacred Valley

Heading to Cusco and the Sacred Valley? The Andean highlands of Peru are known for their varied weather, so it can be hard to know how to pack appropriately for your trip. Different travelers may experience entirely different types of travel in the region, some very active with days of trekking, others opting for a more leisurely sightseeing experience. Whatever your travel style, we’ve compiled the best tips in our Sacred Valley Packing List to help you pack accordingly!



Sacred Valley Scenery 

Sacred Valley Scenery 

Sacred Valley Packing Tips

Packing for a trip to Cusco means you’ll want plenty of layers. You’ll be at a very high altitude, with minimal humidity, but you will likely experience a range of temperatures nonetheless. The bright sun can make the air feel drastically warmer, while adventures under trees of in the shade will cool you down in seconds. Make sure to check average temperatures for the time of year you plan to visit, as well as noting if you will be in Peru during the wet or dry season.



Cusco & Sacred Valley Packing List



• Athletic clothing: dry-fit, light-weigh and fleece are great for layering

• Hiking boots (if trekking)

• A sweater

• A jacket (for colder weather in the evenings)

• Good walking shoes

• Bathing suits (there are several hot springs near Machu Picchu)

• A Hat 

• Backpack: something you can fit trekking or day trip essentials in, Osprey backpacks are a good option




• Sunscreen

• Bug spray

• Itch relief ointment

• Small first-aid kit (if trekking)

• Altitude sickness tablets (if needed)

• Chap stick (your lips will get dry from the altitude/sun) 


Tip: Put all toiletries in zip lock bags- the high altitude may cause explosions and leaks!




• Camera and chargers

• Extra camera battery (essential for multiple day treks)

• Extra memory cards

• Tripods (cannot enter Machu Picchu, but for elsewhere in the Sacred Valley)

• Any personal medication: Be sure to bring your prescription with you and enough medication to last your entire trip.

• Re-usable water bottle

• Money in small denominations (keep some cash on you at all times, even on tours)

• Watch (tours may give you a time to meet up)

• Passport and a photocopy (leave the original locked in your hotel room!)

• Travel Insurance documentation

• Padlocks for luggage

• Trekking pole (if trekking)




Maras Salt Mines- Wet Season 

Maras Salt Mines- Wet Season 

Sacred Valley Packing List: Wet Season Additions

Taking place from November to March, January and February are the wettest months. Temperatures range from 40 degrees F at night to upper 60s during the day.


Wet season essentials:

• A rain jacket, or poncho

• An umbrella (not allowed at Machu Picchu)

• Water resistant hiking boots (for those trekking)

• Plastic bags (Ziplocs work great!) to cover your electronics while sightseeing

• A water resistant daypack (or a rain cover for your daypack)




Cusco City 

Cusco City 

Sacred Valley Packing List: Dry Season Additions

From April through October the skies dry up (there is some rain occasionally), but despite the bright sun temperatures can drop. During the day, expect highs of 65-70 degrees F, and as low as 35 degrees F in the evenings. Frost overnight is not uncommon.



Dry season essentials:

• More layers! Pack items than are easy to strip down or bundle up as needed

• Scarves, gloves, and hats

• A daypack big enough to carry these layers with you



Packing for Day Trips in the Sacred Valley

Make sure to bring a light daypack, full of any essentials you will need such as:

• Cameras

• Extra batteries and memory cards

• Jacket

• Water

• Snacks

• Sunscreen

• Bug repellent

• Hat

• Layers (during dry season)

• Poncho (during wet season)

• Money in small denominations (even if taking an all-inclusive tour- there are always great souvenirs you may spot!)

• Medication 


Moray Ruins in the Sacred Valley 

Moray Ruins in the Sacred Valley 

Packing for Treks:

For those of you planning on trekking, speak with your tour guide in advance. For certain activities you will need more intense hiking equipment, but it is cheap and easy to rent virtually anything in Cusco (and much easier than bringing it all the way from home with you). Camping gear is always provided by tours, except of course for any additional outerwear you may need.

Packing for Cusco and the Sacred Valley only requires a little bit of planning. Follow our Sacred Valley Packing List and you’ll see how stress-free it can be! And don’t worry if you forget something. You can buy most things you leave at home in Lima or Cusco. Contact Us for more information about our Cusco & Sacred Valley Tour

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About Rainforest Cruises

Rainforest Cruises is a boutique travel company specializing in Amazon river cruises and tours, providing you with the finest collection of cruises in Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands and Panama. As South American travel experts we have all the advice you need to help you find and book your dream cruise and an unforgettable adventure of a lifetime.


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