Peru is a country with many regions and terrains. The landscapes vary dramatically as you move from the coastal desert inland towards the Andean highlands and then further on into the Amazonian Jungle. Peru has an extensive coastline with Lima positioned roughly half way between top and bottom. Cusco sits at 3,399m above sea level at the foot of the Andes. Furthermore Peru is steeped in lush green jungle with some of the most diverse wildlife on the planet. We can truly understand why the traveler might find it difficult to pack for these many environments. Here are some tips on what to bring to Peru.
Lima, Trujillo, Chiclayo, Nasca and Paracas are all located on the Pacific desert coastline of Peru. Weather in the summer months, December to March, are what you would expect; HOT! Days are hot and sunny with temperatures usually resting between 25 and 30° Celsius/77 to 86 Fahrenheit. Shorts and t-shirts are great for this time of year. The rest of the year is cooler on the coast with a regular haze. Lima and its surrounding areas tend to be overcast, humid and slightly cold. It can still get sticky. T-shirts can still be worn but long pants would be recommended at this time. Have a light jacket in Lima if traveling outside of the summer months.
Cusco has two very distinct seasons. December to March/April marks the rainy season. The days can be sunny but when it rains it pours. Always expect rain, so don’t leave the hotel without raincoat and decent shoes. A good raincoat is an essential on your what to bring to Peru list. In May, June and July it can be really cold in the evenings, so wear jumpers and warm jackets. June to September is the dry season. Pants would be recommended all year round in Cusco as it can get chilly. It is possible to buy warm clothes here like alpaca sweaters and jumpers but rain gear can be expensive so come prepared for the rainy season. Regular clothes, like jeans and a jumper are generally perfect attire for Cusco.
Getting to Machu Picchu generally involves walking and climbing up and down so wear comfortable clothing. Shorts are suitable as it can get warm and sticky climbing. But make sure to wear insect repellent as there are biting sandflies. The weather is quite changeable at Machu Picchu so have a sweater handy and a rain jacket. Open toe shoes are not advised for Machu Picchu.