Recommendations for a trip to northern Peru

A few recommendations for your stay in Northern Peru in regards to the climate, the altitude and what you should put in your luggage. Take your time to read through all of it and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. It is always good to be well prepared !


The climate in Northern Peru is different in each region and can change every day. So it is important to be prepared in every case. You will have hot at the Coast, cold in the Andes, mosquitoes in San Martin and a strong sun in Kuelap.

As the climate is not very predictable, our recommendations are to bring the following equipment:

  • A back pack of 20 / 30 litres
  • Good hiking shoes
  • A hat or cap and sun glasses
  • A raincoat and warm clothes for the night
  • Short pants or removable pants
  • Shirts of a material that lets pass perspiration
  • A fleece jacket, good socks not to get blisters
  • A wool cap for cool nights
  • Sunscreen and mosquito repellent
  • Personal medical treatments

Our special recommendation : always have some toilet paper with you. In Peru, in the countryside, it is not common to have toilet paper in the bathrooms, so it is good to be prepared. Also be aware not to put the toilet paper in the toilet, but in the bin just close to it.


The town of Chachapoyas, regional capital of Amazonas, is situated in the Amazonian Andes at an altitude of 2,335m.

The excursion to Kuelap takes you from about 2,000 m to 3,000 m altitude and you will need a good physical condition. For adults having heart problems or for people with overweight, we recommend that you seek medical advice from your doctor regarding this excursion.

When traveling by bus, we recommend to take the night buses and to reserve your seats at the front of the bus. The altitude differences and the many, many curves can have some bad consequences on your stomach. Always have fresh water with you, as well as chewing-gums and a little plastic bag.

Don’t forget

  • Passport photocopies
  • Copies of your insurance certificate
  • Cash and credit card
  • Camera and binoculars
  • Notebook
  • Sun Screen no. 40, after sun cream
  • Sun glasses, hat or cap
  • Bathing suit
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Warm clothing for the evening (sweater, Gore Tex, long sleeves)


Peru is a country where you will travel a lot, so we recommend to travel light. Only bring the strictly minimum with you – a big travel bag or a big back pack with a smaller day back pack would be perfect. You can have your clothes washed regularly when you travel in the countryside, or even wash them yourself in a laundry facility in big cities.

Also keep in mind that you might buy souvenirs throughout your stay. This will increase the weight in your luggage, which might be a problem by taking the plane back. It is certainly a good thing to think about this in advance.

Health recommendations

On the health and security side, you don’t need any special vaccination for any trips to regions over 2,300m – for example Chachapoyas is situated at 2,334m. However, we recommend that your regular vaccination scheme is up to date and that you have a Hepatitis A vaccination.

If you plan to stay longer in some coastal regions, in the Amazonia or in regions where there are many mosquitos like the jungle, you have to get the vaccination against yellow fever. For more information, please have a look at www.cdc.gov.

We also recommend that you subscribe a travel and repatriation insurance for your trip to Peru.

Your personal pharmacy

  • Your regular medications during treatment
  • Drugs against pain: paracetamol or equivalent
  • Antidiarrheal – intestinal antiseptic
  • Treatment for colds or sore throats
  • Anti-inflammatory ointment – eye drops (dust, ophthalmia) – Antiseptic (like Betadine)
  • Tablets for purifying water
  • Elastic adhesive tape (Elastoplast) – adhesive bandages and compresses – disinfectant, double skin (protection against blisters)
  • Type Biafine cream for burns
  • Drugs against altitude sickness : ask your doctor

Practical information : All big cities in Peru have pharmacies, as you might imagine. You will certainly find all the basic elements of your first aid kit if you don’t want to carry to much weight with you. However, if you follow any special treatment, better bring your own medication.

Security recommendations

Peru is rather a safe country, provided that you don’t go too far off the beaten path and don’t adventure yourself in less travelled places. As usual, preventive measures such as not to expose jewelry and large sums of money, are to be respected.

Security measures when paying with your Credit Card

First of all, you need to know that outside the big cities you won’t have often the possibility to pay by credit card. And in case you can, check before as they might ask you a supplement of 8% / 10% on your bill.

However, everywhere in the big cities, you can change dollars at the banks.

When you make a payment with your credit card, make sure how much you have to pay. Usually the amount will be given in Nuevos Soles and it is up to you to make the conversion into Dollars or Euros at the current rate. While paying, don’t let yourself distract and keep concentrated.

If you need to move for your code or signature, do it yourself and don’t leave your credit card with anybody.

Recommendations for Cash withdrawal

The opening hours of banks in Peru are usually from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 6 pm and on Saturday until noon. In major cities, you will have ATM’s. It is also recommended to only make your withdrawals in banks that have a security lock.

Same advice : don’t let yourself distract and always keep an eye on your credit card.

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