Checklist before traveling to Peru

Planning a trip is always a big thing. Therefore we help you with your travel arrangements. Before going to Peru, you have to ask yourself some questions, especially the most important ones ! So follow the guide and be well prepared. If you still have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us any time.

Travel arrangements : How long do I stay in Peru ?

Travel arrangements Peru

Peru is a large country. You have to keep in mind that traveling in this country takes a lot of time. Between the coast and inland, there are always the Andes. Therefore, you have to cross many mountain peaks between 3,000 and 4,000 m – if it is not higher !

To give you some examples to plan your travel arrangements :

  • From Lima to Cusco (in the South), you need to travel 24 hours by bus or 1 hour 30 by plane
  • Going from Cusco to Machu Picchu takes you 8 hours. Machu Picchu is not just close by.
  • It is recommended to make several stops on the way (Arequipa, Nazca Lines, Sacred Valley)
  • You will need to travel 24 hours again by bus to go from Lima to Chachapoyas, the capital of the Amazonas region. Here as well you can make stops on your way : in the Northern coast, in Trujillo to visit Chan Chan and the Temples of the Moon and Sun or in Chiclayo to discover the Museum Tumbas Reales.

If you stay less than 4 weeks, traveling to the North and the South of Peru seems complicated. So you have to make a choice between :

  • Machu Picchu and the Inca civilization
  • Northern Peru with amazing pre-inca archaeology including the citadel of Kuelap and wonders of nature such as Gocta waterfalls, one of the highest ones in the world

Travel arrangements: Where and when do I travel to Peru ?

Kuelap Northern Peru, travel arrangements Peru

This is it. You have chosen between South and North ? Perfect, now you have to know what the weather will be like in the different regions you’ll discover.

On the Coast

In the coastal regions, the hottest months are between December and February. As for the coolest ones, they are between June and August : it is between 15°C and 20°C, so it is still pleasant. However, between May and September, especially in Lima, there is a continuous fog, which is quite depressing.

Important thing to know : the ocean is cold in Peru. If you want to swim, go to the North, in the Tumbes regions. Indeed, you can swim only in the regions bordering Ecuador.

In the Andes

Between December and April, it is the rainy season in the mountains. It is between  15°C and 20°C during the day, but it can be cold at night. Take a wool cardigan and cap.

We recommend not to travel during the rainy season. Landslides can happen. It is not especially dangerous but it can block the roads and complicate your trip.

The right season to travel to the Andes is between May and October. Usually, the rain is over and you can make nice photos in the mountains.

In Amazonia

The rainy season is also between December and April. Rains in Amazonia can cause quickly floods. Therefore, it is better to travel there between May and October. During those months, you can discover the jungle and become Indiana Jones !

Vaccinations before going to Peru

Travel arrangements Peru

This is an easy part in your travel arrangements : you don’t need any special vaccination to go to Peru. However, you have to be up-to-date with universal vaccines (diphtheria, tetanus, polio, whooping cough and Hepatitis B).

If you’ll travel to Amazonia, it is recommended to get vaccinated against yellow fever. Besides, if you stay a long time, you can consider vaccinations against typhoid and Hepatitis A.

For more information, check Travelers’ Health.

We also recommend to take a travel and repatriation insurance for your trip in Peru.

What do you have to pack ?

Of course, it depends on the regions you’ll go to. Travel light, because you’ll take a lot of buses or public transport in Peru. As climate is often unpredictable, you must have :

  • Good hiking boots
  • A hat or a cap, sun glasses
  • Raincoat or windproof jacket, warm clothes for the night
  • Shorts, T-shirts
  • Shirts keeping moisture moving outward (i.e. CoolMax)
  • Polar vest and good socks not to have blisters
  • Sun lotion, lotion against mosquitoes
  • Woollen cap for cold nights
  • Your drugs if you have a special treatment
  • Toilet paper. In Peru, in the countryside, it is not always usual to have toilet paper in the toilet. Also think not to put your toilet paper in the toilet bowl but in the bin provided for that purpose.

What drugs should I bring in Peru ?

Of course, there are pharmacies in all big cities in Peru. You’ll find there all the necessary for your first aid kit. Therefore, you don’t have to bring them if you don’t want to be weighed down. Nevertheless, if you have a special treatment, it is better to bring your own medication.

More information about Health and Security.

Mountain sickness

Travel arrangements

It depends on the people – and doesn’t have anything to do with your physical condition. You can have mountain sickness from an altitude of 2,500 m – headaches, nausea, sometimes loss of appetite.

Usually, following a few rules, mountain sickness doesn’t last more than 2 days. Do not make physical effort, eat healthily, drink a lot and take deep breathes. You may be told that chewing coca helps, but it is not always the case. If you don’t get better, you should go at lower altitude and slowly go up later.

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