Checklist before you travel to Peru

We help you to prepare your trip. Before you travel to Peru, you should ask yourself some important questions and especially : the RIGHT questions! Therefore we have put all the questions here in a logical order for you.

How long should the trip to Peru last ?


Peru is a very big country, about 2,5 times bigger than France. So be aware when preparing your trip, that it takes a lot of time to travel these distances. Between the coast and the interior country there is also always the Andes mountain range. According to this, there are some peaks between 3 000 and 4 000 m high (if not even higher!) that you have to cross.

An example of these distances : from Lima to Cusco (in the south of the country) you have to calculate 24 hours by bus (or 1,5 hours by plane). From Cusco to Machu Picchu it is another 8 hours! Therefore, it is recommended to make some stops along the way, such as in Arequipa, the Nazca lines, the Sacred Valley..

The distances in the north are the same. Between Lima and Chachapoyas, the capital of the Amazon region, you must also expect 24 hours by bus. Again, it is good to make some stops along the way: On the north coast of Peru in Trujillo for the archaeological sites of Chan Chan and the temples of the Sun and the Moon, in Chiclayo for the museum Tumbas Reales or still at a seaside resort…

I think it is difficult to combine the north and the south, unless you have 4 weeks or more time. So you have to make a choice: Between Machu Picchu and Inca people or the north of Peru, less known with the stronghold of Kuelap and the wonders of nature like the waterfall of Gocta, one of the highest in the world.

So here are some tips and tricks for your trip!

Preparation of the trip: Where to go ? And when?

Kuelap Perou, Preparatifs de voyage

You have decided between south and north? Perfect, let's go on.

Now it is time to find out the weather in the different regions during your trip. I remind you that Peru is located in the southern hemisphere. The seasons are exactly reversed compared to us in Europe.

On the coast

In the coastal regions the hottest months are between December and February and the coldest between June and August. This means that even in these months it is 15 to 20°C, so it is comfortable.

But you should know that in Lima there is a permanent fog between May and September. This can be a bit depressing. I must also tell you that the sea is cold on the beach in Peru. If you want to swim, you have to go all the way to the north to the regions of Tumbes. Only in the border regions with Ecuador you can go swimming.

In the Andes

Between December and April it is rainy season in the mountains. It is then 15 to 20°C during the day, but at night it gets fresh and you should plan a cardigan and a hat. Travel during the rainy season should be reconsidered as there can be landslides. It is not necessarily dangerous, but it can block some roads. So you can get into trouble regarding your planned itinerary.

So the right season to travel in the Andes is between May and October, when it stops raining. Usually the mountains are cloudless then and you can take nice pictures.

In the Amazon region

It is also rainy season here between December and April and when it rains in the Amazon region, it can quickly lead to flooding. So again, prefer to travel between May and October when you have the opportunity to go deep into the jungle and play Indiana Jones!

Vaccinations before you travel to Peru

bateau, Amazonie, Nord du Perou

This is an easy item to check off in your preparations for the Giant. You do not need any special vaccinations to travel to Peru. But your vaccination card should be up to date and the universal vaccinations such as diphtheria, tetanus, polio, pertussis and hepatitis B should be present.

If you are traveling to the Amazon region, it is recommended to have a vaccination against yellow fever. Depending on how long you plan to travel, provide for vaccination against typhoid and hepatitis A. More information can be found on the website of the German Foreign Office.

We also recommend taking out travel insurance with repatriation for your Peru trip.

What to pack in my suitcase for Peru?

Of course, this also depends on which regions you will be traveling to. We recommend traveling light, as you will be taking a lot of bus and public transportation in Peru. Since the climate is often unpredictable, consider the following gear:

  • Good walking shoes
  • A hat or cap and sunglasses
  • A rain jacket and warm clothes for the night
  • Shorts or zip-up pants, T-shirts
  • Shirts made of a material that lets perspiration through
  • Warm jacket and good socks to avoid blisters
  • A woolly hat for cold nights (but you can also buy one locally)
  • Sunscreen and anti-mosquito cream
  • All personal medicines
  • Outside the cities, it is not always common to find toilet paper in Peru. Also, remember not to throw your used toilet paper in the toilet, but in the trash can provided.

Necessary medication

All major cities in Peru have pharmacies, of course. There you will find all the necessary items for a basic first aid kit. Accordingly, you do not need to take so much yourself. However, if you are following a specific treatment, it is definitely better to bring your own medications with you.

More details in the health and safety section.

Altitude sickness

Travel arrangements

It is heavily infamous and deserves a few lines. It depends on you (and it has nothing to do with your physical condition). You may have altitude sickness above 2500 m altitude. Symptoms include headache, nausea, nausea and possibly loss of appetite.

If you follow some rules, altitude sickness should be over after 2 days. Do not exercise, eat healthy and light, drink plenty of fluids and breathe deeply. They say that chewing coca leaves helps, but this is not the case for everyone. If your condition does not improve, it is recommended to leave the high altitude and go lower until you feel better. After that you can slowly get back on your feet.