Packing for Peru in February

Jan 23rd, 2009, 08:01 AM
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Packing for Peru in February

My husband and I will be traveling in Peru for about two and a half weeks beginning in mid February - we will be in Lima, Cusco and Sacred Valley (Machu Picchu), as well as a visit to Lake Titicaca and a brief homestay on Amantani Island.

I realize we will be experiencing various weather conditions, and am trying to figure out how to pack as efficiently as possible. I know it will be hot and dry in Lima (we have about four days there), but wet and perhaps chilly in Cusco and Puno.

If anyone else has traveled there at this time of year ... should be bring rain-pants? Obviously we will have rain jackets, and I plan to bring clothing that can be layered. I am wondering about pants, though. Jeans seem to be comfortable and rugged enough for the hiking and climbing we will be doing, but I have been outdoors in the rain in jeans, and it's not so great when they are soaked. How cold will it be at night? Will we need extra coats? What about sun protection?

Sorry if this is too many questions ... I am at a loss as to exactly what I need to bring along, and hate the idea of overpacking and ending up lugging unnecessary weight along.

scdreamer is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2009, 10:30 AM
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We made a similar trip in March. Lima was warm to hot and dry. Cusco was cool at night, mild during the day; Ollantaytambo was damp off and on with generally cool daytime temps, cold at night; Machu Picchu was the only place where it really rained, the temps were mild both day and night. We then went to Arequipa and Colca where you are not going.

We wore jeans everywhere except in Lima and Arequipa. I had a light Gortex rain jacket with a hood; my wife used a disposable rain poncho. We did not use rain pants but did see only a very few people with them at Machu Picchu.

Warm clothing for sleeping is a consideration as most hotels do not have heat.

Sunscreen is a good idea; we got sunburned the first day in Lima because we had packed our sunscreen in our luggage which spent an extra day in Huston. A person can burn easy in the high elevations which is everywhere you are going except Lima.
tatersalad is offline  
Feb 5th, 2009, 11:58 AM
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I just returned. It doesn't rain in Lima, but it is hot and humid! Bring summer clothing. No one wears hats but I did anyhow.

Sacred Valley is paradise, weather wise. Moderate temperatures. Warmer than I expected. Sunhat advised. Rained at night only.

Machu Picchu, lightweight long sleeves and long pants (for bug protection), a hat and lightweight rain wear (perhaps a poncho). It was quite warm so I wouldn't want a heavy rain jacket there. It did rain in the afternoon. Good shoes in case it rains.

Cusco temperate, colder at night (not so much the day) so maybe a fleece jacket. I wound up sleeping in a polyfleece shirt. The hotels have thick blankets if not room heat.

Can't advise on Puno.

I brought rainpants for my Torres del Paine trip but fortunately didn't need them in Peru.

I never travel with jeans. Too heavy, take too long to dry. I prefer microfiber pants or nylon track pants, if it's cold I use a layer of ski underwear (the fast drying type).

You do need sunscreen and a sun hat, and bug repellent. Advise bringing Lomotil just in case (although you can buy it there).

mlgb is offline  
Feb 5th, 2009, 01:02 PM
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mlgb, thanks for the info - it is exactly what I was hoping for. We leave in three days - and I am just beginning to set clothing out for packing. Good tip on the jeans ... I was definitely planning on bringing a couple pairs, but now I'm not so sure. I think it might be colder at Lake Titicaca, so I think I will bring one pair, but I am definitely going to rethink pants.

I have silk long underwear - and also some thermals. Will probably be good for sleeping in when we are in the highlands.

I think I'll leave the warm winter jacket at home in favor of a few warm fleece hoodies. I can always layer if it gets cold.

Thanks again!
scdreamer is offline  
Feb 5th, 2009, 01:44 PM
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Yes I think layering fleece and a windproof layer is the way to go.

Glad it was timely.

My other tip is to pack lightly, bring an extra bag for souveniers. The shopping is great in Peru.

The best prices and quality were at the small sites like Moray where there are always a few vendors, you're buying direct there. Pisac market and the covered market were also good, and toward the end of the day around 5pm or 6pm the prices seem to go down. Take a third off of the offered price and you'll probably get it as you walk away. An exception was when I was buying the handmade stuff directly from the maker, then if the price seemed fair I really didn't even try to reduce it, but maybe see if they'd throw in a belt if you're buying a big piece.
mlgb is offline  
Feb 5th, 2009, 01:45 PM
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...the covered market at Aguas Calientes (near the train station). Really a good variety and prices not inflated too much, I guess lots of competition.
mlgb is offline  
Mar 6th, 2009, 06:15 PM
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This is my newest approach to my "over" packing issues:

Go to the Thrift Stores before you vacation, buy t-shirts, tops, sweaters, or whatever you need....You can get a week's worth of clothing for $25.00 (some with the tags still on them)...don't fall in love with your outfits.. and then leave them where ever you vacation (maybe on the Islands or Cruise Ships or Hotels)which leaves you with plenty of room to bring back things.
gizmo is offline  
Mar 6th, 2009, 07:32 PM
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Second all that has been said earlier. We spent two weeks in Peru at similar places (and two weeks in Ecuador before that). Forget jeans - too heavy and take up too much space in luggage. Go with zip off rainforest pants or something of similar lightness. Here's what I packed for those four weeks. I just took the same things to Panama for 6 weeks. This all fits in a single lightweight bag (under 20 lbs total).
Mine is the "weekender convertible" from ebags ($70 mas o menos).

3 prs of rainforest pants
3 long sleeve Ts (the drip dry wick away type)
1 drip dry blouse
7 or more prs undies and bras
2 prs black socks
2 prs hiking socks
Tank suit
Black walking shoes
Beach trekkers
Fleece jacket
Long underwear
Cosmetic case containing toothbrush, minimal makeup, Cipro, diamox, and immodium

Wore on plane:
Hiking boots
another pr hiking socks
Black cotton pants
Beige heavier long sleeve shirt
(This became going to dinner outfit more or less)

In nylon carryon bag
Rainjacket for cushioning
glover is offline  
Jan 9th, 2014, 01:13 PM
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Iam a year late on this one but going to Peru Feb6th and Bolivia in march.

My question though, is for glover, because i am also heading up through central America and was surprised that you took the same gear. Is Panama not a very different climate and temerature? I will be in central america in may

NatAitch is offline  
Jan 9th, 2014, 01:36 PM
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Actually this thread is from 5 years ago! I don't believe Panama gets quite as cold as parts of Peru and Bolivia.
mlgb is offline  
Jan 9th, 2014, 01:56 PM
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Ah! Thank you. Did you wish you had something which you didnt in peru?
NatAitch is offline  
Jan 9th, 2014, 02:03 PM
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If you are spending more time on the coast or tropical areas of Panama, you may want to bring shorts and a t shirt and drop one of the long pants.

I assume tanksuit = bathing suit.
mlgb is offline  
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