The weather in Cusco is not as warm as most Latin American cities, largely due to its location high up in the Andes. The average high stays in the low to mid- 70’s for most of the year. The lows, however, dip quite drastically from mid-40’s between September through April to mid-30’s between May-August. The rainy season lasts between October through April.
Suggested Packing List:
Must - Haves:
Passport. Must be valid for up to 6 months after your scheduled departure date from Peru.
KN95 masks are required. If you do not have a KN95, double masking is mandatory, with one of the masks being a surgical mask, the other can either be cloth or surgical as well.
Comfortable shoes for walking (tennis shoes are great!)
One refillable water bottles
Rain jacket / wind breaker (waterproof)
Warm sweatshirt / fleece (nice to wear fleece under rain jacket on colder days, remember layers!)
Gym / sportswear (for hiking / working)
Socks (very warm, thick socks and hiking socks)
Shorts (no shorter than mid-thigh)
Jeans / long pants
During the Peruvian winter months (May to August), it can be very cold, especially during the evenings. Also, in developing countries such as Peru, warming the inside of a home is often difficult. You will need warm clothes for indoors, as well. During these months, please consider packing:
Ski jacket / Scarf(s) / Gloves / Ski hat
Long underwear or under armor
Warm pajamas, socks & sweatshirts
Travelers to Peru often buy alpaca clothing in the markets, which is very warm and perfect for the climate in the highlands. Travelers can reduce the amount of clothing they plan to bring with them, and pick up some clothing when they get to Peru (i.e.- jackets, ear-flap hats, socks, and gloves are all really popular to buy and easy to find everywhere)
Bath / Personal:
Blister pads (for feet)
Ibuprofen / Tylenol (for altitude induced headaches)
Glasses / contacts / contact solution / retainer, if applicable
Personal toiletries (If you have certain items that you absolutely need, bring enough to last until you return home. Don't forget to bring gender specific products)
Bug spray for Machu Picchu
Chap-stick- the air in the sacred valley/highlands can often be dry and arid
Flashlight / headlamp
Flash drive (optional for photos taken by Miguel)
Altitude sickness medicine
Books and/or magazines
Watch or small alarm clock
Extra batteries (for your flashlight)
Personal snacks that you may need or crave (such as granola bars or power bars). We provide 3 full meals a day, however, some have particular dietary/health needs.
Disposable camera, film camera or digital camera - and film or memory card(s) for digital camera
Adapter / converter (only if you are bringing items that need to be charged)
One day pack back to carry your water, etc while hiking
One suitcase (wheels, backpack, whatever you prefer).
Make sure you consider airline weight and baggage restrictions when packing
Donations: please refer to this link here for an updated list of donation items.
Discover Corps Provides:
Linens / blankets
A Note on Altitude Sickness:
Cusco sits an altitude of about 11,000 feet (nearly double that of Denver). Certain people are affected by high altitude and may experience symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, nausea and shortness of breath. This is known as "altitude sickness" or "mountain sickness".
Symptoms typically subside as your body adjusts the new altitude and reduced amount of oxygen
We recommend consulting your local travel clinic or doctor if you'd like to obtain medication prior to traveling to Peru. Many locals in Peru drink coca tea or chew on coca leaves to help reduce the effects. This is an option as well.
*Electrical outlets in Peru are either Type A (U.S.) or Type B (European). Voltage is 220 volts. You will need and voltage converter and plug adapter to use U.S. appliances.
*There is hot water in the accommodations. However, at times it can be very weak and may not be as warm as expected. This is very common in Peruvian villages and something to be flexible about during your time there