What to wear in Peru

There are generally two seasons in Peru: wet and dry, but the geography is super diverse, with climate patterns varying between the deserts, mountains, rainforest and coast. Dressing in layers is key so you can be prepared as the weather changes throughout the day.

Wearing clothes made of natural, breathable fabrics like linen and cotton is a good idea, or merino wool when hiking as it wicks away moisture and regulates body temperature. Lightweight and quick-drying sportswear is also a good shout for hot weather.

What to wear in Peru

Casual, comfy attire is the go in Peru, but you may want to dress up a bit if you plan on hanging out in bars and restaurants in Lima (think a t-shirt with jeans or a skirt... nothing too fancy.) It’s not essential, but you might feel more comfortable, especially if you visit any up-scale restaurants.

Peru is generally safe for travellers, but you should avoid wearing expensive jewellery and branded clothing. Flashy attire can, unfortunately, make you a target for thieves.

At higher altitudes, in places like Cusco, Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca, the temperature can plummet at night, so you’ll also need a warm, waterproof jacket, thermals and a beanie — especially if you're travelling in the winter months from April to October.

In terms of footwear, runners and/or sandals made for walking are a must for anyone travelling in Peru. You'll spend a lot of time exploring the country's historical sites on your feet. Plus, pathways at historical sites are often rocky and uneven, and cobbled footpaths in the main cities aren’t much better.

Learn more about the best time to visit Peru
Learn about the best time to visit Machu Picchu

What should female travellers wear in Peru?

Peru is modern in many ways, but locals are generally quite modest when it comes to clothing, particularly outside of major cities in rural areas. It’s best to err on the conservative side and cover shoulders, cleavage and bare legs from the knee down. Plus, loose, long clothing keeps you cooler in hot climates.

It’s handy to have a scarf/shawl to pop on when visiting one of Peru’s many religious sites. You should also save swimwear and sarongs for the beach and poolside only.

Must-pack items for Peru

Here are some essentials that'll come in handy for Peru:

  • Loose, breathable clothing that covers your knees and shoulders. Athletic wear is recommended for particularly humid days

  • Swimwear

  • Sarong/scarf

  • Light raincoat

  • Fleece or hoodie, plus warm layers for the evening during cooler months

  • Warm jacket, gloves and beanie if travelling to the dry season (winter) from April to October

  • Sunhat

  • Sunglasses

  • Sunscreen

  • Comfortable walking shoes

  • Flip flops/sandals

  • Reusable water bottle

  • Day bag

Our Peru tours

Want to learn more about Peru? Return to Peru FAQs