Packing for Peru and Bolivia for 3 Weeks in December & January

Everything I'm bringing (minus my travel journal)!

Everything I’m bringing (minus my travel journal)!

When making this packing list I had a few things to keep in mind:

  1. I will be at high altitude for nearly the whole trip. 40s at night.
  2. It is rainy season and about mid 70s during the day so pack lightweight raingear
  3. I will be packing only what I can carry on my back as a carryon only bag.
  4. I will spend about 5 days doing outdoorsy walking stuff while the rest of the time will be spent in various cities or traveling on buses, trains, and airplanes.
  5. I still want to go salsa dancing a few times so I will need a couple of nice outfits and shoes I can dance in.


My bag Osprey Porter (main bag) and Timbuk2 D-Lux (tech and day bag)



Waterproof Jacket

Cheap Poncho- I’ve read that hiking Machu Picchu during rainy season can be horrible if you are soaking wet!

Scarf- Good for adding color and to keep warm at night

Hat- I might buy a beani in Bolivia for the nights on the Salt Flat



Bikini- for hot springs in Aguas Calientes and Uyuni

4 pairs of athletic ankle socks (one of which I’m wearing on the plane)

If I get cold I might buy some alpaca socks in La Paz

7 thongs

1 black bra/1 neutral bra



I plan on buying an Alpaca sweater while in Bolivia

Fleece- For the bus rides and to layer while in Uyuni

2 cute tops (for Christmas, NYE, and going out)

4 short sleeve shirts

1 Black Camisole for layering



1 black lounge pants (I could also wear these on long bus rides)

1 T-shirt (if you pack a cute t-shirt it can double for daywear)



Black Athletic Pants

1 pair of skinny jeans- These can be worn around the city, over the leggings at night in Uyuni, and dressed up for a night of salsa dancing. (I’ll wear these on the plane)

1 Sundress

1 stretchy jean capri



Black Ballet Flats- These can be worn as walking shoes in the city and I can dance in them.

Tennis Shoes- These will be worn on travel days and on the outdoorsy days.

Flip Flops- These will be worn in showers and while I’m indoors in hostels



Travel Towel


Travel shampoo/conditioner/lotion


Bar Facewash

BB Cream – foundation/moisturizer/SPF

Baby wipes for the Uyuni portion




I usually travel with some Chewable Pepto, a few Emergen-C vitamin packs, Tylenol, ear plugs, peppermint tea bags (great for upset stomach), a few bandaids, mini bug spray, chapstick

My Timbuk2 bag packed and ready for adventure!

My Timbuk2 bag packed and ready for adventure!


Ipad loaded with music, videos, books, and guidebooks

Iphone- full of music, extra camera, wi-fi gps

SD card reader for the Ipad so I can back up my pictures

DSLR Camera + Extra battery+ Chargers

External battery to charge tech on long bus rides

Travel Adapter



I will wear one pair of earrings but my favorite souvenir is handmade earrings or an artisan leather bag. I’ve read that Cusco is a fantastic place to get both of these items.

Packable backpack

Moneybelt- great for bus rides and market days

Rain cover for my Osprey


Vaccination Card- Need a yellow fever vaccination to get into Bolivia

Cash/Debit/Credit Cards

Travel lock


Sunscreen- travel size because Peru and Bolivia both have strong sun.

Travel Journal (not pictured above because I’m still adding stuff to it!)

Sanitizer- Bathrooms I’ve encountered while backpacking frequently don’t have soap and/or water

Pocket Tissues- Bathrooms rarely have TP in places I’ve traveled in Latin America and Asia

Bandana- for Potosi mine tour, and outdoor activities

2 packs of playing cards- great for meeting people in hostels


Tip: You might look like a weirdo, but if you are planning on walking for any length of time longer than 20 minutes with your bag, try packing everything you want to bring and then wearing it on a walk around town before you leave. Bonus points if you do this while walking on a steep incline for 45 minutes or more. This will prepare you better for hiking Machu Picchu. It will also help you look critically at your pack for things you can take out.



5 responses to “Packing for Peru and Bolivia for 3 Weeks in December & January

  1. Pingback: Quick Update | Teaching Wanderlust·

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