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Travel in Latin America

How to Dress for Peru

Like all countries in the Andean region of South America, it can be a struggle to decide how to dress in Peru. The varying climates can be tricky to plan for and without preparation, you may find packing lightly close to impossible. Whether you are traveling to the bustling cities of Lima and Cuzco, or plan to hike the Inca Trail and Peruvian jungles, there are a few things that you should know about what to wear.

Dress for mild weather when traveling to Peru's capital city of Lima. Lima's average temperature ranges from the low sixties to the mid eighties, so dress as you would for any American city of similar climate. Pack warm-weather clothing for day and light jackets and sweaters for the evenings.

Plan for rain in Peru, especially in the higher regions such as the Inca Trail. Bring a raincoat and waterproof shoes. Jeans, although common for the region, are difficult to wash by hand, and take a long time to dry. Peru often experiences long bouts of rain, so you may find yourself drying your clothes inside your room. Avoid carrying heavy, wet jeans in your luggage, by bringing lightweight, quick drying pants.

Dress for cool nights. While you may experience hot, sunny days, the evenings quickly cools off, so bring a lightweight fleece that you can easily carry in your backpack or day bag. Also, pack warm pajamas, as hotel blankets are often not sufficient to keep the chill off at night.

Layer your clothing as climate changes rapidly throughout the day and from region to region. This is especially important when taking long bus trips. You may start the day off in the warmth of the sun, but you will soon find yourself shivering in your seat and later caught in the cool Peruvian air wearing only a t-shirt.

Protect yourself from the strong Andean sun by wearing sunglasses and a sun hat.

Wear waterproof gear when trekking into Peru's Amazonian region and consider a pair of rubber boots, which can be purchased in any small town. Protect yourself from mosquitoes, which carry malaria, dengue and yellow fever by purchasing light colored raingear. Also, wear long sleeved shirts and long pants to help prevent bites.

Take comfortable sneakers or breathable hiking boots. The rural streets of Peru are either dirt or paved with jagged stones, and often slippery when wet, which can be rough on sandaled feet. You will find yourself walking a lot, running to catch busses, caught in crowds and often stuck in the rain, so protect your feet and wear your flip-flops only in the shower.

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