Peru

Packing List

This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in-country and is based on their experience. Use it as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that each experience is individual. There is no perfect list! You obviously cannot bring everything on the list, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally. You can always have things sent to you later. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind there is a 100-pound weight limit on baggage. And remember, you can get almost everything you need in-country.

Baggage & weight limit: The Peace Corps limits the size and weight of baggage and will not pay to transport baggage that exceeds these limits. The allowance is two checked pieces of luggage with combined dimensions of both pieces not to exceed 107 inches (length + width + height) and a carry-on bag with dimensions of no more than 45 inches. Checked baggage should not exceed 100 pounds total with a maximum weight of 50 pounds per bag.

Peace Corps Volunteers are not allowed to take pets, weapons, explosives, radio transmitters (shortwave radios are permitted), automobiles, or motorcycles to their assignments. Do not pack flammable materials or liquids such as lighter fluid, cleaning solvents, hair spray, or aerosol containers.

General Clothing 

  • Three or four pairs of casual pants for work
  • Two or more pairs of jeans
  • Two pairs of shorts
  • Bathing suit
  • One pair of dress pants for men
  • Sports jacket and tie for men
  • Skirts and/or dresses for women
  • Collared polos and blouses for women
  • One casual, nice outfit (for evenings out)
  • Underwear (12 pairs, good-quality cotton)
  • Long underwear
  • Socks (just enough to get started, as they are available in Peru; it is recommended that some be high performance wool socks for colder sites)
  • Light, waterproof jacket
  • Fleece jacket and/or vest with hood
  • Down or heavy jacket suitable for higher altitudes
  • One or two sweaters
  • One or two sweatshirts
  • One pair of sweatpants
  • Baseball cap or wide-brimmed hat

Shoes

  • One pair of dress or professional shoes
  • One pair of sneakers
  • Hiking boots and/or sturdy walking shoes
  • One pair of running/Trail shoes
  • Sandals

Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items

  • Three-month supply of any medications, to last through pre-service training; copy of prescriptions
  • If you wear glasses, bring two pairs (contact are not recommended due to elevated rates of eye infections and contact solution is hard to find)
  • Strong sunglasses (with UV protection and polarized)
  • Start-up supply of soap, shampoo, shaving cream, and other personal toiletries
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Tampons (they are more expensive in Peru)
  • Any favorite brands of sunscreen or other over-the-counter medicines (the Peace Corps provides needed items, but they may not be your preferred brands)
  • Contact lens solution (note that the Peace Corps discourages the use of contact lenses)
  • Towels (available in Peru)

Miscellaneous

  • If you plan to travel to other countries for vacation, you may want to bring extra money to suit your travel plans; credit cards or traveler's checks are preferable to cash. There are ATMs in larger cities, and most towns so you may want to bring an ATM card to access a bank account in the U.S.
  • Small gifts for host family and friends (not required); knickknacks for the house; pictures, books, or calendars of American scenes; souvenirs from your area; hard candies that will not melt or spoil; photos to give away
  • Sturdy, small backpack or duffel bag (with a lock) for short trips
  • Multi-tool travel knife (Do not pack in carry-on luggage!)
  • A pair of work gloves
  • Fanny pack or money belt
  • Photos of family, friends, your house, car, pets, and hometown
  • Flashlight
  • Compact umbrella (available in Peru)
  • Digital or film camera (film is widely available in Peru)
  • Travel water bottle
  • Watch
  • Duct tape and zip-close bags
  • A deck of playing cards
  • Small pocket notebook (widely available in Peru)
  • A jar of your favorite peanut butter
  • Favorite electronic items (either inexpensive or insured)
  • A laptop computer (insured)
  • A USB flash drive
  • An extra pack of batteries for electronic items (available in Peru, but often more expensive)
  • Sleeping bag (light, stuffable, and preferably waterproof)
  • Camping equipment (if you are a camper)