Weather: During the day in the Lunahuana Valley, temperatures are between 65-75F/18-24C and it is usually nice and sunny. At night, temperatures drop to the 40s and 50s F/4 to 11C —make sure to bring a few layers so you can stay warm. During the last few days in the jungle it will be hot and humid; bring long, light layers that will protect you from the sun and bugs.
Luggage Restrictions: Students should bring one carry-on and one checked luggage weighing no more than 50lbs/25kg. Internal flights in Peru will not allow anyone to check more than one piece of luggage.
Laundry: Students will have the opportunity to do laundry one time while in Peru and should plan on paying between $5-$10, depending on the amount of clothes washed.
A school backpack or something of similar size is ideal for a carry on. You can pack everything you need for travel days in it, and then use it as a day bag on the program. Don’t forget your passport, and assuming any medication you need for your program is in compliance with TSA carry-on rules, it’s always a great idea to bring it in your carry-on so there is no chance of it getting lost.
Pro Tip: Put money and other valuables in a secure place that is not easily accessible.
A traveler’s backpack or duffle is ideal luggage. When you don’t have to carry your luggage, you tend to bring a long of things you don’t need, so if possible leave the rolling suitcases at home. Also, there is little flat terrain outside of the airport so your rolling bag won’t be that useful on the program.
Sneakers for service, Tevas or Chacos for rafting, and hiking boots for…well, hiking. If you don’t have hiking boots or don’t want to bring them, no problem; make sure the sneakers you bring are sturdy and won’t fall apart during a hike or two. Also, everything will get dirty, leave brand new things at home.
Bring your socks and underwear–enough for two weeks. We didn’t include a picture because you know what your underwear looks like. While in the jungle we will be wearing rubber boots on our jungle walks. Make sure to bring some long socks (mid-calf to knee length) so that the boot don’t rub you.
A hoodie/zip-up jacket along with a rain jacket will serve you well on this program. Wear the zip-up in Lunahuana and the jungle when the sun goes down and layer up with a soft shell/rain jacket if it’s a bit chillier than usual.
You are traversing several climates on this program so prepare accordingly. Athletic or gym pants are great for service, full length or ¾ pants are ideal. Jeans are good for walking around town and going out to eat. When you move into the jungle, temperatures are going to rise substantially. Think cotton leggings, elephant pants, and a pair or two of shorts.
During the day, a t-shirt/long sleeved shirt and a zip-up is the go-to outfit for travelers in Peru. If you’re hot, ditch the zip-up; a bit chilly, put it back on. While in the jungle, lightweight, long sleeve shirts are great during jungle treks to protect from bugs and sun, and a few tank tops are a good idea as well.
A water bottle and headlamp with fresh batteries are a must for this program. Bedding is provided the entire time on this program, but past students have found a light sleeping bag or sleeping bag liner useful. Again, a sleeping bag/sleeping bag liner is optional.
These are most of the essentials, but check the packing list for items not included. Bring travel-sized products; you just need enough to get you through two weeks, not two months. Make sure to bring sunscreen and bug spray with DEET.
Pro Tip: Pack toiletries in resealable bags or a lined toiletry bags to prevent drama in case something leaks.
DON’T FORGET YOUR MEDICATION!
A few more packing tips:
- Travel light. Pack only the essentials. You’ll need less than you think!
- Bring the right clothes. Pack clothes that are culturally appropriate for your destination and acceptable for service projects. This means bringing long shorts (think Bermuda and basketball shorts), t-shirts with sleeves to cover shoulders, and appropriate footwear.
- Leave your valuables behind. While traveling, it’s easier for things to get lost, stolen, or damaged. Keep any prized possessions safe at home.
- Check with TSA. Make sure your luggage complies with TSA regulations, especially your carry-on. Useful tip: Pack an empty water bottle and fill it up after security.
- Extra paperwork? If you need additional forms filled out to get credit for your service hours, no problem! Bring these forms with you so they can be completed in-country.