Peru Tours

Peru is one of the highlights of South America and Peru travel will introduce you to a land of contrasts, a country that overflows with history, culture, folklore, biodiversity and gastronomic delights. The landscape is wild and rugged, ranging from the frozen peaks of the Andes to the rainforests of the Amazon Basin and from deep canyons above which the majestic Andean condors soar, to arid deserts etched with mysterious lines.
 
Peru is known as the “Egypt of South America” and the scattered remnants of ancient civilisations are waiting to be explored on a Peru tour, bringing the history of the country to life. The jewel in the crown is undoubtedly the legendary Machu Picchu, Lost City of the Incas, one of Peru’s twelve UNESCO World Heritage sites. For an insight into the culture, Peru travel offers colourful markets such as Pisac, the Uros reed islands of Lake Titicaca and the indigenous tribes of the Amazon Rainforest.
 
Whether you are looking for archaeology, culture, wildlife or adventure, you will find it all in one of Chimu Adventures’ Peru tours. 
 

Peru is a wonderfully diverse country with welcoming people and great level of service. All Chimu staff were excellent - Annie

Read Reviews (Avg 4.8 ★)
 

Featured Peru Trips & Deals

GROUP TOUR  From 5,265

Join us on this comprehensive tour of Peru. Sample spectacular local cuisine, incredible historical sites, and Peru’s incredible natural environment.

POPULAR  From 2,100

Cross the famous scenery of the Altiplano to Cusco, the capital of the ancient Incan Empire, where you visit magnificent Machu Picchu.

Peru Tours

9 NIGHTS From 2,880

3 must-see destinations in 1. Start in Cusco, hike the Inca Trail and finish up in the Amazon Jungle. All in 10 days!

7 NIGHTS From 1,970

A classic adventure in the Inca heartland from Cusco, to the Sacred Valley towns & countryside, as well as the famous Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu.

3 NIGHTS From 4,220

Explore one of the world’s most intriguing environments on board the luxury Delfin Amazon Cruise! 

23 NIGHTS From 12,990

This small group tour involves a collection of South America's most incredible destinations in Argentina, Brazil, Peru and Chile.Visit Machu Picchu, Iguazu Falls, the Amazon and more.

15 NIGHTS From 4,110

This comprehensive 16-day tour is an exciting adventure through Southern Peru's highlights taking in cities, desert, lakes and mountains.

5 NIGHTS From 1,440

This 4-day Lares trek is guaranteed to please, it ends in Machu Picchu, as per the Inca Trail plus enjoy a day at the ruins.

17 NIGHTS From 4,820

Visit the major highlights of Peru. From Lima to Ica & Nazca & head up into the Andes via Arequipa. Marvel at Lake Titicaca, Cusco and mighty Machu Picchu.

3 NIGHTS From 1,640

If you have limited time but still want to experience the thrill of hiking down to the Sun Gate at sunrise, this 3-day Inca Trail experience is for you.

20 NIGHTS From 6,790

Looking to explore South America? This 21 day loop covers the best of Argentina, Brazil, Peru and a taste of Chile. Highlights include Machu Picchu, Iguazu Falls, the Amazon and more.

Places to Visit

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is a 15th century Inca site, located 2,430m above sea level on a mountain ridge above the Sacred Valley.

Amazon

A place that is larger than life, the Amazon comprises half of the world’s remaining rainforest, whilst the Amazon River is the second longest in the world.

Cusco

At a head spinning altitude of just under 3,400m, Cusco is one of the most breath-taking cities you will ever visit in South America.

Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca is the largest lake in South America and the highest navigable body of water in the world.

Lima

Founded in 1535, Lima is now a modern and sprawling city with approximately 9 million inhabitants.

Northern Peru

If you’re looking for an off the beaten track experience then Northern Peru is the place for you.

Articles On Peru

How To Tick Off South America’s Big Five

Posted on Mon, 19 Sep 2016

Planning a comprehensive South America tour, one that aims to take in several attractions, is usually fraught with much angst, most especially by first-time visitors. Such a HUGE continent, SO many places to see and SOOOO many things to do. Where does one even start?! South America’s Big Five attractions are undoubtedly a fantastic starting point for any itinerary. Although, given …

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Conquer South America’s Big Five

Posted on Sun, 18 Sep 2016

Think Africa is the only continent with a Big Five? Think again! From the impenetrable depths of the Amazon to the breathtaking heights of Machu Picchu, we introduce you to South America’s BIG Five attractions, and show you how to conquer them…one by impressive one. South America’s BIG Five 1. Machu Picchu, Peru Machu Picchu is, without a doubt, the …

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The Ultimate South America Bucket-list – PART 1

Posted on Fri, 16 Sep 2016

When it comes to bucket-list worthy attractions, South America is a little greedy. From tip to end, from the Pacific to the Atlantic: this incredibly diverse continent offers innumerable chances for exhilarating and unique experiences. The problem, of course, is that when you plan a South America tour of just a few weeks, it’s impossible to do, see, taste and …

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When Is The Best Time To Visit Peru?

Posted on Thu, 15 Sep 2016

A question we are asked a lot here at Chimu is when is the best time of year to visit Peru? Peru sits in the Southern Hemisphere close to the equator, and seasons do run accordingly. Peru is a large as well as a diverse country, and as such where you are visiting plays a large part in when the …

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Who Were The Chimu?

Posted on Tue, 13 Sep 2016

The Chimu, also known as The Kingdom of Chimor, were a civilisation that occupied the northern coast of modern-day Peru from around 900 CE until 1470 CE. The Chimu were centred in the capital Chan Chan, and their influence stretched an impressive 1,300 km along the coast of northern Peru, making them the second largest empire in ancient Andes history. …

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Arequipa – A City of Food, Culture and Nature

Posted on Sat, 20 Aug 2016

The Colonial City of Arequipa in Peru can really make you feel as though you have been transported to a European Metropolis. Moreover there is the amazing presence of Spanish architecture set in a back drop of snow-capped peaks of the Andes Mountains and the amazing Misti Volcano overlooking the entire city. The sight of this still active volcano standing 5822 …

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Top Attractions on Lake Titicaca

Posted on Sat, 30 Jul 2016

Discover the Top attractions on Lake Titicaca and experience a captivating destination drenched in dramatic history, enticing culture, and indescribable beauty. Floating high in the Andes and forming a natural border between Peru and Bolivia, Lake Titicaca is one of the most remarkable sights in all of South America. With its sapphire waters and jaw-dropping background of snow-peaked Andes, Lake …

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Discover Ancient Caral – The City That Time (almost) Forgot

Posted on Fri, 15 Jul 2016

A hidden UNESCO treasure only a few hours out of Lima, Caral is an ancient citadel which predates the Incas by 4,000 years. Time may have forgotten the reputed ‘Oldest City in the New World’ for a while, but it has now rediscovered it with gusto. So come along as we explore what is, thus far, the oldest city ever …

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The 5 best places in Peru you have possibly never heard of

Posted on Mon, 11 Jul 2016

We all know Peru is probably one of the hottest destinations in Latin America right now… and deservedly so. Named by many as the Egypt of the Americas – due in no small part to its incredible archaeological wealth. Peru also boasts amazing diversity in its ecosystems, everything from beaches, to desert, to mountains, cloud forests and the incredible Amazon …

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Radio interview with Greg Carter Ep. 2- All About Peru

Posted on Thu, 07 Jul 2016

On Chimu Adventure Travel with Greg Carter thanks to Chimu Adventures live for today call 873981  Last week we invite Greg Carter to the show and Chimu Adventures will be joining us every Sunday. To talk about amazing adventure travels in Latin America and Antarctica and we will talk about Antarctica we will talk about Rio. But today we have Greg …

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Peru Reviews

All Chimu Adventures' clients are given the opportunity to review their trip once they return home. These reviews are administered by a third party and as such are unfiltered by Chimu Adventures.

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing destination & highlight of South America All transfers very good, accommodation in Lima (Second Home Hotel) very good & great location although on the last night it was too far from airport for early flight the next day. Accommodation in Puno (Casa Andina Private) very good but out of town, in Cusco (Casa Cartagena) superb & great staff, in Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo) very good but no water available early of 1st morning for showers etc., in Puerto Maldonado (Refugio Amazonas) good considering remote location & limited electricity. Beer was always cold after hard days jungle trecking! Will cover tours through Peru in a separate review
Date published: 2014-11-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Cattleya Boat cruise on the Amazon Very well organised. The Cattleya is an amazing boat. The whole trip was extremely worthwhile .... fun, adventurous and very informative. The staff on the boat ..... I just loved!!
Date published: 2016-08-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing diversity - great service Peru is a wonderfully diverse country with welcoming people and great level of service. All Chimu staff were excellent - we were collected and delivered promptly by lovely friendly people. The Inca trail was an experience not to be missed - hard in places but the guides and porters were wonderful (especially the cook who managed to deal with my wheat intolerance at 3500m!!) and the views incredible. The jungle was a complete contrast - like walking into a sauna. I've never had so many showers. Again cannot fault the hacienda or the guides. Saw so much wildlife as they knew exactly where to look and were so knowledgeable. Cusco is a great place if a little touristy. Loads of places to eat at very reasonable prices and large portions.
Date published: 2015-10-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best experience ever! Everything from the initial airport pick up went so smoothly! We were always looked after, guides were fantastic and knowledgeable. Organisation of our entire trip was very professional, so we could truly relax and get absorbed in the experience without having to worry about the logistics of getting places, organising tickets, finding out schedules etc. Peru is such an amazing country, so much to see - will definitely have to come back to explore more! Thanks Chimu for making this dream come true:)
Date published: 2015-08-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Peru, Peru, Peru! I don't think there was one meal in Peru that I regretted. The gastronomy in Peru was mentioned prior to leaving Australia, but to be perfectly honest I never had a chance to try it before. My gosh, forget other world cuisines - and get to Peru. The food was out of this world. It was something that really struck me. All enjoyed with a Pisco Sour of course! The rest of the trip was wonderful. Machu Picchu has long been on my bucket list, and to tick it off was a lifetime achievement. The Sacred Valley and Pisac markets were also fantastic, a wide variety of goods available all at a reasonable cost. We loved the Waka Punku hotel in Cusco, a real gem and close to the action.. Lake Titicaca was also a wonder, visit the Uros Islands was mind blowing. Next trip is Galapagos next year.. and please can we stop in Peru again? Many thanks to all in Peru we met, and were welcomed by including Larry, Sandra, Andy and Ale. You have a great team in Peru, and I will sing their praises to everyone I see.
Date published: 2014-08-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Salkantay Trek plus The trek was fantastic. The Mountain Lodges of Peru were excellent in every way. In the future, we recommend that trekkers should be advised to take gaiters.
Date published: 2015-01-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved every moment! The trip was well planned ensuring that the impact of altitude was minimised. The destination provides a wide variety of experiences. From fantastic scenery to outdoor pursuits to strong cultural experiences of ancient civilisations.
Date published: 2014-10-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Terrific trip The suggested itinerary went smoothly and we were met by guides at each destination and escorted to our hotels. We felt very safe.
Date published: 2014-12-12
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Country Information

When to go to Peru
Peru experiences two distinct seasons - wet and dry. The driest months (May-October) are high season and are the best months for Peru travel, especially if you are planning to visit the Cusco area and trek to Machu Picchu. The wet season runs from December to March, with frequent heavy showers.
 
Between June and September, days in the highland areas tend to be clear and often sunny, although nights can be very cold, especially at higher elevations. For trekking in the mountains including a trek to Machu Picchu, these are by far the best months. Please note that the classic Inca Trail closes every year for the month of February, to allow the trail to be cleaned and maintained. Machu Picchu itself stays open all year round.
 
Although the Amazon Basin is a year round destination, mosquitoes are fewer and wildlife stays closer to the rivers during the dry season. The wet season has the advantage of greater access to the rainforest resulting from higher water levels. 
 
Weather in Peru
The weather and climate in Peru varies greatly depending on the region. Along the Pacific coast, including Lima, there is a very temperate climate. The average temperature is around 24°C (75°F), but can get as high as 30°C (86°F) but generally no lower than 15°C (59°F) in the summer.
 
In the high Andean regions around Cusco and Lake Titicaca, the climate is colder with rainy summers and dry winters. Here the average temperature is around 12°C and although it can get quite warm during the day, the temperature at night drops to below freezing regularly.
 
The Amazon Rainforest has a tropical equatorial climate, being hot and humid throughout the year with an annual average temperature of 27°C and an average annual maximum temperature of 31°C (88°F) and minimum of 21°C (70°F). Rainfall is year round but the main rainy season is between December and May.
 
Peru Culture & Customs
Peru has a multi-ethnic population with influences from indigenous blood, Spanish colonisation, African slaves and finally immigration from countries such as China, Japan, Italy, Germany, Croatia, Britain and France. All these influences have helped to shape Peru’s culture as it is today, with diverse traditions and customs being allowed to coexist. Today western medicine is practiced alongside traditional medicine and coffee is served alongside coca-leaf tea.
 
Peruvian culture varies greatly from one end of the country to the other. The highlands are home to millions of highland Indians who speak their own languages and maintain a very traditional way of life. The Amazon Basin is home to remote tribes who have little or no contact with society. 
 
There are over 3,000 festivals in Peru each year including the following:
 
Inti Raymi
Held in Cusco, the Festival of the Sun is one of Peru’s main festivals celebrating the winter solstice and honouring the Inca sun god with music, dance and parades. 
 
Virgen de la Candelaria
Held in Puno, this is one of the greatest religious folk festivals in South America featuring incredible costumes and masks, music and dance.
 
Peru History
  • Peru was home to the Norte Chico civilisation, one of the six oldest in the world
  • Other highly established civilisations developed in Peru from around 3000 B.C. including the Chavin, Nazca, Moche, Chimu, Wari and Chachpoyas
  • The Paracas culture emerged on the southern coast around 300 BC., known for their use of vicuña fibres to produce fine textiles
  • Coastal cultures such as the Moche and Nazca flourished from around 100 BC to AD 700
  • The Moche produced some of the finest pottery seen in the ancient world as well as impressive metalwork
  • The Nazca are known for their textiles and the mysterious and enigmatic Nazca lines
  • The Inca Empire flourished from 1438-1532 stretching from Chile to Ecuador, with Cusco as its capital
  • Francisco Pizarro and his Spanish Conquistadors landed in Peru in 1532, capturing and re-founding Cusco as a Spanish colonial settlement in 1534
  • The Viceroyalty of Peru was established in 1542, transforming Peru into the principal source of Spanish wealth and power in South America
  • The city of Lima, “City of Kings”, was founded in 1535
  • Peru was liberated from Spanish rule by Argentinean Jose de San Martin and Venezuelan Simon Bolivar in 1810 
  • Independence was proclaimed in 1821 and in 1845 Ramon Castilla became president, abolishing slavery in 1856
 
Peru Geography

Peru lies on the central western coast of South America with the Pacific Ocean to its west. It shares borders with Ecuador and Colombia to the north, Brazil and Bolivia to the east and Chile to the south. It is the third largest country in South America.

Peru is split into three distinct geographical areas, each region being starkly different with different ecosystems and climates.

Coast

The coastal area on the western side of the country includes Lima and other major cities. It is characterised by narrow bands of arid to semi-arid desert, beaches and fertile valleys alongside the Pacific Ocean.

Highlands

This inland mountainous region of Peru is dominated by the Andes Mountain Range that runs through the middle of the country, made up of two distinct mountain ranges - the Cordillera Occidental and the Cordillera Oriental.

Amazon Rainforest

This vast region of plains in the Amazon River Basin is located in the east. It is covered by an endless expanse of tropical rainforest consisting of both highland and lowland jungle.

 

Tourism & Sustainability
Although tourism plays a crucial role in the economy of Peru, there are often resulting adverse effects on the environment and ecosystems caused by the influx of tourists.
 
Machu Picchu is one of world’s most iconic archaeological sites and the most popular tourist attraction within Peru. It is a Historical Sanctuary and a UNESCO World Heritage Site and there are grave concerns for the preservation of this remarkable site. The Government has now imposed rules to regulate and restrict the flow of tourists. Entrance to the site is now limited to 2,500 tourists a day, and only 500 permits a day are granted for the Inca Trail, to include porters and guides. The Inca Trail is also closed during February each year for cleaning and maintenance purposes.
 
Peru Food & Drink
Peruvian cuisine is very diverse with regions and some cities even having their own specialities depending on geography and climate that in turn dictates available ingredients. Today Peruvian cuisine combines pre-Inca and Inca staples and food with the cuisines that the immigrants from Europe, Africa and Asia brought with them. This has resulted in a unique fusion of foods and flavours. One of the country’s most popular every-day foods is a fusion of Asian and Indigenous influences, called ‘chifa’.
 
The four traditional staples of Peruvian cuisine are corn, potatoes and other tubers, Amaranthaceaes (quinoa, kañiwa and kiwicha) and legumes (beans and lupins). The Spanish introduced rice, wheat and meats (beef, pork and chicken). 
 
Over recent years, some traditional foods such as quinoa, kiwicha and chilli peppers have increased in popularity leading to a revival of interest in native Peruvian foods and culinary techniques. Gastronomists around the world now rate Peruvian cuisine as the best cuisine in Latin America.
 
The Peruvian diet is mainly based on chicken, beef and seafood and can sometimes be quite spicy. Regional dishes vary, and aji (chilli) is often used. 
Typical dishes include:
  • Lomo Saltado (Saltadito) - Stir fried sliced beef, tomatoes, onion, garlic and cumin, fried French cut potatoes and accompanied with rice
  • Aji de Gallina - Chicken strips in a yellow chilli sauce served with rice
  • Empanadas - Pastry cases filled with chicken, beef or cheese
  • Pollo a la Brasa - Roasted marinated chicken
  • Ceviche - Raw fish marinated in lime juice with chilli and onion
  • Cuy - Guinea pig, a highland dish, usually roasted or barbequed
  • Papa a la huancaina (Huancayo-style potatoes) - Sliced boiled potatoes, served on a bed of lettuce with a slightly spicy cheese sauce with olives
The traditional spirit of Peru is Pisco, a grape brandy. The famous Pisco Sour cocktail is made from Pisco, egg white, bitters and lime juice. 
 
Peru Wildlife
Peru has a rich biodiversity that results from its varied geography ranging from the high Andes Mountains to the Amazon Rainforest to the coastal regions. Peru boasts over 1,800 species of birds, 500 species of mammals and 300 species of reptiles.
 
Mammals 
Rare species include the puma, jaguar, spectacled bear and pink river dolphins. Peru is also home to giant otters, giant anteaters, collared peccaries, armadillos, tapirs, capybaras, deer and several species of monkeys including howler monkeys, woolly monkeys and the Peruvian spider monkey. Peru’s altiplano is the natural habitat for the camelids - llamas, guanacos, alpacas and vicuñas that can thrive on the tough vegetation.
 
Birds 
Peru’s national bird is the Andean cock-of-the-rock. Peru is also home to toucans, macaws, parakeets, storks, Humboldt penguins, Andean condors, albatrosses, 6 species of boobies, frigate birds, hummingbirds, harpy eagles and flamingos to name just a few.
 
The birds of Peru have an economic importance, because of the concentrations of guano deposits that are exported to other countries for use as fertilizer. 
 
The Manu Biosphere Reserve is believed to have the highest concentration of bird species in the world.
 
Reptiles & Amphibians 
Of the 300 species of reptiles found in Peru, around 100 are endemic. Their habitat tends to be concentrated on Peru’s eastern side in the Amazon Rainforest. Anacondas, black and white caimans, turtles and boa constrictors are amongst the reptiles that you may encounter on a Peru tour. The poison dart frog is native to the Amazon rainforest and one of the most poisonous species in the world.
 
Further Reading
 

Frequently Asked Questions

What money do they use in Peru ?

The unit of currency in Peru is the Peruvian Nuevo Sol (PEN). The US Dollar is widely accepted in many stores throughout the country and prices are often given in both US dollars and Soles. Please check websites such as www.oanda.com or www.xe.com for up to date exchange rates prior to your departure.

What language do they speak in Peru?

Spanish is the official language of Peru, spoken by more than 80% of the population. There are also many indigenous languages including Quechua and Aymara. In recent years an increased effort has been made to promote all of the indigenous languages. Aymara was made an official language in the Puno/Lake Titicaca region.

What is the religion of Peru?

Peru’s predominant religion is Roman Catholic although the indigenous Peruvians have blended Catholicism with their traditional beliefs, creating a fascinating mix.

Do I need to be fit to go to Peru ?

The level of fitness needed will depend on the Peru tour that you choose to take in terms of places to be visited and the types of activities to be included on your itinerary. Many parts of Peru are at altitudes above 2000 metres, where there is a risk of altitude sickness. Altitude sickness affects everyone differently and usually has nothing to do with your general fitness level, but we highly recommend acclimatizing at altitude before taking strenuous treks or walks. If you do plan to include a trek whilst you are in Peru, particularly in the Andean highlands, then the fitter you are the easier you will find the trek.

Is it safe to travel in Peru ?

Most South American countries have now recognized that tourism plays an important part in their economies and governments have taken great steps to change South America’s poor security image. Peru has certainly become a much safer place to visit in recent years. You will find a strong police presence in the towns, cities and sites most frequently visited by tourists. To minimise security risks we recommend the following: • do not show any outward signs of wealth or wear expensive jewellery • keep your valuables in your hotel in safety deposit boxes • keep any valuables that you must carry with you hidden, as pickpockets can be present in crowded areas and around tourist areas • use only registered taxis with official identification • avoid going on your own to remote areas/ruins where tourists would not be expected to go • always keep your day pack and camera close to you and never leave them unattended

Do I need a visa to travel to Peru ?

A pre-arranged visa is not required to enter Peru for citizens of the following countries: • Australia • United Kingdom • The United States • Ireland • Canada • New Zealand • European Union • South Africa For other nationalities please visit the website of the relevant consulate.

How long do I need to travel Peru ?

You could spend anything from a few days to a few weeks on your Peru travels, depending on whether you plan to explore the entire country or just focus on one experience such as the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu or an Amazon adventure. Chimu Adventures offers itineraries to suit every time frame.

How much should I budget for daily in Peru?

Our Peru tours include breakfast daily and many other meals may also be included in your itinerary. As a rough guide for additional spending money based on having moderately-priced lunches and dinners and buying a few souvenirs at local markets, we suggest a budget of 20-30 USD per day per person.

Do I need to get vaccinations for Peru?

Although no specific vaccinations are required for Peru travel and no proof of any vaccination is required to enter Peru, we recommend that you visit your doctor or a traveller’s medical centre for current information specific to those places that you will be travelling through. As a general guide we recommend the following: • Yellow Fever – Especially for jungle areas • Hepatitis – Both A and B (twinrix) • Typhoid • Diphtheria • Cholera • Rabies • Tetanus

What kind of power adaptor plug do I need for Peru ?

In Peru the standard voltage is 220V and standard frequency is 60Hz. Power sockets are of types A, B and C. Please visit the below link for more information: http://electricaloutlet.org/

What should I pack to travel in Peru ?

What you need to pack will depend on when and where you plan on travelling and on the activities that you plan to include whilst on your Peru tour. The following should act as a useful checklist of essential items: • Passport, photocopy of passport & spare passport photos • Travel Insurance documents • Air tickets and itinerary • Foreign Currency (US$) and/or debit/credit cards, traveller’s cheques • Money belt • Small daypack • Basic first aid kit • High UVA sun block • Sunglasses & sunhat • Mosquito spray & insect repellent • Comfortable walking shoes/boots • Sandals • Long sleeve tops and trousers • Light-weight clothing • Warm clothing (depending on itinerary and time of year) • Camera with spare battery and memory cards • Security code padlock • Adaptor • Small torch

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