With a surface level of 3,812 metres, Lake Titicaca ranks as the highest navigable lake in the entire world. The high altitude makes for cool mornings, hot days, and windy evenings, so when it comes to packing you really want to have a wardrobe that can handle the quick changes in temperature. I only brought a 10L daypack when I did my overnight stay on Lake Titicaca, but I managed to fit everything I needed. Knowing that my homestay wouldn’t necessarily have running water or electricity, I had to pack a few additional items. Today I’m sharing a few ideas of what to pack for Lake Titicaca in Peru so you too can be prepared.
What to pack for Lake Titicaca
1 windbreaker (for late afternoons and evenings)
1 sweater (I picked up a warm alpaca sweater at a market in Cuzco)
2 t-shirts (you’ll get sweaty with all the hiking involved)
1 pair of leggings (I wore these by day and also slept in them)
2 pairs of socks
2 pairs of undies
1 pair of running shoes or hiking boots
1 baseball cap or sunhat (to wear by day)
1 touque or chuyo (it gets really cold at night)
1 pair of mittens (I forgot these and my hands froze on the sunset hike)
1 pair of sunglasses (the sun can be a bit blinding at that altitude)
Toothbrush + toothpaste
It’s unlikely you’ll get access to a shower while you’re doing your homestay on Lake Titicaca, so I’m not going to suggest bringing shampoo or soap. Not all homes have modern bathrooms with showers, and the ones that do may not have hot water. It’s best you have a shower before the start of your trip and then wait it out until you get back to Puno. Going 2 days without a shower isn’t so bad anyway!
Flashlight (in case your home doesn’t have electricity)
Camera with backup batteries (the scenery is beautiful!)
Water bottle (you’ll want to bring these on the hike but you can also buy them on the island)
Cash (there are no ATMs on the island)
Do you have any other suggestion of what to pack for Lake Titicaca?
Hi Audrey! Thanks so much for posting about your Lake Titicaca homestay and packing advice! We just booked the same trip with the company you recommended for the middle of September after a few days in Cusco. I’m having trouble deciding if I should pack a 3-in-1 jacket – they are kind of bulky and I’d hate to have to lug it around everywhere, but I also am worried I’ll freeze during the nights in Cusco and during the homestay. Do you have any advice?
I’m not sure how bulky your jacket is, but I would say a waterproof windbreaker and a fleece are two musts for Peru. Cusco and Puno warm up during the day, but the altitude means cooler temperatures at night. Also, if you go to Machu Picchu for sunrise, you’ll want the warm layers as it can take a few hours for the fog to clear. If you don’t want to bring along the fleece, you can always buy an alpaca sweater at one of the markets in Cusco – they are super warm and it makes for a cool souvenir.