This post is a little late, but I wanted to write this post for those of you who may be planning a trip to Peru and wanted to stop by Bolivia to see the salt flats. This is actually a very popular route that many travelers do, which is why I felt comfortable enough to do this solo even after hearing about bus raids, strikes, and robberies that can happen. If you research online, it has been known that tourist buses can be stopped en route and luggage stolen, but most websites I saw said this is only common with the overnight buses on the popular tourist bus lines, such as Cruz del Sur. Even after reading about this, I still took the leap because a friend of mine has done it before and said she had no problem at all. Hope I didn’t scare you away! Read More
A little overdue, but here’s my updated list of what to take to South America. I’m going to compare this list to my previous list I posted before my trip to let you know what actually worked and what didn’t. Hope this helps!
I took one pair of jeans, which worked out well for me. Even though jeans are heavy, wearing the one pair while flying helped and I was able to wear them multiple days. Also, there are laundromats all over in Cuzco so you really only need to bring bare minimum cause you can just have your clothes washed for only a few soles. They charge you based on the weight of your clothes. I packed 3 yoga pants, which was a huge mistake. Only 1 is necessary, although having an extra pair was nice on the days you got really dirty (while hiking) so that you have a clean pair you can switch into. I packed way too many t-shirts. Next time I think I will only take 2 quick dry t-shirts and 1-2 tank tops. I had a long sleeve shirt I never wore, a flannel I never wore, and another shirt I never wore. When you’re out and about and traveling with just a backpack, you really want to have the lightest backpack possible. Especially if you’re going to be trekking to Machu Picchu. I regretted my heavy backpack so much on the Inca Jungle Trek. Although they do allow you to leave your pack on some days at the hostel or they have a van take it to your next destination, on one day you have to carry it with you all day. So seriously, the lighter the better! Don’t break your back. I took one fleece sweater which was really important to have because it does get super cold in Cusco. I ended up losing my sweater so I have to get a new one. I also took a rain jacket which is also extremely important to have because it rains a lot in Peru. The one I took was not water proof so I definitely will be investing in a good quality rain jacket for next time. I also took about 4-5 pairs of socks, which was a good choice because it’s nice to have clean socks you can change into when your socks get wet from the rain. I took a few pairs of underwear too just because they are small and I didn’t want to have to wash them often. For shoes, I took a pair of New Balance cross trainers, my Toms, and cheap sandals. Sandals are a definite must! I wore them in the hostel showers and they were great for wearing after each day of the Inca Jungle Trek. My cross trainers held up pretty well. I wouldn’t say hiking shoes are an absolute necessity, but I did kind of wish I had hiking shoes that were a little more water resistant. But a few of the girls in my jungle trek group had hiking shoes and they still got wet. In one of the small towns we stayed at during our trek we were able to pay to have our shoes cleaned and dried. My Toms weren’t necessary, but they were nice to have to wear just on casual days while walking around the city.
I took my DSLR and I barely ended up using it. I think the reason for that was because I am still a beginner at taking pictures with it and a lot of the times it was a hassle to bring it out of my backpack. So next time, I may just skip taking the big camera and just stick to my iPhone and my Sony Action Cam. I also carried around my Joby Gorillapod, which I never used once!
The collapsible water bottle I took was definitely a good choice. I bought water bottles there and would pour the water into the collapsible one and hooked it onto my backpack. Very versatile!
My Sony Action Cam was great and took a lot of footage with it, but I kind of regret not getting the GoPro instead. Because I didn’t realize that the GoPro can transfer files via Bluetooth on your phone. But the Sony Action Cam is still a nice camera that I was able to take some good videos with.
A rain cover for your backpack is absolutely necessary! It rained a lot during our trek and I felt comfortable that my gear was protected with this rain cover. But I also used these dry bags for extra protection and put my camera and other electronics in these bags inside my backpack.
A headlamp is a must. I only used it the morning of Machu Picchu when we started our hike up around 4:30 in the morning. It was super dark hiking up and it was nice not having to hold a flashlight while hiking.
The money belt I used was also a good buy in my opinion. I felt safer having my passport, credit cards, and some extra cash on my body than in my bag. Your bag can get snatched from you a lot easier than the money belt. I always just kept my every day cash in a smaller coin bag I bought while I was there separate from my stash cash. Some of the travelers I met didn’t even feel the need to keep their money belts a secret and used them like purses! I guess to each their own and you can use it how you feel most comfortable.
A quick dry towel is an absolute must! They are much more compact than a regular towel and you can hang them to dry overnight. Hostels don’t provide you towels, however you can pay to rent them. I felt more comfortable having my own.
Locks are also a must because you need a lock to secure your stuff in the hostels when you don’t want to lug everything around when you’re out exploring. I took two, and used one for my gear at the hostels and one for my daypack.
And finally the clotheslines I took never came to use. I never ended up washing my own clothes and instead just paid to have my clothes washed. It was much more convenient. The female pee pee device I took never got used either. Although, I’ll still have to test this thing out the next time I go on a trip. It was just never practical to bust that thing out and especially because I never had a bottle I could use to pee into. Next time, I think i’ll make sure to carry an empty bottle I can use to pee into while trekking. 🙂
This is the toiletry bag that I used and the day pack I took. I would highly recommend both. The toiletry bag was a little small, but great to force you to take the bare minimum and the bag itself is super lightweight and water resistant. And the day pack I took has a lot of cool security features that allowed me to feel comfortable walking around not having to worry about being pick pocketed. But to be honest, I never felt unsafe during my whole trip, however it doesn’t hurt to be extra cautious just in case!
That’s about it for my gear list! I hope this helps you decide on what to take to South America. Please let me know below if you have any questions and I would be more than happy to help! Also, none of the links above are affiliate links or sponsored. These are my actual opinions and the gear that I actually used and tested on my trip! 🙂
Take care and talk to you soon!
So I’ve been officially back in the states since Sunday morning. Oh how I miss Peru. I loved everything about that country. Nothing beats the feeling of being out of the country in a foreign land where everything is so different kind of like when you were a kid filled with so much curiosity and excitement. Two weeks was definitely too short, but I am thankful that I was finally able to go explore and mark something off my bucket list. I never once felt scared on my trip except for on bus rides because people drive like crazies out there. I wanted to share with you some my best moments from my solo trip and hope that it will inspire you to take that leap of faith to finally go somewhere you’ve always wanted to go.
1. I would have to say that my most favorite part of my trip (besides the scenery) was meeting all sorts of people from all over the world. The local people of Peru were so amazing and kind. It was such an awesome experience to talk to different travelers and hear their stories and experiences from their travels. Some of these travelers that I met weren’t even fluent in English, but it was amazing to be able to still communicate and have a good time together. I remember one night a group of us were just sitting outside the hostel teaching each other inappropriate words in each other’s languages. It’s amazing how humans can be connected even without a common language.
2. The scenery in Peru was so beautiful. So different from the United States. My favorite parts were Cusco and the Andean mountains. Cusco is the kind of city that I immediately felt comfortable in. There were definitely a lot of tourists, but still a must-see if you’re planning to visit Peru. The buildings, the doors, the cobblestone streets, and everything in that city were so old and unchanged.
3. Biking down the Andes mountains and hiking in the Andes mountains was probably my favorite part of the 4 day Inca Jungle Trek I went on (besides Macchu Picchu of course). The mountains and how green everything was so beautiful and serene. While we were hiking on one of the days of our trek I decided to listen to some music and I remember feeling like everything in my life was finally in order. I was finally traveling and making things happen for myself and living life. It was just me with the magical nature of the Andes mountains and my music. Everything was perfect.
Although I go back to work and start real life again tomorrow, I am excited to make more money and save for my next trip. I’m trying to figure a way to organize my upcoming posts about the trip, but be on the lookout because they will be up shortly. One will be on the Inca Jungle Trek itself and also an updated packing list on what worked and what didn’t work.
Be back soon! Have an amazing week!
Just wanted to share some of the awe-inspiring images from my quick trip to Bolivia.
Follow me @hungryjewlz on my Instagram for more pics. I’ll post a lot more once I get back to the states. Hope these pics are inspiring you to start planning your next trip!
So the day has finally come and I will be boarding on a plane to South America in less than two hours! Well, technically I’ll be flying to Fort Lauderdale first, but still! Words can’t express the feelings I’m feeling right now. So many emotions. The thought of not knowing what I’m about to embark is raising my anxiety level just a tad bit since I’m actually here at the airport realizing that I’ll be out of the country I’ve been in my whole entire life. But at the same time it excites me for all the great adventures I’m about to experience. I hope you will follow me on my journey and it inspires those of you who have always wanted to do something or go somewhere but have found excuses not to go or have been too scared to take the leap. Make it happen people! Commit to something today that you’ve always wanted to do and start making your way to it!