Preparing your wardrobe for a trip to Cusco, Peru requires careful consideration of the city's unique climate, altitude, and local customs. Nestled high in the Andes Mountains, Cusco boasts a rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant culture.

However, its high-altitude location also means that its weather can be unpredictable, ranging from warm and sunny to cool and damp. To help you make the most of your visit while staying comfortable and respecting local norms, here is our comprehensive guide to 15+ essential outfit items to bring along, followed by a list of outfits that are best avoided in this picturesque Peruvian city.

Keep reading to discover the best outfit items, our useful tips, and item recommendations to make your trip to Cusco unforgettable and stylish.

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Layered Clothing

cusco outfits layered clothing

Cusco's weather can change throughout the day, so packing light layers is essential. Choose breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics that you can easily put on or take off to adapt to the temperature shifts.

Go for breathable sweaters, rainproof jackets, and soft T-shirts or light sweatshirts. Here are the 15 best affordable and ethical T-shirts made in Australia for you to create a great base layer. You will also want to check out these organic cotton jumpers and sweaters

Comfortable Walking Shoes

cusco outfits comfy shoes

With cobblestone streets and uneven terrain, comfortable and sturdy walking shoes are a must. Opt for closed-toe shoes with good arch support to explore the city comfortably. Make sure to check out our updated guide to the best affordable vegan hiking boots for ultimate comfort and coziness. 

Sun Hat

cusco outfits sunhat

At high altitudes, the sun's UV rays are stronger. Shield yourself from the sun with a wide-brimmed hat that covers your face, ears, and neck.

Lightweight Jacket or Sweater

cusco outfits lightweight jacket

Evenings in Cusco can get chilly due to the altitude. Pack a lightweight jacket or sweater that can be easily carried during the day and worn as the temperature drops.

Check out our wide selection of the best affordable, ethical, and vegan sweater brandsIf you are into puffer jackets, make sure to have a look at our collection of the best affordable and sustainable puffer jackets.


cusco outfits sunglasses

Protect your eyes from the intense mountain sunlight by wearing sunglasses with UV protection. Polarized lenses can reduce glare, making your sightseeing more enjoyable. Make sure to check out these amazing sustainable sunglasses from Australia

Shirts and T-Shirts

cusco outfits T-shirt

cusco outfits shirt

Opt for lightweight, breathable shirts and T-shirts that can be easily layered. Long-sleeve options can provide extra sun protection or warmth when needed. Here are the 15 best affordable American-made shirts both for men and women. 

Apply Sunscreen!

cusco outfits sunscreen

The higher altitude means increased sun exposure. Use a high-SPF sunscreen to protect your skin from potential sunburn, even on overcast days.

Comfy or Convertible Pants

cusco outfits pants

A pair of comfy pants is essential for your trip to Cusco. You can also opt for convertible pants. These are a traveler's best friend.

They can be worn as full-length pants in the cool mornings and evenings and converted into shorts during warmer parts of the day.  

Durable Backpack

cusco outfits backpack

A small, durable backpack is essential for carrying your water, sunscreen, camera, and other essentials while exploring the city and its surroundings. We have compiled a list of the best affordable, vegan, and eco-friendly backpacks just for you. 

Waterproof Jacket

cusco outfits waterproof jacket

Cusco experiences intermittent rain showers, especially during the wet season. A waterproof jacket will keep you dry and comfortable during these unexpected showers.

Pick one in a bright color to stand out and look great in the photos. Discover the 10 best affordable and sustainable waterproof jackets

Reusable Water Bottle

cusco outfits reusable water bottle

Staying hydrated is crucial at high altitudes. Carry a reusable water bottle to reduce plastic waste and ensure you have water on hand throughout the day.

Maxi Dress

cusco outfits maxi dress

A flowing maxi dress is a versatile and stylish choice for warmer days or evenings out. Choose a dress made from breathable fabric for comfort. Discover the 15 best affordable maxi dresses made in the USA. 

Comfortable Leggings

cusco outfits leggings

Leggings are perfect for pairing with dresses, long tops, or under convertible pants. Look for moisture-wicking fabric that offers both comfort and flexibility.

Ensure to check out our wide collection of the best affordable and sustainable yoga and gym leggings.

Local Artisan Items

cusco outfits artisan item

Immerse yourself in the local culture by wearing or purchasing items crafted by artisans. This not only supports the local economy but also allows you to connect with the region's rich heritage.

Warm Scarf

cusco outfits scarf

A cozy, warm scarf adds a touch of style while providing extra warmth during chilly evenings or altitude-induced temperature drops. Here are the 15 best affordable, ethical, and vegan winter scarves at your disposal. 

Casual Sweater

cusco outfitsv casual sweater

Pack a casual sweater that pairs well with your outfits. Opt for neutral colors that can easily be mixed and matched. Discover over 15 amazing items to wear under a cozy sweater. 

Outfit Items Best Left Behind!

Inappropriate Beachwear

Given Cusco's mountainous location, beachwear is out of place. Stick to clothing suitable for an urban and mountainous environment.

Formal Attire

Cusco has a relaxed and casual atmosphere. Leave formal clothing and accessories at home, as they will not match the city's vibe.

Heavy Jewelry

Flashy jewelry can make you a target for theft or unwanted attention. Opt for minimal and understated pieces to enhance your look without standing out.

Short Skirts/Shorts

While shorts are acceptable for daytime exploration, extremely short shorts or skirts may draw unnecessary attention. Choose modest lengths to blend in with the local culture.

Heavy Makeup and Fragrances

The high altitude can affect your skin, and heavy makeup may not feel comfortable. Keep makeup light and choose fragrances that are subtle to respect others' sensitivities in close quarters.

From layered clothing and comfortable walking shoes to essential accessories like hats and sunglasses, each item on the list serves a purpose in ensuring you are well-prepared for the diverse conditions you may encounter. Additionally, being mindful of the outfits not to wear will help you blend in with the local atmosphere and demonstrate respect for the city's customs.

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About the Author: Gohar Davtyan

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