I already showed you some impressions on my South America trip before and in today’s article I will tell you a bit more of my trip and how I packed for it.

We travelled to South America at the end of June which in the southern hemisphere is winter time. However, some countries are nearer to the equator than others and visited cities are at different heights so temperatures vary quite a bit.


40plusstyle travels to Peru | 40plusstyle.com

We started our trip in Lima, Peru, where the temperatures are mild. I get cold quickly so I always ensure to bring several layers. The cashmere poncho from black.co proved to be the perfect layering piece. Easy and light to carry, it went with many of my clothes and was easy to take on and off.

Cusco area

What I wore on my travel to Cusco | 40plusstyle.com

Cusco lies a lot higher than Lima so temperatures go down too. However, at midday it can be quite warm when the sun shone so it was important to dress in layers. I would usually start the day with a down jacket, jumper, blouse and singlet and would take most of these layers off during the day.

Fashion tips on what to wear when traveling to Lima | 40plusstyle.com
Outfit ideas on layering | 40plusstyle.com

(pink knitted top from Stella Carakasi, now on sale).

Machu Pichu

Machu Pichu travel tip: wind jackets | 40plusstyle.com

Machu Pichu lies in a valley so it tends to be warmer than Cusco. I opted for my wind jacket here at the start of the day (instead of down jacket), but wore only my t-shirt at midday.

Casual and comfy outfits for Peru | 40plusstyle.com

In the village of Machu Pichu it was warm inside, so blouse and jeans was the perfect outfit.


Travel with me to Lake Titicaca | 40plusstyle.com

Lake Titicaca is the highest lake in the world at 3,800 meters so it can get cold but as you can see, at midday it’s pretty warm.

Travel outfit ideas: chic silk scarf | 40plusstyle.com

A fabulous silk scarf goes a long way at making even your most comfortable, casual outfits look a little chicer.

The colorful outfits of Puno | 40plusstyle.com


Travel diary: Bolivia | 40plusstyle.com
Travel tip: what to wear in Bolivia | 40plusstyle.com

Lake Titicaca is shared with Bolivia where Sun Island is. Same story here, when the sun shines and the wind is low, it’s warm. However, when it’s the reverse, it can get pretty cold, hence my gloves!

Travel diary: Bolivia sunset | 40plusstyle.com
Travel: Overlooking Bolivia | 40plusstyle.com
What I wore to Bolivia: plaid top | 40plusstyle.com
Tiwanaku in Bolivia | 40plusstyle.com

La Paz

Travel diary: La Paz | 40plusstyle.com

There is no better way of entering La Paz than with the fabulous cable car. A visit to moon valley (below) is a must. Again, layers are key to keep warm and comfortable throughout the day.

What to wear in La Paz: Layering with jackets and scarves | 40plusstyle.com


Travel diary: the volcanoes of Chile | 40plusstyle.com

We got the best view of Chile’s amazing volcanoes from the air!


Travel and what I wore to Santiago : chic black and white pieces | 40plusstyle.com

In the morning, still cold with a down coat and shawl, but dressed for the city, so fancier clothes and booties!

What I wore in Santiago: Kenzo tunic and black bottoms | 40plusstyle.com

An opportunity to get my Kenzo tunic out!

Travel outfit ideas: Leather jacket with a printed top | 40plusstyle.com

Dressed for casual evening dinner and drinks with silk thrifted shirt, leather jacket and black 7/8 pants.

Argentina, Bariloche

Ideas on how to dress for the cold: use a down jacket, hat, and scarf | 40plusstyle.com

After two cold and rainy days through Chile we arrived in Barioloche by bus and visited the glacier there. This was perhaps our coldest and most miserable day. It was even snowing!. My down jacket, shawl and hat came in very handy here.

Buenos Aires

Casual outfit ideas in the colorful streets of Buones Aires | 40plusstyle.com
Travel diary: Buones Aires | 40plusstyle.com

Buenos aires is quite cold in July but still sunny. This is the city where you can really dress up as the local population is very chic. As a tourist discovering the city I kept it casual, but dressed in my fanciest clothes for an evening tango show. See here an impression of one of the dances we saw.

Travel diary: my trip to Buenos Aires | 40plusstyle.com

Brazil, Iguazu Falls

Sleeveless layering and asymmetrical top outfit idea in Brazil | 40plusstyle.com

Temperatures can vary at Iguazu Falls but as you can see it was a lot warmer than in any other location of our trip so far. Time for my sleeveless layers! (All these are now on sale! Green asymmetrical top: Stella Carakasi (first time customers get a 15% discount with the code 40PLUS15), Grey cropped sweater: Stella Carakasi, Leggings: Stella Carakasi).

Travel diary: Iguazu falls | 40plusstyle.com

You will get wet a few places on the Brazil side so it’s good to carry a disposable rain coat.

Travel diary: a rainbow by Iguazu Falls, Brazil | 40plusstyle.com

Brazil, Rio de Janeiro

Fun and chic outfit idea for Brazil: gladiator sandals | 40plusstyle.com

It was really warm in Rio de Janeiro when we arrived but it had cooled on the second day. Still you should make sure to pack a few summer clothes for this city as it is possible to go to the beach here even in winter!

What I wore to Rio de Janeiro: mixed print top and sunglasses | 40plusstyle.com
 Rio de Janeiro sunset | 40plusstyle.com
 Rio de Janeiro Christ The Redeemer statue | 40plusstyle.com
Overlooking the city of Rio de Janeiro | 40plusstyle.com

I was finally able to wear my new summer dress here!

How to pack for a trip to South America : summer dresses are always a good choice | 40plusstyle.com

As you can tell, I packed clothes that could be mixed and matched together. Layers could be added or taken away which made for a versatile wardrobe. I packed  few ‘fancier’ items for cities and evening out. I don’t have the exact specifics of my wardrobe, but be sure to pack:

  • Singles or camisoles: super easy as you first layer
  • Long sleeved t-shirts or jumpers and blouses as your second layer.
  • Warm jumpers
  • Easy outer layering pieces like a poncho or a jacket.
  • A few fancier pieces for the evenings so you still feel like the chic woman you are!
  • Down jacket.
  • Rain coat or wind jacket.
  • Comfortable warm pants. I loved wearing my skinnies and leggings there and my stretchy jeans.
  • Warmer clothes for Brazil including beach clothes and a dress.
  • Accessories: a warm hat, sunhat, fancy silk scarf, warm scarf, gloves
  • Shoes: good walking shoes and / or trainers, some sandals for Brazil

Needless to say I had a wonderful trip in South America and was happy with the way I packed. The wardrobe was versatile enough and always made me feel warm, chic and comfortable!

Do you have any further advice on how to pack for South America in winter?


Sylvia is 40+style’s editor-in-chief and has been helping women find their unique style since 2011. An alumni of the School of Color and Design, she is devoted to empowering women of any age to look and feel their best. Read more about Sylvia and 40+style on this page.

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