The Best Machu Picchu Packing List

If you are already ready to plan your trip to Machu Picchu, you need to make sure you pack everything essential, here we have some recommendations for Machu Picchu Packing List.

Not being prepared could easily turn your trip from an incredible experience into a nightmare, particularly if you don’t have a lot of hiking experience.

Machu Picchu Packing List

1. Backpack

Since you will be walking to Machu Picchu, you will need a bag that allows you to carry everything you need comfortably.

Look for a sturdy backpack with strong straps to distribute the weight evenly to each side of your body. Remember to invest in a rain cover for your backpack, as most are not waterproof.

The size of the backpack you choose will depend on whether you want to go to Machu Picchu on foot or by train, although you choose to go by train there are stretches where you must walk.

If you decide to go to Machu Picchu by walking, then all you need is a backpack that fits all the things you will need during the day while walking, such as rain gear, water, a warm polar fleece, snacks, a lighthouse, sunscreen, insecticide, camera and passports.


2. Passport

It’s essential that you make sure you pack your passport first. It is mandatory to show passports to enter the country and to access both Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail. Consider putting your passport and your money in a waterproof bag to keep them dry.

3. Clothing

Your Macchu Pichu packing list should include enough clothing to keep you comfortable in a variety of conditions.

The climate in the southern Andes of Peru, where Machu Picchu is located, is defined by two distinct seasons: the rainy season (November to April) and the dry season (May to October), which means that one should wear appropriate clothing. All this is a matter of practicality, so forget about the style for now.

3.1. T-shirts

T-shirts or loose and comfortable t-shirts are perfect for trekking during the day. They will keep you cool while offering you sun protection. For extra points, invest in a fast-drying sports t-shirt for added comfort.

3.2. Long Sleeve Tops

While it’s hot on the hike, the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu can get cold, so wearing one or two long-sleeved T-shirts is a smart move. They don’t need to be thick or bulky – they just need to cover the entire upper part of your body to protect it from both cold temperatures and UV rays. Again, quick-drying long sleeve shirts are ideal.

3.3. Polars or feather jackets

The afternoons and dawns in the Andes of Peru are mostly cold, particularly in the dry season which is winter in the southern hemisphere.

Packing a light fleece or down jacket into your backpack is a smart way to keep you warm and cozy without adding too much extra weight to your backpack.

3.4. Waterproof jacket

The rains are typical of the Inca Trail and other alternative walks to Machu Picchu as they are in the middle of the cloud forest, so a waterproof jacket is an absolute necessity.

Again, this doesn’t have to be bulky, just able to keep you dry. You can also buy a plastic rain poncho from local vendors at the entry points of any of these walks.

3.5. Windbreaker Jacket

These will help you keep warm while you walk through the Andes, in these places it is very cold wind and the sun is very strong.

3.6. Trekking pants

You’ll want a pair of pants that are comfortable to walk in and tough enough to withstand difficult conditions. You’ll wear them every day, so be sure to test them beforehand to see if they’re comfortable. Convertible pants are the best option; you can walk in shorts during the day and zip up your legs if/when it’s cold.

3.7. Comfortable pants

The day you arrive in Machu Picchu, you’ll want a set of fresh, clean clothes to change into. Packing a pair of leggings or yoga pants is perfect for this. They can even be folded as sleepwear in a hurry.

3.8. Socks and underwear

Pack clean socks and underwear for each day of the walk. Also add some spare parts, in case it gets colder at night. Experienced hikers know that if their feet are warm, then their whole body is warm too.

3.9. Thermal Pajamas

Since nights can get cold, packing a pair of warm pajamas is a good idea. Leggings are ideas for the lower half, while a thermal or long-sleeved shirt will keep the upper half of the body warm.

3.10. Hiking boots and sneakers

No Machu Picchu packing list would be complete without a good pair of trekking boots or sneakers. Choose the option you find most comfortable, and make sure you have entered them correctly before your hike. For safety reasons, trekking with mountain boots is recommended. Switch to a pair of lightweight sneakers once you arrive at the camps so your feet can rest.

3.11. Swimwear

Do you want to take a dip in the hot springs before or after visiting Machu Picchu? Don’t forget to pack your bathing suits! Even if you don’t end up swimming, you’ll benefit from having a spare set of underwear in your backpack.

3.12. Sun Hat

Pack a light hat that covers your head and neck to help avoid sunburn and heatstroke. Avoid bulky straw hats, as they are difficult to store and transport.

4. Sunglasses

Once again, when trekking at high altitude, the intensity of UV rays is high and can damage the eyes. Stay safe by investing in a pair of high quality sunglasses to wear during your trip that will help protect you from the UV rays of the sun.

5. Sun Protection

Don’t let sunburn ruin your trip. Apply sunscreen several times a day. UV rays at high altitudes are much stronger than at sea level. To make application easier, choose an eco-friendly spray or aerosol version with a high UV protector.

6. Water bottle

You won’t get very far if you don’t stay well hydrated. Be sure to pack a decent bottle of water, a hydration packet, or a camel bag. Choose any of those things that can carry one to two liters to make sure you have enough each day. Make sure your backpack has a pocket to hold it.

On most organized walks, the crew will provide you with drinking water at the beginning of each day and at lunchtime. If you want to be safer, pack your own water treatment tablets or filters.

7. Headlight or flashlight

If you are going to make a walk of several days in Cusco, it will be necessary a lantern to use it at night or when you need it, so much for the walk as for the camps along the route.

8. Walking sticks

Walking uphill and downhill for several hours a day will quickly damage your joints. Packing a pair of high quality canes is a good move. Choose lightweight, adjustable poles. Make sure they have a water-resistant grip in case of rainy days. Whether you are an experienced trekker or not, hiking poles will make your trip much more comfortable.

9. Camera

You will not miss the beautiful places and experiences you will have without taking a picture. Take a camera to take pictures for your souvenir.

10. Snacks

If you are a person who is hungry all the time, we recommend you bring snacks to satisfy your hunger, can be protein bars or nuts, cookies, etc.

Others Packing List

Depending on your type of trip the list of packages for Machu Picchu can vary, but you can consider some tips that we give below.

1. Daypack

You’ll need a backpack to carry the essentials of your day to day. Ideally, the size should be between 20-25L if you don’t carry your own camping equipment.

Choose one with comfortable padded straps and outside compartments for water bottles. If not included, use a backpack cover to keep your belongings protected from rain and dirt.

2. Pants

Your Machu Picchu packing list should include a pair of trekking pants and a pair of leggings or fitness/yoga pants. Bring a pair of trekking pants and leggings or yoga pants for the last day when you want something clean.

Choose trekking pants or exercise pants. Resistant materials that dry quickly can be especially useful in bad weather. You can always pick up a cheap pair in Cusco and throw it in the trash when you’re done. In fact, you can buy everything you need for this trek in Cusco, so don’t worry, you’ll be fine if you forget something.

Wear your trekking pants every day except the last one so you can get to Machu Picchu in a nice clean suit for 3 reasons: 1) you will be taking lots of pictures 2) you could be returning to Cusco the same day and 3) you want to feel comfortable while exploring this magical destination.

3. Tank tops or T-shirts

While quick drying, fitness or yoga t-shirts are ideal for trekking, you’ll also be fine wearing regular t-shirts. Simply add items to your Machu Picchu packing list where you feel comfortable exercising and sweating.

Whatever you choose, remember you’d also like to take it for a daytime stroll and hang out at night in other Peruvian towns and cities. Wear a clean T-shirt for each day of the walk.

4. Long sleeve tops

For your Machu Picchu packing list, include one long-sleeved blouse for summer or two for winter.

Choose a long sleeve with layers to continue the walk. You can add heat if necessary and it can be easily removed if it gets too hot. A thin shell or other type of fitness t-shirt is good.

5. Pairs of socks

A clean pair for every day.

6. Pairs of underwear

Because you don’t want to worry about washing them daily, pack enough for each day of the walk plus one or two extras.

7. Sports bra

If you’re dirty all week, having the same bra one more day doesn’t hurt. You’ll definitely want to add this to your Machu Picchu packing list.

Creating the ideal packing list for Machu Picchu is all about planning ahead, testing items beforehand and preparing for each situation.

Start with the above points, then mentally walk through each day of your hike and see if anything is missing. Want a camera to take pictures? Ties to keep your hair out of the way?

Each packing list will look a little different, so take some time to create a list that’s perfect for you.

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