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Your Machu Picchu Packing List

A journey to Machu Picchu (one of the Seven Wonders of the World) is no walk in the park, which means there are a number of items that you should pack for your once-in-a-lifetime journey. Careful planning is vital, as is finding a knowledgeable and experienced guide or the right travel companions.

To ensure you have everything you need, here’s a detailed list to assist you when packing for your journey to Machu Picchu. 

Suggested items to pack:

  • A backpack: This is an essential item for your journey. When purchasing a backpack, make sure it has strong straps, as this will help to spread the weight evenly. 
  • Passport: You will need to show your passport to access the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu. 
  • Reusable water bottle: The recommended amount to consume is one or two litres per day. 
  • Hiking boots: At first glance, a sturdy pair of hiking boots might seem like a large investment, but you won’t regret the purchase once you’re on the trail, as hiking boots are designed for comfort. If you are purchasing a new pair, make sure your boots are well-worn before you hit the trail, as blisters will make or break your experience. 
  • Sneakers: There is no better feeling than kicking your hiking boots off at the end of the day and changing into a light pair of sneakers. 
  • Trekking poles: These are not completely necessary for all travellers, but they are beneficial when it comes to assisting you with your balance when your legs become weary. 
  • Yoga pants or sweatpants: Once you finish trekking each day, make sure you have a pair of warm, comfortable pants that you can relax in at night. 
  • Socks and underwear: Always throw in a few extras. 
  • Waterproof jacket: Light to heavy rainfall is common on the trails to Machu Picchu, so a waterproof jacket will be a lifesaver if you do happen to get stuck in a downpour.
  • Waterproof pants: Opt for a light pair that can be unzipped to reveal a shorter length that can be worn around the base of the mountain where it will be warmer. 
  • Insulated jacket: Make sure you select a jacket that matches the season that you will be hiking in. If you are hiking in winter, you may need a warmer jacket, whereas in summer this might be completely different.
  • A light fleece jacket: You won't always need to wear a large waterproof jacket, so for those warmer moments during your trek, a light fleece jacket will keep you warm without feeling as if you are being weighed down by bulky clothing. 
  • Long sleeve tops in a light, moisture-wicking fabric: Keep in mind that no matter how cool the temperature is, your body will still sweat as you walk. To stay fresh, consider packing tops with moisture-wicking fabric to keep cool.  
  • Hat or cap: Protect your face from the sun during both winter and summer.  
  • A beanie: Regardless of the season, this is something you will need most nights. 
  • Quick-dry towel: Consider a thin, light towel that dries quickly and does not take up much of your pack. 
  • Toiletries: When packing toiletries, aim to pack as little as possible in order to keep the weight of your pack down and only pack the necessities. 
  • Toilet paper: Just in case.
  • Sleeping bag: Check with your tour operator before you depart as some may include a sleeping bag. 
  • Packing cubes: A secret travel hack used by those in the know, once you start using packing cubes, you’ll wonder how you ever survived without them. 
  • Energy snacks and supplements: Who doesn’t love snacks? There will be food included on your hiking and trekking tour, but it never hurts to munch on a few hidden snacks along the trail. Plus, they keep your energy up during the day.
  • Headlamp or a torch: Don’t forget to pack spare batteries.  
  • Insect repellant: For your own personal comfort, there are a number of repellants you can carry with you. 
  • Small first aid kit: Your guide or team of porters and chefs will be carrying a full first-aid kit, but it doesn't hurt to include the odd bandage or plaster. 
  • Hand sanitizer or wet wipes: A lifesaver for any hiker and trekker. Just make sure you dispose of these carefully. 
  • Camera: You don’t need to be a skilled photographer, but if you want to capture a few memories of a lifetime then don’t forget to pack a camera. You might even want to pack a disposable camera just for fun. If you are carrying top-notch camera gear, make sure it is protected with waterproof casing where possible to reduce the chance of any damage during your trek.
  • Sunglasses: Make sure your sunglasses have a UV filter to protect your eyes.

Machu Picchu weather

Average °C151515151514141515151515
Average °F595959595957575959595959
High °C242525252525252526252626
High °F757777777777777779777979
Low °C1313131211991011121313
Low °F555555545248485052535555
Rainfall (mm)1381411516223172224447586121

How to climb Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley

  • How do I prepare for Machu Picchu?

    The best way to prepare for a trek to Machu Picchu is to participate in plenty of cardiovascular activity. Activities such as swimming, cycling, or long-distance running will place you in a strong position to complete the trek with ease. Remember; a happy heart makes for a happy hiker. Learn more.
  • When should I climb Machu Picchu?

    Machu Picchu can be climbed year-round, but travellers should be aware that the Inca Trail is closed in February every year for necessary maintenance. The most popular time to hike the Inca Trail, for example, is June-August and is known to be quite crowded. Learn more.
  • What permits do I need?

    Only 500 permits are allocated per day for the Inca Trail due to the overwhelming popularity of the route and must be booked in advance. Other trails and routes in the area do not need a permit. Learn more.
  • Do I need a guide to climb?

    From 2001, it is a compulsory requirement that travellers on the Inca Trail, in particular, must travel with a registered guide. Many of the alternative trails, however, do not require a guide, and you are able to hike as you wish unassisted. Learn more.
  • How do I get to Machu Picchu?

    The best way for travellers to reach Machu Picchu is to fly into Cusco, Peru. Spending a few days in Cusco prior to embarking on a trek to Machu Picchu will help travellers acclimate, and reduce the impacts of altitude sickness. Learn more.
  • What should I pack and what equipment do I need?

    Walking poles, hiking boots, waterproof clothing and plenty of layers are just a few of the essentials that you will need for your hiking adventure. As for tents and cooking equipment, be sure to check with your tour operator as this may be provided for you. Learn more.

Machu Picchu routes


  1. Inca Trail. Distance: 45 km, average duration: 4-5 days
  2. The Lares Trek. Distance: 33-45 km, average duration: 4 days
  3. The Salkantay Trek. Distance: 55 km, average duration: 5 days
  4. The Choquequirao Trek. Distance: 65 km, average duration: 8-10 days
  5. The Vilcabamba Trek. Distance: 62 km, average duration: 5 days
  6. The Huchuy Qosqo Trek. Distance: 20 km, average duration: 3 days
  7. The Quarry Trail. Distance: 26 km, average duration: 4 days

Machu Picchu tours & reviews