The Ultimate Machu Picchu Packing List

The Ultimate Machu Picchu Packing List

Imagine the mist-covered, ancient ruins of Machu Picchu rising high in the Andes Mountains at the first light of morning. This famous trip offers amazing views and a deep connection to history, but it’s an adventure that needs to be carefully planned. Especially because weather conditions can change rapidly.

That’s why it’s important to pack properly if you want to make the most of your trip to this Incan Empire marvel.

In this blog post, we will provide you with all the information you need for a memorable trip to Machu Picchu.

Table of contents:

Weather at Machu Picchu

Before knowing what to pack, you need to know more about Machu Picchu’s weather so you can prepare yourself appropriately.

The weather is characterized by two distinct seasons: the dry season and the rainy season. The most popular time to visit is during the dry season, which runs from May through October. You can expect a lot of sunshine, clear skies and average temperatures ranging from 20°C (68°F) to 25°C (77°F).

sunny machu picchu ruins

On the other hand, the rainy season, which lasts from November to April, offers lush, green scenery and frequent rainfall, which create a mystical atmosphere but also make hiking challenging. However, you will face a mild climate with average temperatures ranging from 12°C (50°F) to 20°C (68°F).

Read our blog post for more information about the weather at Machu Picchu so you can make the best decision when to visit.


Ways of Getting to Machu Picchu 

There are several amazing multi-day treks that lead to Machu Picchu and each option has their own unique adventure. You can choose between four different tours: the classic 2-day or 4-day Inca Trail, the challenging 5-day Salkantay Trek, or the our classic 1-day Machu Picchu tour. Read our blog post Salkantay trek vs. Inca Trail, to learn more about these multi-day treks and to choose the perfect option for you.

No matter which adventure you choose, you will need to adjust your packing list to ensure comfort and preparedness for the distinct experiences and landscapes that are awaiting you.

If you choose our 1-day Machu Picchu tour, then you need to be aware of the different train options that bring you to the sanctuary, from budget friendly to very luxurious options which will add the touch of uniqueness to your trip. Read our blog post to learn more about the different trains to Machu Picchu.

luxurious train compartment with white leather seats and big windows

Whichever option you select, keep in mind that you can only bring a small backpack on the train. For Peru Rail you can only take a bag or backpack that may weigh no more than eleven pounds (5 kg) and the luggage cannot exceed 62 inches (157 cm) in height, length, or width. If you choose the Inca Rail, then make sure that your backpack doesn’t weigh more than seventeen pounds (8 kg) and is not bigger than 46 inches (118 cm) in height, length and width.

Now you are probably wondering where you can store your big suitcases? Don’t worry! The best strategy is to leave them at your hotel in Cusco or Aguas Calientes. The hotels have an extra storage room where you can leave it.

This guarantees a hassle-free experience so you can enjoy the amazing ride and your Machu Picchu tour.


Clothing Essentials for Machu Picchu

traveler with hat and backpack in front of cloudy machu picchu ruins

With regard to the site’s unpredictable weather it is essential that you pack appropriately for safety and peace of mind when visiting Machu Picchu. This is a list of the clothes you should bring in order to have an enjoyable visit.

  • Base Layers: Stay warm and dry with thermal underwear and breathable shirts.
  • Mid Layers: Lightweight down jackets or fleece, or other insulating layers, offer essential warmth.
  • Outer Layers: Windproof and waterproof jackets protect you from unexpected rainfall.
  • Hiking Boots: For difficult terrain, sturdy hiking boots with supportive ankles are a must.
  • Socks: Hiking socks that are cushioned and moisture-wicking keep your feet comfortable and help avoid blisters.
  • Hat: A cap or hat with a broad crown provides essential protection from the sun.
  • Gloves: On chilly mornings, lightweight gloves are ideal.
  • Scarf or Buff: Offers extra warmth and protection from the sun.


Essential Gear for Machu Picchu

guide with map of Machu picchu at ruins

It’s essential to pack appropriately for a hassle-free and pleasurable trip to Machu Picchu. The following list of necessities will help you make sure you’re ready for your adventure.

  • Daypack: Comfy and lightweight, with enough room for daily necessities.
  • Rain Cover: To keep your equipment dry during unexpected rainfall.
  • Water Bottles: Reusable water bottles that have a minimum capacity of at least 2 liters.
  • Snacks: Bring high-energy foods to sustain you throughout your trip, such as energy bars, almonds, and dried fruit.
  • Travel Guide or Map: For better navigation and gain more knowledge about the historical and natural wonders of Machu Picchu.


Healthy and Safety for Your Trip to Machu Picchu

traveler is using mosquito spray for this legs

It is crucial to look after your health and safety when visiting Machu Picchu. These are some essential guidelines to help you travel safely.

  • First Aid Kit: Pack band-aids, antiseptic wipes, painkillers, and any personal medications you may need for minor wounds and illnesses in your first aid kit.
  • Sun Protection: To protect yourself from the harsh sun, carry high-SPF sunscreen, SPF lip balm, and UV-blocking sunglasses.
  • Insect Repellent: Apply insect repellent to protect yourself from mosquitoes and other insects.
  • Treatments for Altitude Sickness: To help reduce the symptoms of altitude sickness, take into consideration electrolytes, coca leaves or tea, and acetazolamide (Diamox). Make sure to learn more about altitude sickness and all you need to know and how to avoid it.


Personal Items for Your Trip to Machu Picchu

passports on a table

During your trip to Machu Picchu, your personal belongings are crucial for your convenience and comfort. This is a list of the essential personal belongings to improve your experience.

  • Documents: Carry copies of all essential documents as a backup, as well as your passport, tickets, and permits, in a waterproof bag.
  • Money: For convenience, carry a small amount of the local currency with you. Next to that you can take a credit or debit card.
  • Electronics: Bring the necessities for staying online and take pictures, such as a camera, smartphone, portable charger and the appropriate electrical plugs for Peru.


Things That Are Not Allowed to Take to Machu Picchu

tripod at machu picchu

This is what you shouldn’t put in your day bag for Machu Picchu. Keep in mind that this list is limited to the location itself—not the travel there. Make sure to avoid packing the following items:

  • Weapons and other sharp objects: It is strictly forbidden to bring weapons or other sharp objects for safety reasons.
  • Alcohol and illegal substances: These items are forbidden in order to preserve a polite and safe atmosphere.
  • Umbrellas: In order to protect guests’ safety and avoid obstructing views, umbrellas are not permitted.
  • Walking sticks, hiking poles, and foldable chairs: Are prohibited because they may harm the fragile terrain.
  • Tripods, monopods, and selfie sticks: These items are not permitted for safety reasons and to prevent disturbing other guests.
  • Drones: Due to safety concerns and to preserve the site’s privacy and tranquility, drones are not permitted.
  • Aerosols: Because they can damage the environment, aerosols are forbidden.
  • Speakers or musical instruments: You are not allowed to take these items with you in order to respect other guests and preserve the tranquil environment


Frequently Asked Questions

couple standing next to each other in front of machu picchu ruins and smiling

What Should You Pack for Machu Picchu?

Packing necessities for your Machu Picchu adventure includes water, snacks, a small backpack for your day trip, sunscreen, sunglasses, comfortable hiking shoes, layers of clothing appropriate for the weather, and a camera or smartphone for taking pictures to capture memories.


What Is Not Allowed at Machu Picchu?

To maintain the site’s safety, preservation, and respectful visitors, some items are forbidden at Machu Picchu. Food, knives or other weapons, illegal drugs and alcohol, umbrellas, walking sticks, hiking poles, folding chairs, tripods, monopods, selfie sticks, drones, aerosols, speakers or musical instruments are a few examples.


Can I Wear Sneakers at Machu Picchu?

Although sneakers are allowed at Machu Picchu, it is recommended that you use robust, closed-toe footwear to manage the uneven and steep terrain. Boots or hiking shoes are the best choice for both comfort and security when visiting.


Do I Need Bug Spray for Machu Picchu?

Although you don’t usually need insect repellent to visit Machu Picchu’s main archaeological site, it’s a good idea to pack bug spray if you want to explore the surrounding areas or if you’re especially at risk of insect bites. There may be insects, including mosquitoes, particularly during certain seasons or in areas with vegetation.


Can I Take Food to Machu Picchu?

You are welcome to bring snacks to Machu Picchu, but keep in mind that outside food is not allowed in order to protect the natural environment and keep the site clean. Packing minimally for the day is advised, and you should take care to dispose of any waste in accordance with the site’s rule


Are There Storage Options at Machu Picchu?

Indeed, there are storage options at Machu Picchu. Before your trip, you can store your larger suitcases at your Cusco or Aguas Calientes hotel. In addition, you can leave any belongings you don’t want to take with you when exploring Machu Picchu at the storage facilities close to the entrance.


Maximize Your Machu Picchu Experience: Packing Tips for a Seamless Journey

Your journey to Machu Picchu is waiting for you, and if you pack properly, it should be an amazing experience. Remember to include necessities like appropriate clothing for the weather, supportive shoes, and sun protection when you plan your trip.

Now that you have this extensive packing list, you can with trust and with excitement start your Machu Picchu adventure.

Feel free to contact us if you need any support for your trip to Machu Picchu.

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