How to Pack for Machu Picchu and a Trip to Peru

You’re going to Machu Picchu!

It’s an exhilarating experience and we know you’re excited. As you’re getting ready for your trip, you (and/or your parents) are probably wondering, “What should I pack for this great adventure?”

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The most important thing is, we want you to be comfortable.

A good pair of walking shoes & slippers

You’ll be doing a lot of walking outdoors, so probably the most important item is a good pair of walking shoes. We are big believers of Keen shoes. You might think your Converse are perfectly fine for getting around, but for the steep trail to Machu Picchu, you’re going to want something more substantial and preferably waterproof. And this is very important: if you’re buying hiking boots for this trip, be sure to walk in them for at least 5-10 miles, including some uphill and downhill trails (or stairs) before the trip to break them in. You want to make sure they are comfortable,  and you don’t want blisters popping up midway up the mountain. Low-top hiking shoes (and even trail running shoes) are also great. Good traction with a high-quality sole is most important.

Bring some sandals, flip-flops, or slippers to put on at the end of the day to give your feet a break.

Comfortable clothes for 10 days

You’ll need casual, comfortable clothes for 10 days. There will be a chance to do laundry during the trip so it’s advisable to bring fewer clothes and wash them midway (perhaps even twice) through the trip. Laundry service is cheap and reliable.

You’ll need casual, comfortable clothes for 10 days. There will be a chance to do laundry during the trip so it’s advisable to bring fewer clothes and wash them midway (perhaps even twice) through the trip. Laundry service is cheap and reliable.

Bring a thick warm sweater or fleece for cold nights and early mornings. You’ll be starting your Machu Picchu hike before dawn, so it will be cold. And Cusco sits at 3,399 meters (11,152 feet) elevation which intensifies the nighttime lows and brightness of the sun during days.

Waterproof jacket.

Bring a scarf and gloves.

 

Toiletries

Bring whatever toiletries you need. Don’t forget toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, deodorant (your fellow travelers will thank you), extra contact lenses and saline if you use them.

Bandaids and moleskin (find it at outdoors outfitters) for the inevitable blisters. As soon as you feel a sore spot, take off your shoe and put on some moleskin to cushion the spot.

Sun protection

You’ll be in the clear mountain air and that much closer to the sun, so be sure to bring sunblock, sunglasses, and a brimmed hat. Even if you hate hats, you will appreciate one on your treks.

Small backpack

Bring a daypack, or small backpack, to carry your water bottle, sunscreen, camera, and any other daily essentials.

Stay hydrated

Bring a refillable water bottle. Hydro Flask’s insulated bottle is our absolute favorite for keeping water cold and hot but if you want a light one, CamelBak makes a good one.

Safety

Bring and wear a money belt. This is an excellent way to keep your passport, cash, credit and ATM cards secure.

You’ll want a small padlock to lock your gear away in the hostel locker.

For your electronics

And of course, bring your chargers (with an appropriate plug adapter for Peru – 220V or universal adoptor) and backup chargers for phones and cameras. Bring extra memory cards for your cameras because you will be taking a lot of pictures.

How to Pack for Machu Picchu

How to Pack for Machu Picchu Checklist:

  • hiking boots or good walking shoes
  • socks
  • clothing for ten days (or five days if you want to do laundry midway through)
  • waterproof jacket
  • warm sweater or fleece
  • warm scarf and gloves
  • headlamp (for hiking to Machu Pichu before dawn)
  • sunglasses
  • sunhat, baseball cap, or visor
  • sandals/flipflops/slippers
  • daypack/small backpack
  • refillable water bottle
  • money belt
  • small padlock
  • camera and charger
  • universal adaptor
  • extra memory cards
  • phone (if bringing) and charger
  • backup charger for long days

 

Toiletries

Everyone’s list will be different, but be sure to bring the following:

  • sunscreen
  • any prescription medications or epi-pen
  • bandaids and/or moleskin for the inevitable blisters
  • most anything else you need should be available in Peru if you forget.

How to Pack for Machu Picchu

Buying a hand-knitted alpaca wool hat in Peru makes a great souvenir and practical piece of clothing while you’re traveling through Cusco and the Sacred Valley.

And if you’re traveling independently, don’t forget your travel guide!

Did we forget anything? Leave your suggestion in the comments below:


 

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