10 Essential Items On A Packing List To Machu Picchu

10 Essential Items On A Packing List To Machu Picchu

On your private luxury tour to Peru, you’ll relish the special opportunity to enjoy an unforgettable adventure with the extra delights and pampering that Kuoda provides to make your trip truly unforgettable. Enjoy comfort and luxury pleasure as you follow the footsteps of the Incas on the way to Machu Picchu, the famed ancient citadel. Of course, to enjoy the adventure to its fullest, a packing list to Machu Picchu is essential.

Imagine embarking on this historic trek without carrying a backpack and sleeping each night in a proper tent, including a real bed with a side table. Envision having a masseuse rub away any aches and pains before savoring a gourmet meal paired with an exquisite regional wine as you gaze upon spectacular views of the Andes Mountains by starlight.

Make your travel fantasies of the perfect Inca Trail experience come true when you voyage with Kuoda. Enjoy our exclusive private service while at the same time participating in an outstanding adventure to one of Peru’s top tourist destinations. Here is a list of what to bring to Machu Picchu to ensure everything runs smoothly.

1. Your Passport

your passport

When you’re taking day trips in Cusco and the surrounding area, you can leave your passport in your hotel. However, you will need to show your passport along the trail, upon entering Machu Picchu, and on your return train. Be sure to carry it with you at all times during your Inca trail journey to Machu Picchu.

Experienced travelers know that not everything goes as planned, so it’s best to be overly prepared. Take extra caution and make copies of your passport prior to travel. Store the copies in various places (including the luggage you leave in Cusco and your wallet or purse) just in case it’s ever lost.

2. Personal Care Items

Personal Care Items

Something that we use every day at home and that is not so easy to find along the Inca Trail, toilet paper is an essential item to include on a packing list to Machu Picchu. In fact, it is a good idea to store toilet paper in your day pack while taking a city tour of Cusco or strolling through the charming Sacred Valley towns. Public restrooms are not so easy to find in rural areas of Peru, and they are not always stocked with toilet paper.

Other bathroom supplies and toiletries such as moist towelettes, antiseptic hand gel (hand sanitizer), plastic bags (to separate wet clothes from dry clothes), and any personal medications you may require is highly recommended. And while you’re at it, add to your list pills for altitude sickness.

3. Sun Protection

Sun Protection

Always wear sunblock, sunglasses, and a sun hat while hiking the Inca Trail or walking Machu Picchu grounds. The Andean sun is intense, especially at high altitudes. It has the tendency to sneak up on you, so make sure you put some sunblock on before starting your day and keep your hat on even if it’s slightly overcast outside.

As another form of sun protection, be sure to pack plenty of thin long-sleeve layers and hiking pants.

4. Insect Repellent

Insect Repellent

At some point during your private tour to Machu Picchu, you will start noticing the landscape transitioning from the highlands to the edges of the jungle. The closer you get to Machu Picchu, the higher your risk of getting bitten by typically small flies that can get you before you know they’re there. Use repellent to keep these nasty little no-see-ums at bay.

5. Waterproof Clothing

A plastic poncho is recommended and can be purchased locally for approximately US$1. Some trekkers also like to bring waterproof trousers; however, an impermeable rain jacket or poncho will most likely suffice. Even in the so-called dry season, a sudden rain can take you by surprise, especially since the phenomenon of climate change is making weather increasingly unpredictable.

6. Camera and Batteries

Camera and Batteries

Of course a camera is a must on a packing list to Machu Picchu, and it goes without saying to carry extra batteries and memory cards for your camera. You can buy memory cards in Peru but they may be more expensive than they are at home. Batteries, of course, can be trickier to find abroad, depending on what model you have.

7. Hiking Poles

Hiking Poles

Even if you don’t plan on walking the Inca trail to Machu Picchu and opt for the scenic train ride, having a set of hiking poles on hand can be extremely handy. Depending on your age and physical stamina, the stone steps found within the Machu Picchu site can be steep. Add to that an elevation of 2,430 meters (7,972 feet) above sea level, and the steady support of hiking poles will feel like a blessing to your joints.

Just be sure to pack the boot tips (rubber coverings) for your poles as metal-tipped hiking poles are prohibited. (See what other items are not allowed upon entrance to Machu Picchu at the end of the article.)

8. Comfortable Clothing & Shoes

Comfortable Clothing & Shoes

Bring along good quality comfortable hiking shoes. Waterproof boots with decent ankle support are ideal; however, if you already have a comfortable pair with good traction, then don’t go rushing out to buy new boots – you’re better off with your current footwear!

Consider tossing in a pair of sandals to give your feet a break when you are in camp and are resting up after a day of hiking. Better yet, make them hiking sandals; that way, you can switch to them for walking, if need be.

To minimize the number of clothes in your backpack, keep in mind that one pair of quality hiking pants will typically suffice. Socks are another story! You will be on your feet for a good part of each trekking day so do be sure to throw in plenty of pairs of socks.

9. Cash


You’ll say goodbye to your porters and chefs on the third night. Typically, this is also when you’ll have the chance to tip them. You’ll also want to tip your guide after the tour of Machu Picchu.

Kuoda is committed to meaningful travel and we are proud of the guides, porters, and chefs with whom we work. As an ethical and local tour operator, we encourage our travelers to give back to those who make our journeys extraordinary and authentic.

10. Reusable Water Bottle

Reusable Water Bottle

A metal water bottle is ideal because your chef will boil water for you to drink. Pour the hot water into the bottle at night and you get instant hot water bottles. In the morning, the water will be cool enough to drink. Another good option is to bring a hydration pack, such as a Camelbak, which is both practical and easy to use.

Protecting our environment by reducing waste is just one of the ways that Kuoda commits to being a sustainable travel company. To learn more about how we practice responsible tourism click here.

– What Can’t You Bring To Machu Picchu

Just as important as what to include on a packing list to Machu Picchu are the items prohibited on the grounds of the ancient citadel. Be sure your Machu Picchu backpack has none of the following items:

  • Selfie sticks
  • Camera tripods
  • Alcohol
  • Vapes, cigarettes
  • Metal-tipped hiking poles
  • Strollers
  • Drones

For the complete and most up-to-date list of prohibited items visit the website of Peru’s Ministry of Culture.

– Packing List To Machu Picchu Done? Plan Your Trip With Kuoda

For more information about the luxury tour to Machu Picchu, Kuoda offers, and for information on securing Inca Trail Permits, please read our Inca Trail Trek Overview Page.

Contact us and reach out to one of our Kuoda Travel Designers to learn more about how to include a luxury Inca Trail trek in your customized Peru tour.

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