The essential Packing List for the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
HERE’S A LOOK inside the Inca Trail pack. The idea is to cover everything you need for a trekking adventure, as well as mentioning some things you’re probably better off leaving at home.
This packing list is just a recommended guideline for your reference. Everything is optional for you to choose from.
Extra luggage can be left at your hotel or our office.
It’s best to leave all unnecessary valuables and jewelry at home.
Recommended things to take:During the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu your main luggage will be stored in Cuzco and you will receive a small duffle bag at your Inca Trail briefing (which will be held the evening before you start the trek) to pack clothes and sleeping bag for 3-4 days. Your team of porters will carry these bags together with the food and equipment for the Inca trail. Please note that you will not have access to these items until the end of each day as the porters will always be ahead of the group.
You should therefore bring a day pack in which you can carry personal belongings such as your camera, water and sun screen etc. By Peruvian law the duffle bag must not weigh more than 5 kilograms (10lbs) which is to include your sleeping bag – this limit is set to protect the health of porters and animals. All bags will be weighed before being accepted. If you require more than 5 kilograms, it will then be your responsibility to carry the extra amount together with your day pack.
Packing List for Classic Inca Trail
- Passport – You MUST take your passport and a photocopy is not sufficient. (Keep it in a plastic bag in case of rain).
Sleeping bag – You will need a good warm sleeping bag for the Inca Trail trek. Where possible we recommend you bring your own sleeping bag, however adequate ones can be hired locally (for approx US$25)
- Silk sleeping bag liner – Especially recommended if you plan to hire a sleeping bag but can also give your own bag added warmth
Waterproof, well worn-in walking boots – Good quality, comfortable footwear is essential. Whatever you wear on your feet the most important thing is comfort. It is vital to ensure your boots are well worn in and lightweight. Ankle support and waterproofing is recommended but if you already have something comfortable with good grip on rocks then don’t go rushing out to buy new boots – you are better off with your well worn in pair!
- Waterproof clothing – A plastic poncho is recommended and can be purchased locally for approximately US$2. Some trekkers also like to bring waterproof trousers, however a poncho will usually be sufficient if it covers your bag, body and most of your legs.
- Small lightweight umbrella – Light umbrellas which pack away to almost nothing can be useful to keep away drizzle.
- Plastic bags – to keep your belongings and clothes dry (wrap everything in plastic bags).
- Toilet paper – Most important! Also small plastic bags for rubbish which can then be thrown in the main rubbish bag provided by the porters.
Small towel and basic personal toiletries – there is an opportunity for a shower at the campsite on the third night so bring travel size shampoo and shower gel if you would like to use it, plus wetwipes for the rest of the trek.
- Water bottle – bring one large (1.5 litre) or two or three small water bottles that can be refilled on the trail with boiled water, which will be supplied when possible.
- Warm clothing for night time – Fleece, long pants, woollen hat, gloves
- Thermal underwear – If trekking in winter or you feel the cold
- Walking clothing in layers – e.g. zip off trousers, fleece, T-shirts
- Personal medication and basic first aid kit – Bandaids, Imodium, Panadol, rehydration sachets
- Camera and spare batteries, memory cards or film – Please note: there are no electrical outlets on the Inca Trail so make sure you fully charge or/and have spare batteries!
- Snacks – Chocolates, chips, biscuits, energy bars. Snacks are provided during the trek but you may like to bring one or two extras just in case.
- Torch (flash-light) – (Very Important) and spare batteries.
- Sunscreen, sunglasses and sunhat
- Tropical strength insect repellant
- Antiseptic hand gel
- Swimwear for Aguas Calientes hot pools – Towels can be hired there for 3 soles.
- Flipflops / thongs / jandals – If you wish to have a shower on the third night.
- Diamox – For preventing altitude sickness.
- Pepto bismol tablets – To save you the embarrassment of asking someone else for them.
- Benadryl – Didn’t use it on this trip, but it has helped squelch a few (mild) allergic reactions in the past so I always bring it if I’ll be away from civilization.
- Hydrocortisone cream – Calms rashes.
- Antibacterial ointment – I bought tiny sample sized packets at Target.
- Antiseptic wound cleanser
- Bandages, gauze, tape
- Ace wrap – So the porters don’t have to carry you if you sprain your ankle.
- Moleskin – Forgot to break in your shoes? Don’t worry, there’s moleskin.
- Scissors and safety pins
- Duct tape
- Digital thermometer
- Water purification tablets
- Contact solution
- Chapstick (with spf)
- Hand sanitizer
- Spare contacts
- Toilet paper
- Wet wipes – The official Inca Trail shower alternative.
- Tampons – For the ladies. Hope you don’t need them.
- Hair binders
If you’re staying the night in Aguas Calientes:
- Hotel confirmation
- Universal plug adapter/surge protector
- Phone charger
- Body Wash
- Extra cash
Check here our treks to Machu Picchu