How To Pack for Trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Inca Trail Trek

This information is specifically for trekking the Inca Trail with the trip operators Amazonas Explorer. Other trip operators may have information that varies slightly.

The descent from Dead Woman's Pass on the Inca Trail
The descent from Dead Woman’s Pass on the Inca Trail

SUGGESTED PACKING LIST

  • Nicer clothes for night life in Cusco
  • Shorts (quick dry)
  • Pants (quick dry)
  • T-shirts (quick dry)
  • A warm fleece, down jacket, or wool sweater (available in Cusco)
  • Thermal underwear
  • Underwear and socks
  • Warm hat, gloves, & scarf
  • Water proof jacket & pants and/or rain poncho
  • After trekking trousers & t-shirt
  • Good, well worn-in hiking boots
  • Trekking poles & protective tip covers
  • After trek shoes (sandals)
  • Sleeping bag, -5C / 20F (available to rent)
  • Towel
  • Water bottles (2 liter capacity)
  • Sunglasses
  • Eyeglasses or contacts (if necessary)
  • Swim suit (optional)
  • Sun hat
  • Head lamp & spare batteries
  • Book, notepaper & pen (optional)
  • Suntan lotion with 15 SPF or higher
  • After sun care
  • Lip balm
  • Insect repellent
  • Camera & spare battery (charging is not availability during the trek)
  • Personal toiletries (only soap is provided)
  • Money belt
  • Passport
  • Day pack & rain cover
  • Personal first aid kit to include: painkillers, plasters (band-aids), moleskin, antiseptic cream, after bite, anti-diarrhea tablets, throat lozenges, re-hydration salts & personal medication. (Amazonas Explorer carries an extensive first aid kit & Oxygen on all trips, but these are generally for emergencies only)

 

HOW TO PACK 

For your trek, you will need a day backpack, large enough to hold water bottles, rain jacket & pants, a warm layer, sun screen, insect repellent, camera, and snacks. The day backpack makes a good carry-on for your flights.

For your main luggage, you can use whatever type of suitcase, duffle bag, or backpack you prefer. The main bulk of your luggage and your main suitcase will be left at your hotel in Cusco.

At your pre-trek briefing, your guide will provide you with a small duffle bag. In this, you will want to put all your clothing and gear that you will need for the trek. Please remember that this is limited to 13lbs / 6kg per person. Your porters will be carrying this duffle, and you will not have access to it during the day. You will need to take everything you need during the day in your day pack.

Pro Tip: We recommend carrying on all of your most essential items on your flights to Cusco. This way, if your checked luggage is lost in transit, you will still be able to do the trek. For example, wear or carry on your hiking boots. Good, comfortable, and broken-in hiking boots are irreplaceable. Also carry on any prescription medications, sunglasses, and anything else that is irreplaceable for you. Everything else required for your trek (sleeping bags, trekking poles, rain jackets & pants, etc. can be found in Cusco).

 

NOTES

  • The porters carry all you heavy camping gear but this is inaccessible during the day so please bring a small day-pack to carry your personal day gear in (i.e. water bottle, camera, sun block, insect repellent, light fleece and rain jacket).
  • Due to Inca Trail rules limiting the numbers of porters and the weight they carry, we have to limit your heavy gear to 6 kg (13 lbs). This is usually more than adequate. Kit bags are supplied for these porter carried items.
  • Any excess gear may be stored in Cusco at your hotel while you are on the Inca Trail.
  • New rules at Machu Picchu limit the number of visitors to Huayna Picchu.  Please let us know when booking your trip if you wish to climb this peak so we can include your permits.
  • Inca Trail regulations stipulate ski poles are only allowed with plastic protecting covers. This is to prevent trail damage. ‘Native’ tree walking sticks are also banned on the trail. This is to prevent de-forestation.
  • We recommend trekkers take around 600 soles in local currency for any emergencies and expenses in Machu Picchu.
  • We implement a ‘porter protection policy’ that ensures all porters are well treated, paid, insured, fed and looked after.
  • Most good quality sporting equipment is unavailable in Peru so if you wish to donate any outdoor clothes, sleeping bags, etc they will be gratefully received by any of our staff.

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