What to bring for the Inca Trail in 2024
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is a hike you must take once in your lifetime. Over 4 days, you will be hiking through mountains, valleys, jungle, and cobblestone paths without an internet connection or route. For this reason, we have prepared the Ultimate Inca Trail packing list.
When hiking in the high mountains, away from the city, with no electricity, no route access, and no stores, it's essential to take all necessary equipment. In the Andes of Cusco, we have 2 main seasons. The wet season is from November to March, and the dry season is from April to October.
It doesn't matter what season you are hiking the Inca Trail; you must always be prepared for cold, wind, rain, and sunny days; the weather in the Andes, especially on the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu, is unpredictable. You'll need to be prepared for various conditions – from hot and sunny days to cold and rainy nights. Below is a comprehensive Inca Trail packing list to help you make sure you have everything you need for a comfortable and enjoyable trek.
Documents needed for the Inca Trail
You will need the original passport used when booking the tour. If you renew the passport after the booking, you must update the passport number. To do this, please send us a photo of the 2 passports. Passports are required to be valid for at least 6 months beyond travel dates.
All travelers under 17 years old will get a 40.USD discount. Students under 25 years old at the time of entering Machu Picchu can also get the student discount if they have a valid Student ID (the ID must have the name of the University, photo of the Student, and Valid expiration date) IDs with no expiration date or expired date are not valid. To get the student discount, please send a copy of your ID to firstname.lastname@example.org to see if you are eligible.
Vaccination to enter Peru:
You may require some additional vaccinations before traveling to Peru. Please don't forget to consult with your doctor before your trip so they can advise you. Please check the CDC website for suggested vaccinations by visiting us at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/peru.
Clothing for the Inca Trail hike
As mentioned above, the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu weather are unpredictable, and rain can occur even in the driest months of the year, like June or July. It would be best if you always were prepared for all seasons.
During the Inca Trail, Salkantay Trek, Lares Trek, and other treks to Machu Picchu, it is better to wear layers to remove or add depending on the weather condition, hiking up to the mountains, or going down to the valley. Temperatures throughout the day can vary dramatically as you pass different ecological zones.
Bring around 5 or 6 undergarments; you should always bring an extra set as you might use more than 1 in the day if it gets wet. 1 or 2 different will be enough as you must save room for others. Sports underwear is better; bring sports bras.
Thermal base layers (top and bottom):
You will need base layers for cold nights and early mornings; they must be lightweight.
Long sleeve shirts are recommended for this trek; they must be lightweight, breathable, and quick-dry material. Bring 2 short sleeve shirts and three long-sleeved shirts; cotton is not recommended.
Long-sleeve shirts are important for the Inca Trail trek as they protect from the sun, insects, and changing weather conditions
Fleece or down Jackets:
Both fleece and down jackets are suitable for the Inca Trail, as they provide warmth and insulation during the colder evenings and higher altitudes.
Waterproof and windproof jacket:
A waterproof and windproof jacket is essential for the Inca Trail due to the unpredictable weather conditions in the Andes.
Quick-dry hiking pants:
Bring 2 or 3 hiking trousers; convertible trousers are perfect for sunny days. For ladies, leggings are also widely used.
Hat or cap for sun protection:
Bring a sunhat with a neck cover; neck gaiters will be very helpful to cover your neck and prevent sunburn. Also, bring good sunglasses.
Beanies and Gloves:
Bring a fleece beanie and gloves; waterproof gloves are suitable for rainy days
Hiking Boots and shoes:
Hiking boots are essential equipment on this list; you must get a rubber sole with ankle support. Make sure you have worn them before arriving on the Inca Trail.
Hiking sandals or comfortable shoes for evenings:
After a long day of trekking on the Inca Trail, it's important to give your feet a break and allow them to breathe. Hiking sandals or comfortable shoes are great for relaxing in the evenings at the campsite.
Wool or moisture-wicking socks (4-5 pairs):
You should have thick hiking socks to wear with the boots and some light socks at the campsite. We recommend 4 pairs of thick wool socks and 3 pairs of lightweight socks.
Gaiters are optional for the Inca Trail but can be useful in providing additional protection from mud, water, dust, and small rocks that can get into your hiking boots.
Camping equipment for the Inca Trail:
Backpack (30-40 liters) with rain cover:
A 30-40 liter backpack is a great choice for the Inca Trail, as it provides enough space for essential gear while remaining lightweight and easy to carry.
Mummy-style down sleeping bags are recommended for this trek; they should be lights and temperatures rated around -10 C (14F). You can rent from us; we provide warm-down sleeping bags with liners. We will provide pillows on all our trekking tours.
Trekking poles (with rubber tips):
Bring lightweight adjustable trekking poles for the trek; if you don't have one, you can rent Black Diamond poles from us.
Hydration bladder or water bottles (2 liters capacity):
Bring a blader that fits your backpack or a reusable water container for at least 2 liters of water; bigger than 21 litter in the Inca Trail might be too heavy.
We will provide a camping mat for your Inca Trail tour. However, you can bring or rent from us an inflatable mat that will provide you with more isolation and comfort.
Headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries:
Headlamps are essential for this trek, you can bring a flashlight, but headlamps are better hands-free.
Take cameras, cellphones, or Go-Pro to capture the best moments. Remember you will be camping out in the mountains with no electricity.
Portable charger/power bank:
Bring a good power bank or extra batteries.
Bring extra cash in Soles and small denominations for souvenirs and tips, and buy anything along the trek.
Toiletries and others
Sunglasses and sunblock (SPF 30+):
You will be hiking out in the open space at a high altitude; good sunscreen is essential. Bring water-resistant sunscreen and lip balms.
Bring insect repellent high in Deet, Machu Picchu, and Inca Trail in a warm and humid area.
Reusable, quick-drying travel towel:
We provide hand towels to dry your hands. Bring a small quick-dry towel to dry your face or take a shower.
You can bring a bathing suit if you stay an extra day in Aguas Calientes.
Wet Wipes – Tissues:
Pack wet wipes, tissues, toilet paper, and hand gels to disinfect your hands during the trek.
Please bring all your toiletries; make sure they are small and lightweight (toothbrush, toothpaste, dry shampoo, deodorant, face moisturizer, small soap)
First-aid Kit for the Inca Trek
Have an essential supply of medications to manage common health issues that may arise during the trek; Diamox, Pepto-Bismol, Imodium, and Ciprofloxacin. Consider packing a basic first aid kit that includes pain relievers (such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen), antihistamines (for allergies), electrolyte rehydration salts (for dehydration), and any personal medications you may need.
Blister plasters, also known as blister pads or hydrocolloid dressings, are essential for trekkers to prevent and treat blisters during long hikes. They provide cushioning, reduce friction, and promote healing.
An antiseptic cream is essential for any trek, as it helps prevent infection in minor cuts, scrapes, and blisters.
For the Inca Trail, women must pack feminine hygiene products that are comfortable, reliable, and easy to manage; Reusable cloth pads, tampons, personal wipes, and pain relief.
Snack for the day:
- Energy bars (one or 2 per day)
- Trail Mix
- Dry fruits
- Beef Jerky
- Electrolyte powder or tablets
- Water purification tablets or a water filter (Optional)
- Tea bags or instant coffee (optional)