Ultimate Packing List for Machu Picchu Tours

machu picchu packing list

The Ultimate Machu Picchu Packing List

When traveling to places like Machu Picchu that are located in a secluded place, and the only way to arrive is by train or hiking, you must know exactly what to take to this trip, what to leave in your hotel, and what to leave at home. On this page, you will find all the information on what you need to take for your trip to Machu Picchu, whether you are taking the train or hiking through the mountains.

What to take to Machu Picchu when traveling by Train?

Traveling by train is one of the easiest and fastest ways to arrive at Machu Picchu. The trains to Machu Picchu can be taken from Cusco, Poroy, or Ollantaytambo, and the final destination is Machu Picchu Pueblo, also known as Aguas Calientes. Unfortunately, due to train company policies, you can not take all your luggage with you. You can only take a small carry-on on the train.

Once you arrive at Machu Picchu pueblo, you can spend a night in a hotel and visit Machu Picchu the next early morning, or you can even visit the same day. Due to Machu Picchu regulations, you can not take backpacks larger than 25 liters. With all these restrictions and limited allowance, it’s important to know the most important thing to take to Machu Picchu.

Day trip to Machu Picchu by train

Daypack: If you are traveling on a day trip to Machu Picchu, it’s recommended to take only a small day pack; your luggage must stay in your hotel. The daypack must be small, no larger than 25 liters, light, and easy to handle since you will be hiking around Machu Picchu for at least 2 hours. All the staff you will take to this trip must be in your day pack.

Clothes: Cusco weather is cold in the mornings, and you will need to layer up; however, once you arrive in Aguas Calientes, you need to remove some layers as the weather is warmer in the cloud forest.

  • Warm jackets for the early morning and late arrival back to Cusco
  • Long pants are recommended for the whole trip
  • Comfortable shoes for hiking
  • Light, long sleeve shirts for Machu Picchu warm weather
  • Hat, cap, or something to protect against the strong sun in Machu Picchu
  • Rain jacket or rain poncho

Essentials: You must always travel with extra cash in Peruvian soles; in small coins is better. Make sure you have with you.

  • Original Passport will be needed to board the trains, the bus and enter Machu Picchu.
  • Extra cash in Peruvian Soles, around 300 soles
  • Printed Machu Picchu entrance
  • Train tickets and bus tickets (you can show ion your mobile)
  • Camera, waterproof if possible for a rainy day
  • Sunscreen, insect repellent
  • Sunglasses

Food: Food is not allowed in Machu Picchu. Actually, it is not allowed to open a picnic in the citadel, but you can take snacks.

  • Chocolates, power bars, or some fruits
  • At least 1 liter for Machu Picchu; please note that plastic disposable containers are not allowed.

Recommendations:

  • Do not take umbrellas; they are restricted in Machu Picchu
  • Please do not take a walking stick unless it is necessary; this must have a rubber tip
  • Do not feed the Llamas in Machu Picchu
  • Do not approach to edges or trespass the ropes
Train to Machu Picchu
Panoramic Vistadome Train to Machu Picchu

A multi-day trip to Machu Picchu by train

Duffle Bag: You can take a duffle bag or a small carry-on where you will put all the clothes for the 2-day + trip to Machu Picchu. Remember that the bags must be no greater than 10 kg / 22lb and a maximum size of 62 linear inches / 157 cm (height + length + width) onboard the train. This bag will stay in your hotel in Aguas Calientes while you are visiting Machu Picchu only with a daypack; you can’t take it to Machu Picchu. Also, make sure you check out from the hotel before going to Machu Picchu.

Daypack: Essential to enter Machu Picchu, where you will place all the essentials to visit Machu Picchu. Ensure it is light and easy to carry as you will be carrying during the guided tour in Machu Picchu.

Clothes: Depending on how many days you will be traveling to Machu Picchu from Cusco, you will need to pack accordingly. The most popular way to  travel is a 2-day tour overnight in Aguas Calientes; for this tour, you must make sure to have the following:

  • Warm clothes for the early mornings and night in Cusco
  • Pants (Long pants to visit Machu Picchu and short pant if you prefer to walk around Aguas Calientes if you prefer)
  • Hiking shoes for Machu Picchu
  • Sandals or comfortable light shoes for the city of Aguas Calñientes
  • T-shirts, undergarments for 2 days
  • Long-sleeves to Machu Picchu
  • A hat or cap for sunny days in Machu Picchu
  • Rain gear always with you

Essentials: To visit Machu Picchu, you will need to take the original passport and other essentials.

  • Original Passport, keep it in a dry and safe place while visiting Machu Picchu.
  • Extra Cash in Soles, try to have in small coins to buy souvenirs
  • Machu Picchu entrances, you need to print them
  • Train and bus tickets, you can show on your mobile
  • Camera for the good pictures
  • Sunscreen, insect repellent
  • Sunglasses

Food: You can take snaks only, and you must have them in quiet places during breaks when llamas aren’t around; they will chase you if they see you with food. Feeding the llamas is prohibited.

  • Chocolates, power bars, or some fruits
  • Water at least 1 liter must be stored in your daypack. Disposable plastic bottles are not allowed.

Recommendations:

  • Take a bathing suit to visit the hot springs in Aguas Calientes town
  • Dont forget to take toiletries
  • Do not take umbrellas; they are restricted in Machu Picchu
  • Please do not take a walking stick unless it is necessary; this must have a rubber tip
  • Do not feed the Llamas in Machu Picchu
  • Do not approach to edges or trespass the ropes

What to take for a Hiking tour to Machu Picchu?

Hiking to Machu Picchu is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Preparing properly for this trip is important; you must train regularly in your country before your trek, arrive in Cusco at least 2 days before the trek, and take all the necessary items for the trip.

Cusco is located high in the Andes, which makes the weather difficult to predict. Here in the Andes, we have only two seasons; the rainy season is from November to March, and the dry season from April to October. We advise all visitors to prepare for all seasons when traveling to Machu Picchu.

During our hiking tours to Machu Picchu, Choquequirao, Ausangate, and other Alternative Treks, TreXperience will provide a duffle where you can put up to 7 kilos of personal staff; our porters will carry these duffle bags. It’s important to keep the weight always below the maximum allowed.

Your big luggage must stay in Cusco, most hotels provide free storage space, or you can store your luggage safely with TreXperience.

salkantay Trek
Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu

Absolutely Essentials:

These items must be with you at all times while participating in a hiking tour to Machu Picchu.

  • Valid, original Passport (a copy will not be accepted in Machu Picchu)
  • Valid Student Card (if you booked as a student)
  • Comfortable hiking boots (light, comfortable and broken in)
  • A good quality daypack (light, small and comfortable)
  • Suncream, bug spray, rain gear
  • Water storage for at least 2 liters; either a camel bag or water bottles (disposable plastic bottles not allowed)
  • Trekking poles (optional- recommended)

What to put in the Daypack:

You are responsible for carrying your daypack every day; this backpáck must be light, we recommend keeping around 5 kilos. Please make sure they are of good quality, small, and comfortable to carry. Your backpack should not exceed 25L to enter Machu Picchu, and consider that they must comfortable carrying water bottles or a bladder.

  • Hat and sunglasses for the sunny days
  • Rain gear or rain ponchos
  • Warm layers (fleece / long-sleeved tops)
  • Sunscreen, Insect repellent
  • Hand sanitizer, wet wipes
  • Toilet paper in Ziploc bags
  • Personal medication, advise your tour guide of vital medication
  • Band-aids, moleskin
  • Camera, extra batteries
  • Head torch
  • Additional snacks, power bars, chocolate
  • Extra money for souvenirs, drinks & tips (small change is useful for paying to use the villagers’ toilets on the first day)
Inca Trail
The Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

What to put in the duffle bag:

TreXperience will provide a duffle bag during the briefing held the day before the tour, here you will put all the items necessary for the trekking, and it won’t fit in your daypack. During our hiking tours, the duffle bags are only available in the campsites.

  • Good down sleeping bag (can be rented from us)
  • Comfortable air mattress (can be rented from us)
  • Light, comfortable shoes for the camp
  • Warm jacket, Fleece Beanie or Head Band, and gloves
  • Hiking pants/trousers
  • Undergarments for every day (2 sets per day)
  • Hiking socks
  • Fleece
  • Warm, down jacket for the coldest nights
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Soap
  • Wet wipes
  • Toothbrush and paste
  • Face moisturizer
  • Powerpack/battery charger
  • Plastic bags to keep wet or muddy clothes separate
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