If you plan to hike the Salkantay Trek or have already booked a tour, this post will help you decide what to take on this fantastic hike. As a tour guide on the Inca Trail for many years, I know what guests need to take to enjoy this trek to the fullest. Here, you have the ultimate Salkantay Trek Packing List.

The Salkantay Trek is the second most popular hike in Peru after the Inca Trail. It is also the most challenging hike to Machu Picchu, and you need to be prepared to face any obstacles during the trip. Preparing in advance for this trek is essential; you must regularly go on short hiking before coming to Peru.

Salkantay trek packing list

Ultimate Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu Packing List 2023

Knowing precisely what to take to the Salkantay Trek is essential; you will take a backpack that you will carry with you all the time, then you will also have a duffle bag where you can put all your stuff up to 7 kilos. The rest of your luggage must stay in Cusco in your hotel or our office.

Hiking gear for Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

  • Comfortable backpack

When it comes to finding the perfect backpack for hiking, there are a few things you need to take into consideration. The first is the size of the bag. You want to ensure that it is large enough to fit all your belongings but not too large that it becomes cumbersome to carry.

The second is the type of material the backpack is made from. You want something durable that will stand up to the elements but also lightweight so that you don't end up lugging around a heavy pack. And finally, you want to ensure that the backpack has plenty of compartments and pockets so you can easily organize your belongings.

The Osprey backpacks are an excellent option for comfortable and durable bags. You need to get a backpack of 30 to 60 liters to fit everything you need for even the longest hikes. Plus, it's made from durable nylon fabric and has a metal frame, so you know it will last. 

  • Original passport (to enter Machu Picchu)

Assuming you have your passport and visa (if necessary) in hand (Some countries are allowed to travel with a National ID), you need to bring the original passport to the trek; you will need a safe and waterproof place to store it in your daypack, Ziploc bags work very well. 

Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 more months from when you travel to Peru. 

  • Fleece jacket

Make sure you pack a warm fleece jacket. The temperatures can drop quite low at night, so you'll want a layer that keeps you warm. A fleece jacket is also great for wearing during the day if the sun isn't out. This jacket must be light and easy to pack in your daypack, and take it out whenever you need it or are cold. 

  • Waterproof jacket

A waterproof jacket is a must-have if you're planning on visiting Machu Picchu. The coat will keep you dry in the event of rain or snow. It's also windproof, so you'll be comfortable even if the weather is cold. The jacket must have a hood that can be pulled up to protect your head from the elements.

  • Hiking pants

There are a few things to consider when choosing the best hiking pants for Machu Picchu. First, the pants should be comfortable and allow you to move freely. Second, they should be made of durable material that can withstand a lot of wear and tear. Third, they should be lightweight so you don't get too hot while hiking. Fourth, they should have plenty of pockets for storing all your essentials. Fifth, they should provide good sun protection. Finally, they should be large enough to fit over your base layer of clothing. Convertible pants are a good option for the Salkantay trek with different climate zones. 

  • Baselayers

Your base layer is the foundation of your clothing system and will impact your comfort level most while trekking. Make sure to choose a base layer that will wick away sweat and keep you warm even when wet. We recommend synthetic or merino wool fabrics for their durability and ability to regulate temperature.

  • Trekking shirts

The best way to stay comfortable while trekking is to wear the proper clothing. A good trekking shirt should be made of breathable material that will wick away sweat. It should also have UPF protection to keep you from getting sunburned. The shirt should be loose fitting so you can move freely, but not so loose that it gets caught on branches or rocks.

Synthetics like polyester and nylon are good choices

  • Hiking boots

Make sure your hiking boots have good ankle support and grip. The shoes should also be comfortable and lightweight so you can hike for long periods without getting tired.

  • Sneakers or Sandals

After long hours of hiking, you might want to remove the heavy boots; you will need something light to wear at the campsites. Sandals are suitable for showering or in the hot springs. 

  • Hiking socks

Hiking socks are essential for many reasons. They provide cushioning for your feet, which can help prevent blisters. They also wick away moisture, keeping your feet from getting too sweaty. And they can help keep your feet warm in cold weather.

They need to be comfortable, durable, and able to wick away moisture. Merino wool is one of the best materials for hiking socks because it meets all of these criteria. It's also naturally anti-microbial, so it will help keep your feet fresh even after a long day on the trail.

  • Bathing suit

There are 2 hot springs on the Salkantay Trek; The Cocalmayo Hotsprings located in the Santa Teresa District and Aguas Calientes town. Make sure to take bathing suits if you plan to relax in the volcanic waters. 

  • Hat or Cap

You'll need a hat to protect you from the sun when you visit Machu Picchu. The best hats have a wide brim that shades your face, neck, and shoulders. Look for a hat made from breathable fabric so you won't get too hot. A hat with a chin strap is also a good idea so it won't blow away in the wind.

  • Bennie or Winter hat

A bennie is a type of hat that is often worn in cold weather. It is usually made of wool or a different kind of warm fabric. Bennies are often worn in winter when it is cold outside. They are also famous for outdoor activities, like hiking and camping. 

  • Buff or Neck Gaiter

A buff is more versatile since it can be used as a headband, scarf, or dust mask. 

  • Gloves

We recommend 2 types of gloves; Hiking gloves for the days, especially when using trekking poles, also you need warm gloves for the night. 

Gloves will keep your hands warm and prevent you from getting frostbite. They will also protect your hands from the sun. If you are going to be hiking around the site, gloves will help you avoid blisters on your hands.


  • Trekking poles

Trekking poles provide extra stability on uneven terrain and help to reduce stress on your legs and knees.

When choosing trekking poles, look for a pair that is lightweight but durable, with comfortable handles and adjustable straps. You may also want to consider collapsible poles, which save space in your pack. And don't forget to pack spare tips if yours get damaged on the trail. Black Diamond trekking poles are a good option. 

  • Sunglasses

The sun can be intense, and the wet rocks' glare can be blinding. If you're not used to the altitude, the sun can make you feel dizzy and nauseous. Look for a pair of sunglasses with 100% UV protection that covers your entire field of vision.

  • Quick dry towel

Make sure to pack a quick dry towel for the Salkantay trek. The air is very humid, and the temperatures can get relatively high, so you'll want a towel that dries quickly. Quick dry towels are made from materials that absorb water quickly and then dry quickly. They're usually lighter than regular towels, so they're easy to pack.

  • Sleeping bag

The temperatures can get pretty cold at night, so it's essential to have good sleeping bags, rated at -10°C. They also come in different sizes, so you can find one that's just right for you. And if you're worried about packing too much, don't worry - most sleeping bags can be easily rolled up and stored in a backpack. You can also rent us down-filled sleeping bags. 

  • Inflatable mattresses

We provide foam mattresses on all our tours. However, if you want an extra layer, you can rent or bring your inflatable matress, make sure it is light, easy to pack, and small. 

Thermarets inflable mattress are good option. 

  • Plastic poncho

We provide plastic ponchos during the trek; these are reusable; make sure you return them after the tour and do not throw them away. 

 Toiletries for Salkantay Trek

 Toiletries for Salkantay Trek 

  • Hand sanitizer

Carry a hand sanitizer always with you in your daypack; it is important to sanitize your hands before and after every activity you perform. 

  • Toilet Paper

Pack toilet paper in a waterproof bag and take your daypack always

  • Soap or Shampoo

Take your preferred soap or chappo to shower; ensure it is small, light, and properly sealed.

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

Ensure it is small, light, and in a separate compartment or waterproof bag to avoid spills. 

First Aid Kit Salkantay Trek

Basic First Aid Kit for Salkantay Trek

  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Moleskin
  • bandages
  • antiseptic wipes
  • pain relievers
  • Supplies to treat blisters, cuts, scrapes, insect bites, and diarrhea
  • Tissues or wet wipes
Electronics Salkantay Trek

Electronics Salkantay Trek

  • Portable Chargers

We will be camping out in the mountains, so having a good portable charger or power bank with you is important. 

  • Phones - Cameras

Take your phones and cameras always in your daypack; it is important to have waterproof containers or bags where you can put them when it's raining. 


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