What to pack for a Machu Picchu Adventure

Here's the Inca Trail trek what to pack guide - tried & tested.


The best months to do the Inca trail trek are during the dry season which falls between May – September. The conditions are fairly reliable and the weather is usually sunny. A 4-day Inca trail is the standard trek time to Machu Picchu. Remember that Cusco and the Inca trail are at a higher altitude, so it’s best to come prepared. You can prepare for this trek months in advance through training and exercise which in turn will help your heart and lungs for the climb. Why not find some local walking treks or mountains to climb in your city. It’s best to take it easy a few days before your trek (avoid alcohol) and remember to stay hydrated prior to your trek! When in doubt, chat to your local doctor and bring backup altitude sickness pills.

Check the local weather guide prior to a trip to South America.


First thing’s first – if you are starting your trek in Cusco, there’s no need to carry a big backpack on the trail. Check with your hostel or hotel accommodation and see if they are willing to store your bag for you while you’re off conquering Machu Picchu. Also, speak to your local guide if you have any concerns or questions regarding the trek.


  • Workout clothing: dry-fit, light-weight and easy to layer
  • Trainers or waterproof hiking boots as long as they are comfortable
  • A jumper or jacket to keep you warm
  • T-shirts
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat to keep the sun away
  • Backpack: 22-28L is recommended
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Sports bra (for the ladies)


  • High-quality bug spray or insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Medicine: Altitude sickness tablets, panadol for headaches, Imodium, vitamins (good to have)
  • First aid kit
  • Relief ointments for itchy bites
  • Lip ointment with SPF
  • Toilet paper
  • Toothbrush
  • Body or face wipes


  • Re-useable water bottle or the camelback pouches
  • Smaller denominations of your money
  • Snacks: protein bars, energy-rich foods that are high in carbohydrates
  • Flash light
  • Sleeping bag (it can get quite cold at night time)
  • Garbage bags
  • Lightweight day bag


  • A rain jacket
  • Poncho


  • Camera: GoPro, SLR, compact etc whatever you like
  • Mobile phone with a local sim is always handy
  • Optional: fit-bit to track your trek & heart rate


  • Travel insurance
  • Check regulations and rules regarding visa requirements
  • Get to know your local guide
  • Visit your local doctor for any vaccinations you may need prior to your trip
  • It’s not essential to have everything on this list, Cusco has a range of places where you can rent hiking equipment.

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