IF YOU’RE PLANNING A HIKING TRIP to Machu Picchu (one of the new seven wonders of the world), then, you need to make sure you pack all the essentials.
Going unprepared could easily turn your trip from an incredible experience into a nightmare, particularly if you don’t have much experience hiking.
Since you’ll be hiking to Machu Picchu, you’ll need a bag which allows you to carry everything you need comfortably. Look for a sturdy backpack with strong straps to spread the weight evenly across each side of your body. Remember to invest in a rain cover for your backpack, as most aren’t waterproof.
Your Macchu Pichu hike packing list should include enough clothes to keep you comfortable in a variety of conditions. The weather in the southern Andes of Peru where Machu Picchu is located is defined by two marked seasons: the rainy season (from November to April) and the dry season (from May to October) which means that one should wear clothes accordingly. This is all about practicality, so forget style for now.
Loose, comfortable tank tops or T-shirts are perfect for trekking during the day. They’ll keep you cool while offering some sun protection. For bonus points, invest in a quick-dry sports top for extra comfort.
While it’s warm on the hike, the Inca trail to Machu Picchu can get chilly, so packing one or two long-sleeve tops is a smart move. They don’t need to be thick or bulky — they just need to cover your entire upper body to protect you from both the cold temperatures and the UV rays. Once again, quick-dry long-sleeve tops are ideal. Editor’s note: a long-sleeve top and pants will also help keep the bugs off!
The evenings in the Andes of Peru are cold for the most part, particularly in the dry season which is winter time in the Southern hemisphere.
Packing a lightweight fleece or a down jacket in your daypack is a smart way to keep yourself warm and cozy without adding too much extra weight to your day pack.
Rainfall is typical on the Inca Trail and other alternative hikes to Machu Picchu as they are located in the midst of the cloud forest, so a waterproof jacket is an absolute must.
Again, this doesn’t need to be bulky, just capable of keeping you dry. You can also buy a plastic rain poncho from the local vendors at the entry points of any of these hikes.
You’ll want a pair of pants that are comfortable to trek in and sturdy enough to withstand difficult conditions. You’ll wear these every day, so be sure to test them for comfort beforehand. Convertible pants are the best option; you can walk in shorts during the day and zip up the legs if/when it gets cold.
On the day you reach Machu Picchu, you’ll want a set of fresh, clean clothes to change into. Packing a pair of leggings or yoga pants is perfect for this. They can even double up as nightwear in a pinch.
Pack clean socks and underwear for each day of the trek. Throw in a few spares, too, just in case it gets colder at night. Experienced hikers know that if your feet are warm, then your whole body is warm too.
Since the nights can get cold, packing a pair of warm pajamas is a good idea. Thermals or leggings are ideas for your bottom half, while a thermal or long-sleeve top will keep your upper body warm.
No Machu Picchu packing list would be complete without a good pair of hiking boots or sneakers. Choose the option you find most comfortable, and be sure to break them in properly before your trek. As a matter of safety, trekking in hiking boots is recommended. Change to a light pair of sneakers once you get to the campsites to let your feet rest.
Want to enjoy a splash in the hot springs before or after visiting Machu Picchu? Don’t forget to pack your swimwear! Even if you don’t end up swimming, you’ll benefit from having a spare set of underwear in your pack.
Pack a lightweight sunhat that covers your head and neck to help avoid sunburn and heatstroke. Avoid bulky straw hats, as these are difficult to store and carry.
4. Sun protection
6. Water bottle, hydration packs, or camel bags
You won’t get very far if you don’t stay properly hydrated. Make sure that you pack a decent water bottle, hydration pack, or a camel bag. Pick any of those things that can carry one to two liters to ensure you have enough each day. Make sure your backpack or daypack has a pocket to hold it.
On most organized treks, the crew will supply you with safe water at the start of each day and at lunchtime. If you want to be extra safe, pack your own water treatment tablets or filters.
7. Headlamp or flashlight
8. Trekking Poles
Trekking uphill and downhill for several hours a day will quickly take its toll on your joints. Packing a pair of high-quality walking poles is a good move. Choose lightweight, adjustable poles. Make sure they have a water-resistant grip in case of rainy days. Whether you’re an experienced trekker or not, walking poles will make your trek a lot more comfortable.
Creating the ideal Machu Picchu trek packing list is all about planning ahead, testing items beforehand, and preparing for every situation.
Start with the items above, then mentally walk through each day of your trek and see if anything is missing. Will you want a camera to take photos? Ties to keep your hair out of the way?