Planning Your Trip to Machu Picchu – What to Pack

By | March 3, 2024

Machu Picchu is one of the most iconic archaeological sites in the world and a must-see destination for any visitor to Peru. As you start planning your Machu Picchu trip, one of the most important things to focus on is deciding what to pack. In this post, I’ll break down a comprehensive packing list to help ensure you have everything you need for your amazing adventure.

Trip to Machu Picchu


The weather in the Sacred Valley and at Machu Picchu can vary drastically depending on the time of year. It’s important to pack clothes suited for both warm and cool weather. Some key items to include:

  • Lightweight shirts (both short and long sleeve) – For warmer days, cotton or synthetic material works well. Quick drying fabrics are best.
  • Fleece jacket or sweater – Temperatures drop at night and early mornings, so bring a layer you can easily take on and off.
  • Rain jacket – Ponchos or light weight rain jackets are a must since spontaneous rainfall is always a possibility.
  • Hiking pants – Look for pants with zip-off legs so you can adjust them for the temperature. Convertible pants are also handy.
  • Hiking socks – Wool or synthetic socks that wick moisture help prevent blisters on longer hikes.
  • Hat – Bring a wide brimmed hat or ball cap to protect your face and neck from the sun.
  • Swimsuit – Some Peru tour packages include a soak in the Sacred Valley hot springs. A swimsuit allows you to take advantage of any therapeutic dipping opportunities.


Proper footwear is essential, both for the climbs up to Machu Picchu itself and for general hiking around the ruins. Some top shoe options include:

  • Broken-in hiking boots or trail running shoes – Look for shoes with good ankle support and traction on their soles.
  • Sandals – Bring flip flops or sport sandals like Chacos for evenings or areas where shoes aren’t required.
  • Extra socks – Moisture-wicking socks help prevent blisters when worn with boots.

Other Gear

  • Daypack – Bring a hydration pack or small backpack to carry water, snacks, camera gear and extra layers while hiking.
  • Water bottle – Staying hydrated is key, so bring a durable, reusable water bottle.
  • Camera – Whether using a phone or DSLR, don’t miss documenting magical moments. Extra batteries/memory cards too.
  • binoculars – For better views of condors and observing ruins from a distance.

-Sun protection – Sunscreen, lip balm and sunglasses protect your skin and eyes from the strong Andean rays.

  • Personal items – Toiletries, medication, hand sanitizer, Wet Ones, etc. Pack light!
  • Electric chargers – Power banks or extra battery packs in case of low battery issues.


Many visitors choose to break their Machu Picchu trip into several days, staying in towns like Aguas Calientes, Ollantaytambo or Cusco before and after their visit. Consider packing:

  • Lightweight pajamas – For sleeping on the train or in hostels with shared dorms.
  • Sleeping bag liner – Adds an extra layer of coziness if hostels don’t provide bedding.
  • Microfiber towel – Packs smaller than a regular towel for hostel or hotel use.

When planning your Peru tour, be sure to account for luggage storage in between multi-day excursions. Packing smart will help ensure you fully enjoy the amazing sites with only the essentials in tow.