Unquestionably, Machu Picchu is considered the best destination to visit in South America, which is why you must know all the current regulations to explore this wonder of the world. There are some details to keep in mind while packing your bag to Machu Picchu. Therefore, we have gathered these useful tips to help you prepare the perfect packing list for your trip before venturing to this ancient structure!
As you may know, Cusco is home to this enigmatic Inca citadel, but this is not the only attraction in this region. In case you’d like to know what else is there to do, here are some recommendations that will surely be the highlight of your trip:
Now, let’s get to work! Try to keep your backpack simple, and make sure to pack just the essentials since Machu Picchu involves a lot of walking, especially if you’re visiting the surrounding mountains. To make it easier for those taking a trek or going to Machu Picchu by train, let’s divide the packing lists into two sections:
The fastest way to get to Machu Picchu is by train. It is the most in-demand way to visit the Inca citadel. Train companies have some restrictions, and one of them is to allow 5kg backpacks only. Therefore, your large luggage must stay in your hotel in Cusco, luckily for you, most of the hotels offer storage service.
It is worth noting that only small backpacks are allowed in the Inca citadel. To help you organize your bag for this trip, here are some recommendations. Make sure not to overpack but to carry the essentials for this trip:
- Mosquito Repellent. This is a MUST since there are tons of mosquitos in this particular region. Trust us, no one’s safe from them.
- After-bite. Although you may use insect repellent regularly, you could end up with some sneaky mosquito bites.
- High SPF Sunscreen. Even if it is cloudy, make sure to protect your skin from the sun.
- Rain Poncho. Keep in mind that you’ll be visiting the Peruvian high jungle and during the rainy season, the weather tends to be pretty unpredictable. Also, only small umbrellas are allowed in the archeological site.
- A Reusable Water Bottle. Make sure to keep yourself hydrated throughout your trip. It’s worth mentioning that there are no shops inside the Machu Picchu complex.
- Passport. You must carry this with you at all costs since they’ll request it before boarding the train and upon arrival to Machu Picchu.
- Sunglasses and a Sunhat. Very important, especially if you’re traveling during the dry season.
- Entrance Tickets. Always keep a copy of your entrance tickets on your phone as well as a print out of these.
- A sweater. Consider taking a sweater with you since sometimes it gets chilly during the train trip or in the Inca Citadel.
- Altitude Sickness Medicine. You may not need this since Machu Picchu is lower than Cusco, but if you’re worried about getting altitude sickness during your visit, consider bringing diamox or soroche pills with you.
- Camera. Please, don’t forget about this. Keep in mind that professional cameras need a special permit for their use in the archeological site. Please, consult your travel agent.
If you’re visiting Machu Picchu between October and April, make sure to be prepared for the rain with thin layers of clothes. The temperature rises during the rainy season but, as aforementioned, weather is unpredictable during this period. Please check our blog about the weather in Peru for more information.
Different treks take you to this wonder of the world. Therefore, If you’re up to these adventures, make sure to know the basic things to carry with you during this experience. Either you’re taking a 5 or 3- day trek to Machu Picchu, here are some useful tips for your packing list:
- Trekking Poles. For long and demanding hikes, make sure to bring these with you.
- A Water Resistant Backpack. This could be more useful during the rainy season.
- Raincoat or Poncho. An unmissable item in every trekker’s backpack.
- Sun Protection. Make sure to bring a high SPF sunscreen, a sunhat, and sunglasses with you for this adventure.
- Water. Keep yourself hydrated throughout the trek. Some trails, like the Salkantay trek, take you on altitudes over 4,000 meters, make sure to drink enough water to fight any altitude sickness symptoms.
- Warm Clothes. Especially for the cold nights if you’re camping in the mountains.
- Passport. Always take your personal identification with you.
- Insect Repellent and After-bite. These and sunscreen will be your best friends during the trek.
- Altitude Sickness Medicine. Make sure to bring diamox or soroche pills just in case.
Most tour operators include the camping and kitchen equipment in their packages. If you’re traveling with a large backpack, you can leave it in a storage service in Aguas Calientes and take a daypack to your Machu Picchu tour.
If this is your first trip to Machu Picchu, you must wear your best outfit! Depending on the time of the year, this region’s weather can be very rainy or sunny. Therefore, we have gathered a few tips to help you choose what to wear for your visit:
♦ If traveling during the rainy season, between October and April, consider wearing layers of light clothes. That way, if it gets too warm, you can take off your jacket or raincoat. Using a good pair of sneakers or hiking boots is a good idea during this time of the year, essentially because the path is sometimes slippery.
♦ If traveling during the dry season, expect clear skies and bright sunny days during this period. Therefore, consider wearing light clothing, comfortable shoes, sunglasses, and hats. However, if you’re spending the night in Aguas Calientes, we advise you to wear some warm clothes for the chilly nights. Temperatures during the dry season tend to be lower, especially during night time.
An extra tip to improve your experience through the Inca citadel is always applying sunscreen and insect repellent. Some prefer wearing long-sleeved shirts since they are useful to protect the skin from the sun.
Some restrictions have been implemented to preserve this famous archeological site. Therefore, make sure to follow this rule to avoid any inconvenience during your visit. Here’s a list of the unauthorized items in Machu Picchu:
- Large umbrellas. Only small umbrellas are allowed in the Inca citadel.
- Banners o posters.
- Backpacks that exceed 5 kg.
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Musical instruments or speakers
- Baby stroller.
- Sharp objects.
- Tripods and Selfie-sticks.
- Clothing intended for advertising purpose.
Although trekking poles are not allowed in the archeological site, there’s an exception for visitors who must use walking sticks, as long as they have a rubber tip.
For those who plan to bring a professional camera to the Inca citadel, keep in mind that you must get a special permit, which has a cost of up to 300 USD. If you wish to know about the current conditions to visit Machu Picchu, please check this informative guide.
Many travelers in South America chose Peru as their main travel destination, not only for being home to one of the new seven wonders of the world but because of its extensive cultural and natural diversity.
If you’re planning to visit Peru anytime soon, make sure to know everything about it before starting your adventure. Luckily for you, we have a complete guide about Peru’s entry requirements. Make sure to give it a look while you’re here.