Ultimate Machu Picchu Packing List: Supercharge Your Adventure with Essential Gear

Introduction to our Machu Picchu Packing List

Machu Picchu, as you might already know, is one of the most important destinations to visit in Peru. This Incan citadel is situated on a ridge on top of a mountain. At an altitude of almost 8,000 feet above sea level, you can expect it to get quite chilly. Before you decide to pack your bags to Peru, make sure that you are prepared well in advance for Machu Picchu as well, as that will be one of the first places you will visit during your sight-seeing. Let us take a look at the 10-most important things you should have in your Machu Picchu Packing List.

Small Backpack

machu picchu packing list
Add a small backpack to your Machu Picchu packing list

It is very important to kick off this list explaining that bags larger than 40x35x20 cm (16x14x8 inches) are not allowed inside Machu Picchu. For this reason consider adding only the most important items to your Machu Picchu packing to your small backpack.

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Water is an indispensable item to include in your Machu Picchu packing list. Maintaining proper hydration is vital due to the high altitude and physical activity involved in exploring this magnificent destination. Be sure to bring an ample supply of water bottles or a reusable hydration system to sustain you throughout the day.

Access to fresh water sources within the site may be limited, so it’s essential to prioritize hydration and pack enough water for your entire visit. By recognizing the significance of water in your Machu Picchu packing list, you’ll be well-prepared to fully appreciate the awe-inspiring ruins while ensuring your well-being and comfort. Don’t overlook this crucial item, as it plays a pivotal role in enhancing your overall experience at Machu Picchu.

Warm Clothing

It is essential to pack warm clothing that will keep you cozy in the frigid mountain atmosphere before ascending to the majestic heights of Machu Picchu. Even in the height of summer at 8,000 feet above sea level, temperatures can plummet suddenly. Make sure to bring these necessary goods to be prepared for any weather:

Thick Pairs of Jeans: Choose robust pairs of jeans that offer both durability and insulation. They give you mobility for exploring the ruins while providing protection from the brisk winds.

Pack a few thick sweaters so you can layer up and stay warm. Pick insulating clothing made of thick, woolen materials that nevertheless allow for breathability.

Wool Underwear: Do not undervalue the value of wearing the right base layers. Woolen undergarments will keep you warm and cozy while protecting you from the alpine chill.

Jacket: Including a jacket in your backpack is a smart move if there is room for one. Look for a thin, insulating alternative, such a down or a fleece-lined jacket. It will add an additional layer of defense against the chilly conditions.


While it doesn’t always rain in Machu Picchu, it can sometimes begin to drizzle, as is the case in most mountainous areas. Do carry a raincoat if you are going to visit Machu Picchu during the rainy months between October and April. You can purchase cheap plastic ponchos throughout Cusco and Aguas Calientes, this is truly a must have for your Machu Picchu packing list.

Comfortable Shoes

machu picchu packing list shoes
The right shoes in your Machu Picchu packing list go a long way

Having the appropriate footwear is essential for a pleasant and enjoyable experience when exploring the historic sites and gorgeous trails of Machu Picchu. It is crucial to choose shoes that offer stability and support due to the varied terrain and unpredictable weather conditions. When selecting footwear for your Machu Picchu packing list, take into account the following advice:

Strong Hiking Boots: Choose strong hiking boots with a firm outsole that provide excellent ankle support. These will give you a firm footing while you travel the trails by shielding your feet from unlevel ground, sharp rocks, and possible slips.

Comfortable Walking Shoes: If you want a lighter option or intend to explore Machu Picchu’s more accessible regions, comfortable walking shoes with supportive arches may be a nice option. To ensure stability and avoid discomfort during extended walks, look for shoes with cushioning and a sticky sole.

Waterproof or Water-Resistant Shoes: It is best to buy footwear that is either waterproof or water-resistant given the possibility of rain or moist circumstances. Your feet will stay dry and be less uncomfortable as a result, especially during the rainy season.

Breathable Materials: The environment at Machu Picchu might change, so you might experience various temperatures while there. To encourage airflow and minimize excessive sweating or discomfort, use shoes constructed from breathable materials like mesh or breathable fabric.

Proper Fit: Make sure the shoes you choose are comfortable to wear and have enough toe room. Avoid wearing shoes that are excessively tight or too loose because they might lead to instability or blisters. Before making your choice, take the time to try on various options and walk around to evaluate comfort and fit.

To prevent discomfort or blisters during your excursion, remember to break in your shoes prior to your journey. Additionally, think about adding an extra pair of lightweight, cozy shoes to your Machu Picchu packing list for unwinding at your lodging following a day of exploration.

You will be ready to take on the gorgeous paths of Machu Picchu by making an investment in appropriate footwear that combines durability, support, and comfort. So put on your preferred pair, take in the beauty around you, and go out on an unforgettable voyage with ease and confidence!


Though Machu Picchu sounds like a cold place, it can also be awfully sunny and windy. If you have ever been to mountainous regions, you will know that a good pair of sunglasses is very important.


It can’t be stressed enough that sunscreens are very important while you are high up o the Andes. The sun rays are very harsh, and as you go higher up on the mountains, the air gets thinner, and the UV rays stronger. Pack in a good sunscreen cream, with at least SPF 30. Perhaps this should be higher on the Machu Picchu packing list as a bad sunburn can ruin a trip fast.


While you would think this a bit out of place for this Machu Picchu packing list, many people find it difficult to acclimatize to high altitudes and feel that they are getting tired very soon. Chocolates and candies help to regulate blood sugar levels, especially if they are falling below normal. Lime candies also help with altitude sickness.


Prioritizing your health and being ready for any unforeseen circumstances are essential when traveling to Machu Picchu. It is a good idea to pack a variety of necessary medications to protect your health throughout the journey while you immerse yourself in the delights of this historical masterpiece. Think about adding the following prescription drugs to your Machu Picchu packing list:

Medication for Altitude Sickness: Due to Machu Picchu’s high elevation, it is advised to bring medication to prevent or treat altitude sickness. To find the best choice for you, consult your healthcare physician ahead.

Painkillers: After long days of hiking and exploring, you can experience headaches or sore muscles. Bring ibuprofen or acetaminophen or other over-the-counter painkillers to ease any discomfort so you may enjoy your journey to the fullest.

Medication to Prevent Diarrhea: Alterations to one’s diet and water intake might occasionally cause digestive problems. Bring anti-diarrheal medication to manage any unexpected episodes of stomach discomfort and ensure a smooth trip.

Motion sickness medication should be included in your kit if you frequently get motion sickness, especially on bus or rail travels to Machu Picchu. This will help you appreciate the scenic routes without feeling queasy or sick to your stomach.

Medication for Allergies: Due to the complex ecosystem surrounding Machu Picchu, it is possible that you will come across different plants, insects, or environmental elements that cause allergies. To prevent allergic responses, carry antihistamines or any other necessary allergy medication.

A basic first aid pack that includes sticky bandages, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, and any prescription medications you frequently take is always advisable. You will be able to respond quickly to small injuries or medical needs because of this.

Before visiting Machu Picchu, do not forget to speak with your doctor to make sure you have enough of your prescription drugs and to address any other unique medical issues. You can concentrate on fully immersing yourself in the breathtaking grandeur of Machu Picchu while having peace of mind by packing these necessary medications and being proactive about your health.

Portable Charger/Power Bank

It is always important to carry a spare power bank or portable charger, as you don’t want to run out of battery while roaming around Machu Picchu. There are no places to charge electronics inside the ruins, making this a very important item to include in your Machu Picchu packing list.

Books and Magazines

The train journey to Machu Picchu is picturesque and you will certainly not need a book or a magazine to read. However, if you are the kind who wants a book in hand, pack in one. Guide books to use while inside Machu picchu are also great and recommended for your Machu Picchu packing list.

A Good Camera

This needn’t be said as most people carry smartphones with good cameras. However, if you want to remember your trip to Machu Picchu all your life, carry a professional camera and take enviable pictures to cherish your memories forever.

machu picchu packing list prohibited items
Now lets take a look at what you shouldn’t include in your Machu Picchu packing list.

What’s Prohibited inside Machu Picchu?

Here is a list of what you should not include in your Machu Picchu packing list as well as things you should not do at Machu Picchu, straight from the government’s own website.

1. Carry backpacks, bags or purses larger than 40x35x20 cm (16x14x8 inches).

2. Enter with food or kitchenware, i.e. plates, cutlery, thermoses, etc.

3. Enter with any illegal substance or to be under the influence of any substance.

4. Enter with any type of alcohol or under the influence.

5. Enter with umbrellas, walking sticks, portable chairs, tripods, monopods, selfie sticks or other photography/film stabilization accessories.

6. Enter with animals, except guide dogs.

7. Feed domestic or wild animals

8. Enter with any type of aerosol.

9. Deface, alter or leave any type of graffiti.

10. Enter with any type of musical instrument, megaphone or speakers.

11. Make loud or disturbing noises (scream, whistle, clap, sing, etc).

12. Use virtual apps in narrow paths or outside designated explanation areas

13. Enter with heels or hard-sole shoes.

14. Access with baby strollers.

15. Enter with knifes or Weapons of any kind.

16. Enter with banners, posters, or other objects of this type, clothing intended for advertising purposes, costumes, among others. Film or photograph for advertising purposes.

17. Generate turmoil, undress, lie down, run and/or jump.

18. Climb or lean on walls and/or structures. Touch, extract or move lithic elements such as rocks and stonework.

19. Disturb, collect or remove flora or fauna.

20. Carry out activities that distort the sacredness of the monument; such as fashion shows, dances, social commitments, obscene acts contrary to morality and good manners, perform any kind of activity that implies the impairment or deterioration of the monument, its natural environment and/or facilities.

21. Smoke or vape, or start a fire of any kind.

22. Litter.

23. Stray from the established circuits/routes.

24. Sell or trade inside the monument and surrounding areas, until Puente Ruinas.

25. Fly over with paragliders, drones or any type of craft.

Performing acts or entering with objects prohibited in this list will generate the immediate expulsion of the visitor without reimbursement and the start of legal actions if necessary. The park guards of the Ministry of Culture and the agents of the National Police are the authority within the monument premises.

Machu Picchu Packing List Conclusion

In conclusion, this comprehensive Machu Picchu packing list ensures that you have everything you need for a remarkable adventure. By following our recommendations and including the essential gear mentioned in this Machu Picchu packing list, you’ll be well-equipped to conquer the heights and embrace the breathtaking wonders of this ancient citadel. So, don’t forget to refer to this Machu Picchu packing list as you prepare for your journey, ensuring a seamless and unforgettable experience from start to finish. Happy travels and enjoy your Machu Picchu adventure with confidence and preparedness!

All images from Wikipedia

About the Author

I am a travel enthusiast who has closely worked with different communities in India. My interests range from alternative rock to English literature. I also happen to love cats a lot.

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