It can be a daunting and confusing experience planning for the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and people often have questions or concerns about what to carry with them, what they might need during the trek, what the porters carry, what weight they need to carry themselves etc, so we have prepared this Suggested Packing List to help make your planning and preparation ahead of your Inca Trail as easy as possible.

This is our suggested packing list of things you should take with you on the Inca Trail:

Passport - you must take the original copy of your passport with you on the Inca Trail and this is a mandatory requirement and you will not be allowed to enter the Inca Trail without it. It must also be the passport you used to book your holiday, as Inca Trail permits will be issued and verified against your passport document, so it is vitally important that all information is correct (passport number, expiry date, date of birth, etc).

Water bottle - You will need to carry a water bottle with you so you can carry drinking water for use during the trek. Your water bottle needs to be of sufficient size - around 1.5 or 2 litres is usually sufficient. Boiled water will be provided for you to top up your water bottles from Day 2 of the trek onwards, so make sure your bottle is full on Day 1 when you leave Cusco.

Snacks  - although food is provided on the Inca Trail it is advisable to carry some snacks with you, such as biscuits or chocolate, to give you energy if needed between meals.

Sleeping bag - You will need a good, warm, comfortable, small (not too bulky) and lightweight sleeping bag for the Inca Trail. We recommend either three season or four season sleeping bags depending on the time of year you are travelling, and how well you normally sleep, and how well you normally feel the cold. We also recommend you use a sleeping bag liner for extra protected and warmth.

Waterproof clothing - Although we hope the weather is beautiful for your Inca Trail, there is always a chance of rain in the cloud forests that surround Machu Picchu, particularly during the rainy season (November to April). A waterproof coat or poncho is essential, and you may also wish to pack waterproof trousers.

Spare Clothes - The weather can change quite quickly on the Inca Trail, and it is important that you have suitable clothing to be able to warm up or cool down if needed. Clothing that can easily be layered (e.g. trousers that convert to shorts) are advantageous. A spare change of clothing / extra clothes to wear at night when the temperature is lower or if your clothing gets wet is also recommended.

Torch - Although you won't be trekking through the night, after sunset in the rural campsites along the Inca Trail it can get very dark, and a good torch with batteries is required.

Good backpack or daypack - A good backpack is required to carry the belongings you want with you during the days of your trek, including things like waterproof clothing, snacks and drinks. Depending on how much you intend to carry yourselves a 30 litre, 35 litre or 40 litre bag is usually sufficient. Bags should be light, waterproof, and ideally feature a bottle / drink holder.

Strong good comfortable shoes / boots - The Inca Trail route consists of a mixture of paths, and Inca steps and stone-paved trails, and good strong trekking shoes or boots are very important. Footwear should be waterproof, and comfortable - if you are considering buying new boots make sure to go on some practice treks to wear-in your footwear. Boots that provide ankle support are not a requirement, but are recommended.

Hat and gloves - Due to the altitude the nights can get very cold on the Inca Trail, and a warm hat and gloves are needed to keep you warm in the evenings.

Camera - If you want to photograph your Inca Trail adventure then be sure to pack your camera. Remember that there are no electricity points along the trail, so ensure your battery is fully charged and you conserve the battery usage so it lasts until the final day. If you intend to take many photos along the route then it is advisable to carry a spare battery.

Sun cream - Due to the altitude the sunlight can burn quickly and harshly, and sun cream is recommended.

Sunglasses / Sun hat - To protect your face from the harsh Andean sun.

Insect repellent - Although insects aren't a major problem on the Inca Trail they are present particularly in the evenings or at night when you will be in the campsites, so strong insect repellent is recommended.

Toiletries - basic toiletries such as a toothbrush and wet-wipes.

Small towel - To dry yourself off in the campsites if it has rained, or two use if you wish to use the showers available at the campsites on the third evening.

Personal medical kit / first aid kit - Be sure to pack any personal medication you may need during the trek, such as inhalers, allergy tablets, or any other personal medication as required. Although the trekking guides will carry a first aid kit, it is recommended you carry your own small kit.

Plastic bags - to keep things dry in case it rains, or to store your dirty clothes.

Good binoculars - an optional extra, but a great thing to carry if you don't mind the extra weight for spotting bird-life during the trek, or for observing some of the Inca ruins you will pass.

Small lightweight umbrella - optional.

Swimming shorts / costume - These are recommended if you are likely to have a shower on the third day of the Inca Trail, or if you wish to visit the hot thermal springs in Aguas Calientes after your trek before your return to Cusco.

Toilet Paper - There are toilets on the Inca Trail, but it is very unlikely that toilet paper will be provided, so we strongly recommend you carry toilet paper with you on the Inca Trail.

Blister Kit - A suitable blister kit.

More Information

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Inca Trail 4-Day Trek Itinerary

Read all about the traditional 4-day Inca Trail itinerary here, including details on campsites, altitude, which Inca sites are visited during the journey, and much more information.



inca trail camping

Inca Trail Frequently Asked Questions

Official government permits are required for entry to the Inca Trail, and without a permit you will not be allowed access to the trek. Check current Inca Trail availability here.



inca trail group

Inca Trail Permit Availability

Choosing what to pack and what not to pack for something as daunting as the Inca Trail can be a big task - read our guide to find out more about our suggested packing list.