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Things You Need on Your Machu Picchu Packing List
- Passport/Ticket– There’s no getting into Machu Picchu without your passport or your ticket. If you need information on how to book your tickets to Machu Picchu, we have a complete guide regularly updated for you to read. When you purchase the ticket, make sure that everything matches your passport information.
- Money – This might not seem like a need; however, there are many instances where you will need money. There is a small coin fee to use the bathrooms at Machu Picchu. It’s recommended to tip if you use a tour guide. Food and snacks are located just outside the site, and if you’re hungry, they don’t give up food for free.
- A small backpack/daypack – We’ll go over next what to put in this bag, but this will be your saving grace as you hike around Machu Picchu. Make sure that it’s small. If it is on the larger size, they will make you check your bag at the entrance. Bags over 20 liters are not allowed.
- Layers of clothes – The weather changes very rapidly on top of Machu Picchu. We’re talking short-sleeve shirt, long sleeve shirt, pants, a puffy jacket, and a rain jacket. It can rain without any given notice, especially during the rainy season, it can get cold, warm, etc. The weather can be very unpredictable so prepare for all of the elements. Pro Tip- Bring a vented rain jacket over a standard. Hiking around while wearing a rain jacket can get very hot. If you get a vented rain jacket, you can open the vents under your armpits and release all the heat. A rain jacket won’t be as vital if it is the dry season. Additionally, it is a good idea to have a long sleeve shirt to accommodate the change in the weather.
- Water – There are no water fountains around the grounds. You’ll want to stay hydrated being in a high elevation as well doing physical activity.
- Camera – Duh….
Things You Should Consider on Your Machu Picchu Packing List
- Hiking shoes/hiking boots – This is no stroll on a sidewalk. You’ll be walking around on rocks, and if you’re doing any of the hikes, you’ll want some solid shoes/boots. That said, if it rains, most hiking shoes/boots are waterproof thus keeping your feet dry. Additionally, if you are doing either the Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain hike, these will be vital to avoid slipping. Finally, make sure they are worn in, you don’t want Machu Picchu to be the first time you are wearing your boots. Leave the flip-flops at home. Don’t forget that puffy jacket as it can get cold at night if you are staying in Aguas Calientes.
- Sun Block – I’ve never been big on sunblock… I’m sure I’ll get a lashing by my dermatologist when I get older. I’ve just never been one to get sunburnt. However, when on Machu Picchu a full day, I have gotten very dark. So that said, bring the block, especially if you burn.
- Sunglasses – It’s a good idea to bring a pair of sunglasses. Since you will be at altitude, the UV rays will be more intense, therefore making it easier to damage your eyes.
- Insect Repellant – We did a roundtable at Cachi before writing this blog, and bug spray got brought up. I instantly was confused because I had never seen bugs while on Machu Picchu the two times I’ve been there. That said, our team has told us in Peru that gnats can run rampant sometimes. So in this case, bring bug spray to keep them away.
- Snacks– If you’re someone who gets hangry, bring some snacks to eat. It might be a long time before you can get to a restaurant, even though there is one right outside the complex. The place is huge, and if you’re on the other end of Machu Picchu and starving, you’re going to be thankful you brought something to munch. Especially all you hangry animals.
- Water Bladder – When we mentioned bringing water, that obviously can be carried in many ways. I find the most convenient way is that of a bladder in my bag. Scoop up a camel-bak bladder and toss it in there so you can have plenty of water throughout the day.
- Power Adapter/Step Down Converter – To charge that camera you are going to need a power adapter. You won’t use it inside Machu Picchu but will use it in your hotel before the trip. The European and US plugs are different in Peru. Some places have plugs that will fit US plugs; however, they are 220 volts versus 100 volts in other areas. Your phone will still charge, but you risk frying your electronics. The step-down converter will help to prevent that.
- Altitude Medication – You won’t need this at the actual Machu Picchu site as it sits lower in elevation than Cusco. However, if you are worried about suffering from altitude sickness, then you may consider bringing Diamox to help with the high altitude of the surrounding area.
Things to Leave at Home When Packing for Machu Picchu
- Your country’s folkloric attire – We chatted about this in our 50 Facts blog/podcast, and I think it should be addressed if for some reason someone somewhere wants to wear their country’s attire on Machu Picchu. It’s banned, they won’t allow it, and you’ll look silly being turned away due to what you’re wearing. If you’re confused what folkloric attire is, it’s things like a Scottish Kilt, German Lederhosen, or an American Flag Cowboy Hat. Not sure on that last one, but you’d look pretty silly wearing that into Machu Picchu as well.
- Walking sticks – As lovely as it is to use trekking poles out on the trails, they are not permitted inside the Machu Picchu grounds. They are only allowed if you are disabled and you must contact the Peruvian government ahead of time to obtain permission. If you get permission, they must be rubber tips.
- Tripods – This is consistent with the walking sticks. They are not allowed inside the grounds. Leave them at home.
- Disposable Plastic Bottles – As of January 1, 2019, all disposable plastic bottles are not allowed inside Machu Picchu. You can still bring in reusable water bottles including Camelbak or Nalgene bottles. Also, don’t bring in disposable food containers. These are banned too. Peru is doing everything it can to keep the grounds clean and usable for everyone without spoiling the scenery with trash bins.
- Strollers – If you have small children make sure you bring a strapon child carrier.
There you have it, a perfect packing list if you are on a visit to Machu Picchu. It’s such a serene place. It’s is one of the wonders of the world, and it’s for a good reason.