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27 Top Machu Picchu Packing List Items for 2024 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring

27 Top Machu Picchu Packing List Items for 2024 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring
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This incredible city of ancient ruins is fascinating and breathtaking. As one of the new 7 Wonders of the World – Machu Picchu is a symbol of a triumphant ancient civilization and human innovation.

The way you pack for this trip can make a big difference in your comfort, especially if you’ll be hiking or walking a lot. It can be cold or hot depending on when you visit, and reaching this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a bit tricky since it’s nestled 7,000+ feet above sea level in the Andes Mountains.

I’ve put together a guide to help you decide what to wear to Machu Picchu, what NOT to bring, and other important FAQs. Enjoy the jaw-dropping scenery and amazing remnants from over 500 years ago!

local women at machu picchu
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What to Pack for Machu Picchu – 27 Essentials

  • 1. Windproof Travel Umbrella

    Packing for all weather is recommended in Peru, especially rain, as it can come out of nowhere! A good windproof travel umbrella will most likely prove very useful during your visit. This one’s great because it’s reliable, weighs only one pound, and can fit two people underneath it.

    Windproof Travel Umbrella

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  • 2. Spanish Phrasebook

    If you are not a Spanish speaker, it’s always handy to have a Latin American Spanish phrasebook with you. Whether you’re dealing with booking buses and hotels or just asking for help in a supermarket, a phrasebook will help you interact with the locals through basic phrases and ensure your trip goes much more smoothly!

    Spanish Phrasebook

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  • 3. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    Like much of Latin America, Peru can’t keep up with the wave of cybercrime that they’ve been hit with in recent years. Don’t leave yourself vulnerable to being a victim of cybercrime, ransomware, data breaches, or identity theft.

    Using a VPN is essential when connecting to public sources of Wi-Fi abroad. Whether you’re in an airport, cafe, or hotel, you’ll want to make sure your sensitive information (like credit card numbers, social security numbers, and passwords) are protected from potential hackers. I experienced this first-hand when my credit card number was stolen at an Airbnb that we thought was safe.

    Not to mention, a virtual private network will also allow you to access websites that may be blocked or censored in Peru. NordVPN is cheap and easy to use –we never travel without it!

    Virtual Private Network (VPN)

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  • 4. Neck Wallet

    A neck wallet is an invaluable item to pack for your trip to Machu Picchu. Keep your belongings close and organized by wearing them in this handy pouch around your neck and under your shirt. This way, you won’t have to worry about your valuables getting lost or stolen as you hike or when you’re in a crowded part of Machu Picchu.

    neck wallet

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  • 5. Altitude Sickness Tablets

    A trip to Machu Picchu involves seriously high altitude. You never know how your body will deal with the change (people can get altitude sickness at 4,000 feet above sea level, and Machu Picchu is almost 8,000 feet above sea level). Altitude sickness is decently common here and it’s best to come prepared. Make sure you have these tablets around before you need them, as it won’t be fun trying to find medication if you are already suffering!

    Altitude Sickness Tablets

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  • 6. Travel Insurance for Machu Picchu

    You cannot afford to travel without travel insurance. It’s illegal to travel without it in some places because your domestic provider does not generally cover you overseas, and you do not want to pay out-of-pocket for international expenses. Even the best-planned trips can go wrong and emergency medical assistance can be costly, especially if medical transport is required in rural Peru.

    We use Faye because they are in a different league than any other provider we’ve worked with. With Faye, we can relax on our trip, knowing we’re covered against common travel issues like flight delays, baggage loss, theft, medical emergencies, or even entire trip cancelation. Their app makes the claims process easy, and getting reimbursed is a breeze! They even offer flight alerts so you can track your air, rentals, and claims all in one place.

    Travel Insurance for Machu Picchu

    Get a quote in less than 60 seconds with Faye ➜

  • 7. Universal Power Adapter

    Plugging in your electronics in Peru can be a bit difficult because in some places they use the same type of outlet as in the U.S., but in other places, outlets with rounded prongs are used. Bring along a universal power adapter so you are prepared for any situation. This one is great because it includes built-in voltage protection and comes with multiple USB charging ports. Its quality is backed by a lifetime replacement guarantee, so it will literally be the last adapter you ever need to buy.

    Universal Power Adapter

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  • 8. Filtered Water Bottle

    Filling up a reusable water bottle like this one will help keep you hydrated against the sun exposure, high altitudes, and physical demands of hiking to Machu Picchu. The tap water is not safe in Peru, so this water bottle is our recommendation because it removes pathogens, viruses like hepatitis A, bacteria like e. Coli, sediment, chlorine, and more. It’s a little pricey, but it’s an investment in your health and all future travel (and way cheaper than going to a Peruvian hospital!)

    Filtered Water Bottle

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  • 9. Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger

    When traveling for long periods it’s not always easy to keep your devices fully juiced. Power banks like this one are reasonably priced and can hold an impressive amount of power. This one is quite small, uses standard USB charger cables, and will be an absolute lifesaver in an emergency!


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  • 10. Waterproof Hiking Shoes

    Machu Picchu involves a lot of walking, even if you don’t opt to hike the Inca Trail. As the complex is built on a mountain, you’ll want to be wearing decent footwear. The weather in the area can also get very wet so it’s worth buying sturdy shoes like these that are waterproof to save an uncomfortable visit.

    Waterproof Hiking Shoes

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  • 11. Packing Cubes

    These are an absolute game-changer! Using packing cubes is a fantastic way to stay organized and avoid overpacking when preparing for your trip to Machu Picchu. You’ll never have to dig through your luggage in search of clean socks again, as you can just pull out the specific pouch that they’re in! It even comes with two bonus laundry bags so you can separate grimy and clean items.

    Packing Cubes

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  • 12. Waterproof Phone Pouch

    As you trek across the Urubamba River that leads to Machu Picchu or enjoy local hot springs and pools – use this waterproof phone case to protect your lifeline from moisture damage. It will give you an affordable underwater camera option if you’re diving deep, but it’s useful even if you’re not fully submerging yourself in water. The wet season ranges from November to March and this trail area can get pretty misty and muddy year-round.

    Waterproof Phone Pouch

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  • 13. Quick-Dry Travel Towel

    A travel towel is a non-negotiable. It’s one of the most versatile additions to your packing artillery and will help you be prepared for anything! This one is light as a feather yet dries 10x faster than typical cotton material. We use it as a beach towel, sweat bandana, seat cover, packing cushion, picnic blanket, and more.

    Quick-Dry Travel Towel

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  • 14. Activated Charcoal

    The food and water in Peru can be disagreeable to travelers. I absolutely love and recommend trying the local cuisine, but be prepared for your stomach to punish you for indulging. Activated charcoal can help with the symptoms of a bad stomach and keep you on your feet during your trip. It absorbs toxins so your tummy pain can be soothed much faster!

    Activated Charcoal

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  • 15. Hiking Poles

    I would not embark on a journey to Machu Picchu without hiking poles. These foldable hiking sticks will really help you when your legs start to get tired – they will also help you maintain your balance on this very slippery trail! I wouldn’t consider this item to be a luxury, it’s more of an investment in your safety and endurance that will make your hike much more enjoyable.

    Hiking Poles

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  • 16. Convertible Hiking Pants

    These convertible hiking pants are perfect for hiking through the Amazon jungle, and down the Inca trail to Machu Picchu! They’re designed with a fiber material that regulates your body temperature. So whether it’s cold or warm, the pants will keep you comfortable. And if it’s warm or you get a muddy pant leg, simply unzip it at the knee to create an immediate shorts-look. Here’s a similar pair for men.

    Convertible Hiking Pants

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  • 17. Female Urination Device

    Firstly, flushing toilet paper is now allowed in Peru, especially the sacred Inca Trail, where waste is not permitted. When bathrooms are scarce, women will be grateful to have this female urination device! It’s a brilliant little accessory that allows ladies to pee while standing up – which is a little odd but when faced with an unsanitary bathroom (or lack thereof), you’ll be SO glad to have it.

    Keep in mind that even in hotels and nice restaurant facilities, you cannot flush toilet paper in Peru, and it must be put in a nearby waste bin.

    Female Urination Device

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  • 18. Discounted Tickets on Guided Hikes

    There are a few different ways to see Machu Picchu – you can take the train or trek on a 1-day tour, 4-day tour, or really take your time with a 6-day tour through the Sacred Valley and Lake Titicaca. You can also guide yourself to Machu Picchu by arriving with a standard entry ticket.

    We use Get Your Guide to book our global excursions because they offer the best tours and are very flexible about canceling if your plans change.

    Discounted Tickets on Guided Hikes

    See all Machu Picchu attractions at ➜

  • 19. Insect-Repelling Wristbands

    Mosquitoes are very present at Machu Picchu and the surrounding areas. They like to come out around the early evening as the sun goes down so it’s worth protecting yourself from itchy bites and diseases like Dengue Fever! Put on one of these insect-repelling wristbands and stay bite-free during your entire visit.

    mosquito repellent wristbands

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  • 20. Fleece Jacket

    It can also get very cold in Machu Picchu, particularly at night. Giving yourself the option to put on a fleece, with or without a rain jacket, is a good idea. Peru is definitely a country where it is best to pack layers that you can put on and take off as the weather changes. This option by a top outdoor apparel brand works under a shell or as a top layer.

    Fleece Jacket

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  • 21. Wool Socks

    For the most comfortable experience in Peru’s mountainous landscape, you will need a good pair of wool socks. Quality socks can save your feet from blisters and keep your feet in good condition so you can concentrate on exploring all that Machu Picchu has to offer! This set is comfortable and ideal for spending a day hiking or walking around.

    Wool Socks

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  • 22. Daypack

    You’re definitely going to want to bring a solid daypack for your excursion to Machu Picchu. Things like extra layers, a camera, snacks, and water are always recommended to keep nearby. A good daypack will allow you to have all these things handy and also leave room for souvenirs!


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  • 23. TSA-Approved Luggage & Tent Locks

    We never check our luggage for a flight without luggage locks. This set is very multi-purposeful and we also use them for camping to secure our tents and suitcases once we leave the campsite to hike. You don’t want anyone rummaging through your things when they’re unattended, and these secure locks offer real peace of mind.

    TSA-Approved Luggage & Tent Locks

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  • 24. Packable “Just in Case” Bag

    We’ve all been there – you underestimated your souvenir shopping skills and now your suitcase won’t zip closed like before. Use this “just in case” bag as your personal item on the flight home to carry all the chocolate, Peruvian coffee, spices, textiles, and alpaca goods you pick up along the way! This bag elegantly solves this issue since it’s made of a lightweight duffel material and fits neatly under your plane seat (so you won’t get stuck with any carry-on fees, woo-hoo!)

    Packable “Just in Case” Bag

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  • 25. Affordable Underwater Camera

    Machu Picchu is stunningly beautiful and makes for wonderful pictures during your trip. The ancient complex is a great site for hobby photographers to capture the amazing historic ruins and landscapes around it. Bring a good waterproof camera like this one that can withstand the rain and wet weather! It’s not as pricey as a GoPro but competitive in quality.

    Affordable Underwater Camera

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  • 26. Hanging Toiletries Bag

    Whether you’re camping along the Inca Trail or staying in a boutique hotel in Aguas Calientes – this hanging toiletry bag is a brilliant addition to your packing list! Sometimes a hotel doesn’t have any bathroom storage, and definitely when camping, you’ll have nowhere to put your things. This bag creates a shelf-like system out of thin air. With 4 giant pockets, it holds tons of skincare, haircare, makeup, and other self-care items so you can maintain your routine (and sanity!)

    Hanging Toiletries Bag

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  • 27. Cooling Towel

    For those hot and humid afternoons in Peru, use this cooling towel to stay a few steps ahead of the heat! It’s chemical-free and kind of magical, but drops to 20-30 degrees colder than the outside air temp, simply by adding water. We use it for tropical locations, hikes, concerts, working out, amusement parks, or anywhere that we need a little frosty relief!

    Cooling Towel

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What NOT to Bring to Machu Picchu

  • 1.Heavy Books

    When packing for Machu Picchu you need to think of your mobility. There’s a lot of moving around at high altitude and you will likely regret packing anything heavy and unnecessary like books. This is where the Kindle comes in handy!

  • 2.Unnecessary Electronics

    Keep it to what you need. Not only will it be easier to carry around, there will also be less to worry about getting stolen, lost or broken. Take only what you need.

  • 3.Expensive Jewelry

    Machu Picchu is not flashy, it’s old ruins on top of a hill. As well as looking out of place with expensive jewelry you will also make yourself a target for pickpockets and scammers.

  • 4.Lots of Cash

    While it’s worth having small amount of emergency backup cash with you, don’t over do it. The ATM’s in the towns in the vicinity of Machu Picchu tend to charge a fee, so it’s worth getting a few days cash out at a time. If for any reason the ATM’s are out of service, hotels will offer cashback services on your credit or debit card for a small fee.

FAQs about Machu Picchu travel

  • 1. Where can I stay near Machu Picchu?

    Most tourists stay in Aguas Caliente, a short bus ride from Machu Picchu up the mountain. It’s a busy tourist town with lots of hotels, restaurants and souvenir vendors.

  • 2. Will the locals speak English?

    Many of the locals working with tourists will speak English. There are also lot of English speaking guides. This does not mean everyone you will encounter speaks English, though it’s unlikely an English speaking local won’t be nearby. Basic Spanish is recommended, but not necessary.

  • 3. Will I be able to get a pass to visit Machu Picchu?

    If you are planning on travelling during peak season (July & August) it is recommended you get your pass online in advance, there will always be crowds during this time. If you are going in the quieter months you can be more flexible. You can buy the passes in Aguas Caliente, you just need to take your passport and pay the fee. If you have planned ahead and know your dates, it’s always worth buying it online in advance. There are different passes that allow you to go up to different vantage points around the complex, the more popular ones sell out quickly. Government Machu Picchu Visitor Website.