If you have booked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru, chances are you have been preparing somehow for your trip to Peru. Travel takes some preparation and we want you to be perfectly prepared for your Inca Trail trek!
Here are our eleven essential items to pack for the Inca Trail:
- Backpack: This might seem obvious, but it is so important to have a good backpack for this trek. You want something that is small, but big enough to fit everything you need. It should also be comfortable and fit your body correctly. If you do not have a backpack already there are plenty of shops selling them and other trekking gear right here in Cusco!
- Passport: You will need this to get into the ruins when you finally reach Machu Picchu. You also need to bring your International Student Identity Card (ISIC) if you have one for the student discount. Make sure to bring the originals of these documents because copies are not accepted and you DO NOT want to miss out on Machu Picchu after trekking all that way.
- Hiking Shoes and Clothes: You definitely want to pack some sturdy hiking shoes. We recommend boots. You also want a variety of clothes, but especially warm ones because it can get very cold camping in the mountains at night. We recommend packing a sweater, fleece, and jacket and extra socks are a must! Always dress in layers because the weather is constantly changing.
- Rain Gear: This item is especially important during the rainy season from November through March. You want to pack a rain jacket or poncho and waterproof pants. You might even want to spray your hiking boots with some waterproof spray to help keep your feet dry.
- Plastic Bags and Snacks: These are prefect for storing wet or dirty clothes and keeping them separate from your dry and clean clothes in your backpack. They can also be used to store some snacks, which are great for keeping up your energy level on the trail. You can also save the space in your backpack and buy snacks at the campsites as you move along the trail. If you do want to stock up on snacks in Cusco before your trek go to the San Pedro market for locally grown fruits and vegetables or go to a Mega or Orion supermarket for granola bars and other tasty treats. Trust us…snacks are a must!
- Camera and Sleeping Bag: We are pairing these together as one of our essential items because they are both quite obvious. The views are amazing and…you will want a sleeping bag. You can rent a sleeping bag with us right here at Dos Manos if you do not bring one with you. Sleeping bags cost $20 per bag for the duration of your trek.
- Water Bottle: You might want to pack a metal one because it will be more resistant to the heat from the extra-strong sun at this high-altitude.
- Hat, Sunblock, Insect Repellent, and Personal Medical Kit: You want to pack the hat and the sunblock to keep from getting sunburned. The hat will also keep you warm if it is cold out. The sun is really strong here because of the high altitude so make sure to reapply your sunblock at regular intervals. You have been warned! The insect repellent is to keep off those pesky insects of course! You might also want to pack a small, personal medical kit with essentials such as bandages and pain relief medication. We definitely recommend it.
- Toilet Paper and Flashlight: You will definitely want your own supply of toilet paper for those nature toilet breaks! You might also want to pack a flashlight for finding your way to the toilet in the dark.
- Swimsuit and Towel: You want these for visiting the hot springs in Aguas Calientes…unless you want to go in in your underwear and air dry in the fresh mountain air.
- Money: You were probably wondering when we were going to mention this essential item. You might want to bring both dollars and soles for tipping your guide, assistant guide, cook, and porters. A suggested distribution of tips per trekker is around $20 to be distributed between cooks and porters, and an individual tip of around $10 for the head guide and $5 for assistant guides.
We hope that our extra-long list of eleven essential items will help you to prepare for your Inca Trail trek here in Cusco, Peru. Now good luck trying to get everything to fit in your backpack! If it is just too much and you do not want to carry it all yourself you can always consider hire a personal porter. Contact us for more information.