Heading to Peru to hike Machu Picchu? GOOD for you! Let me help you pack! Before we start:
Peru Travel Tips
If you want more than just packing help, check out episode 27 of The Budget-Minded Traveler Podcast: Peru Travel Tips – Machu Picchu & More for information about immunizations, suggested routes, budget and more:
If you don’t already have a good travel backpack that fits you well (especially on a trip where you will be carrying it on a 3-day hike, not to mention across the rest of the country), watch this video and be smart when choosing a backpack!
How to Pack for Machu Picchu and Peru
Keep in mind: your hostel or hotel in Cusco can hold luggage for you that you do not want to take on your Machu Picchu trek. For that hike, only take with you what you absolutely need for those few days.
Clothing (assuming a 2-week trip or less)
Here’s the trick for packing for Peru – if you are traveling all over the country, you will face all different climates. Pack for sweaty jungle hikes, cool city nights, and comfortable travel clothes.
- Packable puffy jacket (Costco has budget options if the season is right, otherwise check the REI Outlet)
- Packable rain jacket (these don’t have to be expensive, you can get them on Amazon for less than $20)
- Leggings and jeans for cool nights
- Zip up hoodie or light fleece
- Scarf (a necessity on every packing list)
- Layering clothes: 2-3 cotton tees and 2 long sleeves
- Hat or beanie (or wait and buy a souvenir once you’re there, they sell alpaca wool hats everywhere)
- 1-2 pairs Running/hiking shorts or skirt (Ladies, check out my favorite travel skirt that I wore every day on our hike)
- 2 Running/hiking t-shirts (moisture wicking is good, t-shirts instead of tanks tops – better for the hike so your pack doesn’t rub on your shoulders)
- Socks – you can wear them more than once each, don’t waste space in your pack with dumb socks
- Underwear – you cannot wear these more than once, bring as many as you can!
- Good travel pack (watch the How to Choose the Perfect Travel Backpack video)
- Packable daypack (I have not seen this exact kind except at REI) This can also be used as a carry-on
- Headlamp (you’ll need it to hike in the dark)
- Running/hiking shoes for Machu Picchu Trek (I wore my trail runners and thought they were perfect)
- Comfortable walking shoes (optional – could just wear running shoes)
- Flip flops (my favorite – Havaianas)
- Sleep sheet (always optional for sleeping in hostels)
- Water bottle (if you have the packable kind, they are awesome for this type of trip)
- Good camera (if you have a nice one, don’t you dare leave it at home for this trip – if you need a nice one, my new fave is the Canon EOS M – tiny digital SLR for less than $400 on Amazon!)
- Travel-size toiletries (don’t check your bag on your flight if you can help it)
- Kindle (you’ll have plenty of bus time)
- iPod & headphones
- Sleep kit: eye mask, ear plugs & melatonin!
- Travel Adapter or Converter (optional) (Note: Peru uses 220v electricity, be sure your device has a converter before plugging in – most camera, phone, and laptop chargers have this built in, just read the fine print and it will tell you what voltage it can handle – the outlets in Peru are the same as the US but they also use the round prongs, similar to Europe)
- Passport (you will also need this at Machu Picchu, get a stamp!)
- International Vaccine Card
- Travel confirmations (flights, hostels, etc.)
- Smartphone – This will help – A Complete Guide to Using Your iPhone Abroad: for Dummies