Inca Trail Essentials: What to Pack for Trekking in Peru

Written by
Lily Bunker & Jacob Jewitt-Jalland

If you're planning to trek the Inca Trail, it can be a bit overwhelming trying to work out what to pack for trekking in Peru. To help you decide what to pack and what to leave at home, our experts have curated a handy list of essentials.

This list should help you streamline your packing, so that you'll have everything you need for your trek as well as room for souvenirs.

If you have any other questions, our travel designers are always on hand to make sure travellers have exactly what they need for their trip.

Hiking boots
already broken in
with chargers & memory cards
Full rain gear
or poncho
Peru, Choquequirao riuns

The essentials

  • Layers: often during the day it is hot but at night-time, particularly when you are at high altitudes (e.g. Lake Titicaca, the Sacred Valley, Cusco) temperatures drop, so it is good to be able to add a layer.
  • Money belt: for important documents, passport and money
  • Camera with chargers and Memory Cards
  • Convertible pants: Light, fast drying, the legs zip off to form shorts

  • Fleece sweater and light rain jacket
  • Hat to block the sun (the sun is strong in the Andes)
  • A small backpack to take with you when you go to Machu Picchu and to take on other day trips.
  • Broken-in hiking boots (sneakers are not suitable for most treks)
  • Full rain gear or poncho
Llamas on the Inca Trail, Peru

  • Gloves and wool hat for the evening
  • Breathable t-shirt and tops
  • Cold weather jacket
  • Headlamp
  • Sunglasses
  • Comfortable hiking socks (at least 4 pairs)
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Bathing suit
Sign on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

  • Casual mountain wear for evenings such as full length trousers and warm tops
  • Trekking poles (keep in mind the metal ends must be covered as part of the trail rules)
  • Refillable water bottle (hydration bags are recommended)
  • Toilet tissue in small, handy-pack size and a small personal towel

Salkantay: lodge to lodge

Specifics for those undertaking Jacada’s Salkantay Lodge-to-Lodge trek:

  • Please, no hard suitcases or wheeled bags. Soft duffel bags and / or backpacks (“soft” luggage) are recommended.
  • We provide a limited amount of hair-dryers at each lodge, due to limited energy supply and environmental concerns.
  • Shampoo, conditioners and bath gel are provided at each lodge and bathrooms are equipped with drying lines.
  • Any additional clothing and luggage that you will not be needing on the trek can be stored at your hotel in Cusco.

  • If you do not have an appropriate sized duffel bag, we can provide a duffel bag on loan at the pre-trek briefing (the night before departure from Cusco).
  • Please return it to your trip leader after the trek.
  • Though we do not establish a weight limit for luggage or charge for excess baggage, we inform guests that luggage is mainly transported by mules and/or porters along the trail. We kindly ask that you consider restricting the weight of your luggage on the trail to 10Kg/22Lbs.
Llamas on Machu Picchu Terraces, Peru

Talk to one of our expert travel designers today and start planning your once-in-a-lifetime trekking experience in Peru.