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What to Take to Inca Trails in Cusco and Recommendations

Will you be doing some of the Inca Trail Tours with Mayuc?, don’t forget these recommendations

One of the favorite activities of tourists who come to the city of Cusco, is to make the walk to Machu Picchu, by the Inca Trail. This walk puts you in contact with nature, between the eyebrow of jungle, mountain and forest, so it implies that you must take with you, different elements, so the Inca Trail Machu Picchu gives the following scope.

These recommendations apply to other tours that require physical demands, such as the Salkantay Trek, the Lares Trek  and any Trek you find on our website. By hiring our tours you will not need to carry these implements on your back as we will carry them for you. And you will only take the essentials to enjoy our tours to the maximum.

inca trail to machu picchu
inca trail to machu picchu

How much Baggage to carry?

Long before your trip, make a test luggage, to know if you are within the weight, target of 5 Kilos as a limit, depending on the duration of the Inca Trail. Consult the list, but leave your mountain boots aside as you will either wear them or carry them in your backpack. Pack your backpack with fragile items (flashlights, sunglasses, camera) and any medicine you may need, as well as your passport, vaccination record and other valuables. Be very careful when packing and organizing everything: transparent polyethylene bags with airtight closures are good for keeping things small, they are very practical.

You must leave excess equipment before leaving for the Inca Trail, this may include: toiletries and extra clothing. You are allowed to carry 20 kilos on international flights, but on the Inca Trail the weight of luggage must be a maximum of 5 kilos.

Attack Backpack

Your backpack should store at least 15 to 20 liters to store enough water and spare clothing. It is recommended to have a raincoat to cover the backpack or use a garbage bag inside. Check that the backpack complies with the following characteristics:

  • Be comfortable to carry (try it with a heavy load in the store).
  • Have a chest strap and a waist strap, these will allow you to distribute the weight.
  • Be easy to put on and take off.
  • Have side pockets for small objects.
  • Have loops and straps to store polo shirts.

If you have additional luggage (sleeping, tents, etc). You can hire an extra porter, this implies an additional cost over the cost of the Inca Trail Machu Picchu tour.

What to wear to the Inca Trails?

It is important to consider that the temperature during the hike is very cold at night and during the day, the sun is intense. For this reason, you should take into account the following tips when deciding which clothes to wear during the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu:

First, it is important to consider your comfort, wearing loose pants and preferably long. On the other hand, wear several layers of clothing to control body temperature. The base should be some fabric garment such as polyester, then you can wear a warm garment and a feather jacket. Do not forget gloves, head protection, both in cold and heat.

When choosing your clothes for the Inca Trail, keep in mind that you must keep your body dry and at the same time warm. To do this, consider the following:

Three layers of clothes:

  • First: A garment for the body, made of a material that allows sweat to pass through, not cotton.
  • Second: Warm clothing, breathable (wool is very good or fleece).
  • Third: Protective clothing, raincoats; if there is no rain, the windbreaks.

It’s a good idea to wear a light t-shirt, as there are hot and sunny days. But if you have sensitive skin, it’s a good idea to wear a light-colored long-sleeved shirt.

It’s also a good idea to wear a rain jacket and poncho, as it often rains (umbrellas are not recommended as you need to have your hands free).

Wearing a sunscreen is also a good idea. Your backpack should preferably have a sleeping bag strap, and be large enough to carry extra clothes, water, or other things you need to carry, but it is recommended that they not be too heavy.

You should bring a (small) towel as well. During the first 2 nights of the walk, there are only cold showers, but hot showers are available on the third day.

Peru Inca Trails Tours
Peru Inca Trails Tours

Make sure you have a good sleeping bag. The sleeping bag should be prepared for temperatures as low as -10 Celsius, as the Inca Trail is often very cold at night.

It is a good idea to carry a personal first aid kit. One of the most common problems on the Inca Trail is altitude sickness, so your equipment should include medication for altitude sickness. It is also a good idea to bring medicine for stomach problems. It is also advisable to bring some bandages for some wounds that may occur.

You will also need to bring soap, toothbrush, toothpaste and toilet paper. Insect repellent is recommended.

It is recommended to carry a flashlight that does not require a hand hold, as you may need your hands to help you walk or climb, or to take pictures.

Last but not least, money is needed, which should be in Soles in small denominations. You will be able to buy water on the way, and you will need money for meals that are not included in the Inca Trail package.

Use of Trekking Poles:

In long treks with steep trails and stairs, it is highly recommended, the use of poles, improve balance and reduce stress on the knees. For the Inca Trail it is necessary that these poles have a rubber tip to protect the Trail.


You must have closed shoes that allow the mobility of your toes inside the shoe and have good transpiration, with a thick, non-slip sole.

When buying good walking boots, keep in mind that your feet swell, so it should be one size larger than your usual size.

Finally, it is advisable to put on special insoles and to use suitable socks preferably of micro fiber or wool.

To say you need good hiking shoes is obvious. However, you almost always end up with injuries and discomfort to your feet as a result of wearing the wrong pair of shoes.

Here are some tips to prevent you from having problems:

  • Consider the terrain on which you are going to walk – Non-slip sole.
  • Keep in mind that you will be climbing earrings – shoes with high cane, for the grip and support of your joints.
  • The climate is varied – look for waterproof shoes.

Trekking sticks

This is an element of great help, for hikes on mountain trails, especially in steep places, where one can slip. On the Inca Trail, it is essential that they have a rubber tip to protect the trail. The use of these poles, improve balance reduce stress and tension on the knees, a pair is better for an efficient balance, but some people prefer to have a free hand.

Although the Inca Trail Regulations prohibit metal sticks, if the tips are properly protected with rubber tips, you will be allowed to use them. The alternative of buying wooden sticks in the towns near the starting point of the Inca Trail is not recommended as this leads to the felling of trees in the area and loss of habitats.

Additional Essential Items to Go Personal documents

To be able to enter the route, you have to carry the document with which the reservation was generated. In the case of Peruvians their DNI, and for foreigners their identity card or passport as the case may be.

Camera and binoculars

The Short Inca Trail route offers dazzling landscapes that will remain in your memory thanks to a camera. But you can share your trip with friends and family with some impressive photos. Don’t forget the binoculars too! With a little patience you will be able to see exotic birds and other unique details.

Personal Items

Don’t forget to bring insect repellent and sunscreen for the midday sun. Personal medications must also be included in the list of what to carry in your backpack.

Do you want to keep a special souvenir of your trip? You can bring a travel diary for the Short Inca Trail.


Mosquitoes can be a problem for an unsuspecting traveler, but for a traveler who does pack, a repellent of at least 40% DEET is the best solution. We also recommend that you wear long-sleeved clothing and long legs to avoid bites.

Extra items to carry

And finally do not forget the additional items: a small towel, gloves in case of sensitivity to cold, and optionally a pair of sandals to be able to walk in the low jungle area.

Health Recommendations for the Inca Trail

The best thing is to arrive at least 2 days before the trek so that your body gets used to work properly at altitude. Rest at least 1 hour at your hotel upon arrival, walk slowly and do not hesitate to take a taxi even if the journey is short.

We recommend drinking infusions of coca leaves (mate de coca) upon arrival in Cusco. All public places and hotels offer it and some hotels give it free to their customers.

  • If you are a smoker, try to reduce your use as much as possible.
  • Eat light, without excess fat or heavy meals for digestion.
  • Although water is drinkable in almost all of Peru, its chemical and bacteriological composition changes depending on the place. To avoid problems, we recommend drinking bottled water.
  • During the Trek, walk slowly on the first day and avoid unnecessary effort.
  • Drink enough during the walks.
  • Do not hesitate to stop and rest if you feel a lack of oxygen.
  • Let your guide know if you have any discomfort; he is trained and will be able to help you or take the necessary measures.

What to pack?

The list below is divided into the essential and the desirable. Experienced walkers may not agree that it belongs to each category, but others may find this classification very helpful. You won’t have access to your main luggage bag, so take everything you need for each day in your backpack: ampoule protector, water purifier and medicines.

Essential for the Inca Trail

  • Good hiking shoes.
  • Enough stockings to walk.
  • Many layers of suitable clothing, including thermal underwear.
  • Hats and/or ski masks to protect against sun and wind.
  • Sun protection for eyes and face (sunglasses, high SPF sun block).
  • Gloves, glove linings and/or hot mittens.
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers.
  • Tablets or drops to purify the water.
  • Toilet paper.
  • Wet towels and cleaning bags for cleaning the skin and teeth.
  • Pocket flashlights, with spare batteries.
  • Sleeping bag.
  • Extra money, for the tips of the guides, cooks and porters.
  • Digital Camera, GoPro Recommended

Optional on the Inca Trail

  • Trekking sticks with rubber tips.
  • Light and resistant camera, remember to take spare batteries.
  • Waterproof layer for the backpack.
  • Appetizers, snacks and candies for the throat.
  • Thermal coating for the sleeping bag.
  • Earplugs.
  • Spare shoes.
  • Paper and pencil, card game or books.
  • Map or a guide book for the Inca Trail. (in our trips you dont need this item)
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