What to pack for Machu Picchu?
1. Hiking shoes
Machu Picchu is located on a very high and steep mountain ridge. While there are graveled pathways throughout the ruins, you will have to do some climbing. There are a lot of stairs, some uneven terrain and also quite a view inclines.
If you just want to walk through the ruins itself, pick something comfortable; trainers will be okay as well.
If you plan to hike Huayna Picchu, Huchuy Picchu or Machu Mountain, high ankle hiking shoes are a must!
2. Fast-drying, breathable shirt or t-shirt
Machu Picchu is known for its high humidity (Up to 70 Percent in winter and around 50 Percent in summer) and considerably high temperatures. Prepare to sweat a bit. A good fast-drying hiking shirt will be your best friend.
3. Light-weighted rain jacked
Rains occur often in Machu Picchu; Having a rain jacked, poncho or umbrella along. Street vendors might sell plastic ponchos at the entrance for those in need. If you come in winter (November through March) this is especially important
4. Bug repellant
There are a nasty kind of gnats inside Machu Picchu; especially along the Camino Inca but also everywhere close to the forests; best come prepared
5. Sun blocker
Luckily there is a lot of sunshine inside Machu Picchu (up to 250 hours per month in July); To avoid a nasty sunburn (especially at these high altitudes) sun lotion will help you a lot.
6. Water canteen (1 liter per person)
There are no vending machines, restaurants, etc. within Machu Picchu. Do bring a water canteen. 1 liter per person will me enough if you just plan to tour the ruins; more if you plan to go hiking
7. Small snack (energy bar or similar)
Strictly speaking food is not allowed within Machu Picchu. Still, do bring a small snack. Just absolutely make sure to take your garbage back out with you.
8. Photo gear (camera, wide angle lens)
Machu Picchu is one of the view popular bucket list spots on this planets that delivers fully on its promise. Taking along proper photo gear will pay off a million. A wide angle lens will be your best friend. There are quite marvelous plants in the jungle around Machu Picchu (though not as easily accessible), so macro-equipment is optional.
9. Small day pack
To store all your belongings away, bring a little day pack. Preferably something water proof or water repellant, depending on the season you are visiting
Last but not least: There is no need to over-pack for Machu Picchu itself. Most items you on the list above will be needed for the rest of Peru as well. Cusco is way higher than Machu Picchu, and almost all other Inca ruins in Peru are harder to tour (though Machu Picchu is one of the hardest to reach).
Maybe remember to dress smartly on the day you visit Machu Picchu. Those pictures will hopefully last a lifetime. You will not regret looking neat on them. Need further help planning your trip? We compiled a comprehensive list of tips and tricks for Machu Picchu!
What not to pack for Machu Picchu?
1. Patches/pills against altitude sickness
Machu Picchu is only 2,400 meters above sea level. Altitude sickness will not be a problem
2. Walking sticks
They are not allowed in Machu Picchu
3. Tripods for your camera
These are not officially forbidden (yet), but lately authorities frequently will ask you to leave them at the entrance.
4.Food & drink:
Food and drinks are not allowed within Machu Picchu; especially anything disposable. Obviously they want to keep the ruins as pristine as they are
5. Big backpacks (above 20 liters):
Are not allowed within Machu Picchu
6. Warm clothes:
Machu Picchu is located within a tropical mountain jungle. It will be hot and humid, even in winter; a lightweighted jacked and a shirt will be all you need (see above). I will be cold at night during the dry season (actually almost close to the freezing point)!
There is a place to store excess luggage at the entrance; So backpackers are allowed to leave their packs at the entrance, or anything else you are not allowed to bring in. There are also two restaurants and a little food stall in the immediate vicinity – for those who are hungry. There is also a toilet (the only one!!!), so make sure to plan ahead.