During the Alternative Trek or Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu, your main luggage can be stored at our office in Cusco or at your Cusco hotel. You will receive a small duffel bag at your briefing in which you can pack your clothes and sleeping bag for 3-4 days. Your team of porters or horses (depending on trek) will carry these bags together with the food and equipment for the trek. Please note: you will not have access to these items until the end of each day as the porters will always be ahead of the group. Please plan to carry your day backpack containing your personal belongings such as your camera, water and sunscreen, etc. By Peruvian law, a duffel bag must not weigh more than 7 kilograms (15lbs). This limit is set to protect the health of the porters or horses. All bags will be weighed before being accepted. If you require more than 7 kilograms, it will then be your responsibility to carry the extra weight with your day pack. In this 7 kilos, please count 2 kilos for your sleeping bag and 1 kilo for your sleeping pad. This leaves you about 4 kilos for your personal gear.
Please Note: This packing list for Inca Trail is only for 3, 4, 5 & 7 day treks.
PASSPORT: You MUST take your original passport, a photocopy is not acceptable. (Keep it in a plastic bag, in case of rain).
SLEEPING BAGS: You will need a good warm sleeping bag for the Inca Trail trek. We recommend you bring your own sleeping bag. However, you can rent one from SAM Travel for $20 USD per person, that is guaranteed to be warm, clean and have a liner. If you are planning to purchase a sleeping bag, it is a good idea to purchase a four season (or -10 C) sleeping bag during the winter months. For other months, you will probably be fine in a 3 season (or -4/-5 C) sleeping bag, although this depends on how much you feel the cold and is given as a guideline only.
INFLATABLE MATTRESSES: It is recommended to have an inflatable mattress for comfort but not required. SAM Travel Peru foam mattresses are included within the package price. If you would like to rent an inflatable high quality Thermarest mattress, we have them available to rent for $20 USD per person. If you rent the air mattress, you still get the foam mattress to put under it.
WALKING POLES: It is highly recommended that you have walking poles for your trek. SAM Travel Peru has professional extendable poles available to rent for $15 USD a pair, per person.
WATERPROOF, WELL WORN IN WALKING BOOTS: Good quality, comfortable footwear is essential. Whatever you wear on your feet, the most important thing is comfort. It is vital to ensure your boots are well worn in and lightweight. Ankle support and waterproofing is recommended but if you already have something comfortable with good grip, then don’t go rushing out to buy new boots – you are better off with your well worn in pair!
WATERPROOF CLOTHING: A plastic poncho is recommended, which is provided by SAM during your briefing. Some trekkers also like to bring waterproof trousers, however, a poncho will be sufficient if it covers your bag, body and most of your legs.
PLASTIC BAGS: Keep your belongings and clothes dry inside the duffel. Bags are included in your duffel, which you receive during your briefing. We recommend that you wrap everything in plastic because the duffels are not waterproof.
TOILET PAPER: This is an important item to bring during the trek! Bring small plastic bags for rubbish, which can be thrown in the main rubbish bag provided by the porters at camp.
SMALL TOWEL AND BASIC PERSONAL TOILETRIES: There are showers available at the campsite on the third night. Bring travel size shampoo and shower gel, if you would like to use it, plus wet wipes for the rest of the trek.
WATER BOTTLE: Bring one large (1.5 liter) or two or three small water bottles that can be refilled on the trail with boiled water, which will be supplied when possible, usually after meal times.
WARM CLOTHING FOR THE NIGHT TIME: Fleece, long pants, woolen hat, gloves.
THERMAL UNDERWEAR: If trekking in winter or if you tend to feel the cold easily.
WALKING CLOTHING – YOU NEED TO LAYER UP: e.g. zip off trousers, fleece, T-shirts.
PERSONAL MEDICATION AND BASIC FIRST AID KIT: Band aids, Imodium, Panadol, rehydration salts, and any other medication prescribed by your doctor.
CAMERA AND EXTRA BATTERIES, MEMORY CARDS OR FILM: Please note: there are no electrical outlets on the Inca Trail so make sure you fully charge up/or have spare batteries!
SNACKS: Chocolates, chips, crackers, granola bars, or energy bars etc. Additional snacks are provided during the trek, but you may like to bring one or two extras just in case.
FLASHLIGHT: This is very important! (and extra batteries)
FOR THE SUN: Sunscreen, sunglasses and sunhat
INSECT REPELLENT: Tropical strength
ANTISEPTIC HAND GEL
SWIMWEAR FOR AGUAS CALIENTES HOT SPRINGS: Towels can be rented for 3 soles.
FLIP FLOPS / SANDALS: If you wish to have a shower on the third night.
Please visit the Inca Trail Trek or Alternative trek to Machu Picchu page for more information about each trek and if you are looking for the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, visit this page for information on securing Inca Trail Permits.
Can I get US dollars out of ATMs in Cusco?
Yes, most ATMs in Cusco give you the choice of withdrawing cash in US dollars or Peruvian soles. Banks in Cusco take VISA cards in their ATMs but only a couple banks will accept Mastercard for an extra fee. Depending on which country your card is from, the limit on how many dollars you can withdraw per day may be as low as $200.