Did you know you can visit Machu Picchu by train and bus instead of doing the 4 day walk? Learn what to pack for Machu Picchu when you’re not trekking!
If you are trekking and would like to know what to wear, please read this Machu Picchu Packing List.
What to Pack for Machu Picchu when you’re not Trekking
YOU HAVE SEVERAL OPTIONS TO GET TO MACHU PICCHU INCLUDING: ➔
- Trekking the Inca Trail
- Trekking the Alternate trails
- Taking a train to Aguas Calientes then walking 1-2 hours up to the entrance of Machu Picchu
- Taking a train to Aguas Calientes then taking a short bus ride up to the entrance
On my first trip I did the Lares trek as part of the 15 day Peru Panorama tour with G Adventures. This takes you on an alternate route but you still have to take the train and bus to get to Machu Picchu. (This tour’s currently on sale!)
The second time I did the Inca Jungle trek and walked the whole way there. In fact, I was so exhausted after doing the second trek I was desperate to take the bus up but I persevered.
Depending on the trek you choose your journey might still include a train and/or bus ride but rest assured it is possible to see Machu Picchu without trekking!
With so many options, planning what to pack for Machu Picchu can be quite confusing!
So what do you need to pack if you’re not actually trekking? Here are some tips!
Wear comfortable shoes
You think this was a given for every single list but comfortable shoes are always a must especially when planning what to pack for Machu Picchu. Walking to one end and back could be hours in itself especially if you want to take your time.
Hint: Some tour companies only give you a couple of hours at the national park. If you want to see the magic at your own pace, make your own way there. It’s easy!
Wear Classic Clothes
For some reason both times I went to Machu Picchu I wore stripes and I hate the way I look in stripes. (I’m not even sure why I buy them.) This is a once in a lifetime photo opportunity. Don’t ruin it with the fugly clothes.
Make sure you’re not a fashion victim and wear basic clothes that will outstand the test of time.
Due to Peru’s altitude it may be chilly even in the summer. Plan to layer and bring a bag where you can stuff the clothing you remove so you don’t have to hold it.
It may be freezing cold before the sun rises but once the mist fades away and the sun reveals Machu Picchu in all its splendor it can be scorching hot.
Don’t forget to wear sunblock even in the winter! Due to the altitude the sun will fry your face. It happened to me the first time I went.
Jeans are Okay
Jeans are absolutely encouraged in Peru especially if you’re not trekking. Why would you want to wear outdoor pants if you don’t have to?
Jeans are easy to wear everywhere; they don’t have to be washed often if at all and they’ll help keep you warm. Don’t leave these at home when planning what to pack for Machu Picchu and Peru.
For the summer, you can also layer leggings and a skirt or shorts and remove the leggings when needed.
You can never be unprepared
Anything you need you can find in Cusco before you travel to Machu Picchu. From hiking gear (should you change your mind) to altitude sickness tablets and cute alpaca winter clothing don’t worry about being unprepared.
What would you add when planning what to pack for Machu Picchu?
For more South America packing tips, please read:
- Inca Trail and Machu Picchu Packing List
- Central America Ultra-Minimalist Packing list
- What to Pack for a Year Traveling Latin America
- The Complete Women’s Packing Guide for South America
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