3 Surprising Things to Pack for Machu Picchu
The first surprising thing you need to bring to Machu Picchu is a Ziploc bag! Why? The weather at Machu Picchu, as is true in mountains the world over, is quite unpredictable. It may be sunny when you board the bus for Machu Picchu in Aguas Calientes and raining cats and dogs by the time you arrive. A Ziploc bag is perfect for keeping your camera dry.
On one of my trips to Machu Picchu, a friend and I were trapped under a shelter for almost an hour as we waited out a torrential downpour. We were afraid to venture out because we didn’t want to get her video camera wet. Admittedly, a Ziploc bag is not the first thing you would think to pack, but it can be indispensable.
The second surprising thing is insect repellent. You might think that it is too cold for mosquitoes and other biting insects at Machu Picchu. Alas, this is not true. There are biting flies and mosquitoes. So, slather on that insect repellent and bring some extra in case you need more.
The third surprising thing is plenty of 1 sol coins. In order to use the bathroom, you need to pay 1 sol.
Other items you might consider adding to your packing list include:
1) Sunblock, hat, and sunglasses to protect against the Andean sun. It is stronger than you think!
2) Rain poncho. You’ll need this to deal with those unexpected rainstorms.
3) Shoes with a non-skid sole. The surface of the paths through Machu Picchu are uneven and can be slippery when wet.
4) Your camera.
One thing you can cross off your packing list is hiking poles. Hiking poles are not permitted in Machu Picchu. In fact, when I hiked the Inca Trail, I had to place my poles in a locker before I could go on the tour of Machu Picchu.