Salkantay Trek Packing List & Machu Picchu

by | Apr 12, 2024 | Peru Travel Blogs | 1 comment


Essential Checklist for Your 5-Day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

In this article, Ultimate Salkantay Trek Packing List for Machu Picchu, you will find a list of tips for hiking to classic Salkantay Trek guided Tours and organizing the perfect trip in Peru.

This travel article can be used for a Female Packing List For the 5 Days Salkantay Trail. So, pay attention and follow these valuable guidelines.

Salkantay Weather Conditions

Keep in mind that you will face various weather conditions during your trek, and it’s imperative to keep the weight to a minimum.

Most of the tour companies suggest 17 pounds – 8 kg globally. To avoid paying extra money or carrying your heavy day pack along the 5-day tour Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu, be sure to follow the suggested guidelines.

Also, keeping within the weight rules makes it easier for the horses, who also have to carry food, camping equipment, and extra belongings. 

The cost of the pack horses is included in your tour trek Package.

Depending on the weather, you will deal with days with intense heat, strong sun, and cold mountain nights during the Salkantya walk, which can get below zero. 

Related Salkantay Trek Articles

  1. Inca Trail Packing List
  2. Machu Picchu Hike Packing List
  3. Salkantay Trek Altitude Sickness
  4. Peru Packing List
Salkantay Trek 5 Days
Beautiful Salkantay Glacier over 6200m – the highest pass on this trek is 4600m/15091ft

Properly Dressed

The best way to deal with all the different temperatures and microclimates on the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu is to dress well using several clothing layers.

Layers are much better to wear than one jacket and expecting it to be enough for the whole trek. 

In case you forgot something on your Ultimate Packing list for the Salkantay Trek. There is no need to panic. You can get everything else in Cusco CityCity.

There are so many stores around Cusco Plaza de Armas (Main Square). They sell proper hiking gear, or you can go further from the Plaza de Armas and take a taxi to Real Plaza (Great Mall), which is 25 minutes away.

Related Article: To delve deeper into the Salkantay Trek, explore our comprehensive travel guide featuring reviews, prices, and valuable tips. Consider reading it for an enriching experience.

Let’s Get and Dive Into it

Is This hiking Gear Advice for backpacking the Salkantay by myself?

Absolutely! Feel free to follow our guidance. If you have any questions, please remember to leave your comments below. We’d be happy to provide you with a comprehensive Salkantay Packing List PDF.


Remember to pack a flashlight. It is best to have it for personal use only and not share as the flashlight is a used tool to prepare your bed or find the facilities.

As been mentioned, the best way to pack your clothes for the Salkantay Trek is in layers, and be sure to weigh your duffle bag at your hotel before you leave.

Remember, only 8 kg./ 17 lbs. are allowed on the trek. If you are packing smartly and only take the necessary recommended items, you will be prepared for your incredible adventure along the Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu.

Packing List Salkantay Peru
Heat Lamp

Backpack And Duffle Bags

As soon as you arrive in Cusco, you’ll be met in your hotel by your group leader. Then the tour leader will have a pre-trek briefing with your group.

You’ll be provided a small duffel bag by the company to pack all of your personal belongings. As we mentioned before, your packed duffel bag has a 7-8-kilogram max weight limit. Therefore pack only the necessary items for the entire Trek to Machu Picchu.

Tour Leaders Peru Duffel Bag
Duffle Bag Provided by Tour Leaders Peru

What size Backpack for the Salkantay Trek?

For the Machu  Picchu 5-day Hike, you will need a small daypack, which is enough to hold the items you will need during each day. It is best not to carry extra weight.

Highly Recommended: It is best to leave the things you will not use while hiking the 5-day trek in the hotel.

You can also store all of your extra belongings in our office store. However, remember, that you won’t have access to your belongings until the end of your trip.


Ensure you bring your original legal passport – no copies! It’s vital to have it on you throughout your Salkantay Trek.

Check the expiry date is at least 7 months away and store it in a weatherproof bag in case of rain.

Results for “RFID passport holder”

Sleeping Bag: This item is essential! Try to get a good quality sleeping bag. Even though you won’t carry it yourself as our porters will, lighter is better!

You can also rent a good quality REI sleeping bag at our Cusco office.

Sleeping Roll Mat

A thermal rest mat would be best. We have REI mats for rent at the office.

REI Co-op Air Rail Plus Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad

The REI Co-op Air Rail Plus self-inflating sleeping pad features a hybrid design that offers low weight, compressibility, and sleeping comfort—plus rails to keep you from rolling off your pad.

Waterproof Hiking Boots or Comfortable Hiking Shoes 

Don’t try to walk with brand-new hiking boots. You will probably end up with painful blisters after the first day. Choose your older one to secure comfort for your feet.

Your hiking boots should be lightweight and have ankle support and grip. Salkantay Hike to Machu Picchu means rocky and muddy path up and down. It is not like a walk in the park. 

La Sportiva Spire GTX Hiking Shoes – Men’s

La Sportiva Spire GTX men’s shoes are waterproof low-cut hiking boots with welded uppers and innovative midsoles. Their GORE-TEX® SURROUND® membranes protect your feet and breathe easily.

Best Inca Trail Hiking Shoes

Appropriate Hiking Boots for Machu Picchu & the Inca Trail 

Water Bottle

We highly recommend using a refillable water bottle because you will be provided with water every day.

A refillable water bottle used by all trekkers reduces the pollution on the Salkantay Trail. We suggest you buy two x one-liter bottles. Another option is a Camel Back.

The CamelBak Crux 3-liter reservoir delivers high-flow hydration and features an ergonomic handle for easier refilling and an on/off lever at the bite valve that makes it easy to prevent leaks.

Walking Poles

These are very useful. We highly recommend you put in your Salkantay Trek Packing List. Hiking poles help with your balance, reduce weight on your legs, and keep you safe while walking down steep and rocky paths.

You can bring your own or rent Black Diamond walking poles in our office

1 OPTION: Whether you’re on a summer jaunt in the high country or a winter tour deep in the backcountry, the Black Diamond Alpine FLZ trekking poles give you reliable support. They come with swappable baskets.
2 option is Leki: LEKI Micro Vario Carbon Trekking Pole Pair

A Silk Sleeping Bag Liner

You only need a sleeping bag liner if you plan on renting a sleeping bag.  Our company includes one with each sleeping bag rental. Also, a liner does add a little extra warmth on a cold night.

REDCAMP Fleece Sleeping Bag Liner with Hood, Great for Adult Warm or Cold Weather, 87″ Long Full-Sized Zipper Camping Blanket for Outdoor, Grey

Ultralight Dry Sack

To keep things dry in your daypack and for your daily clothes.

AMAZON CHOICE: Outdoor Products Ultimate Dry Sack 3-Pack
The Ultralight Dry Sack keeps your gear organized and protected within your pack or travel luggage. It’s rectangular for easy packing and comes in 5 different sizes to suit your needs.

Daily Clothes for your Salkantay Trek Packing List

During the Salkantay expedition to Machu Picchu, you will hike between 6-9 hours per day. It is essential to be prepared yet enjoy the views during the walk. 

Remember, no matter the temperature; trekking warms you up. So, be sure to pack layers of clothing you can easily take off and put on.

Dry-Fit Long Sleeve Shirt: Don’t use cotton for trekking. This material takes longer to dry.

Hiking Shorts: Ideal if you have two pairs.  Or pack the two-in-1 hiking pants with the zippers to make shorts!

Warm Jacket: It is better if it has a hood. If not, get a hat. You may need it to keep your ears warm during the chilly nights at the campsite.

  • Two t-shirts
  • Two long-sleeved t-shirts
  • Four pairs of hiking socks
  • A pair of long pants
  • Gloves
  • Flip flop/ thongs—to relax your feet at the end of each hiking day
  • Thermal underwear as base layers: for ladies, it is advisable to bring three short sleeve shirts
  • Rain Plastic Poncho: Highly recommendable because it is 100% waterproof

Headgear Your 5-Day Salkantay Trek Packing List

You must have some kind of headgear on your packing list for the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu. The sun gets very strong during the day. Perhaps even stronger than you usually experience where you live.

Here you will hike at a high altitude, and the sun can burn you badly. So, it is vital to save your head from unwelcome effects after walking for a long time in the sun during the day. Also, chilly nights require some headgear to keep you warm.

To keep your Protected from the sun, bring:

  • Sun Hat
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip Balm
  • Beanie
  • Scarf

due to the high altitude where the sun is more intense.

Other Accessories to Consider for the Salkantay Trek Packing List

Below are listed a few other accessories that are necessary to have on your packing list: 

Camera and Extra Batteries You can begin charging on the afternoon of the second day.

  1. Cash for Tips: It is best to have money to tip porters and the guide. You will also need funds to make small purchases and access toilets at Machu Picchu, and so on.
  2. Snacks:  Energy bars, mixed nuts

A General First Aid Kit: You will need things such as insect repellent, hand sanitizer, rehydration sachets, Tylenol, Imodium, band-aids, and Diamox for altitude sickness.

Toilette Paper: This is just as essential as good shoes. One or two rolls should be enough. You should also pack some plastic bags to bag up your paper and rubbish along the way. The horses carry garbage in large bags. Many trekkers leave their papers on the trail after they relieve themselves, which is frowned upon.

Basic Personal Toiletries: Prepare to embrace your grimy side. You won’t have access to a shower on the Salkantay Trek until day three. Plus, the facilities aren’t particularly glamorous, and you’re unlikely to have any hot water either. We suggest packing a small towel, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, travel soap, and a packet of wet wipes, which are very handy instead of a shower.

Swimsuit: You will need a swimming suit in Cocalmayo Aguas Calientes, the hot springs on the different Peru treks. Ask your tour leader if you will find some on your destination

We hope you found this Machu Picchu Packing List for the Salkantay Trip useful. If you have any further questions. Feel free to contact us at, and we will be more than happy to assist you! 

Check availability now or simply see why to choose TOUR IN PERU for your Inca Trail hike and begin booking your unforgettable journey!

REI camping Equipment for all our Tours

How to Know Which Trek Is Right for You

There are a few different options when taking on the Salkantay exploration. To find the right option for your journey, you should consider how long you want to be on the trail, the difficulty level appropriate for your physicality, and what kind of experience you’re hoping for while you’re on the snowcap mountains in Peru.  

Though being the shortest option that lasts only three days, the Salkantay Challenge is the most challenging trek. The hike is a total of 78 kilometers and takes you through Machu Picchu.

Another more challenging hike, but one slightly less strenuous, is the Salkantay Trek Express. This option takes four days and leads travelers between the peaks of Humantay and Salkantay. 

The Classic Salkantay hike Classic takes you through different ecosystems and landscapes around the mountain range. Although slightly less fast-paced and intimidating, this option takes five days and is moderately difficult. 

Another more challenging hike, but one that allows for more time to enjoy the scenery, is the Salkantay and Inca Trail trek for 7 Days. This package offers seven days and mixes the Salkantay Trek and Inca Trail experiences by taking the group across both sections. 

The more luxurious and long-term option is the Salkantay Imperial.

Lasting for a full eight days, it begins at the Peruvian city of Cusco and ends at Machu Picchu. While this is still a challenging trek and requires you to be at least moderately fit, they assure explorers that age shouldn’t be a barrier. 

Make Sure You Are Prepared for Salkantay

Aren’t sure if you’re quite ready for your trip? Here’s a last-minute list to check off before you hit the Salkanty trails.

  1. Acclimation: One thing the guides stress over and over, both online and during the briefing required before the trek, is to stay two whole days at Cusco before you begin your hike. Acclimation ensures your body has adjusted to the altitude before you embark on a hike through the mountain’s trails.  
  2. Reservation: Don’t forget to make the reservation and pay for the services before taking your trek. They make it easy to reserve your spot within a group, for the option you choose, right on our website. 
  3. Clothing Appropriateness: This “Ultimate Packing List” is ideal for helping you know what you need to bring with you. However, you also need to know how much clothing you’ll need based on how many days you’ve decided to participate. 
  4. Equipment Appropriateness: The same goes for your equipment; while you know what equipment you will need to face the Salkantay trails, you also need to know what is needed, or what particular things you need extra depending on how long you expect to be on the mountain. 
  5. Back-up Cash: Though you probably won’t need it while you’re on the trails, the guides suggest you keep around 300 or 400 Peruvian soles on your person, in case of an emergency. 

Conclusion and make sure to comment below!

As we wrap up our discussion on, it’s important to note that this website offers a wide range of exciting and well-organized tours for travelers looking to explore the beautiful country of Peru.

From adventurous hikes through the Andes mountains to cultural experiences in ancient Inca ruins, there is something for everyone on this website.

But what truly sets apart from other travel websites is their commitment to responsible and sustainable tourism. By partnering with local communities and supporting conservation efforts, they not only provide enriching experiences for their guests but also contribute positively to the environment and local economy.

In addition, their knowledgeable and experienced tour leaders ensure that each trip is safe, informative, and enjoyable.

1 Comment

  1. Miriam

    Thank you for your article. Great.


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Cesar Conde

I’m Cesar Conde, owner of Tour Leaders Peru & Travel Advisor and my other side job is Nomadic Digital. I share my own amazing Tour Experiences, travel stories, guides, and itineraries for travelers like you and me!


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