What to bring and train luggage limits

  • Perurail implemented weight limits of 6Kg. per person
  • IncaRail implemented weight limits of 8Kg. per person
  • Limits are not thoroughly checked but best to keep in mind
  • Machu Picchu is on lower altitude than Cusco
  • Machu Picchu has a warmer and more humid climate

A lot of people ask themselves what to do with their luggage for the days they may go to Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. Often the visit to the Sacred Valley is combined with the visit to Machu Picchu. In this case you may often be for about three days out of Cusco. On day one you would do the Sacred Valley, sleep in one of the hotels in the Sacred Valley and the next morning take the train to Machu Picchu for a two day visit. In this case one may wonder what to bring and how much one can bring. As the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu are located on lower altitude than Cusco, the weather here will be less cold than in Cusco, meaning that you can do with lesser clothing, even in the evenings. The most important items to bring on a multiday outing such as described above would be; good walking shoes, a rain jacket (windbreaker), and shorts for during the day, long trousers for during the evening and some t-shirts which one can put over each other as layers. This allows you to take off something when in the sun and put on some additional clothing when in the shade (temperatures can differ quite a bit in the sun and shade). Furthermore important are your camera, sunblock and maybe some snacks for on the train or in the bus. Water is widely available but it is recommend to always having a (small) bottle with you as on altitude you can dehydrate more quickly. In case you would like to climb Huayna Picchu a good walking pole may be handy.

In any case if you would be going to Machu Picchu by train, one has to keep in mind the official maximum luggage weight that the train companies manage. For PeruRail this weight limit is for one small pack or suitcase with a maximum weight of 6Kg per person. For IncaRail the weight limit is also for one bag or suitcase with a maximum of 8Kg per person. Even though these limits may seem little it must be noted that the companies do not actually check on the luggage weight. In any case it is advisable not to take more than one small bag or suitcase with you per person but the weight does not matter that much. In case you would like to take more than one bag or suitcase with you, please keep in mind that it may be that they will charge you additional for this luggage and that the luggage will be stored in the luggage department of the train. As these surcharges are not cheap it is recommendable to avoid this as much as possible.

Keeping this in mind, what to do with the luggage you do not want to take on your excursion? The best option is to leave this all in your hotel in Cusco. Most hotels have secure luggage rooms and do not charge for staying guests to keep their luggage stored. As most people will have one or two nights more in Cusco before setting off to the next destination, most will also stay in the same hotel meaning that it is no problem to pick up the luggage after coming back from Machu Picchu. In case you would have more nights away from Cusco. Another option would be to leave some of the luggage in your Sacred Valley hotel. If the hotel is located in Urubamba, Yuanahara or Ollantaytambo, you can easily pick this up on the way back to Cusco.

Finally all train stations have the possibility to guard your luggage in the station itself for a small fee. In this case, please make sure that your return train ends in the same station as the departure. This way you would only have to take on the train what you would need for the days at Machu Picchu. On arrival in Aguas Calientes you have of course the option to drop off your luggage in the hotel before heading off to the site. In case you would be packed light you can also take this with you to the site.