Advice for Inca Trail and Amazon Rainforest

Hi, I did this trip last October, was absolutely amazing. Here are my tips:

Avoid dodgy looking restaurants in Cuzco, people who ate fish etc got bad stomach upsets. Eat probiotic yoghurt and drink Yakult before you go. Avoid drinking too many pisco sour cocktails in Lima the night you arrive, you will regret it the next morning! I would recommend an alpaca steak though.

I got on fine without altitude pills, the koka leaf tea is good, any kind of headache tablet helps as well. The main thing with altitude is to put on warm layers as soon as you arrive in Cuzco, take it easy, drink fluids and don't eat fatty food.

Trekking poles (with compulsory rubber tips) were the best thing I took on the trip, going down from the highest pass was a breeze, if only going up was that easy!

Watch out for the sun, it is very strong due to the altitude and the latitude. Take a wide brimmed hat.

Work out how to use the macro (closeup) mode on your camera for taking pictures of insects in the rainforest. A good zoom on the camera and good binoculars will be useful.

If you go when it is a full moon, you will get a spectacular evening view on Lake Titicaca

Good travel clothing (e.g. Rohan, Craghoppers) is a must and travel light. Take a long sleeved shirt for the rainforest and for the sun on the trail. Make sure you have good waterproofs (not old ones which have lost their water repellency) or buy a decent poncho in Cuzco, not a cheap plastic one. The rain in Peru is something to behold! Get a good mid-size backpack with a rain cover. Take some lightweight trainers so you can take off your boots when you get to camp. Finally check out this excellent packing list here.


I went on the Classic Peru last September and had a holiday of a lifetime.

Take lightweight, easy drying breathable clothes, some UV resistant if possible. T-shirts, sleeveless shirts, short and long sleeved shirts all of which can be layered when necessary. A light and a heavier fleece. Light waterproof (and I mean waterproof) breathable over trousers and jacket, Gore-tex or similar. Light walking trousers with zip off bottoms and very light long trousers for the jungle. Thermals to sleep in Head torch for tent Money belt I took travellers cheques but $cash or credit/debit cards are easier. My mobile did not work but easy to phone home from hotels or phone booths. Clothes can be laundered in all towns, too humid to wash and dry your own clothes except for undies. You can get photos downloaded onto cd-rom in towns. Water bottle not necessary. Walking poles essential. Plastic bags/bin liners to pack your stuff inside kit bag/day pack. Footwear – I took Gore-tex walking boots, walking trainers and sandals and found this adequate for all circumstances. I took altitude sickness pills – if you don’t need them leave them for others who don’t bring them. Upset tummy medicine (watch what you eat in the jungle), aspirin (can also be used as blood thinner if necessary) and of course mosquito and sun cream. I live abroad and was advised at the tropical disease unit in Geneva only to take malaria tablets if I had symptoms as malaria is not endemic to that part of the Peruvian jungle. Jungle: very hot and humid – we had one rain shower. Trekking: All seasons in one day – cold early morning, hot late morning to mid-afternoon, showers or torrential rain late afternoon, cold nights.

Hope this is helpful

Have a fabulous holiday – I did.

Just a quick thanks to you guys for the really useful practical tips and advice. I'm going on the Inca Trail and Amazon trip in October and whilst really looking forward to it, I'm having packing and fitness panics, so your notes are really useful.  Thanks for taking the time. 


Thanks to all contributors - I found this string really useful. I'm doing the High Inca trail on 23rd Aug and my kit list is pretty much sorted now, so having all the tips really helps. About the only extra I would probably add is a pack of Wet-Wipes.

 cheers all,


Here's some thoughts from me, having just got home:

* Don't go on this trip if you need your creature comforts....

* Walking poles are an advantage for most people, but half of our group didn't have them and didn't really need them. I found them to be of greatest help in the wet (which we had relatively little of).

* You need clothes for cold weather on the trek overnight - I bought a wooly hat and socks when I was over there and they were both needed. Thermal sleeping clothes are needed.

* You can wash clothes a couple of times, so I'd recommend taking 3 long sleeved shirts for the rainforest & trek. I only took 2 and wished I had another. In the rainforest you need them for the mozzies and on the trek for the sun. I took good quality "technical" walking gear which keeps you cool and sweat free, and it was well appreciated. This would be my major tip.

* A torch with a set of spare batteries is essential. I got a good quality, bright head torch and was very glad I spent a bit more on it.

* Factor 30 sun cream is the minimum I'd take.

* I took a wide brimmed hat and was very glad of it instead of my usual cap. Keeping the sun off you is key.

* I'd recommend taking one of the pouches with a tube for water so you can drink constantly. You will get out of breath, and when you do your mouth will dry up. This makes bottled water more of a pain to use.

* Consider hiring a sleeping bag from the local company. They're good quality and it saves you carrying it round and flying it over there.

* The trek is 27miles and very very hard going at times. Good quality blister plasters (compeed) and good socks and boots are recommended.

* You don't need to take UK chocolate or anything - there's plenty over there.

* Cusco is well set up for buying adventure clothing and stuff if needed, so if you forget anything (even walking poles and stuff) you can buy them there.

* Finally, you'll be well looked after so give good tips, especially to the porters who carry 25kg of your stuff around!

 Hope you all enjoy - I certainly did!


On return, did anyone find any problems exchanging Sols back to


I think the Sol is a 'soft' currency so you can't exchange it once outside of the country. The best advice is to avoid ending up with too much left over at the end bar what you might want for a snack or drink at the airport.  You can change left over money actually at Lima airport (arrivals hall, not airside as far as I remember), but I assume they will only change good condition notes and they may possibly have a minimum denomination. Hope that's of some help.

I've recently booked to do the Inca Trail & Amazon Rainforest trip late Sept 2011. All this advice is really helpful so just wanted to say thanks (and to bring the thread back to the top of the forum)!


Hi thanks for your useful information.  I'm planning to do this trip in 2011 but dont know whether to do the Classic Peru for the Inca Trail and Amazon Rain Forest one


Thanks for spending all the time to write out the useful advice. I'm currently going through the courses of vaccinations and the subject of Yellow Fever was brought up.

According to the 'health' map at my GP, Yellow Fever risk was a possibility (for the Amazon trip I'm going on in October/Puerto Maldonado).  Is this something I should vaccinate against?


hi i'm heading out to peru in 15 days time:) on the vaccination front on our forums we have discuss lots. So no to yellow fever unless travelling through america, yes to malaria tablets (mainly for jungle bit) then lots of deet.

 enjoy, great advise above folks.

ta lots ema

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