When is the best time to visit Machu Picchu, the famous Incan ruins in Peru? Explore the factors that affect when is the optimal time to go, such as weather conditions, peak season times, and crowd levels. Discuss tips on getting the most out of your experience while avoiding crowds and enjoying comfortable temperatures. Additionally, look into what other daily activities are available in the surrounding region to make your trip even more enjoyable!
When planning a trip to Machu Picchu, arguably the most important factor to consider is when is the best time to go to Machu Picchu. Weather conditions, peak season times, and crowd levels can all influence your decision.
When Is The Bussies Time to Visit Machu Picchu?
The busiest time to visit Machu Picchu is typically June – August, as this is the peak season for travelers. This timeframe falls right in the middle of winter in Peru and features pleasant temperatures and some rain, so it can be a great time to explore the ruins without overbearing heat or humidity. However, during this period the area is also very crowded and tickets can be very competitive to book.
For those looking for a more relaxed experience, the best time to travel to Machu Picchu is typically April – May or September – October. During these times, temperatures are cooler and there will likely be fewer crowds. This can make it easier to fully appreciate the ruins without the hustle and bustle of the busier months.
Is Machu Picchu Open all Year Round?
Nestled high in the Andean mountains of Peru lies one of the most awe-inspiring archaeological wonders of the world – Machu Picchu. This mystical Incan citadel welcomes visitors every day of the year, from 6 am to 5:30 pm, offering a unique perspective on the country’s rich history.
Visitors have the choice of two seasons to explore the ruins, with the WET season from late November to early April providing plenty of sunshine, and the DRY season from May to October considered the best time to visit. To witness the sunrise over this remarkable site, visitors can purchase Machu Picchu tickets online, with prices varying based on the time of day and the season. Despite the occasional rain, a visit to Machu Picchu is an unforgettable experience the essence of the Inca civilization.
When is the Peak Season in Machu Picchu
Although the peak season months draw large crowds, it’s still possible to enjoy Machu Picchu during this period with some careful planning. Consider visiting between 8 am and 10 am or 2 pm and 4 pm to avoid the midday tour groups.
It is also important to purchase tickets ahead of time, as they can sell out quickly during these months. Finally, try to find accommodation in Aguas Calientes for the night; this gives you the advantage of going early morning and avoiding the large crowds, allowing you to seek out more authentic experiences.
How To get Aclimatize Before to Visit Machu Picchu
Before embarking on a trek to Machu Picchu, it’s important to give your body time to adjust to the altitude. Cusco, the gateway city to the ancient Incan city, sits nearly 11,000 feet above sea level. That’s why it’s highly recommended to spend at least 2 days in Cusco acclimating before venturing to Machu Picchu.
Acclimating involves taking it easy, avoiding alcohol and caffeine, staying hydrated, and eating light meals. By acclimating, you’ll reduce your risk of altitude sickness, and also improve your overall experience at Machu Picchu. After all, you don’t want to be sucking the wind when you should be taking in the stunning views.
So, take your time and ease into your journey. Once you’re acclimated and ready to embark on your Machu Picchu tours, you can rest assured that you’re in the best possible shape to hike at your very best.
Different Ways To visit Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu is a bucket-list destination for many travelers, but figuring out the best way to visit can be overwhelming. There are three main options: hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu or an alternative trek, taking a train from Ollantaytambo, or taking an alternative route through Cocalmayo and Hydroelectric Town.
If you’re up for a challenge and want to truly immerse yourself in the stunning Andean vistas, a hike may be ideal for you. Alternatively, taking a train tour allows for a more comfortable experience and offers scenic views along the way.
Whatever your preference, be sure to book your Machu Picchu tour in advance to secure your spot, and consider purchasing Machu Picchu train tickets early to avoid disappointment.
Main Dayli Activities Before Visiting Machu Picchu
Apart from visiting Machu Picchu itself, there are plenty of other activities available in the surrounding region that can make your trip even more enjoyable. Visit nearby ruins like Pisac or Ollantaytambo, take a day trip to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, or explore one of Peru’s many natural attractions. With careful planning and by taking advantage of peak season times, you can ensure that you get the most out of your experience while still avoiding crowds.
All in all, when it comes to visiting Machu Picchu, the best time to go is April through October. Be sure to take into account the peak season months and plan accordingly if you want to avoid crowds. Additionally, don’t forget about all of the other amazing attractions in the surrounding region! With careful planning and a bit of luck, your trip to Machu Picchu will be a memorable one.
What Are The Most Popular Multi-Day Treks To Machu Picchu
1 | Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
The most popular trekking route to Machu Picchu is still in use today. The trail takes several days to complete and passes through a lush jungle, with Incan ruins en route. The trek ends at the magnificent Sun Gate, where the ancient city of Machu Picchu is revealed in its entirety.
Getting there: Trekking tours along the Inca for 4 days Trail include transportation from Cusco to the trailhead km 82 (bus) and then back from Machu Picchu by Tourist Train and then Bus gain.
Distance: 43km from KM82 to Machu Picchu’s Sun Gate
Trail time: 4 days
Difficulty: The trek has a few incredibly steep points, but is not overly challenging otherwise— coupled with the altitude, however, it can feel extremely difficult if you’re not properly acclimatized. The highest point on the trail, Warmiwañusqa (very aptly referred to as Dead Woman’s Pass), sits at 4,215m and requires a fair bit of huffing and puffing, not to mention the brutal descent down the other side.
Cost: I paid USD 780 for a 4-day tour with Tour Leaders Peru, and I’d definitely recommend this indigenously-owned company!
2 | Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu
The Salkantay Trek has become increasingly popular due to its diverse terrain and stunning views. The trek passes through cloud forests, snow-capped mountains, and lush valleys before reaching the famous ruins.
Getting there: Trekking tours depart Cusco every day of the year, but it’s also possible to do this trek independently if you organize transport from Cusco to the trailhead in Sallkantay trailhead
Trail time: 4-5 days, depending on whether you hike the complete trail or cut out a small section by driving to save some time
Difficulty: For those who aren’t used to multi-day treks, the 70km distance might feel a bit long— but it’s the altitude that adds a layer of difficulty to this trek. That being said, I still wouldn’t classify Salkantay as a particularly hard hike if you have some trail experience.
3 | Lares Trek to Machu Picchu
The Lares Trek is a lesser-known alternative to the Inca Trail and has become increasingly popular in recent years. The trek passes through stunning Andean landscapes, with breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains along the way. The highlight of the trek is the visit to the small village of Lares, which offers a glimpse into traditional Andean life.
4 | Ausangate Trek With Raimbow Mountain 4 Days
The Ausangate Trek is one of the most beautiful treks in Cusco. It passes through stunning scenery, with colorful mountains, turquoise lakes, and glaciers. The highlight of this trek is the visit to Vinicunca (Rainbow Mountain), which has become an iconic tourist attraction due to its majestic rainbow hues.
Best Month to Visit Machu Picchu
The best months for visiting Machu Picchu are April through October. During this period, there tend to be fewer tourists and the weather is more dry and temperate.
Temperatures can range from low to mid-20s Celsius (70 to 80 Fahrenheit). It’s also important to note that July through September is peak tourist season months, so it’s best to visit during the shoulder seasons (April through May and October) whenever possible.
Machu Picchu Weather By Months
Machu Picchu in April
Is the start of the dry season in Machu Picchu, and the weather is very pleasant. Temperatures hover around 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit), and there is little rainfall. This makes it a great time to explore the ancient ruins.
Machu Picchu in May
Is another good month to visit Machu Picchu. The weather is still dry, and the temperatures are a bit warmer. This is a good time to visit if you want to avoid the crowds but still have nice weather.
In May, the weather in Machu Picchu can get as high as 20 degrees Celsius/70 degrees Fahrenheit, which necessitates wearing additional layers such as long sleeves, sun hats, and a lot of sunscreens. Keep in mind that at night the temperatures drop to 13 degrees Celsius/55 degrees Fahrenheit, necessitating thicker clothing layers.
Machu Picchu In June – Winter Solistice
The beginning of the rainy season is here, but it’s still not enough rain. The weather remains warm and this makes for a great time to visit Machu Picchu! It’s also high season in Cusco as celebrations start for winter solstice begin with thousands visiting from all over Peru during June.
There are festivals such as the Inti-Raymi Festival where people recreate ancient religious festivities using music performed by flute bands (a type of instrument played).
The average temperatures range between 20°C/58°F and 11°C/52°F. Expect freezing temperatures -5°C/23°F during the nights and in the early mornings.
Despite the lower temperature, the vistas of the mountains and valleys during the day are breathtaking, and at night, the magnificent Milky Way sights are breathtaking as well.
Machu Picchu in July
There is more rainfall, and the temperatures are still warm, making it a good time to visit Machu Picchu.
By July, the cold winter air has been replaced by warm summer-blown winds and bright sunshine. The landscape is covered in lush greenery while mountains loom large ahead of you on every side. It’s difficult to believe that this was once an ancient Incan citadel! Even at night when temperatures drop below freezing (20 degrees Celsius), stars are shining overhead like diamonds against black velvet skies. They’ll make your heart sing just looking up from their endless depth…
Families will want to pack plenty of extra clothes for themselves as well: unless it’s planned accommodations that have heaters inside. You might still get chilly walking around outside after dark if the Fahrenheit temp isn’t high enough anymore.
Machu Pichcu in August
Is the peak of the rainy season, and there is more rainfall. The temperatures are also warm, making it a good time to visit Machu Picchu.
The temperature at Machu Picchu is fairly cold in August, so be prepared with winter gear. The crowds are just not letting up as many people from the Northern Hemisphere go on vacation during this time of year and expect long lines or even overcrowding on hiking trails if you want to avoid them! To make sure your trip goes smoothly try climbing up into one of those mountains instead- they have amazing views that won’t disappoint (promise).
In August, the temperature on the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu is usually below 20°C/68°F during the day and above 12°C/54°F at night. Temperatures drop to near-freezing levels throughout the nights and early mornings. In contrast, temperatures reach into the high seventies during the day,
Machu Pichcu in September
Is the end of the rainy season, and there is less rainfall. The temperatures are also warm, making it a good time to visit Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu in October
Is the start of the dry season, and the weather is very pleasant. Temperatures hover around 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit), and there is little rainfall. This makes it a great time to explore the ancient ruins.
November is Still a Good time to visit Machu Picchu:
If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, November is still a good time to visit Machu Picchu. Although it’s the mild rainy season, the weather is moderate and there are fewer tourists than in the peak months of July and August. December through March is the rainy season in Peru, so if you’re not keen on trekking in the rain, this is not the best time to go to Peru.
December to March is the Rainy season with more rainfall and colder Temperatures.
The rainy season runs from December to March, and this is when Machu Picchu sees the most rainfall. The temperatures are also colder during this time of year. However, there are still plenty of tourists who visit Machu Picchu during the rainy season. If you don’t mind getting wet, then you can still enjoy all that the ancient site has to offer. Just be sure to bring an umbrella and wear comfortable rain shoes.
Machu Picchu in December
Marks the beginning of the rainy season, but there is still very little rainfall. The temperatures are also warm, making it a good time to visit Machu Picchu.
Tips For Visiting Machu Picchu
When visiting Machu Picchu, there are a few tips to keep in mind to ensure you make the most out of your experience while avoiding crowds and enjoying comfortable temperatures:
Book your tickets ahead of time to avoid disappointment:
For those traveling on their own, Machu Picchu entrance tickets can be purchased individually. However, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s necessary to hire a local guide before entering the site, and there will be guides available at the gates.
If you opt to book a tour package through an operator or hotel, the entrance tickets should already be included. Since 2023, entry tickets are timed to allow entrance at specific hours, and visitors are allowed to stay at the site for up to four hours. check the new Machu Picchu rules Here
Bring plenty of water and other important items
Make sure to pack water, a rain jacket, a hat, high-SPF sunscreen, insect repellent, and some coins for the bathroom. Even if the day looks sunny, the ozone layer over Peru is compromised, making the sun extremely strong due to the high elevation.
It’s important to note that the bathroom is located outside the entrance gates, so bring your passport and keep your ticket with you if you need to leave the citadel. You’ll need to show both to re-enter.
Be mindful of any local customs and regulations
Please note that Drones, umbrellas, walking sticks, or trekking poles are not allowed at Machu Picchu. However, if you require sticks or poles for mobility, you may bring them along with protective rubber tips over the ends.
Machu Picchu Stamp
There is a station located near the entrance gates of Machu Picchu where one can obtain a unique passport stamp, although it may not be easy to notice.
Suttle Froma Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
To get to the citadel from Aguas Calientes, you have two options: a 90-minute hike up a steep path or a 30-minute bus ride. Tickets can be bought at the ticket office in Aguas Calientes, and it is possible to purchase them on the same day of your trip. Buses leave every 15 minutes from 5:30 a.m., but lines can get long, so expect a wait in both directions.
Is Machu Picchu better in the morning or afternoon?
Visiting Machu Picchu can be challenging as the site is always crowded and the weather is unpredictable. The rainy season brings fog in the mornings which can be either disappointing or add to the site’s mystery. Afternoons are typically less crowded though as day-trippers leave for the train station back to Cusco.
To avoid crowds and have a pleasant experience, it’s recommended to visit the first group in the morning or after 3 pm. If you arrive at 6 am, you can watch the sunrise and avoid the mid-morning and afternoon crowds. However, if you prefer to sleep in, visiting after 3 pm is also a good option.
Huayna Picchu Peak
To climb Huaynapicchu MT, you must have a separate ticket and book in advance as only a limited number of tickets are available. Although the view of the Incan ruins from the peak is stunning, certain stretches of the arduous trail are narrow and steep. You may begin your climb at either 7 a.m. or 10 a.m., but it is recommended to start at 10 a.m. to increase the likelihood of clear skies.
Machu Picchu Mountain
Please note that climbing the trail requires a separate ticket and good knees as the majority of the trail consists of stairs. You can choose to begin your climb either at 7 a.m. or 9 a.m.
Free hikes at the citadel:
Even if you don’t have tickets for Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu, you can still enjoy amazing views by walking up to the Sun Gate. The trail is relatively easy with few stairs and takes about two hours round trip. Another option is to visit the Inca Bridge which is less than an hour round trip along a mostly flat trail.
Tour Guides in Machu Picchu:
Whether you are visiting Machu Picchu with an organized tour or traveling on your own, hiring a guide is mandatory. You can hire a guide at the entrance of the site or pre-book one in Aguas Calientes.