When is the Best Time to Visit Machu Picchu?
The best time to visit Machu Picchu is from mid-April to June and from September to October. These periods coincide with clear, dry weather in the Andes and are outside the peak months of July and August. Whether traveling by train to Machu Picchu, trekking the Inca Trail, or looking for that perfect sunrise from the Sun Gate, these are excellent times to visit, typically sunny by day and cool at night.
Machu Picchu weather, in common with elsewhere in the Peruvian Andes can be roughly divided into two main seasons, the dry season and the wet season. Mid-April to mid-October is the dry half of the year. From late October to early April there is more rainfall. It is possible to visit year-round though and it is unlikely that there will be rain all day.
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Visiting Machu Picchu in Spring
Spring in Machu Picchu (September – November)
Spring at Machu Picchu is from September to November and marks the time of year that the weather shifts from the dry season towards the start of the rainy season. September and October are good times to visit, whether visiting Machu Picchu by train, making the one-day hike, or trekking the Inca Trail, camping along the way. In November, the weather starts to get cloudier and rainier, but by no means is a total wash-out. If trekking, traveling a little earlier is best, but for visits by train, November is a reasonable time to go and is considerably less busy than some months.
Machu Picchu Weather in the Spring
September is still very much in the dry season. October is when things start to change, but it is still quite a dry month. By November, rainfall is more common. Typical day time highs in October are around 21C / 70F. At night, temperatures fall to around 7C / 45 F.
27ᵒ C / 80ᵒ F
21ᵒ C / 70ᵒ F
33ᵒ C / 91ᵒ F
Top Things to Do in Machu Picchu During Spring
Before the rainy season hits in November, September and October are ideal for trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu or one of the alternative treks in the area such as the Salkantay or Lares Trails. These are also good months to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain to gain spectacular views over the ruins. Traveling by train from Cusco to Machu Picchu in these months gives fascinating glimpses of the Sacred Valley along the way.
Visiting Machu Picchu in Summer
Summer in Machu Picchu (December – February)
While December to February is slightly warmer at night than the rest of the year and is considered to be “summer”, this is also the wettest time at Machu Picchu – especially January and February. Spending Christmas at Machu Picchu can be very enjoyable. It’s a good idea to make time for two visits to the ruins at this time of year so that if cloudy/rainy conditions are encountered one day, there is another chance to get that perfect photo the next day. From January to April, the train to Machu Picchu runs only from the Sacred Valley. What this means is that the Cusco to Sacred Valley portion of the journey is done by road instead of rail. We don’t recommend trekking in January or February and in fact, the Inca Trail is closed for maintenance during the whole month of February. Aside from Christmas, this is one of the quietest times to visit Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu Weather in the Summer
Summer is the rainy season with January usually being the wettest month of the year. Temperatures by day in January average around 20C / 68F. Nights are around 8C / 46F. The nature of the rainy season does vary from year to year and sometimes there are spells of very nice weather. As would be expected, humidity is a bit higher at this time of year but is not too intense.
23ᵒ C / 73ᵒ F
19ᵒ C / 66ᵒ F
31ᵒ C / 88ᵒ F
Top Things to Do in Machu Picchu During Summer
Definitely consider staying overnight in Aguas Calientes at this time of year. If cloudy weather is encountered, take the easy walk to Los Jardines del Mandor where a little rain or cloud really doesn’t hinder exploration of the peaceful botanical garden and waterfall there. If staying at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo a visit to the Spectacled Bear Project is worthwhile at any time of year.
Visiting Machu Picchu in Autumn
Autumn in Machu Picchu (March – May)
March to May is Fall at Machu Picchu and a time of change from the rainier months to drier times. March is still quite wet, but by mid-April, this is a great time to visit Machu Picchu. From May trains to Machu Picchu travel all the way from Cusco through the Sacred Valley to Aguas Calientes at the base of the Incan citadel. These months are some of the best for a visit and May, in particular, is hard to beat. Everywhere is especially green and fresh following the end of the rainy season.
Machu Picchu Weather in the Autumn
March is still quite wet, though some travelers get lucky and experience great weather in March. From April, the rainy season is definitely coming to an end and by May rain is rare. The average daytime temperatures in April are around 20C / 68 F and 6C / 43F by night.
7ᵒ C / 45ᵒ F
20ᵒ C / 68ᵒ F
31ᵒ C / 88ᵒ F
Top Things to Do in Machu Picchu During Autumn
Mid-April marks the start of the best time for trekking to Machu Picchu. The train journey is beautiful at this time and there are good chances of clear views from the tops of Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu mountains for the more active traveler.
Visiting Machu Picchu in Winter
Winter in Machu Picchu (June – August)
It really is hard to go wrong with a visit to Machu Picchu during the Peruvian winter – June, July, and August. The weather is almost without exception excellent at this time. This is prime time for treks and all manner of outdoor adventures around Machu Picchu and Cusco. The downside is that July and August are very busy. June is not as busy and so is a great option. You need to book well in advance if you want to travel at this time, especially if you want to do any of the treks which require permits that are sold only in limited numbers.
Machu Picchu Weather in the Winter
All three months are dry and almost always sunny. There is a possibility of mist at times, but it usually clears. By day, the temperature gets up to about 20C / 68F in July and falls to around 1C / 33F at night. In July there are usually just a couple of days a month with any rainfall at all.
2ᵒ C / 36ᵒ F
19ᵒ C / 67ᵒ F
30ᵒ C / 86ᵒ F
Top Things to Do in Machu Picchu During Winter
For photography, this has to be the best time to visit Machu Picchu. Trekking is excellent at this time, but trails are at their busiest and being prepared for cold nights is important. The Peruvian Andes as a whole are at their best in these months, so for an in-depth Peru trip, this is one of the best times to visit. In June, a trip to Machu Picchu can be combined with the Inti Raymi Festival takes place in Cusco – this is an Incan Festival that honors the Sun God – Inti.
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