Best Time of Year to Travel to Machu Picchu | Guiding Peru

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When Is the Best Time of Year to Travel to Machu Picchu?

The short answer to this question is: You can visit Machu Picchu anytime of the year. The average daily temperatures range between 50 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, with only slight variations throughout the year.

However, there is a best time of year to travel to Machu Picchu to have the best chance of optimal weather and vacation experience. This subtropical region has an annual rainy and dry season. November to April is the rainy season, although daily short showers are common most times of the year.

If you want to an opportunity to see one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the way it looks in classic photographs, with clear blue skies, sun-lit stone ruins nestled amid jungle-covered granite peaks, your best chance is during the dry season between May and October. Note however, that even during the dry season, there may be morning and afternoons with heavy mists that may obscure the views.

When Do Most People Travel to Machu Picchu?

Peak tourist season corresponds with the dry season in July and August when the nights are cool and the days are generally dry. January and February are the rainiest months, and many people visit the area in November and April to avoid the heaviest crowds.

Avoiding the time period that most schools and colleges are on break is also a good idea. During this time, large crowds can make it a little hard to move around some parts of the Sanctuary and long lines at the ruins entrance are common.

The Inca Trail is closed the entire month of February because of possible hazardous conditions and trail maintenance.

When Does Machu Picchu Have the Best Weather?

So, to minimize the risk of adverse weather conditions, March to May is your best bet. To minimize long lines and large crowds, the month of May or September to November may be in your best interest.

Here is a chart that show the average monthly high and low temperatures as well as rainfall for Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu Average Monthly Weather Chart

Machu Picchu Average Monthly Weather Chart

What to Pack for Machu Picchu Weather

Whatever time you choose, make sure you properly prepare with the appropriate attire. The key is layering, allowing you the ability to take off or put on the proper clothing according to weather fluctuations throughout the day. The following is a suggested list of clothing items to bring to insure your comfort along the 4 day Inca Trail trek, leading into Machu Picchu:

  • 2 pairs of sports underwear
  • Ladies should bring two sports bras
  • Over your underwear you should wear a lightweight merino base layer
  • 3 short sleeve shirts and 1 long sleeve shirt of breathable, lightweight and quick-drying polyester, merino or nylon. Cotton is not recommended
  • 1-2 pairs of convertible hiking pants
  • 1 pair of trekking shorts
  • One mid-weight (200) fleece jacket that use Polartec materials.
  • Lightweight water-resistant and wind-proof jacket shell layer
  • Rain poncho
  • Lightweight sun hat with adjustable neck cover
  • Headband/bandanna
  • Fleece beanie
  • Sunglasses
  • Lightweight, breathable, weatherproof gloves
  • Medium to high top, rubber-soled, mid-weight, waterproof hiking boots
  • Lightweight trekking sandals
  • 4 pairs trekking socks made of high quality wicking material
  • Gaiters