Machu Picchu Tours Weather Essential Guide
Before planning to visit the famous Machu Picchu, one of the seven wonders of the world since 2007, you should be aware of the weather so you can prepare properly.
We’re sure that when most people think of South America, they associate it with warm, sunny weather, and yes, some of that is true. But what kind of weather can you expect at Machu Picchu (2400 m)? What is the best time of year to take a Machu Picchu tour? This article will focus on these and many more questions about the weather in Machu Picchu.
Regarding the weather in Cusco, you must take into account two different seasons, the dry season and the rainy season. The dry season normally lasts from April to October and the rainy season from November to March. The high and low season go hand in hand with the two weather seasons, which means you can expect a lot of travelers during the dry season and it’s pretty quiet during the rainy season.
Machu Picchu’s geographical setting immerses it in a captivating environment, surrounded by towering peaks and lush vegetation. This unique location establishes it as one of the world’s most prominent and frequently visited archaeological marvels, attracting visitors from all corners of the globe. In this article, We will show you everything you need to know about the climate in Machu Picchu.
The Average Weather in Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu boasts a high-altitude subtropical mountain climate, characterized by cool temperatures year-round. Here’s a detailed overview of Machu Picchu’s climate:
Temperatures during the day typically range from 20°C (68°F) to 25°C (77°F) for most of the year.
Nights can be cooler, with temperatures dropping to around 9°C (49°F) or even lower, especially during the dry season
Machu Picchu is situated at an altitude of approximately 2,430 meters or 7,970 feet above sea level. And also it’s located at the beginning of the Rainforest. This altitude can influence the perceived temperature and acclimatization, especially for those traveling from lower elevations.
The Dry Season in Machu Picchu
From April to October, the weather in Machu Picchu is quite good (sunny and probably dry). Therefore, this is the best time to visit the famous wonder of the world. By the way, you won’t be the only explorer visiting Machu Picchu at that time of year. In fact, between May and August it can be quite crowded, as these months mean summer holidays for many countries. These months are the high season and the weather in Machu Picchu is sunny and dry.
This makes it easy to walk along the ancient paths of the Incas. If you are looking to get the best photos of Machu Picchu, this is probably the right time for you, as there are twice as many sunny hours in this period. And believe us, watching the sun rise over Machu Picchu is an incredible feeling that you will never forget.
If you want to hike Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain during these months, you really need to book at least 3 months in advance as the spaces sell out very quickly. Check the weather month by month.
Machu Picchu in May
This is the dry season properly now, and you’ll see little to no rain. The average is a lot less than the previous month with just 23 mm of rainfall. The temperature is warm as well at 12°C at night and 25°C during the day. This is a great time of year to come before the high season kicks in and a nice time to hike the extra mountains.
Machu Picchu in June
This is the driest month of the entire year with just 17 mm on average of rainfall. This also marks the start of the busiest time of the year as it’s the anniversary of Cusco amongst other celebrations. Expect big crowds at Machu Picchu with an average temp of between 11°C and 25°C. You’ll notice this month starts to get a little chilly at nights.
Machu Picchu in July
This is another very busy month with patriotic festivities celebrating Peruvian Independence Day. Average rainfall starts to go up again a little at 22 mm. Temperatures get colder at night at 9°C but stay warm in the day at 25°C. Rain isn’t common in these months but there is the occasional hailstorm. You need to take extra care of the sun in these month as there are no clouds and you have to take Sunblock, hat, and sunglasses etc.
Machu Picchu in August
We’re still in winter, so it’s still pretty cold at night at 10°C but warm in the day with a nice 25°C being the average. Rainfall is also still low at 24 mm, so this makes it another very popular month to visit Machu Picchu. This is a great month to get the perfect postcard shot of Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu in September
This is the mildest month of the year with the temperature being between 11°C and 26°C. Most of the time are clear and sunny and it’s still a busy time of year, but you’ll also see the rain start creeping in with 44 mm of rainfall. That’s still not a lot, though, so this is a nice time of year to come when crowds start to die down slightly.
Machu Picchu in October
This is the last of the dry months, and you’ll see rain starts to fall more with an average of 75 mm of precipitation. However, days are still mostly clear and this is an excellent month to get great views and avoid the large crowds. The temperature is nice ranging from 12°C to 15 °C. This is your last chance of the year to get one of the better views of Machu Picchu.
Advantages of the dry season in Machu Picchu
Stable Weather: During the dry season, Machu Picchu enjoys consistently stable and sunny weather, which are the perfect conditions for outdoor expeditions and hiking Trips.
Stunning Views: With minimal rainfall and cloud cover, visitors can revel in unobstructed, breathtaking views of Machu Picchu and its majestic surroundings.
Access to Trails: Hiking trails, Ancascocha Trail, Inca Quarry Trail, Huchuy Qosqo Trail, Ausangate Trail, and including the renowned Inca Trail, are generally in better condition, with reduced mud and improved accessibility, ensuring a smoother and safer hiking experience.
Comfortable Temperatures: Daytime temperatures are delightfully mild, typically ranging from 20°C (68°F) to 25°C (77°F), providing a pleasant environment for exploring the site.
Good conditions for photography: The dry season offers optimal lighting conditions with clear skies, making it a photographer’s paradise and allowing visitors to capture Machu Picchu’s beauty at its finest.
Cultural Festivals: This period coincides with various local festivals and cultural events, giving travelers the chance to immerse themselves in Peruvian traditions and vibrant celebrations.
The dry season is the favored time for most visitors to discover the wonder of Machu Picchu due to its favorable weather and improved trail conditions. However, it’s worth noting that this period is also the busiest, so advance planning and reservations are highly recommended to secure accommodations and permits.
Disadvantages of the dry season in Machu Picchu
Busy Season: The dry season is the most popular time to visit Machu Picchu, leading to larger crowds and busier trails. This can diminish the sense of tranquility and solitude some travelers seek.
Higher Cost: Increased demand during the dry season often results in higher prices for accommodations, tours, and other services. Budget-conscious travelers may find this period more expensive.
Limited Availability: Due to high demand, obtaining permits for popular treks, such as the Inca Trail, can be challenging, and accommodations within or near Machu Picchu may be booked quickly.
Altered Landscape: The lush, green landscape of Machu Picchu that blooms during the rainy season can transform into a drier and browner environment during the dry season, which might not be as visually striking for some visitors.
Greater Sun Exposure: The dry season’s sunny and clear weather also means increased sun exposure. Visitors need to be vigilant with sun protection, including sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses.
It’s important to weigh these disadvantages against the benefits of the dry season when planning your visit to Machu Picchu. For those who prioritize lower crowds and ideal hiking conditions, the dry season remains the preferred choice, despite these drawbacks.
What to wear for the dry season in Machu Picchu.
Light Clothing: Due to warmer temperatures, opt for lightweight and breathable clothing, such as short-sleeve shirts, shorts, or lightweight pants.
Comfortable Footwear: Choose comfortable and sturdy footwear for hiking, like hiking shoes or trekking boots. Ensure they are well-worn and comfortable.
Sun Protection: Since there is increased sun exposure, don’t forget to apply sunscreen, wear a wide-brimmed hat, and use sunglasses to shield yourself from UV rays.
Light Backpack: Carry a lightweight backpack to transport water, snacks, and other essentials for your excursion.
Unpredictable Weather: Despite the dry season, it’s advisable to carry a light raincoat or waterproof layer in case of unexpected rain.
The rainy season in Machu Picchu
The weather in Machu Picchu from November to March is really not the best and it can potentially rain a lot. What we mean by “a lot” is about 75% of the annual precipitation!
From March to April, rainfall will be halved, but the humidity level rises to 91%! This causes a lot of fog, which can make it quite difficult to see Machu Picchu. However, these moments when Machu Picchu is covered in fog are incredible and will make you feel like a true discoverer.
Normally, the rain in Machu Picchu almost never lasts more than 2 hours before it stops. So it is quite rare that you are accompanied by rain all day.
During the rainy season, the weather can be a little unpredictable. You should always expect rain, so have a lightweight poncho or raincoat with you, but you’ll also find many days are still nice and sunny. The months with the most likelihood of showers are January to March, which are also the quietest months for tourism.
Check down here the rain season month by month.
Machu Picchu in November
You’ll find at the beginning of this month, the grass at Machu Picchu and the surrounding areas isn’t as lush as it’s been dry for many months, however, it does also start to rain a bit in November, so this month is a bit hit and miss. The temperature is relatively warm with a low of 14°C at night and a high of 26°C during the day. The average rainfall in November is 85 mm.
Machu Picchu in December
This is the beginning of summer in Machu Picchu and the rest of the southern hemisphere, so temps, on average, are warm again being similar to November with a low of 13°C at night and a high of 26°C in the day. However, it also marks the beginning of more heavy rainfall, despite being summer. It’s still manageable in December, though, and you just need to make sure you have rainproof gear. The average rainfall is 121 mm.
Machu Picchu in January
The atmosphere at Machu Picchu becomes mistier in January due to heavy rainfall. There are also warmer periods when there are breaks in the clouds and the sun shines through. The rainfall average is 138 mm and the temperature ranges between 12.8°C and 23.9°C.
Machu Picchu in February
It’s the rainiest month of the year and you’ll find that many treks don’t operate this month. The Inca Trail is closed for maintenance and because it’s too slippery and dangerous to walk. If you do visit Machu Picchu this month, you can expect it to be cloudy and mild temperature-wise ranging from 12.8°C to 24.9°C. However, you still need to be careful when the sun does make an appearance as you’re at a high altitude and can burn easily. The rainfall average in February is 141 mm.
Our team Runas Expeditions is still operating Day Tours, Machu Picchu tours and Trekking Tours to Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu in March
In March we still see the heaviest rainfall of the whole year with the average being 151 mm. Routes are all open again, but you need to make sure you have the right gear with good traction hiking boots and waterproof clothing. The climate is still nice and warm, though, with a low of 13°C and highs of 25°C. This is a good month to come to avoid big crowds.
Machu Picchu in April
Rainfall drops significantly this month with the average plummeting to 62 mm. You may see a little more at the beginning of April, which is why we still consider it the wet season, but overall you’ll see the sun more often and the view of Machu Picchu should generally be clear. You’ll start to see more tourists this month with pleasant temperatures of between 12°C and 25°C.
Advantages of the rainy season
Lush Scenery: The increased rainfall transforms the landscape into a lush and vibrant paradise, with the vegetation coming to life in a riot of green.
Low Season: This period is less busy with tourists compared to the dry season, offering a quieter and more serene experience at the archaeological site.
Lower Cost: Accommodation and tour prices are often more affordable during the rainy season, making it an economical choice for travelers.
Mild Temperatures: Despite the rain, temperatures remain comfortable, providing a pleasant climate for exploring the Lost City Of The Incas “Machu Picchu”.
Cultural Experiences: The rainy season coincides with various local festivals and celebrations, allowing visitors to engage with Peruvian culture and traditions.
While the rainy season presents these advantages, it’s important to be prepared for wet conditions, muddy trails, and the potential for trail closures. Packing appropriate rain gear and maintaining a flexible itinerary can help ensure a rewarding experience during this time
Disadvantages of the Rainy Season
Heavy Rain: The most prominent drawback is the frequent and intense rain. It often leads to slippery and muddy conditions on hiking trails and within the archaeological site itself, making exploration less comfortable and more challenging.
Risk of Landslides: The heavy rain significantly heightens the risk of landslides, particularly in the region surrounding Machu Picchu. This can occasionally necessitate trail closures for safety reasons.
Limited Visibility: The rain and cloud cover can limit the visibility of the iconic vistas of Machu Picchu, especially from key viewpoints such as the Sun Gate and the Inca Bridge.
Travel Delays: The rainy season may result in transportation disruptions, including train and bus delays, which can impact travel plans to and from Machu Picchu.
Insect and Disease Concerns: The wet season can bring an increased presence of insects and a higher risk of mosquito-borne diseases in the region, necessitating precautions like insect repellent.
While the rainy season offers its own unique charm and benefits, as mentioned earlier, it’s essential for travelers to weigh these disadvantages and plan accordingly, taking into account the potential for wet conditions and associated inconveniences when choosing to visit during this time.
What to wear for the rainy season
Waterproof Gear: In this season, it’s essential to wear waterproof clothing, such as a waterproof jacket and pants, to stay dry in the rain.
Waterproof Hiking Boots: Use waterproof hiking boots or water-resistant footwear to walk on muddy trails.
Waterproof Backpack: Protect your belongings, including cameras and electronic devices, in a waterproof backpack.
Extra Layer: Since it can be cooler in this season, bring an extra layer of clothing to stay warm.
Rain Poncho or Umbrella: A portable poncho or umbrella can also be useful to shield yourself from the rain.
In addition to these considerations, it’s always advisable to carry water, snacks, sunscreen, insect repellent, and a reusable water bottle.
The best season to visit Machu Picchu.
The dry season is the best time to visit The Lost City Of The Incas “Machu Picchu” which is from April to October and it is the most popular due to favorable weather conditions. However, if you prefer to avoid crowds, enjoy green landscapes, and take advantage of lower costs, the rainy season is from November to March. Whatever season you choose, be sure to prepare adequately for the weather and check the weather forecast before your trip.
The best month to visit Machu Picchu.
The “best” month really depends on your priorities. If you’re looking for a balance between good weather conditions and less crowds, May and September are usually ideal months. June to August is excellent for the weather but be mindful of the crowds. If you’re seeking a quieter and greener experience, consider the rainy season from November to March. Regardless of the month you choose, make sure to plan and prepare adequately to make the most of it.
The hottest month to visit Machu Picchu.
The warmest month in Machu Picchu is generally July and August. During this months, daytime temperatures can range from 20°C (68°F) to 25°C (77°F), providing very pleasant conditions for visiting the archaeological site. Keep in mind that, due to Machu Picchu’s altitude, nights can still be cool, with temperatures dropping to around 10°C (50°F) or lower, so it’s advisable to bring an extra layer of clothing for the evenings.
The coldest month to visit Machu Picchu.
The coldest month in Machu Picchu is usually June and July. During this months, daytime temperatures can range from 15°C (59°F) to 20°C (68°F), while nights tend to be colder, with temperatures dropping to around 5°C (41°F) or even lower. It’s important to be prepared for the lower temperatures, especially during the nights if you plan to visit Machu Picchu in June. Wearing warm clothing and an additional layer is advisable to stay comfortable.
With the weather as our ally and advisor on this journey, we can fully enjoy this adventure. However, it’s important to mention that whatever decision you make, you won’t regret it because visiting Machu Picchu on any day of the year is one of the most incredible experiences in the world.
Explore Machu Picchu at any time of the Year and the enjoy its beauty.