When is the best time to visit Machu Picchu?

Machu Picchu is a year-round destination. The most popular time to visit is during the dry season (April to Octoberber) with the peak months being June through August when the weather is at its best.

Machu Picchu is perched in a cloud forest and has a subtropical climate with warm, humid weather throughout the year. Rain should always be expected, but most rain falls between November and March. The wet season. While you'll encounter more showers, the opposite is true for crowds which are far thinner than in the dry season.

If you don't like busy trails and long queues, you might want to consider planning your trip outside of the peak season.

The dry season

The dry season (April to Octoberber) offers optimal weather for trekking. You can expect less rain, low cloud cover and comfortable temperatures of 9°C to 26°C. Nights can be chilly, so bring some thermals for a good night’s sleep.

It's also the busiest time of year so expect longer queues at Machu Picchu and more people on the trails, but the clear skies and stunning views throughout the Sacred Valley are worth it.

June is particularly busy due to Inti Raymi, or the Festival of the Sun in Cusco. This annual event was the biggest and most important celebration in the ancient Inca Empire and many traditions are upheld today. It involves a spectacular reenactment of Inca traditions at the Sacsayhuamán ruins, vibrant costumes, traditional folk music and lots of delicious Peruvian food.

The wet season

The rainy season (November to March) coincides with the low tourist season. Temperatures remain steady, but humidity is higher, the skies are cloudier and rain is plentiful. It doesn't usually bucket down every day (some days it might just be a light drizzle) but waterproofs and good walking shoes are essential as the trails can be wet and muddy.

But despite the rain, one of the perks of visiting in the wet season is that it’s considerably quieter and you won’t need to share the views with as many people.

The rain also does wonders for the fields of Sacred Valley, carpeting the already stunning landscape with lush shades of green.

February is the wettest month – and also when the Inca Trail closes for maintenance. However, you can still get to Machu Picchu on the train from Cusco.

Inca Trail permits

If you plan on hiking the Inca Trail, it's important to note that there are limits to how many people can trek.

All hikers need a valid permit; they often get sold out months in advance, so make sure you give yourself time to get organised.

If you want to hike the Quarry Trail (open all year), you don’t need to worry about getting a permit – or crowds, for that matter. It's still low on the tourist radar, but it's starting to gain traction for its lesser-known archaeological sites and rich cultural interactions.

Want to learn more about Machu Picchu? Return to Machu Picchu FAQs

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