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Kandoo Adventures: June 1st 2020

What is the weather like at Machu Picchu

A really important decision when planning your Machu Picchu trek is when to go. There is no single best time to trek to Machu Picchu as this depends quite a bit on your personal preferences. As  everywhere, there is a trade off between when the weather is likely to be best and when the trail is likely to be quiet. At Machu Pichhu itself  95% of visitors are not hikers. This means there are thousands of visitors at the ruins during the drier summer months. This does not affect the trekking part of the trip wher the permit system limits numbers but it can make the ruins themselves extremely crowded. 

The weather in Peru is typical of a sub-tropical area with two very distinct seasons. The rainy season which starts in late November and runs until March and the dry season which starts in April and runs to the end of October. You can see the extent of the variation in rainfall in the two graphs below. The first shows average rainfall and the second the actual number of rainy days at Machu Picchu.

machu picchu rainfallmachu picchu rainy days

 While  the amount of rainfall and the number of rainy days varies a lot during the year the temperatures vary hardly at all. So if you can cope wth the rain you will not find that the trekking is cold

Machu PIcchu temperatures 

Taking this seasonal variation in rainfall into account these are our recommendations based on weather.

July and August

Late summer is the peak tourist season in Peru, specifically July and August. This season has the driest weather and most people aim for the best weather. Even in the late summer, the foothills of the Andes are never completely dry though. Mist often clings to the peaks and you can expect at least a few gentle showers. Nonetheless, the weather is generally clear and warm, and trekking conditions are excellent.

Only 500 people a day are allowed on the Inca Trail at any time so this doesn't get too busy. But permits for July and August permits sell out within days of their release. There is no limit on day visitors to the ruins, so July and August will be particularly crowded, especially in the nicest weather.

December to March

This is the ‘rainy season’. If you are visiting during this time you will see a lot less trekkers but it will be raining. January and February are the wettest months by far. We really do advise against trekking in this period unless you really have to. Walking is difficult, camp-sites are muddy and it is so cloudy that most of the views are spoiled. And finally, the classic Inca Trail is closed for maintenance and repairs in February.

April to June and October to November

The months just on either side of the peak season are some of the best times to trek in the Andes. There is a bit of rain but far less tourists. So you won’t feel an overwhelming compulsion to build an ark or feel like you’ve somehow wound up at Disneyland.

Our summary chart showing the weather conditions during the year is below. There is also the current forecast from Accuweather.

December to February
rain icon
Heavy rain affects the trails so badly that to protect it from the heavy footfall the Park Authority shuts the Inca Trail completely for the month of February. Other trails remain open. Rainy, hot and humid

Mid and high season for Aconcagua mountaineering
As the rainy season passes, the number of dry days starts to increase dramatically and by the end of April there are less than 5 days that are rainy each month. A good time to trek to avoid the crowds. Rainy becoming drier and quiet
sun icon
May to September are the driest months and also the least humid making this the most pleasant time to trek to Machu Picchu. Of course, everyone else wants to trek at this time so permits are scarce and the trail is busy. Dry but busy
Mid and high season for Aconcagua mountaineering
As you move out of September, the number of rainy days starts to increase and the humidity rises. Still a good time to trek if you can stand a little rain as most days are still dry and the trails are much quieter. Dry to start but becoming wetter

Current weather at Machu Picchu

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