When is the best time to visit Machu Picchu?

Machu Picchu is open 7 days a week, every day of the year, including holidays. The best season to visit Machu Picchu depends on your personal preferences and trip schedule. There’s a lot more to consider than just the weather forecast.

Scroll down for more tips about:

  • Most Popular Time to Visit
  • Warm Weather
  • Peak Season
  • Dry Season versus Rainy Season
  • Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
  • [Overview] Weather Conditions Throughout The Year

Most Popular Time to Visit

If you want to improve your chances to see Machu Picchu, one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, the way it appears in classic photographs – with clear blue skies as a backdrop to sun-lit stone ruins – your best chance is to visit between May and October. These months align with the region’s dry season and are the most popular time to visit Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu sunny landscape

Note however that a tropical cloud forest surrounds the archaeological complex and even during these dry season months, there may be mornings and afternoons with heavy mists that can obscure the views.

Warm Weather

Higher temperatures do not correlate with the preferred sunshine and clear skies at Machu Picchu. Plan a tour to Machu Picchu between November and March for the warmest weather with daytime temperatures ranging between 68 to 80 Fahrenheit (20 to 27 Celcius). These months fall during the rainy season.

Peak Season

Peak season and the busiest time to visit Machu Picchu are June, July, and August. These months align with the heart of the region’s dry season (and the most sunshine) as well as summertime in the northern hemisphere. From June to August, large crowds can make it a little hard to move around sectors of the Historic Sanctuary and long lines at the main entrance are common.

peak season Cusco graphic

June to August is also a popular time for travelers who choose the hardest, most exciting way to get to Machu Picchu along the Inca Trail.

Dry Season versus Rainy Season

Seasonal weather coincides with the peak and low seasons at Machu Picchu. There are pros and some drawbacks to visiting during each season.

Graphic -Dry Season versus Rainy Season in Cusco

  • Dry season is peak season at Machu Picchu. April to October see the most days with desirable sunshine but the trade off is more foot traffic around the site during your tour.
  • Rainy season coincides with low season at Machu Picchu. Rain – anything from light drizzle to heavy downpours – occur almost daily from November until March. While this time of the year typically has the most rainfall, the upside is that Machu Picchu sees less visitors with the exception of Christmas and New Years. Last minute bookers enjoy a higher probability of reserving their desired hotel, transport, and trek options. Additionally, orchids love the rain — blooming season begins in October/November and continues until March.

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

If you have your heart set on doing the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, it’s important to know that this classic trail is closed every February (no exceptions) for maintenance.

Inca trail trek

Additionally, if the limited daily permits are already taken for your desired dates, your Travel Advisor can share the benefits of doing one of the alternative treks to Machu Picchu including Salkantay and Lares.

Weather Conditions Throughout the Year

  • January, February & March – Rainy season. February typically sees
    the most rain.
  • April & May – Shoulder season months between rainy and dry weather conditions. Overall pleasant climate and warm-to-cool temperatures.
  • June, July & August – Dry season. Days are warm, the nights are cool.
  • September, October & November – Shoulder season months between dry and rainy weather conditions. Overall pleasant climate and warm-to-cool temperatures.

In conclusion, there is never a bad time to visit Machu Picchu. The best time to visit Machu Picchu simply depends on your personal preferences and travel dates.

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