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The best time to visit Machu Picchu

The best time to visit Machu Picchu

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Although there are two times of the year that are the most recommended to visit Machu Picchu, every month has its pros and cons. In this article we will review in detail the advantages and disadvantages of each period based on climate and influx of tourists, and then tell you what in our opinion is the best period to visit the citadel.

Machu Picchu is located between the Andes Mountains and the Amazon jungle, having a warm and temperate climate. In the citadel you will never be too cold or too hot, with an average minimum temperature of 12 °C and an average maximum temperature of 24 °C. As it is a subtropical zone, every day of the year there is the possibility of rain, however, from April to September is the dry season and from October to March is the rainy season. Generally, the dry season is the preferred time of year. Below we group 5 periods of the year with their own statistics related to the amount of rain, temperature and number of tourists (the latter based on 2016 data obtained from the INEI).

Machu Picchu in January, February and March

If you don’t mind the rain and prefer to tour the citadel without encountering too many tourists, these three months could work for you. Even though it is cloudy most of the time, during these months there is not much fog so visibility is good. As it is the low season, prices of accommodation and tours can be much cheaper than in other months. Please note that if you want to do the Inca Trail, it is not available during February due to maintenance.

  • Season: Low
  • Average number of tourists per month: 97 thousand
  • Rainy days per month: 20 days on average
  • Amount of water fall per month: 150mm on average
  • Maximum temperature: 20ºC
  • Minimum temperature: 8ºC

Machu Picchu in April and May

Notoriously less humid, visiting Machu Picchu in April and May are the best months to get to know the citadel. During April the number of tourists begins to increase, but it is already in May when it increases considerably, since it coincides with the beginning of the vacations in the northern hemisphere. The rains are more frequent in April (9 days on average per month versus 3 days on average during May), but if you don’t mind the rain and are bothered by the lines of tourists, it is recommended that you go to Machu Picchu closer to April than to May.

  • Season: High
  • Average number of tourists per day: 103 thousand
  • Rainy days per month: 6 days on average
  • Amount of water fall per month: 25mm on average
  • Maximum temperature: 21ºC
  • Minimum temperature: 5ºC

Machu Picchu in June, July and August

The driest months of the year. The weather in Machu Picchu during this period presents sunny days during the day and an important cold in the morning. Due to the fact that it is high season, the prices of lodging are the highest during the year and services such as the Inca Trail or train tickets are sold out well in advance and we recommend booking them before arriving in Cusco.

  • Season: High
  • Average number of tourists per day: 132 thousand
  • Rainy days per month: 3 days on average
  • Amount of water fall per month: 12mm on average
  • Maximum temperature: 20ºC
  • Minimum temperature: 2ºC

Machu Picchu in September and October

As in April and May, September and October have some important differences. Although the number of tourists remains very high in both months, September is considerably drier than October, when the transition to the rainy season is most noticeable. Around the end of October the high season begins to decline, as do the costs of various services.

  • Season: High
  • Average number of tourists per day: 134 thousand
  • Rainy days per month: 9 days on average
  • Amount of water fall per month: 31mm on average
  • Maximum temperature: 21.5ºC
  • Minimum temperature: 6ºC

Machu Picchu in November and December

These are the months with the least saturation of visitors. The rains are already beginning to be felt quite intensely and the tourist services are beginning to have more offers. These are the best months for those who wish to tour Machu Picchu with the least amount of tourists possible and who do not mind the constant rain.

  • Season: Low
  • Average number of tourists per day: 92 thousand
  • Rainy days per month: 17 days on average
  • Amount of water fall per month: 94mm on average
  • Maximum temperature: 21.5ºC
  • Minimum temperature: 7.5ºC

The best time to visit Machu Picchu

In our opinion, the best time to visit Machu Picchu is in late April/early May and late September/early October. During these dates the number of tourists is lower in the citadel and the trails, and the weather conditions present mostly rain-free days. In Denomades we have several tours from Cusco to Machu Picchu, among which is a tour that includes the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu in 2 days, as well as a Full Day Machu Picchu.

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