Machu Picchu is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and also one of the most visited sites in South America, if not the world. The ruins are on many people’s wish list to visit before they die. The spectacular Inca site has an interesting history and a very interesting location. This is why the Spanish invaders never found it. Machu Picchu means old mountain in the local Quechua language. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that should not be missed on any trip to South America. One of the things on most people’s minds when visiting Peru and Machu Picchu is, of course, the Machu Picchu weather. And for this reason, together with Machu Travel Peru, we have proposed to delve into this topic.
When we travel to Machu Picchu, many questions arise. From how to get there, how to get our Machu Picchu tickets, and even the weather that awaits us. And for that reason, in this small article, we have concentrated on the Machu Picchu weather. The climate of the Inca citadel is quite particular since it is located in a somewhat particular area. The weather in Machu Picchu can be unpredictable, so you will need to bring clothing for all weather conditions with you on your trip. In this article, we will give you some tips and information about the weather and how to prepare for your trip to Machu Picchu. Join us to learn how to prepare to enjoy this wonderful unique experience.
Everything you need to know about the Machu Picchu weather
- About the climate of Machu Picchu
- Weather month by month
- The best time to go
- Useful tips for the Machu Picchu weather
ABOUT THE CLIMATE OF MACHU PICCHU
The beautiful lost citadel of the Incas is hidden in the middle of a cloud forest in Peru. This feat of ancient architecture is located in the middle of the Andes Mountains. The citadel rises just above the iconic Sacred Valley. So sunny winters and rainy summers make up the general climate of the subtropical lands of the Inca citadel. But what is the average temperature in Machu Picchu? The average temperature can range between 12ºC and 24ºC (54ºF and 75ºF). But on the hottest days, it is possible to see up to 26º C (79ºF).
Two other important factors that affect the climate are the proximity of the site to the Equator and its significant elevation. The Inca citadel stands at an elevation of 7,972 feet or 2,430 meters above sea level. As for the average highs, they remain fairly constant throughout the year. But this does not mean that there are no potential frosts, especially during May when temperatures begin to drop.
And with more than 100 rains per year, the site reaches an average of 1803.4 mm or 71 inches of precipitation per year. The most frequent rains occur between the intermediate months of October, November, and March. A few thunderstorms can also be expected from time to time. These can be seen passing through the slopes of the mountains. And although it is usually very rare, hail can be a possibility that we should not overlook.
But rains and storms are not the only visible weather in the citadel. On the positive side, Machu Picchu has more than 2460 hours of sunshine a year. Mornings can get foggy. But as the sun breaks through, the fog dissipates and the ruins light up in all their glory. These climates are much more visible during April as the dry season approaches.
And no matter what season you travel, you have to keep in mind that it is advisable to bring sunscreen and a hat. You will find yourself in the height, so the ultraviolet rays are much more harmful and strong. And even though there are no extreme temperatures on the site, it is important to dress in layers. In this way, if it is cool or hot, you can feel comfortable in the place.
WEATHER MONTH BY MONTH
During January, the Machu Picchu weather is marked by cloudy skies. Especially during the early hours of the morning. But eventually warmer temperatures are appreciated during the day and afternoon. January is still the rainy season, but rains are not so frequent. The climate is characterized by misty horizons and some occasional rains. It is ideal to take advantage of the sunny hours to take different photos. And we always recommend touring the place with a qualified guide. A guided tour will teach you about what is Machu Picchu and its different constructions.
The rainy season continues during February. You can expect numerous persistent rains. February is not one of the best months to visit Machu Picchu, as it is full of wet trails and covered in clouds. But when the rains stop and the clouds recede, the sun appears in all its splendor. February is distinguished by warm afternoons and humid nights. During February the Inca Trail is closed. Although Machu Picchu remains open, the hiking trail is not. In addition, the persistent rains make February the worst month to walk the Inca Trail. If the weather is favorable, there are other hiking alternatives to Machu Picchu.
March is on average the month with the highest rainfall of the year. During this month the temperatures begin to transition to a slow decrease. But the humidity maintains a much higher heat index. Cloudy skies can be expected for most of the day. But once the skies clear, the sun can be a bit strong. March can be a good option to avoid the big crowds. You will have plenty of free space to roam the ruins, but expect to get a little wet.
April is a month of transition for the Machu Picchu weather. During April you begin to see a decrease and there are no longer so many rains. The skies are not covered in clouds anymore. And you can try climbing the surrounding mountains. During April the flow of visitors begins to increase. Rain begins to occur to a much lesser extent welcoming sunny afternoons and lush greenery.
The month of May is the beginning of the dry season in the Peruvian Andes. During this month is when the Machu Picchu weather can be truly enjoyed. The days are bright and warm, but cooler temperatures can be seen in the afternoon. May is when visitors begin to flock to the citadel and the spaces turn green. If you don’t know how to get to Machu Picchu, you can always go by train. So, what is the best month to go to Peru? Between May and October is an ideal time to visit Peru.
June is on average one of the driest months to visit the citadel. Only 2 days of the month can have rainfall. The opportunities for a clear day are guaranteed. The afternoons are warm and the nights cool. But May is when tourism starts to pick up again, so June is quite a busy month. Book in advance.
And what is the coldest month in Machu Picchu? July. It is the coldest month of the year but with plenty of sunlight a day. Just expect very cool nights with a chance of frost. Be aware that the Machu Picchu weather can be very unpredictable. So during this time, it is possible to see hailstorms. And despite clear, sunny skies, the temperature can fluctuate from one moment to the next. Dress in layers of clothing.
And what is the best month to go to Machu Picchu? August. The warm days and the pleasant sun are still present. You can appreciate beautiful clear views of the surroundings of the Inca citadel. August is one of the best months to visit Machu Picchu. One of the best months to enjoy alternative walks like Huayna Picchu. An ideal moment to enjoy a honeymoon in Machu Picchu.
This is one of the mildest weather months of the year. The sunny days are still appreciated but the skies begin to partially cloud. The nights start to get colder and the humidity starts to rise. Occasional rainfall is no surprise and fog begins to show in the citadel.
October is already a month of transition to the rainy season. The rains are already much more frequent and the skies remain cloudy. Despite this, the sun is still present enough to give pleasant afternoons. Tourists begin to decline.
November is distinguished by occasional rains in the afternoon and cloudy skies at noon. The Machu Picchu weather begins to gradually increase along with the rains. With the decrease in crowds, few tourists enjoy the Inca citadel. November is usually a month with incredible deals for those looking to travel on a budget. Many companies take advantage of this last time of the year, so offers and sales are common.
December is the beginning of summer in Machu Picchu. And even though the temperatures are warmer, the rains are more frequent. It is the official start of the rainy season and this coincides with the low tourist season. Thunderstorms are possible during the day. The Machu Picchu weather is unpredictable
THE BEST TIME TO GO
When looking to explore the Machu Picchu map, it is important to keep a few things in mind. One of them is the Machu Picchu weather, which can be quite unpredictable. The climate of the citadel is characterized by being divided into two marked seasons. And each season has its own advantages. The rainy season and the dry season. And each of these seasons is usually chosen for one reason or another. It will all depend on what adventure you are looking to experience. But what is the best time to visit Machu Picchu?
The weather seasons vary as much as the wonderful landscapes that Peru is home to. The temperature of Machu Picchu is not the same as in Lima or Arequipa. In fact, the climate of Cusco or the Sacred Valley is not an indicator of what to expect either. By general consensus, travelers are advised to take advantage of the dry season. Since it is characterized by having clear skies and views, pleasant climates, and zero rain at sight. The only downside is that this season usually matches with the peak tourist season. So you will have to book months in advance to guarantee your adventure.
But this is not to say that the rainy season is not a good time to travel. Some months are ideal as the rains are infrequent. Besides, it is not so packed with tourists. Everything will depend on your budget, time available, and how many months in advance you have organized.
USEFUL TIPS FOR THE MACHU PICCHU WEATHER
- The rainy season occurs every year from December to March or maybe April. And in these months, yes it does rain, but it does not rain all day. The ground at Machu Picchu will be muddy and the steps inside the ruins will be slippery, so you will need to be prepared with good waterproof shoes with non-slip soles. Raincoats are also essential in these months so make sure you bring one with you on the different Machu Picchu tours.
- For the month of February, the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is closed. The reason for this is that the government of Cusco has decided that this is the best month to clean and do maintenance on the trail. This is a great time to visit Machu Picchu as there are fewer crowds and no hikers. You will get to spend more time wandering around the ruins.
- The dry season is from May to September and is a great time to visit Machu Picchu. The sky is a perfect color blue there are no clouds and the middle of the day is warm. The mornings are cold so you will need to bring your jacket with you and also a warm hat will come in handy. If you are planning a trip to Machu Picchu, make sure to do it within this season.
- The high season coincides with the dry season in Machu Picchu, so there will be crowds. Lines will be long to enter the ruins and to take the buses up and back from the ruins. The site is popular for Europeans and North Americans in these months, so hotels fill up and rooms are sometimes hard to get.
- The dry season and the high tourist season in Machu Picchu are the most frequented. So if you plan to do the famous Inca Trail during these months, you must book about 6 months in advance. This is to guarantee and secure your space on this wonderful hiking trail. Only certain agencies are authorized to do the Inca Trail. So do your research if you want to do the Inca Trail.
- The Sun, as you are at an altitude of over 2500 meters above sea level the sun at Machu Picchu is strong. Make sure you take your sunscreen with you when traveling to Machu Picchu. It does not matter if it is the rainy season or dry season the sun will still be strong. Take a good hat also.
- Some people seek to see the sunrise over Machu Picchu. But this show can be a bit difficult to spot. For this, you will have to arrive at the doors of the ruins at 6 am. But it is worth mentioning that at this time it can get a bit cold. However, be sure to bring enough warm clothing. A good jacket is essential to ward off the cold. If you are cold, you will not enjoy the experience.
- In the heights of the Andes where Machu Picchu is located, you will need water. We recommend staying hydrated, especially when the sun is out. Take lots of water with you on your visit to Machu Picchu. If you are doing the Inca Trail, you can fill your water bottle at each lunch break. Do not forget to drink water during your tours in Peru.
- Not really much to do with the weather, but again, if you are doing the Inca Trail, take snacks and chocolate to help with the hike. The hike can be challenging so remember to do a few walks before you leave home as it will help you on the test.
- The most important thing to remember is to enjoy the weather and the site no matter what time of year you choose to travel to Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu is one of the most beautiful places you will visit in your travel life.
“THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS BAD WEATHER, JUST SOFT PEOPLE.”
As you will see, the Machu Picchu weather is one of the factors to take into account. Especially if you are looking to plan your dream trip. You don’t want to be surprised by unforeseen weather or heavy rain. It is important to know when we will travel and what will await us. Together with the Machu Travel Peru team, we hope we have been helpful. If you want to know more about our different routes, do not hesitate to consult with our qualified advisors. Our team will be delighted to help you make the trip of your dreams come true. We believe that any time is ideal to visit Machu Picchu. This destination is a magical corner that we cannot miss on our visit to Peru.