When is the best time to travel to Machu Picchu? Many travelers commonly ask this question before booking a trip. On this page, you will find all relevant information about Machu Picchu, the weather, prices, and the time to visit Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu is open all year round, whether it is the rainy or dry season; thousands of travelers from all over the world will arrive at this beautiful destination every day. We have only 2 seasons in the Andes; the dry season and the wet season.
Many travelers will opt to come in the dry season, thinking they won’t experience any rain. However, the weather in the Andes is really unpredictable and unstable. We have rain sometimes, even in the driest months of June or July. Each season has its pros and cons; you must choose the right time of the year to visit Machu Picchu, depending on your personal preferences.
When is the best time of the Year to visit Machu Picchu?
The best time to visit Machu Picchu is the shoulder seasons; April, May, September, October, and November. There is still little rain expected during these months, and it is away from the cold winter nights of the dry season. Also, during these months there will be fewer visitors.
Machu Picchu during the rainy season:
The heavy rainy season starts mid or late December until late March; rains are expected more often during early morning or late afternoons. The sun will always be out, and you will have great photos of Machu Pichu with the mist of the clouds. During this season, fewer visitors are expected, and it’s a good time for travelers for those who prefer solitude. It’s possible to find great deals with flights and hotels from the low season.
Machu Picchu during the shoulder season:
The shoulder seasons are the transition months between the rainy and dry seasons or vice-versa. The weather is lovely; not too cold, not too sunny, not too rainy. Also, places like Machu Picchu still get fewer visitors than in the peak season. In this group, we have April, May, September, October, and November.
Machu Picchu during the dry season:
The dry season start in May, where little rain is expected, and it’s also the winter season in Peru. Thousands of travelers are expected to visit Machu Picchu as its summer vacations in the US, Canada, Europe, and other countries in the northern hemisphere.
The days are sunny, offering great views and the nights are cold with a clear sky for stargazing. During this season, snow is expected in the high mountain treks; June, July, Agosto, and September in this group.
When is the less crowded time of the year in Machu Picchu?
January and February are the best months if you are looking to see Machu Picchu empty; you will be able to find good deals in the hotels, the best train schedules, and great prices for everything.
These months are the heart of the rainy season, and you must always be prepared to carry good rain gear and be prepared for delays due to bad weather.
When is the busiest time of the year in Machu Picchu?
June, July, August are the busu¿iest months of the year. To travel to Machu Picchu, you must book your tour far in advance to get the best schedules and places. During these months, there are long lines to take the bus and to enter Machu Picchu.
When is the best time of the day to visit Machu Picchu?
The best time to visit Machu Picchu will be early in the morning or late in the afternoon:
Machu Picchu early in the morning:
Machu Picchu opens at 6:am in morning. To enter at this time, you need to take the first bus from Aguas Calientes town that departs at 5.30 am. To take the first buses, you must wait in line for the buses for at least 1 or 2 hours before.
By arriving at 6. am at Machu Picchu’s gate, you will enter with the first few ones and enjoy the amazing sunrise in Machu Picchu. Of course, the sunrise is not guaranteed, but you will have a great time visiting the citadel with fewer early visitors. The people visiting in this schedule are the ones you stayed overnight in the city of Aguas Calientes, hikers from the Inca Trail, Salkantay, Lares, and other trekking tours.
Machu Picchu during the day:
After 9:00 am, the trains will arrive in Aguas Calientes, and all one-day visitors will visit the great Inca Citadel. This is the busiest time of the day; several trains run from Cusco and Ollantaytambo that will take travelers to visit Machu Picchu one day.
By visiting Machu Picchu during this time, there are more chances to have good weather and get great pictures. The visiting during this time are usually the ones traveling by train the same day, and they will go back the same day as well to Cusco.
Machu Picchu late in the afternoon:
Most of the visitors will be entering Macchu Picchu until 13:pm, at leave by 3 pm. By visiting Machu Picchu after 2.00 pm is a great opportunity to enjoy the citadel in solitude.
To visit Machu Picchu with the last ones, you must book the last shift at 2 pm; you will be able to enter Machu Picchu from 2 pm to 4 pm and leave before 5.30 pm. This is recommended for people who have late trains to come to Cusco or the ones staying overnight.
Machu Picchu on Sundays:
Machu Picchu is open all week; Sundays are free for locals and are expected to be crowded. Try to avoid Sundays if possible.
Machu Picchu Weather Overview
Even though we only have 2 seasons, the dry and wet seasons, you must always be prepared for sunny, cloudy, and rainy days. The weather in the Andes is unpredictable, especially with Machu Picchu located in the Cloud Forest, where a sunny day can turn into rain in a matter of minutes.
Machu Picchu in January
January is the rainiest month of the year; you always have good rain gear when visiting Machu Picchu. If you are traveling this month, you need to be prepared for itinerary changes, trail closures due to landslides, train delays, and flight cancellations.
The temperatures in Machu Picchu will vary from highs around 71°F (21°C) and lows around 45°F (7°C). This month is good for those travelers who would like to visit Machu Picchu in solitude and get good deals in hotels, flights, and tours.
Machu Picchu and Inca Trail tours are available every day; we recommend avoiding Salkantay Trek, Choquequirao Trek. If you are hiking to Machu Picchu, the best tour for this month is the Lares Trek.
Machu Picchu in February
February is the heart of the rainy season; even though si expected fewer rainy days than January, February is expected to have heavy rains. The number of visitors to Machu Picchu reachest the lowest point during this month.
The temperatures in Machu Picchu will vary from highs around 72°F (22°C) and lows around 46°F (8°C). Travelers must be prepared for rain, schedule changes due to landslides, or bad weather.
February is one of the worst months of the year to visit Machu Picchu. Most of the trails like Inca Trails, Salkantay Treks, Choquequirao treks will be closed. If you plan a hiking trip, we recommend the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu in March
During March, the weather starts improving with more sunny days and fewer hours of rain every day. The second half of the month is the preferred time for travelers.
The temperatures in Machu Picchu will vary from highs around 71°F (21°C) and lows around 42°F (6°C). Most trekking tours will be open again after February, including the Inca Trails.
We recommend avoiding tours like Salkantay Treks as there are located in the Amazon area and rains are still weighty.
Machu Picchu in April
April starts with more travelers arriving in Machu Picchu, the shoulder season starts with great weather, few rainy days, and travelers will see the sunrise more often in Machu Picchu.
The temperatures in Machu Picchu will vary from highs around 73°F (22°C) and lows around 39°F (4°C).
This is the perfect time to take a hiking tour to Machu Picchu and travel by train. Tours will sell out fast, and you need to book in advance.
Machu Picchu in May
The dry season starts; however, you must be still be prepared for rainy days. May is usually busy in the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu, and all hiking tours. The weathering May makes it perfect for visitors with a clear sky and amazing views of the mountains.
The temperatures in Machu Picchu will vary from highs around 86°F (30°C) and lows around 42°F (6°C).
May is arguably one of the best months to visit Machu Picchu, hike the Inca Trail, Salkantay trek, Lares trek, and other alternative hikes.
Machu Picchu in June
June starts the high season for tourism in Peru; thousands of travelers will arrive in Peru, especially from the northern hemisphere, where they have summer vacations. Little rains are expected during these months.
The temperatures in Machu Picchu will vary from highs around 83°F (28°C) and lows around 44°F (7°C).
Most tours like the Inca Trail, Salkantay, Lares trek will be crowded; you need to book in advance.
Machu Picchu in July
July is the heart of the dry season and also the winter season in Peru. Due to its location of Machu Picchu, the temperature will not have many variations; however, in the mountains, the temperature will drop below freezing, especially at night and early morning.
The temperatures in Machu Picchu will vary from highs around 82°F (27°C) and lows around 44°F (7°C).
During this month, there are long lines to get the buses, trains to enter Machu Picchu. You must book hotels, tours far in advance.
Machu Picchu in August
Historically, August is the month when we get the most number of visitors. You must be prepared to see many visitors in every place you visit and wait in line to board the buses and enter Machu Picchu.
The temperatures in Machu Picchu will vary from highs around 78°F (26°C) and lows around 42°F (6°C). All trails are available; we recommend alternative treks.
Machu Picchu in September
The rains are back in September, and the dry season will end; the cold winter is also replaced by cooler weather in the mountains.
The temperatures in Machu Picchu will vary from highs around 73°F (22°C) and lows around 44°F (7°C). All trails are available; we recommend alternative treks.
With the drop in the number of visitors to Peru, Machu Picchu's long lines are over and make it perfect for hiking in the mountains.
Machu Picchu in October
October is one of the best months to visit Machu Picchu, as the transition months between the dry season and wet season, little rains are expected, and we're away from the cold weather from the winter season.
The temperatures in Machu Picchu will vary from highs around 72°F (22°C) and lows around 41°F (5°C). The perfect month to travel to Machu Picchu as we have a lot of availability and fewer visitors.
Machu Picchu in November
November starts the rainy season officially; however, we will have weeks of sun and nice weather.
The temperatures in Machu Picchu will vary from highs around 78°F (25°C) and lows around 45°F (7°C). The number of visitors to Machu Picchu will continue decreasing, and the hiking tours will have fewer visitors.
Machu Picchu in December
The rains will occur more often; however, the number of travelers will increase in the last weeks for the end-year holidays.
The temperatures in Machu Picchu will vary from highs around 71°F (21°C) and lows around 44°F (6°C). This is one of the last months to have good weather before entering the heavy rainy season.
All places to visit in Machu Picchu and nearby
Machu Picchu Citadel:
Machu Pichu Inca citadel refers to the main archeological sites that are included in the regular tour. The ticket will allow visiting this place for around 3 hours. The place to visit is the Guard House, farming terraces, the temple of the sun, the temple of the water, the main temple, the sundial, the urban area, the industrial area, the temple of the Condor, and many other places that your tour guide will take you and explain you their uses.
Sun Gate or Intipunku:
Located 5 kilometers away from Machu Picchu, the Sungate is located on a mountain top which is the arrival from the Inca Trail tours. It's possible to hike up for 1 hour from Machu Picchu and return. No permits are required to pay or book. You will be hiking the last part of the original 4-day Classic Inca Trail that arrives at Machu Picchu after 4 days of hiking.
During this Pandemic, it's not allowed to hike to Sungate.
Located just 30 minutes from the upper part of Machu Picchu. The Inca bridge is located in the opposite direction of the Sungate; this amazing draw bridge was protection for Machu Picchu Citadel. No permits or extra charges are required to enter this place. However, you must be able to walk through narrow and steep trails.
Huayna Picchu is the steep mountain behind Machu Picchu in every postal picture. Takes one hour to reach the top and 1 hour to come down the same way. To be able to hike this mountain, you need to book the permits far in advance.
The cost of the permits is 75.USD per person during this pandemic is not allowed to enter this place.
Located on the opposite side of Huayna Picchu, Machu Picchu Mountain or Montaña is the highest mountain area. Takes 1.5 hours to 2 hours to reach the top, and other similar to come down the same way; you need to book the permits far in advance.
The cost of the permits is 75.USD, during this pandemic, this mountain is closed as well.
Located near Puente Ruinas (the bridge to Machu Picchu), you can walk to this place for 20 minutes from Aguas Calientes, or if you have completed Machu Picchu, you can ask the bus driver to get to the bridge. There is a fee to enter the museum (7 USD).
Located on the road from Aguascalientes to Machu Picchu. The Butterfly Station is only 10 minutes away from the town. You will be able to learn many interesting facts about local butterflies and take pictures. There is a sole fee of 10 euros to enter this place.
In addition to Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain, there is also a steeper Mounatin called Putus Mountain. You don't need an admission ticket to hike to Putusi, but we strongly recommend that you go with a guide. You need at least 3 hours to complete this mountain and enjoy the magnificent view of Machu Picchu from another mountain.
This beautiful place is only a 1-hour hike from Aguas Calientes; you will be able to see birds, orchids, waterfalls, and Machu Picchu from below. To visit Mandor, you need at least 3 hours, preferably accompanied by a guide.
Located in the upper part Machu Picchu pueblo (also known as Aguas Calientes). You can access it by a 15 minutes walk from the city; these natural hot springs are perfect for visiting if you have a day off in Aguas Calientes.