The best time to visit Machu Picchu

If you are planning a trip to Machupicchu, you are probably wondering: what is the best time to visit Machu Picchu? Here’s all the information you need to choose the best time of year for your adventure to this incredible archaeological site.

1. Why is it important to choose the best time of year?

Visiting Machu Picchu is a unique experience and choosing the right time of year can greatly enhance your trip. The weather, the influx of tourists and the condition of the trails are all factors that can influence your visit. Therefore, it is essential to know when is the best time to go.

2. Seasons in Machu Picchu

a) Dry Season (May to September)

Qué hacer en Cusco

The dry season is considered by many to be the best time to visit Machu Picchu. During these months, rainfall is scarce and the weather is more predictable.

Advantages of the Dry Season

  • Stable Weather: Chances of rain are minimal, which facilitates hiking and outdoor activities.
  • Visibility: Clear skies allow for spectacular views of Machu Picchu and the surrounding mountains.
  • Passable Trails: Trails, including the famous Inca Trail, are in better condition.

Disadvantages of the Dry Season

  • More Tourists: As it is the most popular time of the year, you will find more tourists, which can make some areas crowded.
  • Higher Prices: Due to high demand, prices for accommodation and tours may be higher.

b) Rainy Season (November to March)

The rainy season, also known as the low season, offers a different experience at Machu Picchu.

Advantages of the Rainy Season

  • Fewer Tourists: There are fewer people, allowing you to enjoy a quieter and more personal experience.
  • Green Nature: The landscape is greener and lusher due to the rains, which adds a special touch to the views.
  • Lower Prices: Accommodation and tour costs are usually more affordable.

Disadvantages of the Rainy Season

  • Unpredictable Weather: Rainfall can be heavy and frequent, which can affect your hiking and outdoor plans.
  • Risk of Landslides: Some roads and trails can be dangerous due to landslides and mudslides.

c) Transitional Season (April and October)

The months of April and October are considered transitional seasons and combine features of both the dry and rainy seasons.

Advantages of the Transition Season

  • Moderate Weather: Although there is some rainfall, it is not as frequent or heavy as in the rainy season.
  • Fewer Tourists: The influx of tourists is moderate, allowing you to enjoy the place without the large crowds of the dry season.
  • Moderate Prices: Accommodation and tour prices are more reasonable compared to the high season.

Disadvantages of the Transitional Season

  • Variable Weather: Weather can be unpredictable, with sunny days followed by rainy days.
  • Trail Conditions: Some trails can be a little slippery due to sporadic rainfall.

3. Tips for your Visit

Clothing and Equipment

Regardless of the time of year you decide to visit Machu Picchu, it is important to be prepared with the appropriate clothing and equipment.

  • Layered Clothing: The weather can vary throughout the day, so it is advisable to dress in layers to adapt to temperature changes.
  • Waterproof: Even in the dry season, it is advisable to carry a light mackintosh just in case.
    Appropriate Footwear: Wear comfortable, waterproof trekking shoes for hiking.

Booking and Logistics

  • Book Early: Especially during high season, it is crucial to book tickets, tours and accommodation in advance.
  • Plan your Itinerary: Organise your daily activities to maximise your time and make the most of your visit.

Health Precautions

  • Altitude Sickness: Machu Picchu is at a considerable altitude, so take measures to acclimatise and prevent altitude sickness.
  • Hydration and Sun Protection: Stay well hydrated and use sunscreen, as UV radiation can be intense at high altitude.

Snacks and accessories

  • Sunscreen and repellent: The sun in the city of Cusco is usually intense so we recommend you bring your sunscreen and hats, if you are visiting Cusco in high season you should know that in this season mosquitoes are usually found in abundance.
  • Water bottle: In the citadel of Machupicchu water is usually expensive so we recommend that you buy it in Aguas Calientes.
  • Cash: If you want to go to the bathroom or buy something you like, we recommend that you bring cash in soles, as many shops do not accept credit cards.
  • Cereals and energy bars: For the hike you will have a bit of an appetite so we recommend you bring these snacks.

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