Visiting Machu Picchu is like taking a trip back in time. This Inca citadel is located in Peru, and there is no shortage of travelers from around the world who wish to enter its passages and majestic ruins hundreds of years old.
So, if you’ve made it this far, you’re probably wondering when is the ideal time to embark on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Being a fascinating tourist destination, you can’t miss the perfect time to experience this unforgettable adventure.
When choosing this tourist destination in Peru as a destination, it may seem overwhelming to choose the best time to do it, so the best time to visit Machu Picchu depends on your preferences and what you are looking to experience on your trip.
In this article, we will give you a detailed guide on the best time to visit the Sacred Valley, including travel recommendations to the site, other nearby attractions, schedules, routes and more. Don’t miss it!
When is it best to travel to Machu Picchu?
The best time to visit Machu Picchu is during the dry season in Peru, which runs approximately from April to November. This time of year is marked by a dry climate and a cool climate, which makes visitors enjoy a pleasant thermal sensation in the environment.
During the dry season, you can expect sunnier weather and better visibility of Machu Picchu. In addition, there is less likelihood of rain interfering with your travel plans so you can fully enjoy the site and the experiences it can provide.
When is the best time to go to the ruins of Machu Picchu?
The high season for visiting the Cusco region begins in January and ends in April and also runs from June to August. However, the best time to visit the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu is during the dry season, which runs from April to November respectively.
Unlike the low season, this high season brings much sunnier weather, which allows us to appreciate more accurately the surroundings, as well as the abundant wildlife that does not take our breath away.
However, this season is also the most crowded, which can be a drawback for some travelers looking for a quieter and more solitary experience. It is important to clarify that the dates and times of entry into Machu Picchu may vary depending on the season.
Weekdays can also be busier than weekends. For updated information on dates and Machu Picchu is open every day of the year including Sundays and holidays. Visiting hours are from 6 am to 6 pm.
On the other hand, you should know that Machu Picchu is closed at night, so it is advisable to keep this in mind while planning your trip and check the schedules of all the sites of interest.
What is the weather like during the dry season?
During these months, the average temperature in Cusco is 17.1°C (62.8°F) in January and 14°C (57.2°F) in April and 20.4°C (68.7°F) in June and 18.2°C (64.8°F) in August at this time, the weather is usually sunny with clear skies and temperatures range between 15 and 25 degrees Celsius (60-77 F).
But, despite these temperatures, you should be aware that the weather in Machu Picchu can be unpredictable. Even during the dry season.
So, be sure to bring appropriate clothing for each place you plan to visit including a map with which you plan to reach your destination, a waterproof jacket, sunscreen and a hat.
These elements are important because, during the day, temperatures are warmer inside the Inca citadel, but, even so, they are still cool and pleasant. So be sure to bring warm clothes with you.
This is because the climate specifically in the Inca sanctuary is located in the Cusco region, which is in the mountainous area of the Andes. The climate in this region is very cold, and temperatures drop drastically during the night, even in the summer season.
Take into account some key recommendations
To better assist you in planning your trip, here are some important recommendations that every traveler should consider when organizing their exploration of the citadel:
- First of all, it is important to book your trip in advance, especially if you plan to travel during the high season. Tickets for the train between Cusco and Aguas Calientes (the closest town to Machu Picchu) can sell out quickly, so it is important to book at least 2 months in advance.
- As for clothing, it is advisable to bring comfortable and light clothing for the hot and humid climate of Machu Picchu. Arrive prepared with an umbrella and a bottle of water to keep you cool and hydrated while exploring.
- The best times to enjoy a quieter experience are during the early morning hours, or in the late afternoon hours before the closing time of 6:00 pm. To enjoy a more peaceful and magical experience at Machu Picchu, these times of the day are usually less crowded and allow you to better appreciate the majesty of the site, as well as to take more creative and fun photos.
- If you prefer to avoid the crowds, consider traveling during the months of May, June or September. During the months of July and August, Machu Picchu receives a large influx of tourists due to summer vacations in many countries.
- Remember that Machu Picchu is a sacred and protected place, so it is important to follow the established rules to preserve its beauty and authenticity.
What not to miss if you travel to Machu Picchu this season?
To further enrich your experience, and make it easier for you to choose wisely the best things to do during your trip, here are some recommendations on some interesting things to take into account and place in your travel itinerary when you arrive at the beautiful Machu Picchu:
- Once you arrive at Machu Picchu, a good option is to take the best photo at the Guardian’s House or at the top of Huayna Picchu. The Guardian’s House is a stone structure built on the edge of a ledge at the top of Huayna Picchu, a mountain located in the archaeological park of Machu Picchu, with spectacular views of the valley and the city of Cusco.
- You can also try climbing the Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu mountains to have an aerial view of the citadel, which are located in the surroundings of the citadel. However, it is necessary to purchase tickets to visit them. Choose the most convenient package for you.
- We also invite you to visit the Sun Gate which is a point on the way to the Loma de Manco Capac, the Intipunku which is the place that is located at the top of the mountain of Machu Picchu, and is one of the most important points of the archaeological park and the Intihuatana. This is a stone structure located in the main square of Machu Picchu and its function was to mark the solstices and equinoxes.
- Once in Machu Picchu, I recommend that you take advantage of the full day. There is so much to see and do. Tour the main archaeological site, and enjoy a great diversity of flora and fauna unique in the world.
- If you like history, I recommend that you visit the Museo del Sitio, one of the most important cultural heritage sites in Peru and the world, which houses impressive archaeological pieces hundreds of years old.
In addition, this museum offers an introduction to the history of Machu Picchu, and will allow you to learn more about the Inca culture. There are many objects of cultural value, such as pottery, carvings and stone tools.
- One of the most impressive sights of Machu Picchu is the view of the Inca Bridge. It is an Inca bridge built over an abyss, and it is an amazing architectural work. The Inca Bridge is a historic bridge located in the Cuzco region that you can’t miss. You will take breathtaking pictures!
What other tourist attractions might interest you during your trip?
Besides Machu Picchu, there are many other interesting attractions in the region around Cusco. Below, we share with you some of the most popular attractions near Cusco:
- Trekking routes, such as the Inca Trail and the Salkantay. The Inca Trail is a trekking route of 4 days and 3 nights, recognized as one of the 5 best trekking routes in the world.
- There are also other trekking routes including the Salkantay Trekking Route to Machu Picchu, the Lares Trekking Route to Machu Picchu and the Huchuy Qosqo Trek to Machu Picchu.
- Do adventure activities such as rafting on the rivers in the Cusco region, such as the Urubamba River, the Aguas Calientes River and the Apurimac River. These areas are very popular for the practice of adventure sports such as rafting, as they are located in the middle of a beautiful natural environment.
For underwater tours, you can go to the Huacarpay lagoon in the Cusco region. This lagoon is known for its crystal clear waters and rich aquatic life, which makes it a perfect place for diving and snorkeling tours.
- If you are looking to relax after a day of hiking, you can visit one of the many spas in Machu Picchu.
- Sacred Valley of the Incas: this is one of the most popular adventure destinations near Cusco. It is a valley full of mountains, rivers, lakes and forests where you can hike or bike.
- Trains to Machu Picchu: both train services have modern and comfortable passenger cars, as well as a restaurant car for passengers to enjoy Peruvian gastronomy. It is a comfortable and fast means of transportation to explore the area.
- The other train called “Victor Manuel Belaunde” records the Sacred Valley of the Incas, from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes. The train is known for its beautiful views of the valley and the Urubamba River, and is used to reach Aguas Calientes from other parts of the country.
- Seven Colors Mountain: this mountain is located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas and is known for its vibrant colors and natural beauty. Many travelers take advantage of this amazing natural wonder unique in the world to take spectacular photos to share on social networks.
- Explore the Historic Center of Cusco: after visiting Machu Picchu, we recommend exploring the beautiful city of Cusco, which is also one of Peru’s main tourist attractions. The city is full of historical monuments, museums and restaurants, as well as a vibrant and lively cultural atmosphere.
Undoubtedly, no matter what time of the year you decide to travel to Machu Picchu, at every moment it is capable of leaving us with memories impossible to erase. In fact, we are sure that you will want to repeat your experience in the not too distant future.
It is also a trip worth making at least once in a lifetime, especially for those who wish to connect with nature on a deeper level, and discover new stories about this corner of the world that never ceases to surprise us with new findings.
While the best time to travel to Machu Picchu is during the dry season from April to October with a more stable climate, unexpected weather changes can still occur, such as sporadic rains or sudden temperature changes.
In this sense, we recommend you to be prepared for any eventuality, and take everything necessary but essential, to have a more comfortable and unforeseen free trip while exploring this impressive archaeological treasure.