When is the least busy time to visit Machu Picchu?

least busy time to visit machu picchu

Machu Picchu is, without a doubt, a unique site in the world for its history and the mysticism that surrounds it. Therefore, it is a magical place worth visiting on your next vacation. But when is it less crowded to visit this emblematic sanctuary of Peru?

So, if you are preparing your visit to the enigmatic Machu Picchu, then you will want to know what is the least crowded season to enjoy this experience with greater freedom and comfort. In this article we tell you everything you need to know to prepare successfully.

What is the least crowded season to visit Machu Picchu?

The depths of the Peruvian Amazon are home to one of the most famous archaeological finds on the planet: Machu Picchu. It is a citadel abandoned by the Incas in the 15th century, after the fall of the empire.

Being a mountainous and difficult to access area, it is subject to different climatic variations throughout the year. That is why some seasons attract more travelers than others. In this sense, if you are organizing your trip to the ruins, the low season coincides with the rainy season.

This covers the months of November to March, with February being the rainiest and least crowded of the year. However, despite the rains, according to some tourists, this time can also be one of the best to travel to the citadel and, in general, to the Sacred Valley.

One of the most striking reasons to make your trip during these months is that the costs of reservations, hotels, tickets, tours, and more are a bargain and we found many unmissable deals! So you could save a little money.

Why might it be a great idea to get to know the ruins of the sanctuary this season?

While in the high season it is important to book your tickets at least two months in advance, during the low season you may be able to do it in less time, but it is also important to make your reservations at least one month in advance.

Now, despite the fact that it is an uncrowded time, this does not mean that the fun and magic of Machu Picchu is absent. Quite the contrary. Traveling to the sanctuary during this season has some advantages that may convince you to prepare your new adventure for these months.

Undoubtedly, the best advantage in sight is that you will find fewer travelers, which means more freedom, comfort, less traffic, queues, and less hassle when entering the best tourist attractions and enjoying the experience to the fullest.

Besides that, we get other benefits of traveling to Machu Picchu in this season, and the most relevant is the amount of things we can do. Let’s see:

  • The rains in the region make Machu Picchu and the entire Sacred Valley of the Incas a deep green. The landscape is completely covered with grass, flowers and seasonal fruits, making it a great opportunity for hiking and trekking, which you will enjoy!
  • It is also a great opportunity to practice water sports such as kayaking, swimming, and more. This is possible thanks to what happens in the Urubamba River. At this time, its flow increases significantly by 400 cubic meters per second, making the waters much denser and faster for this type of extreme sports.
  • During this period you can not miss tasting exotic fruits and vegetables typical of the season, such as buds, mangoes, pears and peaches (organic), typical of the season and the region.
  • When climbing Machu Picchu you will be able to take truly spectacular pictures. The greenery and the mist that oscillates in the surroundings and in the mountains is amazing. In addition, fewer strangers will be part of the photographic compositions, allowing you to take beautiful photos worthy of taking home or sharing on social networks.

How to prepare your trip?

First, remember that the Inca Trail will be closed due to the rains. According to SENAMHI (National Service of Meteorology and Hydrology of Peru), in the month of January rains in Cusco and Machu Picchu reach 1,600 to 2,300 millimeters, with a tendency to increase by 10%.

This means that the road could be very dangerous. In fact, it can rain all day long without stopping, as well as rains interspersed with dry days. That is why all is not lost. Even in these rainy months, there are great days when the sky is clearer and it is possible to climb Machu Picchu without problems.

If you are lucky enough to find yourself on one of these days (I’m sure you are!), then be prepared with the following recommendations:

  • During cool days without rain, the sun may be more intense than usual. That is why we recommend you to equip your suitcase with cool clothes and warm clothes for the cold. Be sure to pack: hiking boots (non-slip and waterproof shoes), raincoat, hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.
  • If you decide to climb Machu Picchu through the popular Inca Trail, you should know that it is mandatory to purchase your reservations at least 7 months in advance, as it is one of the most requested by tourists. In addition, during the rainy season, the number of people who can enter is more limited (normally the number is 200 people per day). On the other hand, this road is usually closed in February, since the rains make it impossible for the roads to be free of mud and humidity to be able to ascend.

Final words

As we can see, there is no bad time to get on a plane and visit Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley in general, even in the month of February, when the rains are torrential and could close the road.

The best thing to do is to be prepared, so that the opportunities do not wait, and to enjoy this wonderful experience!