Machu Picchu in December? – What you need to know

Although the rains are more frequent in Cusco, the wave of tourists increases for the Christmas and New Year holidays. However, if you still wish to visit Machu Picchu in December, it is possible to enjoy some warm and sunny days.

This month is also very hectic, as it receives many Peruvian and foreign visitors. In this opportunity I will talk about what you need to know to visit Machu Picchu in December, and all the recommendations you can follow before traveling to the Sanctuary safely and without any setbacks.

December: Is it a good time to visit Machu Picchu?

It is important to know that in December the weather is rainy and very mild, but there are also days where the weather is sunny and you will be able to enjoy some activities, such as shorter day hikes in the Sacred Valley. Thanks to the variation of the climate, rafting is an entertainment that tourists also enjoy.

In addition, for nature lovers, many species of flowers grow in the Sacred Valley that are difficult to see during the dry season in the months of June, July and August. In addition, in November, tourist and transportation services offer various promotions, offers and discounts, despite the fact that the Inca city is saturated with visitors.

What is the weather like in December?

As I mentioned in previous lines, in December we see an increase in rainfall, with at least 9 to 13 days of rain. However, there is always a good break in the rains with temperatures ranging from 20°C to 7°C.

Mornings usually have a dry temperature with cold winds, and the rains come in the afternoons. In addition, temperatures drop to 6°C at night, so it is key to keep warm.

As we can see, temperatures vary a lot between day and night, and they are also very changeable depending on the time or day of the month you are in. At least 12 days are expected to have temperatures above 21°C or 30% of the time.

On the other hand, the days of November in Machu Picchu usually have noticeable changes, such as getting dark later than the usual time or the sunrise that occurs at 05:00 am.

So, I recommend you always book your flight, to avoid any difficulties when traveling. On the other hand, keep in mind that the December weather in Machu Picchu has variations according to the time you are going to attend, so you can also consider having other options and be prepared for any situation or delay.

What to wear to Machu Picchu in December?

As temperatures vary a bit during this month, and although rains are occasional, it is important to wear comfortable and cool clothes to be able to adapt to the weather. Take into account the following tips on what to bring to Machu Picchu and what other items you will need when packing your luggage:

  • Cool, light clothing for the day, as temperatures in the morning may rise slightly. I recommend taking clothes that allow you to add or remove layers such as windbreaker jackets, to adapt to weather changes.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that are sturdy enough to walk around the sanctuary or trails. I recommend hiking shoes, as these have grippy soles, which make your hike much safer and firmer.
  • Do not forget to bring sunscreen, even some other element to cover your face like hats or caps, and sunglasses.
  • You can also add some other clothes such as cotton polo shirt, waterproof pants or jacket, leggings, cotton socks, and gloves.
  • In Machu Picchu it is not recommended to wear shorts or skirts due to mosquito bites that circulate throughout the site.
  • Another recommendation for parents is that if you are traveling with children it is important to bring a baby carrier, light and warm clothes.
  • You can add an umbrella or raincoat in your backpack.

Similarly, it is important to have basic items such as medicines, a bottle of water not too small, some snacks to resist the road, sunglasses, and any other items you require such as chargers, or dry bags to protect your cell phone or device from water.

How busy is the month of December?

December is a very quiet and relaxing month in Cusco, because at the beginning of the month you will notice the tranquility and few tourists, but in the middle of the month, you will notice how the agitation increases due to the arrival of national and international tourists.

With a little luck in terms of weather, and with planning, it is possible to enjoy an exciting and magical vacation in the region, as it is, regardless of the month in which you go to know this place, the first thing you should do is book your tickets, lodging and transportation, especially if you travel by train to the ruins.

It is worth mentioning that, in these periods, the varied climate and the bad weather of the season, makes many tour companies offer tourists attractive plans or activities during this festive time of the year, and at a good price.

Recommendations for visiting Machu Picchu in December

Although, in this month you will be able to enjoy different activities such as the Fiesta de Concepción and a Handicrafts Fair, apart from Christmas and New Year, you should be careful when trying to do other activities such as trekking.

Some of them can be very risky like Wayna Picchu. On the other hand, rafting on one of the stretches of river around Cusco is generally excellent at this time, as the rain is increasing in the rivers. There are some class IV rapids around here at the end of the month.

It is also a great opportunity to visit other nearby villages, or to see the flora that grows due to the rains around Machu Picchu such as orchids and other colorful species that beautify the countryside.

Even, if you like photography, you can capture the beautiful sunrises or the rising clouds and get stunning images. And see some impressive wild animal species, such as the giant otter, Andean puma, torrent duck, Taruka or Andean deer, among others.

To conclude, during this month, if you wish to travel by train from Cusco to Machu Picchu (Aguas Calientes train station) services from Cusco’s Poroy train station will not be operating. However, in the month of January there will be a bus from this section Cuco-Ollantaytambo and then you can continue by train to Aguas Calientes.

How about Machu Picchu in another month?