May is one of the best months to discover and explore the ruins of Machu Picchu. In this month, the sun is very radiant, coming to dazzlingly illuminate the entire Inca City and its impressive views and most frequented paths.
Tourists from Europe, the United States and South America begin to visit the archaeological site in avalanches, but without exceeding the number of visitors in high season.
And it is a good month for hiking while enjoying one of the best weather conditions of the year, and without the mass of tourists in high season. Let’s see everything you should know if you want to travel to Machu Picchu in May.
May: is it a good time to visit Machu Picchu?
Besides the great weather, May is also a month full of interesting festivities throughout the Sacred Valley. It is considered part of the mid-season, where the dry season begins and tourists start to show up, but without crowding everything.
After June to August (high season months), May is considered the perfect and most popular month to climb the Machu Picchu ruins, as the number of travelers is still below a high season, and the trail offers authentic floral jewels and wildlife.
In addition, being considered a month in mid-season, many hotels and tourist agencies in Cusco offer packages at unmissable prices and lower prices on their services. But of course, you must make your reservations in advance!
What is the weather like in May?
May is characterized by sunny and cloudless days, but with cool temperatures, especially at night when the cold is felt. Temperatures hover around 19, with a maximum peak of no more than 20°C (68°F). Meanwhile, the minimum temperature is 4 to 5°C.
On the other hand, rainfall is scarce, except for occasional showers that last only a few minutes. On the other hand, if you go up to the Inca sanctuary very early in the morning, it is possible to find the monument wrapped with some clouds, so it is ideal to go up from 9 am.
What to wear for Machu Picchu in May?
Traveling to Machu Picchu in May requires the use of sunscreen, as the sun can be very intense during the day.
In addition, it is important to take into account the little shade among the ruins, which makes it a very necessary item to be protected from the sun’s rays. Also, a hat and sunglasses can protect you from sunstroke and strong winds.
On the other hand, I recommend wearing shorts and cool or breathable T-shirts to walk around the ruins comfortably. However, weather conditions can vary a bit, especially in the morning and as evening approaches, so you will need a fleece coat and an inner layer to keep the cold at bay.
I also suggest you wear comfortable shoes, especially designed for mountain hiking. This way, you can easily adapt to the demands of the trail. Make sure your shoes have grippy soles.
Finally, be sure to pack waterproof clothing such as a jacket or poncho, as it can still rain at any time of the day. Also don’t forget to bring snacks, extra battery, and plenty of bottled water for the road.
How crowded is it in the month of May?
Deals and price drops are available this month from many agencies and hotels. However, I recommend purchasing your tickets and making reservations early in the month and in advance, before the crowds of travelers from all over the world begin to arrive.
Recommendations for visiting Machu Picchu in May
May is a month in which outdoor activities are the highlight of the travel itinerary. In fact, many of the sites around the Sacred Valley, such as Pisac, Ollantaytambo or Moray offer some of the routes and tourist gems that you cannot miss.
It is also a month in which many of the communities surrounding the Sacred Valley are filled with people and travelers to be part of the festivities, such as the Vigil of Crosses. On the other hand, the absence of rain, also allows the hikes to be much more attractive, such as the Inca Trail, or the road to the ruins of Moray.
In addition, May is also a month full of life and color everywhere you look, as the wild flora and fauna are part of its charm. In fact, you will notice that the surrounding mountains of Machu Picchu glow with an emerald green hue perfect for capturing in photos.
Likewise, activities such as hiking or rafting are favorable in May. The latter is due to adequate water levels after the rainy season. In fact, many enthusiasts of this water sport take advantage of the Apurimac River to practice it in the best conditions.
Another attraction of this and other tours in the Sacred Valley is that you will be able to see up close some of the iconic animals of the region, such as monkeys, llamas and alpacas grazing, spectacled bears (endangered), pumas, vizcachas (similar to rabbits), hummingbirds, and other colorful bird species fluttering near the flowers.
It is important to keep in mind that many of these animals are wild and should be observed from a safe distance so as not to interfere with their natural habitat or jeopardize the safety of visitors. However, in the case of alpacas and llamas, it is possible to spend time with them up close.
Finally, you can’t miss some of the most emblematic festivals, such as the Vigil of the Crucifixes, which is celebrated on May 2 or 3, when a vigil of crucifixes is held on top of all the hills in the Cusco area – they are numerous!
Also not to be missed is the feast of San Isidro Labrador, which is celebrated on May 15. On this holiday, costumed revelers and cows decorated for the occasion make a procession, with vibrant music and dancing in honor of this saint. Don’t miss out on being part of its magic!
How about Machu Picchu in another month?
- Machu Picchu in January
- Machu Picchu in February
- Machu Picchu in March
- Machu Picchu in April
- Machu Picchu in June
- Machu Picchu in July
- Machu Picchu in August
- Machu Picchu in September
- Machu Picchu in October
- Machu Picchu in November
- Machu Picchu in December