Machu Picchu Month by Month

Written by: Sam Travel | 12 June, 2024
Machu Picchu by month

A visit to Peru would not be complete without Machu Picchu, but is there a bad time to visit this ancient Inca citadel. Sometimes there are more crowds, sometimes the weather is drier and other times it rains. Depending on when you have vacation time or when you are free, go to Peru and Machu Picchu, it is something that you will not regret.

For those of you who know nothing about the Machu Picchu, it was discovered in 1911 by an American named Hiram Bingham, discovered is not really what happened, locals knew of the site for many years, but with the help of a local man, Bingham entered Machu Picchu in 1911. It is said that Bingham was looking for another site that to this day has never been found. Over the next few years, he excavated the site and discovered a mostly intact Inca City. The site had been deserted by the Inca hundreds of years before, the real reason we are yet to know, but many theories abound. Today thousands of tourists visit the site every day to feel the Inca energy that still exists and wonder at the ingenuity of the Inca people.

Many people ask what is the best time to visit the site so here we will give you a month-by-month breakdown on what to expect so that you can make an informed decision on when the visit Peru.

Machu Picchu in January will be at the height of the rainy season, Machu Picchu is likely to experience significant amounts of rainfall during this month. Since the citadel is perched atop a mountain peak in the Andes mountains, it is often shrouded by clouds. Therefore, although it’s possible to get clear skies, those traveling to Machu Picchu during this time should experience different types of weather and expect rain.

Machu Picchu in February will be a totally different experience from any other month as there is no Inca Trail, your visit, will be quiet and yes, it is rainy season and you may get wet but so what, take your wet weather gear and you will be set. The upside to going to Machu Picchu in February is that tour and hotel prices are much lower than average during these months, which makes this destination more accessible to all travelers. Being low season, those who do choose to visit Machu Picchu during these months will not have annoying crowds.

The rainy season starts to slow down in March, However, clear skies are still very not a guarantee, so those traveling during this time still have to deal with the cloud cover at Machu Picchu. But having fewer people at the site is very pleasurable. Fortunately, Machu Picchu tour and hotel prices are still lower than average at this time.

In April, the crowds are starting to return because of the generally improving odds of getting clear views of Machu Picchu. While more people are making the journey to the citadel you will still have plenty of time and space to make the most of your experience. Considered to be one of the best times to visit Machu Picchu.

Weather forecasts in Machu Picchu really pick up in May and the chances of good visibilityand even clear skies during your visit are quite high. Early in the morning is the best time to visit as there are less crowds and the weather should be fine, but it will be chilly. In May you can expect the experience to be memorable.

In June expect larger crowds, you’ll find yourself so in awe by Machu Picchu that they have little impact on the enjoyment of your experience. On June 24th of each yeartraditional Inca celebrations ensue across Peru for the Festival of the Sun. There’s nowhere better to see traditional Inca dance, costume, and rituals than on Machu Pichu, the Incas’ most sacred site. The weather will be warm during the day and cold in the morning and at night.

July is one ofdriest months of the season and the chances of getting clear skies and perfect visibility are quite high. Also, you will be experiencingpeak prices during July, it is the ideal time of year to visit for those who would rather prioritize the quality of views over the price. Everything from tours to accommodation is at its highest price at this time of year.

August has some of the best weather and with better weather comes bigger crowds so you can expect to wait a minute to get a picture or two at the best viewpoints. Even so, it is a beautiful time to visit. Those planning to visit Machu Picchu at sunrise are in for a chilly start in August and it gets colder at night at this time of year. Expect lines to enter Machu Picchu.

September is considered one of the best months to visit Machu Picchu, the crowds are fewer than in June, July and August but the weather is still sunny and warm in the middle of the day. You will get all the good photo from the best vantage points and spend time exploring Machu Picchu.

The dry season begins to come to a close in October and the chances of rain slowlyincrease once again. That being said, you can expect plenty of sunny days because rainfall is still relatively low. October is also considered one of the best times to visit Machu Picchu.

In November the rainy season makes a comeback to Machu Picchu. Those that plan to go during November should do so with expectations that they might experience rain and cloud during their visit. While this might mean your pictures won’t be perfect, it doesn’t mean your experience won’t be either. Once again as it is rainy season there will be fewer crowds and less waiting for the best sites.

December is again the height of the rainy season and you can expect rain. So, you will need to take your wet weather gear with you. As Machu Picchu is on top of a mountain there will also cloud cover. Your pictures may be in some parts of Machu Picchu covered in cloud. But on the flip side you can take all the photos you wish without the crowds. Your tour will also be more peaceful with time to ask your guide all sorts of questions.

How to get to Machu Picchu­?

  • Train: This the preferred method of most tourists who travel to Machu Picchu, there are 2 different companies that operate between Cusco and Machu Picchu, Peru Rail and Inca Rail, both have different classes that you can buy. Tourist, First Class and Luxury.
  • Walking: The famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu can be done in either 4 or 2 days depending on your time. The 4 day is a challenging adventure through high mountain passes with spectacular scenery, both ending through the Sun Gate to Machu Picchu.
  • By Car: This is the least favorite method and sometimes is preferred by backpackers. You take a car to the Hydroelectric station below Machu Picchu and then walk to Machu Picchu, this can take up to 6 hours. This is not preferrable in the wet season as there have been serious landslides in this area.

What tickets do you need to go to Machu Picchu­?

Here you have 2 options

  • No 1. Buy a complete package where all you have to worry about is setting your alarm the morning you depart, everything else is taken care of.
  • No 2. Buy your own, where you will need, Train tickets to and from Aguas Calientes, the town below Machu Picchu, bus tickets to and from the gates of Machu Picchu, Entrance tickets into the site (do not forget that you can’t enter Machu Picchu without a guide, you can get one at the gate and will have to negotiate the price), (also you will need to pick the circuit that you want to do at Machu Picchu, there are 4 in total).

Things to take with you on a Day Trip to Machu Picchu

  • Water bottle, preferably not a disposable
  • Passport you will need to show this to enter Machu Picchu
  • Sunhat
  • Sunscreen
  • Raincoat and umbrella
  • Snacks
  • Camera
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Money for Lunch and souvenirs
  • Insect Repellant

What to wear­?

Depending on what time of year you travel to Machu Picchu, you will need to dress in layers. Normally you will start early and require warm clothes, a good jacket to keep you warm. Later in the day it will get warm and you will need to have light clothes. So, dress like an onion and you will be the most comfortable. It is important to wear comfortable non slip shoes to walk around Machu Picchu especially in the rainy season when the stone steps can get slippery.

Whatever time you visit Machu Picchu you will not be disappointed by the magnificence and grandeur of this ancient Inca site. Marvel at the history and the theories of to what the citadel was used for and to why the Inca abandoned the site so quickly after building. Was it due the short supply of water, was it something else, what we do appreciate is that the Spanish never found the city and is one of the reasons why it still stands today.

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Bernie s 2023/03/02

Had a great trip with our guide Ray Herrera and driver Alfredo. Lots of good experiences in a short period of time 4 days. Learnt a lot not just about the main tourist destinations but Peru in general by Ray. Ray has a passion for Inca history and local produce. Ray knows all the good photo spots and we managed the sun out every day .. Good culture and if you want to get on a tour ask for Ray at Sams Travel = amazing

Tanya H 2023/03/02

Ray was our Tour Guide and Alfredo was our driver for a 4 day tour we did with SAM Travel Peru. Ray's knowledge of the history of Cusco and Machu Picchu was outstanding. Ray was very accommodating with all our needs. He stayed alongside us when trekking and helped where he could. His sense of humour was pleasant to be around. Ray spoke very good English. He is such a nice guy. I would strongly recommend Ray to be your tour guide to visit Machu Picchu. Ray explained everyday what the plans were for the next day, which was reassuring what we needed to take etc

Captanjack 2023/01/012

Our 1 day tour thru the Sacred Vally with Danny was wonderful. He was very knowledgeable and able to answer all our questions in detail. I would recommend asking for him personally if you are able.

Sherry 2022/12/26

We booked the Classic Cusco to Machu Picchu tour with SAM travel which we really had a good experience. SAM travel is very responsive during the communication and cater to our changes needed. Our guide is Ray who is also an very awesome guide. He is knowledgeable, patient, humorous as well reliable, he help us take many good photos and also go extra mile to help with our request. Thanks Ray! Thanks SAM travel that gave us good memories in Peru! Highly recommend if you consider booking any tour in Cusco.

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C Clark 2023/01/20

Wow. We had such an incredible experience in Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. Our guide, Dayvit, is the most knowledgeable guide we have ever had. He has such an extensive knowledge of the history and is very friendly and helpful. If you are planning a trip to Peru, I highly recommend SAM travel and be sure to request Dayvit!

Emma Dinzebach Clark 2023/01/10

2 day tour sacred valley / Machu Picchu highly recommend! David was the best tour guide. He knows an incredible amount about Incan culture and is personable and funny. He also kept us up to date on a political situation happening when we were there and was informative. Overall, this tour checks all the boxes. Thank you!

Nupur Joshi 2023/01/02

We used SAM Travel for a 2D/1N trip from Cusco to Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu on Dec 25-26, 2022. The team was good with communication from the start - both Saul and Junior were very helpful and professional with answering any questions and clearing up any misunderstandings. Our guide, Miguel, was prompt, pleasant, and quite knowledgeable. We enjoyed his company and insight over the 2 day trip and recommend him to anyone booking with SAM Travel.

Xueying Chen 2022/12/20

We booked the Classic Cusco to Machu Picchu tour with SAM travel which we really had a good experience. SAM travel is very responsive during the communication and cater to our changes needed. Our guide is Ray who is also an very awesome guide. He is knowledgeable, patient, humorous as well reliable, he help us take many good photos and also go extra mile to help with our request. Thanks Ray! Thanks SAM travel that gave us good memories in Peru! Highly recommend if you consider booking any tour in Cusco.

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Cheri Buccino April 21, 2024
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Powerful! This journey tests your humanity and leaves you in awe of yourself and the beauty that Pachamama provides. April 2024 We conquered the Inca trail and it was only made possible with the help and guidance from our expert guides Jean Pierre (JP) and Jimmy. The knowledge these gentlemen shared was admired by all of our group and the envy of other trail hikers who stopped to listen. The hike has many layers of challenges including language barriers, altitude sensitivities and food specifications. The team at Sam travel exceeded the needs and went above to ensure our comforts were met. A special mention must be made to Mario, the Chef who somehow performed magic with nutritious flavourful meals to satisfy even the pickiest consumers and Francesco who was our lead porter who orchestrated the harmony that happened behind the scenes to get everything done. Nothing less than marvellous from this team. Thank you to each of the group who made our trek a remarkable experience.

Bhavana Lalwani April 18, 2024
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Jose and Henry were great guides for our first time exploring machu pichu! They were very attentive and kept everything on a smooth schedule. Highly recommend!

Ryan April 9, 2024
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The whole experience was amazing. Ray, our guide answered all of our questions and definitely had our best interest in mind the whole time. Timothy the cook made fantastic food and somehow found a way to prepare a birthday cake with no notice! Boni our head porter and his whole crew were kind, accommodating, and had such upbeat attitudes which really made the experience great!

Isabel Batteria April 17, 2024
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I spent two days with Sam Travel’s guide Raymier, who guided us through the one-day 12-km stretch of the Inca trail and then took us to Machu Picchu the next day. In my group, I was always the last one on the trail because I come from the coast and I’m not used to altitudes, and honestly I could also have prepared physically a little better. Raymier respected my pace, never rushed me, and supported me throughout the ardous trail. He had much knowledge to share. I speak Spanish, but ended up in an English tour, and Ray’s English was very good. He was funny, respectful, and versatile. He knew where to take all the best photos and patiently took photos of all of us. I would trust Sam Travel again especially if I was lucky enough to have Ray as a guide again.

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