Weather in Machu Picchu – How to Prepare
Planning a trip to the 15th-century Incan citadel of Peru? You’ve got to learn everything you can about the weather in Machu Picchu and the surrounding area before traveling so you can be prepared for anything.
There is nothing worse than having a trip go wrong because you didn’t pack fit-for-purpose equipment or clothing for a destination. We’ve broken down the weather in Machu Picchu and devised a simple packing list of the essentials.
Weather in Machu Picchu
The weather in Machu Picchu is split into two distinct seasons, the dry season and the wet season. Dry and wet seasons are typical of tropical countries, such as Ecuador, Peru, Brasil, and many more. The wet season in Machu Picchu ranges from November to March/April, with January receiving the most rain on average (6 inches).
Don’t be frightened by the term “wet season.” Although the weather in Machu Picchu is rainier during this period, this doesn’t mean you will face nonstop monsoon rains on a daily basis. Skies are often clear in the mornings, with rain and cloud cover coming in the early afternoon.
The dry season on the other hand ranges from May to October, with June being the driest month on average (.08 in).
Weather in Machu Picchu – Monthly Breakdown
January is a wet month for weather in Machu Picchu, not optimal for trekking the Inca trail, with daytime average highs around 20 degrees C (68F) and nighttime average lows around 8C (46F). It rains approximately 23 days of the month, with an average wind speed of around 5km/h (3 mph). January is not typically a foggy month in general
February (Inca Trail Closed)
February is also a wet month, with daytime average highs falling between 20 degrees 68F and average lows of 46F. This month sees approximately 18 days of rain.
with a daily wind speed of 6km/h (3 mph). February is not typically foggy.
March is another rainy month that is not optimal for trekking the Inca trail but isn’t bad for visiting Machu Pichu via train. Temperature-wise, expect daytime highs are around 64F and nighttime lows of 42F. As for rain, the month sees 19 days per month on average, while the wind speed is around 5km/h (3 mph). Machu Picchu is not typically foggy in March.
Machu Picchu in April sees the rain slow, and foot traffic from tourism is less relative to other months, great for visiting Machu Picchu or trekking the Inca Trail. The Daytime average highs are around 70F and nighttime lows 42F. It rains on average 9 days of the month, primarily in the beginning. The average daily wind speed is around 5km/h (3 mph). There is not much fog in April.
Rain drys up considerably in May and the trekking season ramps up, increasing the importance of booking well in advance for an Inca trail permit in May. The weather in Machu Picchu has daytime average highs hover around 70F while the nighttime average becomes colder with the average lows around 37F. It typically only rains 3 days during May in Machu Pichu, with low wind speeds of 4km/h (2.5 mph). While rain slows, fog is possible.
With the summer vacation months falling in June, the Inca trail/Machu Pichu/ Inca trail trekking season reaches its peak with the sites bustling with eager tourists. The daytime average highs hover around 68F with nighttime lows of 35F. Machu typically only sees two days of rain and experience average wind speeds of 4km/h (2.5 mph). Fog is possible
July has similar weather and tourism levels as June, with identical average highs of 68F) but slightly lower night time lows around (33F). Like June, July sees on average 2 days of rain, and the average daily wind speed is around 5km/h (2.5 mph). Fog is possible.
Tourism is still in the peak phase during august. Daytime average of 70F and night time average lows of 37F. August sees 4 days of rain and wind speeds around 6km/h (3 mph). Fog is possible
September is considered the end of the peak season, and early rains are possible. Trails are still busy, however, permits are still hard to come by.
Daytime average highs hover around 70F while nighttime lows are around 41F. It rains on average 6 days of the month with wind speeds of 6km/h (3 mph. Fog is possible
The rainy season officially starts in late October but is nonetheless a good month for trekking as tourism falls. The Daytime average highs are around 72F) and lows around 7C 45F. October sees 12 days of rain on average and is considered the windiest month with speeds around 7km/h (3 mph). Fog is possible
November is moderately wet but still considered good for trekking if you don’t mind getting a little wet. The trails are much quieter due to tourism slowing. The Daytime average highs are around 22 72F and nighttime average lows are around 45F. Machu Picchu sees an average of 14 days of rain, with average wind speeds of 7km/h (3 mph). Fog is possible
December sees peak rainy season, considered by many too wet for enjoyable trekking but fine to visit Machu Picchu if you are taking a train. The average highs are around 66F while nighttime lows are around 45F. November sees approximately 20 days of rain with wind speeds of 6km/h (3 mph). Fog is possible
Temperatures in Machu Picchu
While the rainfall varies, the wind and monthly average temperature of Machu Pichu remain fairly consistent throughout the year, and fluctuations in daily temperature are considerable. The averages throughout the year range from 54ºF in the early morning to 75ºF during the warmest part of the day. As night falls, temperatures rapidly drop. For that reason, layering is critical to a successful trip, especially if you decide to do on a multi-day Inca trail adventure.
Weather in Machu Picchu – Packing List
Aside from the awesome stamp of your passport to bring home as a souvenir, it’s crucial to bring your passport with you to verify your ticket information if asked.
Cash is key in Machu Picchu if you want to leave your bags in lockers or eat at any of the restaurants or purchase snacks. Restrictions on items like snacks can change, so it’s important to bring cash for small purchases.
You can’t bring plastic water bottles to Machu Pichhu, so bring a refillable bottle or camelback. As you will be at high elevations, exposed to the sun, and hiking around for extended periods, it’s important to have a good quantity of water to stay hydrated.
Whether it’s a good quality phone camera or a DSLR, you’ve got to have a camera that can give some sort of justice to the spectacular views of Machu Picchu. Keep your battery charged, so you’ve got plenty of great pictures. You’ll be taking lots, trust us!
Eco-friendly Bug Spray
Bugs and insects in Machu Picchu aren’t too abundant, but it is still important to bring a natural bug spray just in case you are prone to getting bitten.
Sunscreen and sunglasses
As mentioned before, if you get a fantastic day in Machu Picchu you’ll get plenty of sun, and the sun is much stronger as you get closer to the equator. Bring sunscreen with a good level of SPF and reapply every 2-3 hours or as instructed to prevent burning. Don’t forget to bring sunglasses and a hat as well to protect yourself.
Clothing items to Pack for Machu Picchu
The most important thing to remember for Machu Picchu is to pack with layers. As you can see from the weather, temperatures fluctuate rapidly. Additionally, always pack light with just the essentials so you don’t have to lug around too much.
Remember to bring:
- Lightweight Hiking pants
- Long and short-sleeved shirt
- Comfortable hiking shoes or boots that you’ve worn a few times and know are comfortable
- Light, waterproof layer such as a raincoat or poncho
- Swimming Suit – If you want to visit the hot springs in the town