Weather at Machu Picchu: What You Need to Know Before You Go

machu picchu

Before traveling to any destination, it is important to know the weather conditions of the place to avoid unforeseen events and to make the best decision regarding the experience you seek. In the following article, we will inform you about all the important information you need to know before embarking on your fantastic journey to these wonderful ruins full of Inca culture and history.

Weather in Machu Picchu

Located in the middle of the Andean tropical forest in Peru, an incredible feat of ancient architecture can be found. Machu Picchu is situated within the Andes mountain range, high up in the Sacred Valley and is characterized by a somewhat unpredictable climate. Sunny winters and rainy summers are part of the general climate of these subtropical highlands.

Two other important factors are the proximity of the location to the equator and its altitude, located at over 2,430 meters. The average maximum temperatures throughout the year are quite constant and warm, so it is not a risk to feel cold in the surroundings. Although this cannot be ruled out entirely, when May arrives, the temperature drops significantly.

This place is also characterized by having more than 100 rainy days per year, with the maximum annual precipitation being 1803.4 mm (71 inches). Most of the rainfall occurs from October and November until March.

Occasionally, storms pass through the mountain slope, and although it is very rare, it should not be surprising if hail falls.

One of the positive features is that during your visit to Machu Picchu, you can enjoy 2,460 hours of sun per year, a quite pleasant sun that allows you to enjoy your visit to the citadel, although you always have to be cautious and protect yourself from excessive exposure. Morning dew tends to be characterized by thick fog. In the evening, the sun breaks through and illuminates the ruins. This usually happens more frequently during the month of April, which precedes the local dry season.

Ultraviolet rays are much stronger due to the high altitude, so always remember to protect yourself with a good sunscreen (SPF 60 or higher), a hat, and sunglasses. Finally, although extreme temperatures are uncommon and the terrain is not too difficult, it is important to dress in layers when cold weather is forecast and to wear good walking shoes, which are essential at any time of the year.

What is the best time of the year to visit Machu Picchu?

When planning your ideal vacation, it is important to know the weather in Peru. The best time for your vacation in Machu Picchu depends entirely on your travel preferences and the experience you are seeking in this beautiful destination. In reality, each season has its own advantages and it depends on the perspective with which you make the decision to travel.

Peruvian seasons vary as much as the landscapes of this diverse country. The temperature in Lima is not indicative of that in the Amazon jungle or the Andes mountain range. In fact, even the weather in Cusco and the Sacred Valley is not an indicator of what you should expect in this area. So, what is the best time to go to Machu Picchu?

Rainy season in Machu Picchu

The rainy season in Machu Picchu occurs during the summer of the southern hemisphere, which happens between the months of December to March. The highest probability of precipitation, starting from January, coincides with the low tourist season. Cloudy days can be deceiving, as the sun’s rays remain strong on their journey, so it is always advisable to protect yourself from the sun.

Weather in December

December marks the beginning of summer here in the Machu Picchu area, Peru. Although it has the warmest temperatures, it is also the time when you can find heavy rains. Thunderstorms are always a possibility during the day, as the sky is prone to change from one moment to the next. You may wonder, is it safe to visit Machu Picchu with so much rain? You should not worry about it, the answer is yes! The trails can become more slippery, although if you wear good walking shoes, this should not be a problem. The only thing that could happen is that you make your visit to the ruins soaking wet.

Monthly averages for December

  • Nighttime vs daytime temperatures: Between 13°C and 26°C (55.4°F and 78.8°F)
  • Precipitation: 121 mm (4.8 inches)
  • Humidity: 60%.
  • Daily sun 6 hours
  • UV index 12

Read more at: Visit Machu Picchu in December

Weather in January

This month has the main feature of having cloudy skies in the early morning, which will later give way to warmer temperatures towards the last hours of sun. This can be useful when taking the perfect photo of the ruins. January’s milder climate is mixed with heavy rains and hazy horizons. Taking advantage of daylight is crucial, as it can sporadically be invaded by clouds in the afternoon and affect your view of the citadel.

Monthly averages for January

  • Nighttime vs daytime temperatures: 55°F and 77°F (12.8°C and 23.9°C)
  • Precipitation: 138 mm (5.4 inches)
  • Humidity: 62%
  • Daily sun 5 hours
  • UV index 12

Read more at: Visit Machu Picchu in January

Weather in February

Rain continues in the Machu Picchu area as February has an average of around 20 days of precipitation. It may not be the best time to hike to Machu Picchu, as wet trails and cloud cover are to be expected. But, it is important to remember that when they dissipate, the sun will be very powerful and will overwhelm visitors. Going with the right clothing is important to protect yourself from its intensity and at the same time not suffer from the immense heat. The Andean tropical forest will offer you warm evenings and humid nights, a crazy but very welcoming climate.

Monthly averages of February

  • Night vs day temperatures: 55°F and 77°F (12.8°C and 24.9°C)
  • Precipitation: 141 mm (5.6 inches)
  • Humidity: 65
  • Daily sunshine: 5 hours
  • UV index: 12

Read more at: Visit Machu Picchu in February

Important reminder – While Machu Picchu remains open, the Inca Trail, which is an alternative hiking route by which you can reach Machu Picchu, is closed during the month of February due to the annual routine maintenance that is done along this path, in addition, it is also closed because persistent rain can make the path unsafe for travelers. It may not be the most popular time for your excursion to Machu Picchu, but you’re in luck! As long as conditions remain safe, there are some alternatives to the Inca Trail that you can also opt for and will provide you with unique experiences such as the Inka Jungle Trek.

Weather in March

March is considered the rainiest month of the year in terms of the amount of precipitation that occurs during this month. Temperatures begin to slowly decline during this period, while humidity maintains a higher heat index. If you decide to travel during this time, be prepared to observe cloudy skies that appear and disappear during the day. However, once the sky clears, there is a lot of sunshine that illuminates the ruins of Machu Picchu. Like all months of the rainy season, March is beneficial if you are looking to avoid massive crowds and long queues that will spoil your trip. You may get a little wet, but you will have much more free space while touring the site in addition to enjoying the pleasant green landscapes that are already beginning to be observed due to the constant rains.

March monthly averages

  • Nighttime vs. daytime temperatures: 55°F and 77°F (13°C and 25°C).
  • Rainfall: 151 mm (5.9 in.)
  • Humidity: 62
  • Daily sunshine 6 hours
  • UV Index 12

Read more at: Visit Machu Picchu in March

Transition to dry season

When precipitation begins to decrease, the climate at Machu Picchu changes
drastically, the saturated mountainside welcomes lush vegetation and much sunnier afternoons.
and much sunnier afternoons.

Weather in April

April is still considered a transition period, you will notice a noticeable decrease in the amount of rainfall in Machu Picchu decrease in the amount of rainfall in the Inca citadel. There are only 9 days of the month in which will rain in the afternoon and into the evening. As the cloud cover decreases, you may feel like climbing Machu Picchu mountain, a hike within the complex that offers a unique reward with its marvelous view of the unique reward with its marvelous view of the citadel when you reach the top. Although, you will notice an increase of other travelers doing the same hike as the peak tourist season approaches tourist season is approaching.

April monthly averages

  • Nighttime vs. daytime temperatures: 54°F and 77°F (12°C and 25°C).
  • Precipitation: 62 mm (2.4 inches)
  • Humidity: 61
  • Daily sunshine 7 hours
  • UV Index 12

Read more at: Visit Machu Picchu in April

Dry season in Machu Picchu

The dry season in Machu Picchu coincides with the peak tourist season. Visitors flock to the
flock to the thriving mountain as the likelihood of rainfall remains minimal
for the next few months and allows for exploring the ancient ruins with less inconvenience.

Weather in May

May is considered the gateway to the dry season here in the Peruvian Andes. You will notice that days become much warmer and brighter, while sunset brings cooler temperatures in the mountains, allowing you to explore cooler temperatures in the mountains, goodbye to chilly nights. There are many
benefits of the recently passed rainy season. One of the best is the contrast between the emerald terraces and the colossal gray stones of the ruins. In addition, many days offer ideal conditions for your incredible hike up Huayna Picchu mountain.

May monthly averages

  • Nighttime vs. daytime temperatures: 52°F and 77°F (11°C and 25°C).
  • Rainfall: 23 mm (0.9 in.)
  • Humidity: 57
  • Daily sunshine: 8 hours
  • UV Index 11

Read more at: Visit Machu Picchu in May

Weather in June

June is the driest month on average for your trip to Machu Picchu, with only 2 days of precipitation on average. Precipitation is at its annual minimum, so the possibility of enjoying a clear day at the site is almost guaranteed. Afternoons are warmer and nights are cooler, making it the perfect climate. Although tourism begins to pick up in May, June is the month with the highest number of daily visitors. So, while the weather is more pleasant, you will be sharing the experience with many more people who decide to take advantage of their mid-year vacation to visit this wonderful destination. Additionally, June is an important date for the city of Cusco, as it celebrates its anniversary and with it the Festival of the Sun, or Inti Raymi, a festival that dates back to the Inca era where worship was paid to this deity. The streets are filled with music, there are many colorful shows, and Cusco, as well as Machu Picchu, becomes a great party.

Monthly averages for June

  • Nighttime temperatures vs daytime temperatures: 48°F and 77°F (11°C and 25°C)
  • Precipitation: 17 mm (0.7 inches)
  • Humidity: 48
  • Daily sunshine: 8 hours
  • UV index: 10

Read more at: Visit Machu Picchu in June

Weather in July

This is considered the coldest month of the year, and it’s typical to have sun during the day, which makes it perfect for tourism. However, nights quickly become cold and often frosty, so it’s recommended to travel with several layers of clothing for the night. The weather in Machu Picchu can be unpredictable, so although it’s not common, hailstorms have also been recorded during this time of year. Additionally, don’t be fooled by the increase in sun. It’s still advisable to wear layers of clothing, as well as protective hats for temperature fluctuations.

Monthly averages for July

  • Nighttime vs daytime temperatures: 48°F and 77°F (9°C and 25°C)
  • Precipitation: 22 mm (0.9 inches)
  • Humidity: 45
  • Daily sunshine: 8 hours
  • UV index: 10

Read more at: Visit Machu Picchu in July

Weather in August

August also falls within the winter season in the southern hemisphere. Rainfall becomes less frequent. Warm days and pleasant sunshine are the norm. The effects of low humidity increase the likelihood of bright and clear views of the ruins of Machu Picchu. It’s the perfect opportunity to take the famous photo with the Huayna Picchu mountain rising above the ancient stones. This is considered one of the best times to visit Machu Picchu in terms of weather.

Monthly averages for August

  • Nighttime vs daytime temperatures: 10°C and 25°C (50°F and 77°F)
  • Precipitation: 0.9 inches (24mm)
  • Humidity: 43
  • Daily sunshine: 8 hours
  • UV index: 12

Read more at: Visit Machu Picchu in August

Weather in September

This month is popular for having the mildest weather of the year. September continues with the trend of sunny and partially cloudy days that give way to cool nights without too much cold. Humidity within the Andean tropical forest also begins to increase, bringing with it an increase in rainfall that you may notice. Along with this, the thick fog spends more time enveloping the Machu Picchu mountain and there are times when it obscures visibility to a large extent.

Monthly averages for September

  • Nighttime vs daytime temperatures: 52°F and 79°F (11°C and 26°C)
  • Precipitation: 1.7 inches (44mm)
  • Humidity: 51
  • Daily sun: 7 hours
  • UV index: 12

Read more at: Visit Machu Picchu in September

Transition to the rainy season in Machu Picchu

After several months of decreasing rainfall and drier weather, Machu Picchu won’t look as lush and green as it does in April. However, like any other time of year, this rainy season has its own advantages.

Weather in October

The call of the upcoming rainy season becomes closer in October as the average rainfall almost doubles compared to the previous month. The skies remain cloudy as the daily humidity increases considerably. However, the sun breaks through enough to warm the afternoons and give cool nights. Not only does the rainfall increase during this month, but the number of tourists also significantly decreases.

Monthly averages for October:

  • Nighttime vs daytime temperatures: 54°F and 77°F (12°C and 25°C)
  • Precipitation: 75 mm (3 inches)
  • Humidity: 51
  • Daily sunshine: 7 hours
  • UV index: 12

Read more at: Visit Machu Picchu in October

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