In a Nutshell: The best time to travel to Machu Picchu is in June for optimal weather and manageable crowds, or in April for moderate rainfall and fewer tourists with affordable options.
- June is the top pick for visiting Machu Picchu, offering pleasant weather and manageable crowds, despite being peak season.
- April provides a balance with moderate rainfall and fewer tourists, plus more affordable accommodations.
- March is budget-friendly, with fewer visitors and some rain, suitable for cost-conscious travelers.
When Is The Best Time Of Year To Visit Machu Picchu?
Embarking on a journey to the awe-inspiring Machu Picchu is a bucket-list item for many adventurers. However, choosing the best time for this excursion can be challenging.
David Kosloski, founder of Cachi Life, a company specializing in private, culturally rich tours of Peru, provides a comprehensive guide to help travelers make the most of their visit to this ancient wonder.
With his deep knowledge, Kosloski considers three key elements: cost, crowd management, and weather, offering a holistic view for those planning a trip.
Understanding Pricing Dynamics
Kosloski first delves into the financial aspects of the journey. Machu Picchu, like other popular destinations, sees a significant variation in prices between its peak and off-peak seasons, with differences up to 17 percent.
Kosloski notes, “Staying in budget-friendly hostels is economical, but luxury hotels like the JW Marriott can have rates around $300.”
He points out that from June to August, the high season, there’s an increase in prices for accommodations, dining, and transport.
Managing the Crowds
When it comes to handling the influx of tourists, Kosloski shares a startling fact: Machu Picchu draws about 1.3 million visitors each year, a number comparable to the population of Estonia.
The best time to avoid crowds is outside the busy period from July to September, which sees up to 5,000 visitors daily.
To avoid these peak periods, he suggests adding a tour of the Sacred Valley or Rainbow Mountain to your itinerary the day before visiting Machu Picchu.
This approach is particularly effective since the introduction of mandatory guides and separate morning and afternoon tickets at Machu Picchu.
Staying in Aguas Calientes the night before enables early access to the site, helping to avoid crowds. “Rising early, between 4:00 AM and 5:00 AM, in Aguas Calientes is crucial for beating the majority of the crowds,” he recommends.
Weather is the third critical factor. While acknowledging its unpredictability, Kosloski uses data from weatheratlas.com to pinpoint months with minimal rainfall.
He cautions that February, with an average of 20 rainy days, is far from the best time to visit in terms of weather. Conversely, the best weather conditions are typically in June, July, and August.
Selecting the Best Months
After considering these factors, Kosloski suggests three ideal months for a Machu Picchu visit.
March is suitable for those on a budget who don’t mind some rain, with fewer visitors (around 2,500 daily) but about 13 rainy days.
April offers a balance with moderate rainfall (around nine days) and lower tourist numbers (approximately 105,000 monthly), also falling in the shoulder season with more affordable accommodation and dining options.
However, June is Kosloski’s top pick. Although it’s peak season, June provides excellent weather and fewer tourists compared to July.
“June offers an ideal mix – pleasant weather and manageable crowds,” he states. While prices are higher, the benefits of fewer tourists and good weather make it an attractive option.
Customizing Your Machu Picchu Adventure
Kosloski’s insights are invaluable for anyone planning a trip to Machu Picchu. By considering costs, crowds, and weather, travelers can greatly enhance their experience at this iconic Incan site.
This guide not only assists in planning an unforgettable Machu Picchu visit but also highlights the importance of thoughtful travel preparation.