Best Time to Hike The Inca Trail

by | Feb 19, 2024 | Inca Trail | 0 comments

Best Time of the Year to Do the Inca Trail

When is the Best Time to Hike The Inca Trail from Cusco to Machu Picchu? The Classic Inca Trail 4D/3N is one of the most beautiful and picturesque places to visit in South America.

This is also one of the most visited UNESCO sites which are attracting millions of visitors all around the year. As this UNESCO Inca site is popular for various reasons, you might find it pretty crowded all the time.

The best trail to trek to reach Machu Picchu is the Inca Trail. Every day 500 people are trekking the Inca Trail Tour. However, one of the best things about this trail is that tourism on the Inca Trail is closely monitored.

Even more, the number of visitors to this trail is also restricted to a single day. This restriction is meant to preserve this beautiful archeological wonder.

Due to all of these reasons, choosing the best time to visit the Inca trail is highly important. It is because multiple factors including crowd, weather off-season or high season and more can impact the experience of your Inca Trail.

Even more, these factors can also impact the difficulty level of hiking this trail.

A complete guide on what is the best time to visit the Inca Trail

When it comes to deciding the best time for your Inca Trail adventure, reaching out to Inca Trail tour operators allows you to embark on the journey in any month.

However, certain months see more rain bugs, and mosquitos than other months. So, it’s wise to know the ideal timing for your Inca Trail exploration before finalizing your travel plans.

So, here we have brought s detailed guide on the best time to visit the Inca trail along with the Inca trail weather by month updates as well. It is because this entire information will help you to plan the best Inca Trail tours with ease.

So, here we go with our guide:

When to visit the Inca Trail to enjoy the best experience here?

Overall, the dry season which consists of April to October can offer you amazing trekking conditions. During summers, days at the Inca Trail are warm, and sunny, with a clear sky. Even more, there is no fog and rain to interrupt your trekking on the Inca Trip.

Due to all these reasons dry season is considered the best time to visit the Inca Trek.

However, if you are interested to know about the conditions during other months as well. Then you must proceed to the information we have given below in this regard.

RELATED POST: What is The Best Month to Hike The Inca Trail

Table of The Inca trail weather by months

Here we have a table of Inca trekking weather by month to let you understand weather conditions throughout the year more effectively.

Best Month of the Year Hike The Inca Trail

Inca Trail Weather by Month and Conditions Throughout The Year

Well, here we have brought a month-by-month list of the things that used to happen on the Inca Trail. You must read and understand the list in a proper way to avoid any rushing decision. So, you will be able to make the most out of your Inca hiking tour with ease.

  1. February’s end is known to be the wettest month of the year in the Andes. Several national parks including the Inca Trek in Peru used to close in this duration. The basic reason behind closing this trail and other locations throughout February month is essential maintenance. However, Machu Picchu remains open even during this period.
  2. So, the Inca Trail reopens in March but the highlands throughout the early April are still rainy.
  3. May and October are considered the best months to visit the Inca Trail. Well, there are various reasons behind this. These two months are warmer and drier as compared to June, July, and August. Even more, the permits to visit the Inca hike sell less during these months. It means you will be able to enjoy touristy here at its peak in the best possible way.
  4. At the end of June, the Inti Raymi also known as The Festival of the Sun takes place here. During this period, you will get a huge crowd of locals in the cities including Cuzco. The cities during June are always busier as local crowds prefer to head to the Machu Picchu during this period.
  5. Besides this, the National Holiday of Peru that happens at the end of July is also known to be the peak time for the locals of Peru to visit the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu via train as well.
  6. However, the dry conditions of weather throughout August and September are making the hike to the Inca Trail popular among the holidaymakers. These are the busiest months as visitors from all around the world prefer to enjoy Inca Tour tours during this time.
  7. While, in November, the rainy season will start up again in solemn. However, this month still can let you get some solid conditions for trekking the Inca Trail. In this duration, you will find nothing like the huge crowd of summer. Even more, for trekking the Inca Trail during this time not need to secure your Inca Trail hiking pass long before your visit.
  8. Even though December in Peru is wet. Still, it attracts the crowd over the vacations with flight and accommodation prices rising, despite the wet weather.
  9. However, the things on the Inca Trail start to ease off by January. January here is wet but this month is more often without any crowd here.

Some Other clients Recommendations to Consider:

Here we have some other expert recommendations for you regarding when you should visit the Inca Trail. Make sure to consider these to enjoy the best experience here with ease.

Blog Post: Find the best time to visit Machu Picchu and join seasonal tours year around

So, here we go:

  1. According to Elena Larkin, the best time to visit the Inca Trail and see the glorious mountains is mid-April. As it is just after the rainy season here everything around looks lavishly green and beautiful. However, the time to avoid visiting the Inca trail is during August and July. This is because the places during this time are more often filled with both locals and tourists.
  2. According to Tom Brown, August and July are very cold in the Andes, as it is winter. People usually think that Peru is warmer by being near the equator. However, once you are going to be at a height of up to 3000 meters, it would be pretty cold there. So, visiting the Inca Trekking tour during these months is just not suitable for everyone.
  3. While, as per Simon Forster Inca Trail Hike is the most popular to get to Machu Picchu. However, if you are visiting this during the months when getting passes is difficult then don’t lose heart. It is because there are various other amazing trails as well to explore and reach Machu Picchu.

Things to Keep in Mind While Planning Your Inca Trail Tours

When you are planning the Inca Trail tours, then you must remember the fact that the descent of some hundred meters only on the Inca has the potential to take you to the lush and wonderful mountain forest or out of the plains of wind-blasted with ease.

Therefore, whether you are trekking this trip in the dry season or rainy season, you always need to pack some good, comfortable, and waterproof footwear and clothes with you. Even more, keeping clothing items that can let you maintain cool and warm layers, fleece and sunscreen is also critical to keep with you on the trail.

The best time to hike in Peru

Inca Trail Tours
Inca Trail To Machu Picchu Hiking Tours

The best time to hike in Peru is from February through April and June through August. These months offer the best weather conditions for hiking, with dry and mild temperatures. However, if you are prepared with good rain gear, wet-season hiking can also be enjoyable and offer a unique perspective on the Andean mountains.

February is particularly recommended as it is the warmest time of year and also when Carnival is celebrated in the Andes. This festival brings a lively atmosphere to the region, with water balloon fights and foam being thrown around in the streets. It is also the ideal time to visit Machu Picchu, as it experiences lower tourist numbers due to the closure of the Inca Trail.

Aside from weather considerations in Peru

low season (February specifically) offers tourists peak bargaining power for food and accommodation. This makes it an appealing time for budget travelers or those seeking a more authentic experience without large crowds.

However, it should be noted that some routes may be impossible to hike during the wet season due to unpredictable weather conditions and trail conditions such as mud, rock falls, fog, snow, and slippery terrain. The Lares Trek and Inca hiking adventure are among the few routes that are still viable during this period.

In conclusion, while there are certain advantages to hiking during the low season (February), it is important to consider route closures and potential challenges due to weather conditions. Ultimately, the best time to hike in Peru will depend on personal preferences and priorities.

Best Time To Visit Cusco

Cusco City Tour Half Day
Cusco Explore 5 Days

Cusco is a city in the southeastern region of Peru, known for its rich cultural heritage and breathtaking natural beauty. It was once the capital of the Inca Empire and is now a popular tourist destination, attracting millions of visitors each year.

The best time to visit Cusco is during the dry season, which typically runs from late April or May through September. This is when you can expect sunny days, clear skies, and pleasant temperatures. The rainy season in Cusco starts in October and runs through early April, so it’s best to avoid visiting during this time if possible.

One of the main reasons to visit Cusco during the dry season is to experience its vibrant culture and stunning landscapes. With lush green mountains and crystal clear skies as your backdrop, you’ll be able to fully appreciate the beauty of this ancient city.

Ideal Timing for June in Cusco

June is an especially exciting time to visit Cusco as it marks the beginning of many festive celebrations. You’ll have the chance to witness traditional dances, parades, and other cultural events that showcase the city’s unique heritage. Don’t miss out on the Fiestas of Cusco on June 23rd, which commemorates the city’s founding by the Inca ruler Pachacutec.

In addition to cultural events, there are also plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy during this time. From hiking and mountain biking in the nearby Andes Mountains to exploring ancient ruins such as Machu Picchu, there’s no shortage of things to do in Cusco.

In conclusion, if you want to experience all that Cusco has to offer – from its vibrant culture to its stunning landscapes – then plan your trip for the dry season starting in late April or May. Don’t forget to mark your calendar for June 23rd and join in on the festivities at Fiestas of Cusco!

The best time to explore and explore Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu Peru
Machu Picchu Cusco Peru Travel Tips

The best time to hike Machu Picchu is also during the dry season, which runs from May to October. During this time, there is less chance of rain and the weather is generally more pleasant for hiking. The trails are also less muddy and easier to navigate.

It is important to note that the Inca Trail, the most popular route to Machu Picchu, requires a permit and has limited availability. These permits often sell out months in advance, so it is recommended to book well in advance if you plan on hiking this trail.

If you are unable to secure a permit for the Inca Trail or prefer a less crowded experience, there are other options for hiking to Machu Picchu. The Salkantay trek and Ancascocha trek are both great alternatives that offer stunning views and a unique experience through diverse landscapes.

Regardless of when you choose to visit Machu Picchu or hike the surrounding trails, make sure to plan and research all necessary information such as permits, proper gear, and physical fitness requirements. With proper preparation, your journey to this ancient wonder will be an unforgettable experience.

RELATED: MAchu Picchu Travel Guide

In short, the Andes can surprise you any time.

However, to make the most out of your visit here, you must know what to pack for your Inca Trail tours.

Some of the most important things that you must keep with you include comfortable footwear, layered clothing style, sunscreen, a water bottle, a waterproof backpack, a portable flashlight, some snacks, and more. All of these items will help you to enjoy the best of your Inca Trail tour more effectively.

AUSANGATE RAINBOW MOUNTAIN TRIP 4D/3N
The Ausangate and Rainbow Mountain Trek 4D offer you an unforgettable experience relatively quickly. You will travel deserted roads and deep valleys.

Conclusion

The wet season here used to fall between November and March. Visiting the Inca trail during these months means you will get drenched by the weather here. Therefore, these months are never the best ones to visit the Inca Trail. However, during the months of winter, the temperature on the trail may drop to freezing at night.

While the daytime here during these months can be sunny gloriously. Surprisingly, you will not encounter much fog and cloud during these months.

So, you can visit the Inca Trail during winter easily because the weather will not obstruct you from enjoying the views of some of the most Magnificent and the most glorious sights on the planet.

Overall, the summer months are the best time to visit the Inca Trail.

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Cesar Conde

I’m Cesar Conde Licensed Tour Guide in Peru, owner of Tour Leaders Peru and Travel Advisor. My other side job is a Digital Nomad. I share my amazing travel experiences, stories, guides, and itineraries for travelers like you and me!

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