When is the best time to hike the inca trail?

Climate is the biggest differentiator when it comes to determining the best time to hike the Inca Trail. The highland areas of Peru experience everything from rain to sun, clouds, and very cold nights. In this article, we break down what you can expect for weather month-by-month on the Inca Trail.

January

The rains can be persistent in January, especially at night. The days are typically cloudy, with a few sunny days thrown into the mix on occasion.

February

No one can trek the Inca Trail in February. Every year, the Ministry of Culture closes the trail for the duration of the month for maintenance and to improve the route. Machu Picchu is still open, however, but the train will be your only way to it.

March

Like January, expect rainy nights and cloudy days. If you’re lucky, you may get a sunny day or two.

April

By April, the rainy season typically peters out. The days grow warmer and more pleasant, with a few sporadic rains here and there.

May to October

The dry season begins in May and ends in October meaning the days are full of steady sunshine. June through September are some of the best months to hike the Inca Trail, as the days are exceptionally and consistently clear with fresh temperatures and the landscapes are even more beautiful. The nights, however, can get quite cold.

November

By November, the rainy season begins again. Expect sporadic rain showers and storms between bouts of sunshine.

December

December tends to be a rain-filled month with the occasional sunny day; however, cloudy days without rain are more likely.

cusco hiking inca trail

Important Things to Note

On any given day, only 500 people may enter the Inca Trail. Around 200 of these entries go to tourists, while the rest go to guides, porters, and other trekking personnel.

Book the Inca Trail Trek in Advance

While other treks to Machu Picchu may be booked last minute, the Classic Inca Trail trek cannot. As mentioned, the daily quota is limited to 500 entrances per day, only 200 of which go to tourists. Your best bet is to book as far in advance as possible (we recommend at least six months in advance) if you have your heart set on hiking the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

Explorandes offers many trekking routes to Machu Picchu that offer you a first look at the world famous ruins from the Intihuatana (Inca Sun Gate). If you want more information about our routes and services, please contact us.

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