Machu Picchu is an ancient city located in Peru, about 8000 feet above the sea level, and is one of the major tourist attractions in the world. The city was founded by the Incas in the 15th century. The Inca Empire was spread across South America’s Andean region for almost 400 years. The Incas are considered as one of the great road builders and architects of those times. The decline of the Inca Empire lead to the city being abandoned. It remained so till it was discovered again in the year 1911. The site is currently designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is protected by the government of Peru.
Even though Machu Picchu is near the equator, the weather and temperature can vary between rainy and chilly to parched and dry. It is therefore important to plan a Machu Picchu itinerary that makes the holidays less stressful and more enjoyable. It is also important to note that tourists going to this stunning Peru destination, should get the services of a certified guide in order for the history to be explained to you, as you explore the citadel. You may go for the Machu Picchu mountain hike-trail that lasts for 2-7 days, or take the Expedition, Vistadome or Hiram Bingham train to Aguas Calientes (the small town just below Machu Picchu).
The Different Seasons in Machu Picchu
The equatorial region of South America is full of dense and hot rainforests. However, as Machu Picchu is located at such a high altitude, the average temperature throughout the year is usually mild between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The region has 2 distinct seasons per year; the dry season and the rainy season. However, when deciding your Peru itinerary, you must take into account that Machu Picchu has fog almost all year round. The rainy season lasts from October to April, albeit short showers on a daily basis are common all through the year. It must also be remembered that the warmest season in Peru is also the wettest one (from November to March).
Tourist season in Machu Picchu
Tourist arrivals to Machu Picchu are determined by the weather as well as other factors. Mornings are normally less busy all through the year, thus, is the ideal time for exploring Machu Picchu.
The peak tourist season typically corresponds with the dry season and peaks in the months of July and August. During this time the days are usually dry and the nights are cool. Between May and October there may be mist and fog which may obstruct clear views of the architectural genius of the Incas.
If you do not mind the rainy weather, then you may plan your Peru itinerary during the rainy season and thus avoid the crowds. You may also visit the region in late April, May, June, or early October to avoid large crowds. The Inca Trail is closed for repair and maintenance during February, so if you want to do the famous Peru trek, then this would not be the right time. Flooding and landslides may also result in closure or some roads and routes during the wet season.
Whatever time you decide to visit Machu Picchu, come rain or sunshine, you will be sure to have the most unforgettable experience of your life.