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Machu Picchu Weather

Machu Picchu SunriseGenerally speaking there are two marked seasons in Cusco and Machu Picchu: the rainy season October through mid-April, although this year the intense rains arrived  later – in the beginning of November, and the dry season April/May through September.

Altitude, Temperature, Rain, Mosquitoes

Machu Picchu, as it is situated in the cloud forest also called ceja de la selva – meaning jungle’s eyebrow, has a semi-tropical climate with warm days mostly humid, and cold nights. Morning mists are quite common. The citadel is situated at 2348m/7703ft above sea level between the Old Peak (Machu Picchu – hence the name of the archeological site) and the Young Peak (Huayna Picchu), so the sun rays can be very intense in this altitude and temperatures reach up to 30°C/86F during the sunniest time of the day. June and July tend to be the driest months. January and February tend to be the wettest months. The rainy season culminates in February. During this time the Inca Trail route is closed for maintenance and safety reasons (the rain makes the stone paved route slippery). But, Machu Picchu stays open all year long. November – March tends to be the warmest period. And, September till October as the spring has already began come with the most mosquitos. The busiest months in Machu Picchu Archeological Site are June, July, and August.

Weather and Trains

Every year 1st January PeruRail closes part of the railway between Cusco and Machu Picchu, in order to prevent trains getting trapped by eventual landslides, and establishes so-called servicio bimodal. During this arrangement PeruRail operates trains from Pachar train station situated in the Sacred Valley of the Incas to Machu Picchu. A transfer is needed from Cusco to Pachar train station and from there to Cusco on the way back. The journey has about the same duration as the dry season train ride. Servicio bimodal usually finishes in the beginning of April depending on the weather. PeruRail sends an official notice to travel agencies, to update them when the train service is back to the dry season itinerary.

For up-to-date weather forecast google up ‘Cusco weather’ or ‘Machu Picchu weather’ – Google provides very accurate information. Or, go to AccuWeather. Or, visit the website of the Peruvian National Institute or Metrology and Hydrology – SENAMHI.

Sunrise Machu Picchu

Sunrise

For most people seeing the sunrise in Machu Picchu Citadel is a must. Here you can find the exact sunrise and sunset schedules for every day of the year, so that you can include it in your travel plans. Machu Picchu Archeological Site opens at 6:00am and closes at 5:00pm. The first bus leaves Aguas Calientes for Machu Picchu at 5:30am and there is usually a queue to get on. 6:00am is the earliest you can get inside the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Trekkers hiking the Inca Trail who spend the final night at Wiñay Wayna campsite come to Machu Picchu at about 7:30 – 8:00am, becasue the Wiñay Wayna checkpoint opens at 5:30am and there usually is a line to pass. The Classic Inca Trail is the only route that walks into Machu Picchu through Inti Punku – Sun Gate – the original Inca entryway to the citadel. As the sun often sets on Machu Picchu after it has closed a special permit from the Peruvian Ministry of Culture is needed to photograph the sunset or the night sky.

For more tips as to when the best time to visit Machu Picchu is and different ways to get there read this blog. More on recent history of Machu Picchu in this article. More Machu Picchu close-ups here.

Don’t miss our newest off-the-beaten-track route the Premium Inca Trail – the middle sections of the ancient Incan trail (no permits needed) that once connected Cusco and Machu Picchu. Our best value soft adventure is a combination of Cusco, Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu – Classic Cusco Package.

 

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