Machu Picchu Weather

Karen Torres

Machu Picchu Weather

11 March, 2016

The months of September, October, November and December have a pleasant average temperature. Most rainfall (rainy season) is seen in January, February, March and December. Machu Picchu has dry periods in May, June, July, August and September. On average, the warmest month is September. On average, the coolest month is January. January is the wettest month. June is the driest month.

Located at an altitude about 1000 meters lower than Cusco and relatively close the Amazon Rainforest, which is just over 100 kilometers away, Machu Picchu has quite unpredictable weather. Partially influenced by the climate of the Andean highlands, with its quickly changing weather, clouds interspersed with sunny moments and strong winds, together with the influences coming from the Amazon Basin with its humidity and rain, it is obvious that Machu Picchu can have several seasons in one day. The weather at Machu Picchu is dominated by the cloud formations caused by the colder highland winds meeting the humidity coming from the tropical jungle area. In general the weather at Machu Picchu has two seasons; the wet and the dry season. Summer is when there is most rain in the area. These are the months of December through March. In February the INC, the National Cultural Institute, close down the Inca Trail because it is too dangerous to trek there, and use the time to do maintenance and cleaning operations. The dry season is generally from April to November, but you can never exclude some rain in the evening and even during the day at the beginning and end of the season. At times, especially in the rainy season this makes for some days when Machu Picchu can hardly be seen from the surrounding Mountain tops.

In the dry season, even though some clouds can sometimes form, days will be mostly clear (especially in the afternoon) allowing for the great views of Machu Picchu as seen in many pictures. Nevertheless, the above is just an indication, you may well encounter unseasonable weather at any time of year. Being subject to so many influences, it will never be very cold at Machu Picchu, but sun, rain and wind can never be discarded completely. Normally the weather in Machu Picchu is clearest in the months of June, July and August. Nevertheless, no matter what weather you may have, it will always contribute to the magic and beauty of this amazing site.

There are two main seasons in Peru: the rainy season and the dry season. The rainy season runs between October and April, with the dry season usually running between May and September. Temperatures during the dry season run from around 12 C (50 F) at night to the mid 30s C (upper 80s F) during the day. Given its exposed location, it can get quite hot in Machu Picchu, and at its elevation, the sun is strong — do not forget your sunscreen!

The dry season is the best time to travel to Machu Picchu — and not surprisingly, coincides with the high season. To avoid the crowds, consider traveling in late April, May, June, or early October. Crowds are heaviest during July and August.

The weather forecast on this chart is 10 F lower on the lows and the highs. According to the Peruvian Senamhi, which is the National Institute providing accurate weather information, the weather data represented on this chart is for Cusco City, not Machu Picchu, which is 4100 feet lower in altitude, and as such has much warmer temperatures.

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