Machu Picchu has long been a dream of many to visit. Peru is now more accessible with many luxury and budget hotel chains now featuring in the South American country. Transport from one city to another has never been easier. Many folk have bucket lists and Machu Picchu features heavily.
The Spanish Conquistadors never found the Inca site so the ruin remained hidden for centuries, until an American Professor found Machu Picchu while looking for another fabled city in 1911. The location on the side of a mountain is not only one of the most spectacular sites you will encounter but is a wonder of Inca Architecture. Known for their building skills, the Inca constructed many temples all throughout their empire. The magnitude of their brilliance still astonishes scientist today. How did they cut the stones of the ruins perfectly to fit without the need of mortar?
If you plan to visit, Machu Picchu this year you may be wondering what is the best time of year for your Peruvian vacation. Machu Picchu has two seasons, wet and dry, both worthwhile times of year for a visit.
Firstly let us talk about the wet season, the very thought of the wet season send shivers through the most hardened traveler. However, do not let a little rain put a damper on your travel plans. The wet season has its advantages and disadvantages. The disadvantage of course is the rain, it will rain but it does not rain all day, it may rain for an hour or two but you will be able to continue your tour. The ground will be wet so you will need to take a good pair of waterproof shoes with you and a raincoat.
The advantage of the wet season is that the crowds are less. There are no lines to get into Machu Picchu, no lines for the buses that take you up and down to Machu Picchu. Your tour will be less rushed with no groups waiting behind you. You will be able to take your time and enjoy Machu Picchu but remember your wet weather clothes.
Then there is the dry season, again has its advantages with beautiful clear blue skies, warm days and cold night and mornings, so you will need to bring warm clothes. Traveling to Machu Picchu in the dry season is easier as there is no rain. The disadvantage for most people is the crowds; there will be a line to go to Machu Picchu both at the gate and at the bus to and from the site.
As it is vacation time in both Europe and North America and with the popularity of South America, this makes going to Machu Picchu in the dry season a little more complicated. Hotel rooms will need to be organized a little earlier and you may need to pay a little more in the high season, but the dry season is a great time to visit Machu Picchu. Do not forget to take a hat and sunscreen as the sun can be very strong and you will get sunburn.
For those of you who plan to trek the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, what a wonderful experience, you should plan ahead as the government of Peru only allows a certain amount of people on the trail every day. Make sure that you book at least six months ahead as the spaces fill up quickly. Again, the dry season is maybe the best time to consider the trek. If you have never heard of the Inca Trail, this trek consists of 4 days walking up high passes, trekking through cloud forests, passing Inca ruins and seeing some of the most spectacular snow covered mountains you will ever encounter. A bonus of doing the trail just after the wet season is the vast array of flowers you will see making the experience a photographer’s paradise. On day 4, you will arrive at Intu Punku, or the Sun Gate in English, where you will experience your first view of Machu Picchu. From here watch the sunrise over the Inca Citadel. Later have a guided tour and learn about the history of Machu Picchu.
The Inca Trail is also available in the wet season; there is more likelihood of availability in these months with less people doing the trail. Again, you will need your wet weather gear; the trail is closed every year in February so bear that in mind when considering your trek to Machu Picchu.
Whatever time of year you decide to travel to Machu Picchu, the experience will live with your forever, the incredible Inca site is a wonder of the world, not to be missed by anyone interested in ancient history or any world traveler.
Machu Travel Peru specializes in Machu Picchu and all of Peru, with many years’ experience organizing dream vacations for our clients.