Best Time to hike the Inca Trail
There is no truly bad time to Trek the Inca Trail; the optimum months depend on which parts of the country you plan to visit and your main interests.
Peru’s world famous Inca Trail is open 11 months of the year, allowing trekkers to arrive to Machu Picchu on foot from March 1 – January 31. The Inca Trail is closed during the month of February due to weather and to allow for maintenance. But when is the best time to do the Inca Trail trek? Like most things in life, it depends. It depends on what you want most out of your trip — clear skies, warmer days and nights, smaller crowds, etc.
The Inca Trail and Machu Picchu are very popular, and thus can be full of tourists. The dry season is the busier time to visit the region, naturally, due to the dry weather and clearer skis. The very busiest time is during the northern summer travel season June – September. The Inti Raymi festival, the Inca festival of the sun, takes place June 24 and is extremely busy. The wet season, naturally, is less busy, as fewer tourists want to visit when they will get soaked with rain.
Towards the end of January and into the rainiest month of February the Inca Trail, as well as several other national parks in Peru, is closed for essential repairs.
The trail reopens in March, though the highlands are still rainy through into April, and travellers may find some highland paths and roads are impassable.
Either side of the region’s dry season; from May to October, are the best times to trek the Inca Trail as there are less crowds and much drier weather conditions.
By November, the rainy season is starting to begin in earnest. However, you still might get some solid trekking conditions with nothing like the crowds of the summer – and you won’t need to secure your pass quite as far in advance.
December is wet and also attracts crowds over the holidays with many accommodation and travel prices rising, despite the weather.