Planning Your Inca Trail Trip: Best Time To Hike Inca Trail.

Are you dreaming of hiking the legendary Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and wondering when the best time is to go on this adventure? Look no further as we guide you through the ideal seasons, weather conditions, and everything you need to know to plan your unforgettable Inca Trail journey with Inka Altitude.


Inca Trail Expedition: Delving into Ancient Wonders

The Inca Trail, also known as “Camino Inca,” is a 26-mile (43-kilometer) trek that winds through some of the most breathtaking landscapes in Peru. But more than just a trek, it’s a living museum of Incan civilization. The trail is studded with archaeological sites, offering a glimpse into the remarkable engineering and architectural prowess of the ancient Incas.

The Trail’s Historical Significance:

Built in the 15th century, the Inca Trail served as a vital route for the Inca Empire, connecting the city of Cusco to Machu Picchu. It was a transportation route and a religious and ceremonial pathway. Each stone on the trail tells a story, and each step you take is a journey back in time.

Choosing The Perfect Season: Best Time To Hike The Inca Trail

Choosing the right time to embark on your Inca Trail adventure is paramount to its success. Peru’s diverse climate means the weather conditions along the trail vary significantly depending on the season. 

But before going on your Inca Trail adventure and deciding on the best time, take a moment to dive into the weather chart below. This invaluable resource will be your compass, helping you navigate the seasons and make an informed choice for an unforgettable journey to Machu Picchu.


Inca Trail Weather Chart:

Let’s revisit the Inca Trail weather chart to plan your journey better. Here’s a summary of the weather conditions throughout the year on the Inca Trail:


Min Temp (°C)

Max Temp (°C)

Rainfall (mm)

















































 Below, we break down the times to hike, along with the pros and cons of each period:

January: The Toughest Challenge

January presents the most challenging conditions for those considering the Inca Trail adventure. This month is the wettest and least advisable time to hike the trail. Late January is, without a doubt, the worst month to embark on the Inca Trail 4-day trek. Here’s why:


  • At the beginning of the month, cooler temperatures provide a welcomed respite from the heat.
  • Fewer crowds grace the trail during this time, creating an atmosphere of solitude for those seeking a more authentic experience.


  • The unrelenting rain during January leads to landslides along the Inca Trail, making it difficult for trekkers.
  • The resulting rockslides can damage the trails, causing significant disruptions in travel plans.
  • History serves as a sad reminder of the perils associated with this month. Tragic accidents, such as a porter’s loss of life on January 23rd, 2020, or the hundreds stranded in Machu Picchu on January 26th, 2010, underscore the dangers.
  • While each month on the Inca Trail offers its unique charm, late January presents significant safety concerns due to heavy rain, landslides, and rockslides. Prioritizing safety above all else is paramount when planning your Inca Trail adventure.

Hiking Inca Trail from March through April:

As the months transition from the wet season, March and April breathe new life into the Inca Trail. During these months, the rains lighten up, the skies clear, and the heavy tourist season hasn’t yet peaked. Blooming little plants and orchids add to the beauty of the journey.


  • Trekkers have the chance to encounter mesmerizing water cascades along the trail.
  • Enjoy relatively warmer temperatures, especially at night, compared to the colder months of June or July.
  • The Inca Trail is freshly maintained during this season, enhancing safety.
  • Revel in the lush green valleys that grace the landscape before the arrival of winter.
  • Even upon arriving in Cusco, March offers a unique opportunity to secure Inca trail permits.
  • The temperate weather in March is perfect for capturing stunning timelapse cloud formations.
  • Witness nature’s artistry with incredible rainbow phenomena, adding to the magical ambiance.


  • Despite the improved conditions, there are still chances of rainfall in March until early April.
  • A constant mist can obscure the breathtaking Machu Picchu views from the Sun Gate.
  • The risk of mudslides persists, especially in early March.

Hiking Inca Trail from May through August (Dry Season):

May through August marks the dry season and is considered the peak time for hiking the Inca Trail. Days are adorned with bright sunshine, and nights bring a crisp chill, creating comfortable hiking conditions. However, this season is renowned for its popularity.


  • Trekkers have a high chance of witnessing the magnificent sunrise over Machu Picchu from the iconic Sun Gate.
  • The trail comes alive with beautiful flora and fauna, occasionally accompanied by sightings of birds on sunny days.
  • Capture jaw-dropping views of snow-capped mountains, a true spectacle of nature’s grandeur.
  • At night, the Southern Milky Way graces the skies, offering celestial wonders for stargazers.
  • Blue and brilliant skies are the hallmark of this season, with significantly reduced rainfall.
  • Moonlit nights are exceptionally bright, enhancing the mystical ambiance.
  • Encounter wildlife like deer, drawn to small lakes for a refreshing drink.


  • Nights can be frigid, often characterized by freezing temperatures and warmer mornings.
  • Due to the overwhelming popularity, Inca trail permits tend to run out quickly, necessitating booking.
  • While the landscape is still captivating, it features brownish grasses instead of the lush greenery seen in other seasons.
  • Long queues at Machu Picchu’s entry and train stations and crowds vying for strategic photo spots can be expected.

Inca trailInca Trail 2024

Hiking Inca Trail From September through November:

In the spring months, from September to November, the number of visitors decreases, allowing for a more tranquil and intimate experience on the Inca Trail. During this timeframe, you can relish pleasant conditions with fewer fellow trekkers.


  • As a result of the preceding rain, various plants come into full bloom, adorning the trail sides and beyond with their vibrant colors.
  • Enjoy the Inca trail in spring without the challenges of poor weather conditions.
  • Orchids and hummingbirds are commonly spotted along this spectacular section of the trail, high above the Urubamba River.
  • Encounter picturesque water cascades along the way.
  • The temperate weather from September to November is perfect for capturing timelapse cloud formations.
  • Nature often treats trekkers to the breathtaking beauty of rainbow phenomena.


  • Afternoon rains are common during this season, so carrying good-quality rain gear is advisable to stay dry.
  • Mosquitoes can be bothersome at times, particularly in September.
  • Early rains often begin in September, so be prepared for possible wet conditions.

Inka trail in Peru

Hiking Inca Trail from December through February (Wet Season):

December, January, and February signal the wet season on the Inca Trail, with January being the least recommended due to its association with landslides and adverse weather conditions.


  • The valleys are covered in a lush, vibrant green, creating a picturesque setting.
  • Various plants along the trail come into full bloom and thrive, enhancing the journey with colorful displays.
  • Trekkers often enjoy a string of good days after initial inclement weather, allowing for a rewarding experience.
  • December offers the possibility of securing Inca trail permits with relative ease.
  • Witness the spectacle of water cascades mid-hike.
  • The weather conditions in these months are perfect for capturing mesmerizing timelapse cloud formations.
  • Nature paints the sky with incredible rainbow phenomena, adding to the enchantment.


  • Lower visibility can be expected due to moving clouds, especially during the third day of the hike.
  • Hiking often occurs in continuous rain, leading to a wet and muddy trail.
  • The view of Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate is frequently obscured by mist.
  • Wet campsites and trails require extra caution.
  • Landslides might occur, particularly in January and early March.
  • Landslides can disrupt train tracks from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo, leading to travel delays.

Each month along the Inca Trail offers a unique experience with advantages

and challenges. When planning your Inca Trail adventure, consider the weather conditions, your preference for crowds, and your appetite for adventure to select the perfect time for your journey.

Inca trail weather 2024

The Inka Altitude Experience

When you plan your Inca Trail adventure, consider Inka Altitude, a local Cusqueño company committed to providing top-quality service while respecting local communities and the environment.

Our licensed guides are experienced in ensuring your safety and cultural enrichment throughout the trek. Our skilled cooks prepare nutritious meals, accommodating dietary needs. Our dedicated office team handles all trip details, from permits to accommodations.

Closing Notes:

In conclusion, hiking the Inca Trail is a transformative experience that grants you access to history, culture, and the breathtaking beauty of the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, Peru. When you select the ideal hiking season, crafting your adventure to align with your desires and focal points becomes attainable.

Whether you seek the convenience of the dry season or the unique allure of the wet season, your adventure to Machu Picchu promises memories that will last a lifetime.

So, spread your wings and embark on this extraordinary journey with Inka Altitude. With the knowledge you’ve gained, you can confidently choose the perfect time for your expedition. Happy trails

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