What is the most recommended time of year to travel to Machu Picchu, taking into consideration the tourist traffic and weather?
I would say May or September.
WE were told May is best, before the hordes of crowds and after the rainy season. If you are doing the Inka trail, have heard that timing it to end with a full moon is an additional treat.
February in Peru is the summer. A time in the mountains for rain, rain and more rain, cloudy skies and more rain. The inca trail to machu picchu is closed. This last february even some lodges in manu closed up.
February is great for places in Peru like the Pacific coast, beaches, and even the jungle areas around iquitos.
Winter in peru is best for visiting machu picchu and other mountain destinations, the temperature is not that much different than in the summer.
Davarian, if I don't do the trail, would february still be convenient? Would March or April be better? My peruvian friend is a teacher and I need to go when she is not working in the summertime. She did not seem aware that February was not a good month.
School now starts on the first week of March.So, you will need to come in Jan or March. She will also have vacs in July but that is a crowded month.
We Limeños are always afraid of the rain, as it never rains in Lima.
On the other side, the highlands are beautiful during the rainy season as they are all full of colors due to the beautiful flowers of all the plantations.
My wife and her sisters have just done the Choquequirao trail in Feb and had a great trip.
Some rain gets you wet, but then the sun comes out and dries you. It does not get to cold at night time either.
The other plus is that you will not find many tourists.
You will love Cusco in Feb.
I went last year at the end of May and it was absolutely gorgeous on the Inca Trail. We did the 4 day trek to Machu Picchu and it was cold at night as we were in the mountains, but it never rained and the days were blue skies and sunny. I plan on going again in 5 yrs and plan on doing it in May again--but this time with the full moon. The last day of the hike started at 4:30am in the thick of darkness, so moonlight would have been nice to walk by. But then again, I am glad I got to see so many southern hemisphere stars! I hear that June is the busiest time for the Inca Trail, but I don't know if that's true.
I am really interested in hiking the Inca Trail. Can I do the hike alone, or should I arrange to go with a group? If the latter, is there a group you would recommend? Many thanks for all of your helpful information!