The Inca Trail is one of the most popular and iconic trekking routes in the world. This historic trail takes you through breathtaking landscapes and ancient ruins, all leading up to the stunning Machu Picchu. But when is the best time to hike the Inca Trail? In this article, we’ll break down the best times to hike the Inca Trail, month by month, so you can plan your journey accordingly.
Inca Trail Dry Season Hiking
The dry season, which runs from May to September, is widely regarded as the best time to hike the Inca Trail. During this time, you can expect clear skies, mild temperatures, and low rainfall, making it the perfect weather for hiking. However, it’s important to note that this is also the busiest time of year on the trail, so be sure to book your trek well in advance.
Best tours to Inca Trail
Inca Trail Rainy Season Hiking
The rainy season, which runs from October to April, is characterized by higher temperatures and frequent rainfall. This time of year is less crowded on the trail, but the weather can be unpredictable, with rain and even snowfall possible at higher elevations. If you do decide to hike during the rainy season, be sure to pack appropriate rain gear and prepare for muddy trails.
Weather by Months Chart
Here’s a chart of the weather conditions you can expect on the Inca Trail by month:
|June||-3-18°C||Very low rainfall|
|July||-4-18°C||Very low rainfall|
|August||-2-19°C||Very low rainfall|
Inca Trail Month by Month Guide
Here’s a month-by-month guide to the Inca Trail, including whether the trail is open or not:
January is characterized by high rainfall, and the trail is closed for maintenance during the first two weeks of the month.
February is also characterized by high rainfall, but the trail is open for trekking.
March is still considered a rainy month, but the weather starts to improve towards the end of the month. The trail is open.
April marks the end of the rainy season, and the weather starts to get drier. The trail is open.
May is the start of the dry season, with low rainfall and mild temperatures. The trail is open.
June is one of the best months to hike the Inca Trail, with clear skies and mild temperatures. The trail is open.
July is the peak month for tourism on the Inca Trail, with very low rainfall and mild temperatures. The trail is open.
August is another peak month for tourism, with very low rainfall and mild temperatures. The trail is open.
September is still considered part of the dry season, with low rainfall and mild temperatures. The trail is open.
October marks the start of the rainy season, with moderate rainfall and mild temperatures. The trail is open.
November is characterized by high rainfall, and the trail is closed for maintenance during the first two weeks of the month.
December is also characterized by high rainfall, but the trail is open for trekking.
How Long is the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?
The Inca Trail is approximately 43 kilometers (26 miles) long, and it usually takes four days to complete the trek. However, there are shorter options available if you don’t have as much time, such as the two-day trek.
How Difficult is the Inca Trail?
The Inca Trail is considered a moderate to difficult trek, with steep ascents and descents, high altitude, and long distances to cover. It’s important to be physically fit and properly acclimatized before embarking on the trail.
What to Bring to the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu?
Some essential items to bring on the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu include a sturdy backpack, comfortable hiking shoes, warm clothing, rain gear, sunscreen, insect repellent, a hat, a water bottle, and a camera. It’s also a good idea to bring some snacks and energy bars to keep you fueled throughout the trek.
Inca Trail Tours
There are many tour companies that offer Inca Trail treks, ranging from budget to luxury options. It’s important to choose a reputable tour company that follows responsible tourism practices and prioritizes the safety and wellbeing of their clients.
In conclusion, the best time to hike the Inca Trail is during the dry season from May to September, but if you’re prepared for the rain, you can also trek during the rainy season from October to April. By following our month-by-month guide and packing the right gear, you can have an unforgettable adventure on this historic trail leading up to Machu Picchu.