Inca Trail Weather

Inca Trail Weather

When embarking on the adventure of a lifetime to Machu Picchu via the legendary Inca Trail, one key aspect that demands meticulous consideration is the weather. After all, the allure of this ancient wonder is best experienced under clear skies and with the warm embrace of the sun illuminating the path. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the nuanced intricacies of Inca Trail weather patterns, ensuring you make an informed decision for your journey.

Understanding Inca Trail Weather Dynamics

Before we lace up our hiking boots and set out on the Inca Trail, it is imperative to grasp the multifaceted nature of weather and climate in Peru. This encompasses a gamut of elements, including the overall temperatures at different altitudes and the shifts in weather conditions that occur throughout the day and night.

Trek to machu picchu - Inca Trail

Weather Forecasts: Cusco and Aguas Calientes

When seeking a reliable gauge of Inca Trail weather, your best compass points towards the forecasts of Cusco and Aguas Calientes. These twin hubs provide a close approximation of conditions along the trail. It’s vital to bear in mind that the Inca Trail traverses through a diverse range of habitats and altitudes. Within a single day, you may transition from the sultry embrace of a humid jungle to the frigid embrace of a mountain pass. This geographical diversity contributes to the challenge of obtaining a weather prediction that boasts absolute precision. Prepare wisely, and carry wet weather gear irrespective of your planned hiking dates.

Navigating Rainfall Patterns

The precipitation patterns on the Inca Trail follow a distinct rhythm. A clear demarcation exists between the dry and wet seasons, affording travelers a strategic window to embark on this awe-inspiring trek.

Read: Best time to do Inca Trail.

Dry Season (May-September)

The dry season blankets the Cusco and Aguas Calientes region from May through September. During this period, the days offer a pleasant coolness, coupled with a significantly reduced chance of precipitation. This makes it an opportune time to tread the Inca Trail, with May-September being particularly favorable.

Wet Season (November-March)

In stark contrast, the wet season casts its watery veil over the trail between November and March. December, January, and February emerge as the wettest months, with February seeing the closure of the Classic Inca Trail and Salkantay/Inca Trail Combo for maintenance. It is prudent to avoid hiking the Inca Trail during this period, as the likelihood of rain is significantly higher.

Deciphering Temperature Variations

Temperatures in the region maintain a relatively stable profile throughout the year, with fluctuations occurring primarily with changes in altitude. Understanding these variations is paramount for ensuring your comfort and safety during the trek.

Daytime and Nighttime Temperatures

Days unfurl with temperatures ranging between 20 degrees Celsius (70-80 degrees Fahrenheit), while nights and early mornings often dip into sub-zero territory. This variance is especially pronounced at high-altitude campsites and sun-exposed valleys.

Adapting to Temperature Shifts

Layered clothing emerges as your steadfast companion. This adaptive wardrobe allows you to modulate your comfort levels as you ascend to lofty passes or descend into sunlit valleys. The evening chill, in particular, necessitates a keen awareness of the zero-degree Celsius mark.

Inca Trail Weather: Month-by-Month Insights

For a granular perspective on the weather conditions you may encounter, we present a month-by-month breakdown. Keep in mind that while these insights are based on historical climate patterns, nature always maintains an element of unpredictability.

MonthTrekking ConditionsAvg. Daytime Temp (°F)Avg. Nighttime Temp (°F)Avg. Rainfall (mm)Number Of Rain DaysNotes
JanuaryPoor66°F (19°C)45°F (7°C)15418Warm with lots of rain
FebruaryTerrible63°F (17°C)42°F (5°C)11913Inca Trail is closed
MarchPoor64°F (18°C)43°F (6°C)10911Views covered by clouds
AprilGood67°F (19°C)44°F (7°C)418Shoulder season, some rain but good visibility
MayExcellent65°F (18°C)38°F (3°C)93Dry days and cold nights
JuneExcellent62°F (16°C)38°F (1°C)182Lots of sunshine but cold temperatures
JulyExcellent60°F (15°C)34°F (1°C)82Icy evenings but clear dry weather
AugustPerfect64°F (18°C)39°F (4°C)102Icy evenings but warm, dry days and clear skies
SeptemberGood73°F (22°C)50°F (10°C)147Clear skies and warm weather
OctoberGood74°F (23°C)52°F (11°C)478Warmer days with some showers
NovemberFair70°F (21°C)43°F (6°C)7712Warm to hot days with a good chance of rain
DecemberPoor68°F (20°C)45°F (7°C)11916Strong probability of sudden downpours

This is also the same for Short inca Trail.

January: Warm with Abundant Rainfall

  • Trekking Conditions: Poor
  • Average Daytime Temperature: 66°F (19°C)
  • Low / Nighttime Temperature: 45°F (7°C)
  • Average Rainfall (mm): 154
  • Number Of Rain Days: 18
  • Notes: Warm with copious rain.

Read: Hiking Inca Trail in January.

February: The Trail Takes a Rest

  • Trekking Conditions: Terrible
  • Average Daytime Temperature: 63°F (17°C)
  • Low / Nighttime Temperature: 42°F (5°C)
  • Average Rainfall (mm): 119
  • Number Of Rain Days: 13
  • Notes: Inca Trail is closed.

Read: Hiking Inca Trail in February – why is closed?

March: Views Veiled by Clouds

  • Trekking Conditions: Poor
  • Average Daytime Temperature: 64°F (18°C)
  • Low / Nighttime Temperature: 43°F (6°C)
  • Average Rainfall (mm): 109
  • Number Of Rain Days: 11
  • Notes: Views often obscured by clouds.

Read more: Hiking Inca Trail in March.

April: Shoulder Season Delights

  • Trekking Conditions: Good
  • Average Daytime Temperature: 67°F (19°C)
  • Low / Nighttime Temperature: 44°F (7°C)
  • Average Rainfall (mm): 41
  • Number Of Rain Days: 8
  • Notes: Shoulder season brings some rain but excellent visibility.

Read: Hiking Inca Trail in April.

May: Dry Days and Chilly Nights

  • Trekking Conditions: Excellent
  • Average Daytime Temperature: 65°F (18°C)
  • Low / Nighttime Temperature: 38°F (3°C)
  • Average Rainfall (mm): 9
  • Number Of Rain Days: 3
  • Notes: Dry days coupled with cold nights.

Read: Hiking Inca Trail in May.

June: Sunshine and Brisk Temperatures

  • Trekking Conditions: Excellent
  • Average Daytime Temperature: 62°F (16°C)
  • Low / Nighttime Temperature: 38°F (1°C)
  • Average Rainfall (mm): 18
  • Number Of Rain Days: 2
  • Notes: Abundant sunshine but brisk temperatures.

Read: Hiking Inca Trail in June.

July: Icy Evenings, Crystal Clear Days

  • Trekking Conditions: Excellent
  • Average Daytime Temperature: 60°F (15°C)
  • Low / Nighttime Temperature: 34°F (1°C)
  • Average Rainfall (mm): 8
  • Number Of Rain Days: 2
  • Notes: Evenings may be icy, but days are clear and dry.

Read: Hiking Inca Trail in July.

August: Balmy Days and Starry Nights

  • Trekking Conditions: Perfect
  • Average Daytime Temperature: 64°F (18°C)
  • Average Nighttime Temperature: 39°F (4°C)
  • Rainfall (mm): 10
  • Number Of Rainy Days: 2
  • Notes: Icy evenings yield to warm, dry days under clear skies.

Read: Hiking Inca Trail in August.

September: Azure Skies and Warm Breezes

  • Trekking Conditions: Good
  • Average Daytime Temperature: 73°F (22°C)
  • Average Nighttime Temperature: 50°F (10°C)
  • Average Rainfall (mm): 14
  • Number Of Rain Days: 7
  • Notes: Clear skies and warm weather characterize this month.

Read: Hiking Inca Trail in September.

October: Warmer Days, Occasional Showers

  • Trekking Conditions: Good
  • Average Daytime Temperature: 74°F (23°C)
  • Average Nighttime Temperature: 52°F (11°C)
  • Average Rainfall (mm): 47
  • Number Of Rain Days: 8
  • Notes: Expect warmer days with intermittent showers.

Read: Hiking Inca Trail in October.

November: Balmy to Hot, Chance of Rain

  • Trekking Conditions: Fair
  • Average Daytime Temperature: 70°F (21°C)
  • Average Nighttime Temperature: 43°F (6°C)
  • Average Rainfall (mm): 77
  • Number Of Rain Days: 12
  • Notes: Anticipate warm to hot days with a higher chance of rain.

Read: Hiking Inca Trail in November.

December: Sudden Downpours Likely

  • Trekking Conditions: Poor
  • Average Daytime Temperature: 68°F (20°C)
  • Average Nighttime Temperature: 45°F (7°C)
  • Average Rainfall (mm): 119
  • Number Of Rain Days: 16
  • Notes: Strong probability of sudden downpours.

Read: Hiking Inca Trail in December.

Navigating Inca Trail Weather: A Recap

In summary, choosing the optimal time for your Inca Trail adventure necessitates a nuanced understanding of the weather patterns that sweep through this awe-inspiring terrain. While weather forecasts for Cusco and Aguas Calientes serve as reliable indicators, the dynamic nature of the trail’s microclimates demands adaptable preparation. Layered clothing is your ally, ensuring comfort as temperatures fluctuate. With this comprehensive guide in hand, you are poised to embark on an unforgettable journey to Machu Picchu, armed with the knowledge to navigate the elements with confidence.

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