Machu Picchu in February: Weather, Pros and Cons

Machu Picchu in February

When it comes to experiencing the wonders of Machu Picchu in February, there are unique considerations to keep in mind. This month brings a blend of warm temperatures and increased rainfall, creating an ambiance of both lushness and challenges for travelers. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the intricacies of weather, activities, and events to ensure you make the most of your journey.


February unveils the wettest conditions in the Cusco and Sacred Valley region. Despite the rain, temperatures remain surprisingly warm, with highs averaging around 64°F (18°C) and lows hovering at approximately 43°F (6°C). It’s important to note that these conditions may lead to muddy trails and an elevated risk of landslides, rendering some trekking routes less favorable.

Read: Best time to visit Machu Picchu.

Is the Inca trail worth it - Machu Picchu

Trekking Alternatives

While the iconic Inca Trail remains closed to tourists during this period, it’s an opportune moment to explore alternative trails. The Salkantay Trek emerges as a compelling option, promising a unique perspective of the region’s natural splendor. This diversion from the usual path allows for the discovery of lesser-known highlights that might have been overlooked in favor of the Inca Trail.

Read more: Is Machu Picchu closed?

Crowds and Costs

For budget-conscious travelers, February presents an advantageous scenario. The combination of rainy weather and the closure of the Inca Trail ushers in the low season for tourism. This translates to reduced costs, especially for treks other than the Inca Trail, which continue to operate.


  • Cost Savings: Low season leads to reduced prices.
  • Flourishing Flora: February showcases vibrant plant life.
  • Alternative Treks: Explore less-traveled routes.


  • Challenging Weather: Rain and potential trail difficulties.
  • Inca Trail Closure: Iconic trek is unavailable.
  • Travel Disruptions: Train service alterations may occur.
  • Caution Required: Rainy conditions necessitate careful exploration.

Where to Explore

With the exception of the Inca Trail, all attractions in the Sacred Valley remain accessible in February. To counterbalance the wet weather, consider a rejuvenating visit to the hot springs at Salinas, near Urubamba. This therapeutic experience offers a delightful contrast to the occasional downpours.

Embracing Nature’s Bounty

February bestows an enchanting gift upon flora enthusiasts. The Machu Picchu area comes alive with a vibrant display of flowers and plant life. While exploring the mesmerizing ruins, exercise caution, especially when navigating the trail leading to Wayna Picchu. The rain-soaked environment demands careful footing.

Unveiling Hidden Treasures

Despite the seemingly unfavorable conditions for hiking, February presents an opportunity for trekkers to venture into routes that might have been overlooked. The Salkantay and Lares treks, for instance, offer a distinctive adventure amid the rain-swept terrain. Additionally, the heightened water levels in rivers transform them into exhilarating Class IV rapids, providing an adrenaline rush for avid rafters.

Cusco: A Year-Round Delight

Cusco proves to be a versatile destination, unaffected by the capricious February weather. Rainy days offer a chance to explore the city’s diverse array of outstanding restaurants and museums. Keep in mind that if you plan to travel by train from Cusco to Machu Picchu (Aguas Calientes train station), services from Cusco’s Poroy train station will be unavailable. Instead, you’ll be transported by bus for the Cusco-Ollantaytambo leg before continuing by train to Aguas Calientes.

February Festivities: Carnaval and Luchas de Toqto

In the heart of February, Cusco embraces the spirited festivities of Carnaval, a celebration leading up to Lent. While Carnaval is celebrated across Latin America, the backdrop of Cusco lends a picturesque charm to the event. Additionally, the unique Luchas de Toqto takes center stage, an intriguing ritual of Quechua origin. Held at the start of February in the Canas and Chumbivilcas provinces near Toqto, this event aims to determine land settlements for the ensuing year. The ritualistic ‘Toqto Fights’ may involve elaborate displays, and while the stakes are high, a jubilant party ensues for victors and participants alike.

Read: Best things to do in Cusco.

Visiting Machu Picchu in February offers both advantages and challenges. While cost savings and a vibrant display of flora are definite highlights, travelers must be prepared for the wet conditions and potential limitations on certain activities. By weighing the pros and cons, you can make an informed decision about whether February is the right time for your Machu Picchu adventure.

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