Weather on the 2 Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

By shortinca
September 17, 2018
Wheater on the Short Inca Trail

The Weather on the 2 day Inca Trail and in the Cusco region is different from many other parts of the world. Here in Cusco we have 2 main seasons:

  • The Dry Season – running from late April through to early October.
  • The Wet Season – starts mid to late October and ends in April.

So, we know when it rains in Cusco, but when is the best time of the year to do 2 day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?

The hike can technically be completed all year round, except in February when it’s closed for maintenance. The peak trekking season to Machu Picchu occurs during the dry season and is busiest between May and September.

The busy season is not an ideal time to travel. For us, this means that the trails are more crowded and permits are significantly harder to come by. Some dates sell out just minutes after going on sale. This is also typically the colder time of year.

So, the best time of year to do the 2-day Inca Trail, in our opinion, is the shoulder season. At the start of the year that is March and April, which is still a part of the rainy season but of tapered intensity and with far fewer people not just on the trail, but in Machu Picchu itself.

The other shoulder season that you can look at are the months of October and November. This is just before the rainy season properly begins and generally falls as the weather is getting a little warmer. Again, there are less tourists on the trail and in Machu Picchu making this is a great time to do the short Inca Trail.

In the rainy season (November to February), there are frequent heavy tropical showers. The Cusco region has a tropical high mountainous type of weather. This means the weather can change within minutes from sunshine to rain.

Rain is usually localized and moves on quickly. It is not common for rain to fall all day long. This only happens occasionally in the depths of the rainy season.

Weather reports are very misleading in Cusco. It can show on the weather forecast that it is raining all day every day; but all that means is somewhere in our mountainous region there will be a shower. Even in the city itself there can be torrential rain in one area and bright sunshine 15 minutes down the road.

The weather on the Inca Trail is unpredictable and difficult to foresee. As with Cusco, the trail has tropical mountainous weather that’s very affected by the wet and dry seasons. Machu Picchu is also in the foot of the Amazonian jungle and therefor has a warmer climate compared to Cusco.

Weather on the 2 Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu


As with all outdoor hikes, we recommend that you spend time researching typical weather conditions around the time of your visit. This will help you plan and pack better for your trip.


May through September is dry season. That doesn’t mean it won’t ever rain, but rain and even showers are extremely rare during this time of the year.


The rainy season usually starts from November and lasts until the end of March. During these months you may experience heavy tropical showers frequently. February is the wettest month and the Inca Trail is closed for maintenance as landslides are a risk.

Average Temperatures

Daytime: 68°F – 80°F (20°C – 27°C) Night time: 50°F – 64°F (10°C – 18°C)

Best Time to hike the 2 day Inca Trail

  • The peak season for Machu Picchu is during the region’s dry season, when dry and sunny conditions are most likely. However, this also comes with huge crowds.
  • The low season for Machu Picchu is during the rainy season. There are fewer tourists, but there’s also a much higher probability of heavy rain. You’ll need to make sure you pack your rain gear if you decide to hike during this season. 

Why hike the 2 day Inca Trail?

  • You are hiking the last 1/3 of the famous Classic Inca Trail- known worldwide and on the bucket list of many avid trekkers
  • You will trek through history, passing through archeological sites on your way to Machu Picchu
  • The views from the Sun Gate to Machu Picchu Citadel are spectacular.
  • You have the opportunity to climb Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain on day 2 if you wish to add another challenge. 
  • You are hiking the actual trail that the Ancient Incas hiked more than 500 years ago.
  • You get to visit Machu Picchu Citadel twice, as you arrive on day one of the trek, and again after you have showered and rested on day two.

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