The most famous hiking route in Peru is the Inca Trail. This route can be done all year round, except for February. In that month, the heavy rains prevent the walk from being carried out safely. The rainy months are also the season when fewer people make the route. The months with little rain, on the other hand, are the high season for tourism in Cusco and the Inca Trail. Learn more about the tourist seasons on this famous trek to Machu Picchu.
The high tourist season runs from April to August. It is characterized by the high influx of visitors in Cusco. The low tourist season runs from November to March. In these months the influx of visitors in Cusco decreases. With regard to the Inca Trail, throughout the year (except for February when the route closes) the same number of daily visitors make the trek: 200 tourists.
High season of tourism
The high season of tourism are the months of the year in which most tourists visit Cusco.
The months of high season are: April, May, June, July and August. In those days it is possible to appreciate more tourists walking the streets of Cusco as well as Machu Picchu.
Regarding the Inca Trail, tour reservations for the high season months are in great demand. Therefore, if you plan to do this walk in high season, it is recommended to purchase tours online 6 or 7 months in advance. Otherwise you will not find availability.
The high season of tourism coincides with the dry season of Cusco. In other words, during those months the rains are very scarce. This facilitates the walks so more tourists are encouraged to take hiking routes such as the Inca Trail.
Low season of tourism
The low tourist season are the months of the year when fewer tourists visit Cusco.
The low season months are: November, December, January, February and March. In those days archaeological sites like Machu Picchu are not as crowded with visitors. So tourists can take a freer tour.
Tourists who want to do the Inca Trail in the low season months must purchase the tour online 4 or 5 months in advance. Although it is low season, there are still many visitors who want to do this hiking route.
The low season of tourism coincides with the rainy season of Cusco. In other words, in those months the rains are more frequent, which makes the walk more difficult. Even in February, the rainiest month, the Inca Trail remains closed for prevention.
What is the best season to do the Inca Trail?
In the opinion of many visitors, the months of high tourism season are the best time to do the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. The reason? The climate is sunnier and with little chance of rain. This facilitates the realization of hiking trails.
It is worth mentioning that the Inca Trail allows a maximum of 200 tourists each day (and another 300 people including guides, cooks, porters and collaborators). Whether in high season or low season, there are always 200 tourists circulating on the roads.
During the low tourist season there are more chances of rain. This can cause discomfort for walkers and more hazards on the road. However, the landscapes of Machu Picchu and along the Inca Trail are better. The route is filled with greenery, birds and flowers.
Either in high season or low season of tourism, the tour to the Inca Trail must be purchased online with an anticipation of 5 months (low season) to 7 months (high season).
The price of the tours to the Inca Trail is maintained throughout the year. However, the cost of trains and buses to Machu Picchu tend to rise due to the high tourist season. This is due to the huge number of people who want to do the famous trek at this time of year.
The Inca Trail is a route protected by the Peruvian State as it is part of the Qhapac ñan, the huge Inca road network of more than 30 thousand kilometers. Only people with a permit can travel this route. How do you get permission? Through a permit issued by a tourism agency. That is, you can only do the Inca Trail with a tour.
By Inca Trail Machu Picchu - Last updated, 26-05-2021
Before embarking on the adventure through the Inca Trails, it is necessary to know certain details necessary to enjoy the trek in its fullness.