Peru's climate varies depending on where you visit.
On the coast it is usually quite hot although during the winter (April-August) it can get chilly early in the morning and at night.
In the Andes there are two main seasons - wet and dry. The wet season runs from November to April and is wet but usually warmer overall. The dry season runs from May to October and has hot clear days but cold nights.
The only one thing you can say about the weather in Peru is that it is difficult to accurately predict. You can beautifully clear hot days in the middle of the wet season and hail storms in the dry season - it's one of the beauties of Peru.
There is no down season for Machu Picchu, so the ruins will always be crowded. They are best seen early in the morning before the huge crowds come, but there is no real way to avoid other tourists. The citadel is a huge area, with lots of terraces. Good running shoes or hiking boots are preferred for your tour. If you are doing one of the extra hikes, Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain, you will want hiking boots with good traction.
Please remember that you will need your original passport to get inside the ruins. No large bags are allowed in the park, so you will need to leave them at your hotel, or check them at the front gate. The park rangers are diligent about rules, so please make sure to be courteous and respectful.
Many people are surprised to learn that Machu Picchu falls into a subtropical climate category. It is filled with orchids, bromeliads and some pesky insects. Also known as the Cloud Forest, Machu Picchu is surrounded by higher mountain peaks, frequently shrouded in mist. This is perhaps one of the reasons that the Spanish never discovered it. It is considerably lower altitude (hotter and more humid) than Cusco and many of the other treks.
The weather changes often in Machu Picchu. Typically, during the dry season (April-November) the early mornings are foggy, and can be chilly. In the late mornings, the clouds clear and the sun comes out, so it can get quite hot. Layers that you can peel off or add on, are best. Sun protection, insect repellent and a good hat are essentials. However, please keep in mind that sometimes there is still rain in June and sunshine in December. A rain poncho is highly recommended, no matter what season you visit. When it rains, the ancient stones can become slippery, so having shoes with a good tread is helpful, and perhaps, a rubber-tipped walking stick.
The rainy season is from mid-November to mid-April, with February being the wettest month. The Inca Trail is closed during February, although the Machu Picchu ruins are still open.
Of course, weather is unpredictable. No matter what month you are in Machu Picchu, please make sure that you have rain gear, including a waterproof jacket, pants, poncho and waterproof gloves.
Cusco is located in the southeast area of Peru, and has one of the highest elevations of all the cities in South America (3,400 m/11,200 ft). The city has a lot to offer, including historical sites, museums, restaurants, a great nightlife and shops. Cusco is full of cobblestone streets, so good walking shoes are a must. You can easily walk from place to place, but taxis are plentiful and safe. The airport is only a 10 minute drive from the main square.
Cusco is also surrounded by the beautiful Sacred Valley, which is a little lower in altitude. Some people prefer to head down to the valley first, to slowly adjust to the altitude. The valley has a lot of beautiful places to visit, including Pisaq, Urubamba, Ollantaytambo, Maras/Moray, Tipon and many others
Cusco is known to have two seasons – the dry season and the rainy season. The dry season is from May through September and the rainy season is from October through April. In recent years, the weather has not been predictable, so we have experienced rain during our dry season and sunshine during the rainy season. Be prepared for any type of weather.
The temperature does not vary much throughout the year. The days will typically be between 15-20 degrees Celsius (60-70 degrees Fahrenheit). However, when the sun goes down, so does the temperature, due to the decrease in oxygen levels at this high altitude. You will need a warm jacket for the evenings in the city because it will fall to 1-5 degrees Celsius (35 – 40 degrees Fahrenheit).
If you are heading down into the Sacred Valley directly from the airport, expect warmer temperatures on both ends (about 10 degrees warmer).
NOTE: Please don’t go by what you read on weather-predicting websites regarding rain in Cusco. Cusco is also the name of the entire municipality, including all of the Sacred Valley, which includes many micro-climates. These sites are never correct for the area. The region is too big and there are many weather changes. Be prepared for anything!
We're proud to say that the only complaints we get about our food is that there is too much of it. Many people comment that the food they eat on the treks is the best they get whilst in Peru.
A sample menu is as follows:
Breakfast - Porridge, toast, butter, jam, pancakes, fruit salad, yogurt with hot chocolate, coffee and a variety of teas.
Snack - Every day you are provided with a snack to eat whilst trekking, this is usually something like a power bar + fruit or biscuits + fruit.
Lunch - Soup + a main course ranging from Lomo Saltado, Causa Rellena, Trout, Spaghetti Bolagnese etc. served with rice and garlic bread
Happy Hour - Every afternoon around 5pm we serve hot chocolate, tea, popcorn, biscuits, bread and jam, etc.
Dinner - See the main courses served at lunch.
All of our treks (the Inca Trail, Salkantay, Ausangate etc.) are moderately difficult, long and mountainous. We highly recommend that you are relatively fit and acclimatised to altitude (a minimum of 2 days at altitude) before undertaking them. During the months (or at the very least, one month) before your trip, you should take regular, moderate exercise. We want you to have an amazing experience and the fitter you are, the more enjoyable the treks will be.
Check out our booking page for more information!
We use your deposit (Non-refundable) to pay official fees when making your official reservation. For example, we need to pay tourist and porters entrance fees and taxes (19%). We also use it to secure cooks, porters and horses for our different treks.
Deposits for treks can be paid using the methods provided below. Bank transfers are not recommended as they can take up to 3 working days to clear! Final balances for treks need to be paid in cash (US$) in our office in Cusco 48 hours prior to your trek.
Deposits for tours can be paid using any of the methods below.
Final balances for treks can be paid via Paypal - up to 1 week prior to trek departure. Final balances for treks should be paid 48 hours prior to departure at the latest. If it is not paid within this timeframe, we reserve the right to cancel the trip. Payment can be made in cash at our office.
Please contact with the agency at least 48 hours prior to your tour to meet, finalise details, pay your balance and organise your pre-trek talk.
Trekking packing list
Camera with batteries
True mountain tourist provides student discounts of $30 with a valid ISIC card. Please let us know at the time of booking that you have this card and send us a scanned copy for our records. No Unversity cards are accepted.
Tips for the tour guides, cook and porters are not included in the price of the tour. Rather, it is something extra to present to your staff after you experience a special time on the Trek. However, you must be aware that tips are not mandatory.
You will only have access to your duffel bags at breakfast and dinner, while at the campsite. This is due to the speed of the porters being faster than that of the groups
After catching a bus down to Aguas Calientes, hikers will take a two hour train ride along the Sacred Valley, and arrive in Ollantaytambo. From here, an TMT bus will be waiting to take hikers on the the two hour trip back to Cusco. The group will return to Cusco between 7 and 11 p.m., depending on what time the train leaves Aguas Calientes.
Huayna Picchu is the mountain located directly behind the ruins of Machu Picchu. It is approximately 300 meters higher than the ruins, and it takes two hours to hike up and down. It is recommended to plan for 45 minutes to reach the peak, 15 minutes to enjoy the view, and another 30 minutes to descend. You do not need to book in advance to climb. The tickets are $65, per person, but only 400 people can climb it per day. The 400 tickets are divided into two groups: 200 hikers are allowed to begin early, and 200 more hikers can being at 10 a.m. For both start times, tickets are provided at the Inca Road Check Point. Please speak with your guide the night before you arrive to Machu Picchu, if you are interested in this optional hike.
You will have about two hour guided tour of the Sacred City. After the tour ends, you will have approximately three additional hours to explore the ruins on your own.
If you have more questions, do not hesitate to contact us. You can either e-mail us, or contact us through Skype. Please see the Contact Us page on the website for more information.