How Is the Weather at Machu Picchu in January?

How Is the Weather at Machu Picchu in January?

Thinking about visiting Machu Picchu in January? There are a couple of things you need to take into account, such as the rainy season in Cusco, when to enter Machu Picchu to get the best pictures and more.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at these points and more so you have all the info about Machu Picchu in January that you need.

Table of contents:

Weather in January at Machu Picchu

traveler standing in front of cloud covered machu picchu

The rainy season, which begins in January is defined by regular rainfall and green surroundings, providing visitors with a unique and lively atmosphere among the historic ruins of Machu Picchu. So let’s have a look at the different weather conditions that you can expect.


Temperature Range

Expect mild daytime temperatures of 12°C to 20°C (54°F to 68°F) in January at Machu Picchu. Packing layers is highly recommended because evenings may bring colder temperatures even while the sun is shining on the ancient ruins.


How much does it rain in January?

There are many rainy days at Machu Picchu in January. The average amount of rainfall is 18 days per month. This month may be suitable if you don’t mind the weather and would rather see the citadel without having to deal with a lot of people.

machu picchu rain chart

Overview of monthly rain or snow at Machu Picchu. Source: Wanderlog


Humidity and Clouds

In January, there is a high level of humidity, which creates a lot of clouds that cover the ruins and the surrounding area in an even more mystical atmosphere. The advantage of this is that it creates the perfect setting for mystical pictures at Machu Picchu.

couple hugging in front of machu picchu

In conclusion, the weather in January is quite mild and you might face a lot of rain when visiting Machu Picchu. However, the cloudy and foggy weather covers the ruins in a magical atmosphere which gives this place an even more special touch.

Take a look at our blog on the weather at Machu Picchu to find out more about the different months and seasons.


Pros and Cons of Visiting Machu Picchu in January

A trip to Machu Picchu in January has a special mix of pros and cons. Let’s have a closer look.

cloud covered ruins at machu picchu


Pros of Visiting in January

  • Less Crowds: January is a calmer month when you can visit Machu Picchu in tranquility and with fewer tourists.
  • Lower Costs: Travel and lodging fees can be significantly reduced during the off-season season, making your trip to this historical wonder cheaper.
  • Easy Ticket Availability: Getting tickets becomes easier to handle, allowing you more freedom to arrange your visit without being constrained by demand during the busiest times of the year.


Cons of Visiting in January

  • Weather Variability: January has more rain and fog, which could make it harder to see and enjoy the wonder of the world.
  • Risk of Landslides: Travel schedules and path conditions may be impacted by the possibility of landslides during the wet season. Keep yourself updated on safety precautions and any upcoming trail closures.
  • Travel Delays: Weather conditions might cause delays in transport, which can throw off your schedule. Make sure your travel arrangements are flexible enough to adapt to unforeseen circumstances.

In weighing these pros and cons, you’ll find a delicate balance that aligns with your preferences and tolerance for the unpredictable. Machu Picchu in January promises a unique and amazing experience whether you choose to face the weather for a more immersive experience or enjoy the tranquility of less visitors.


General Recommendations for Visiting Machu Picchu in January

Making the most of your time at Machu Picchu among its charms in January requires careful planning. The following five suggestions can help you in your journey.

alpaca in front of machu picchu ruins

1. Best Time to Enter Machu Picchu

In January, the best time of day to enter Machu Picchu is between 10 am and 2 pm. The fog tends to lift at this time of day, revealing Machu Picchu in its full beauty. There is a very high probability that Machu Picchu will be cloudy if you arrive early in the morning, and afternoon rains are likely.


2. Use Layers of Clothing

Pack layers of clothing that are both waterproof and breathable, along with a waterproof jacket. While fog and sporadic rains give the landscape a mysterious charm, wearing appropriate clothing assures comfort. More information on this below.


3. Plan Flexibly

Allow for any weather-related trail closures or travel delays. Keep your plan flexible so you may make changes to really experience Machu Picchu’s magic.


4. Take a Guided Tour

If you want to learn more about the historical significance of Machu Picchu, then you need to take a guided tour. During our top-rated Machu Picchu tour, you’ll be traveling with a knowledgeable guide who will give you valuable information and insights of the site.


5. Track the Weather

Stay informed about trail conditions and weather predictions. By being aware of this, you may make plans that will make your tour of this famous archeological site safer and more pleasurable.


January Travel Packing List for Machu Picchu

When planning a January trip to Machu Picchu, it’s important to pack carefully for comfort and enjoyment despite the unusual weather. This is a brief outline of the things you should always pack.

Machu picchu ruins


Clothing Recommendations

As mentioned before, layering is essential for adjusting to the changing temperatures when it comes to clothing. To protect yourself from the occasional rainfall, bring a waterproof jacket, a comfortable mid-layer, and light, moisture-wicking base layers. Remember to wear a hat and sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun and rain.


Recommended Footwear

You need to use hiking boots that are sturdy, waterproof, and have good traction. Reliable footwear is essential for a safe and enjoyable exploration of the trails, as they can become slick, especially after rain.

Another reason why you should take sturdy hiking boots with you is if you consider hiking Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain. Learn more about the differences of Machu Picchu mountain and Huayna Picchu to make the right decision for your unforgettable trip.

machu picchu ruins surrounded by clouds


Gear and Accessories

  • Waterproof Backpack: Keep your snacks, camera, and water bottle safe in a waterproof backpack to protect them from unforeseen rainfall.
  • Camera with Protective Gear: Take pictures of Machu Picchu’s beauty using a camera that has moisture-resistant gear on it.
  • Sunscreen and bug repellent: Protect yourself from the Andean sun as well as harmful insects. UV radiation can still be strong at higher elevations, even on gloomy days.
  • Portable Charger: Make sure your electronics are fully charged so you can record those amazing moments. The foggy conditions may cause your battery to discharge more quickly than anticipated.

Planning ahead when you pack will ensure that you not only stay comfortable but are ready to enjoy the magnificent weather and breathtaking scenery that make January in Machu Picchu an unforgettable experience.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is January a Good Time to Visit Machu Picchu?

If you don’t mind rainy and potentially cloudy weather, it is a good time, as it’s less crowded and you might have a more unique experience visiting the ruins. Ultimately, however, you will need to consider all the pros and cons listed above before deciding to visit.

machu picchu covered in clouds


What Kind of Weather Can I Expect in January in Machu Picchu?

January is known for its moderate temperatures, large amounts of rainfall, and fog. The range of daytime temperatures is 12°C to 20°C (54°F to 68°F).


Should I Be Concerned About Heavy Rainfall in January?

Yes, there will likely be a lot of rain in January. On average, you can expect 18 days of rain per month. Keep yourself updated about path conditions as landslides present a potential threat.


Is January a Good Time to Hike the Inca Trail?

Yes, hiking on the Inca Trail is permitted in January, but pack accordingly for wet and muddy conditions. It’s critical to check trail conditions and have a flexible schedule.


What Should I Pack for Machu Picchu in January?

Packing waterproof clothes, layers, supportive hiking boots, and sun protection and a hat are recommended for visitors. It’s also advised to have a portable charger and a camera with protective gear.


Are Guided Tours Still Available in January?

Yes, we offer guided tours throughout the year, even in January. Scheduling a guided tour can provide you with important insights on Machu Picchu’s history and meaning.

couple hugging in front of Machu picchu ruins


Your Unforgettable January Escape to Machu Picchu

To summarize, visiting Machu Picchu in January is a unique mix of pros and cons. The frequent rain and fog add a magical touch to the ancient ruins and you’ll face a mild climate. The advantages include lower prices, less crowded areas and easier access to tickets, all of which contribute to an enjoyable experience.

However, there are also significant drawbacks, including weather variations, landslide risk and potential travel delays.

Ultimately, you need to weigh up the various pros and cons and also consider your time flexibility when planning your vacation. Regardless of the weather, you will have an unforgettable time at Machu Picchu.

Ready to visit Peru’s Wonder of the World? Take a look at these 8 facts about Machu Picchu that you didn’t know before!

Leave a comment

Let’s plan your
dream trip to Peru

Let’s plan your
dream trip to Peru

All of our tour itineraries are 100% customizable. Just let us know your preferences below and we’ll get back to you within 24-48 hours.

  • Hotels
    (Optional, multiple choices possible)
    Best Value
  • Trip Length
    Not sure yet