How Is the Weather at Machu Picchu in May?

How Is the Weather at Machu Picchu in May?

Are you thinking about going to Machu Picchu in May? Make sure to consider the key elements, such as when is the best time to enter Machu Picchu, what clothes you need and how is the weather in Cusco and Machu Picchu?

In this blog article we will dive deeper into the different aspects and share with you all the knowledge you need for a trip to Machu Picchu in May.

Table of contents:

Weather in May at Machu Picchu

May is known for beautiful, sunny days that are ideal for taking pictures and experiencing Machu Picchu’s amazing ruins and landscapes. It’s crucial to remember that the rainy season’s aftereffects could persist and bring sporadic showers.


Temperature Range

May is a mild month at Machu Picchu, with average daily temperatures of 17°C (63°F) and lows of 7°C (45°F).


How Much Does It Rain in May?

The dry season begins in May and you will hardly ever encounter rain. However, the weather in the Andes is very unpredictable and you should take the right clothing with you to be prepared for occasional rainfall.

rain chart may

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


Humidity and Clouds

In Machu Picchu, May usually represents the change from the rainy to the dry season. Thus, you can expect less clouds during this time of the year. The decreasing cloud cover improves visibility, making it possible to see Machu Picchu and its surrounding beauty better.

With an average relative humidity of 100% in May, Machu Picchu is extremely humid. You could even say humid but cool.

sunny machu picchu ruins

In conclusion, the weather in May is still very humid, but you can expect a lot of sunshine and clear skies during the day when visiting Machu Picchu.

To learn more about the various months and seasons, check out our blog post about the weather at Machu Picchu.


Pros and Cons of Visiting Machu Picchu in May

A trip to Machu Picchu in May has a special mix of pros and cons. Let’s learn more about the different pros and cons of your visit.

Pros of Visiting in May

  • Great Visibility: Even while there may still be occasional clouds in May, visibility generally gets better, making it easier to see Machu Picchu and its beautiful surroundings.
  • Less Travelers: Compared to the peak months, May is known as being in the shoulder season, when there are less tourists. As a result, there are more possibilities to enjoy the ruins in solitude and away from big crowds.
  • Good Weather: Discovering Machu Picchu in May is great, as you’ll face sunny skies, almost no rain and mild temperatures during your tour through the ruins.

couple smiling under ruins at mach upicchu

Cons of Visiting in May

  • Unpredictable Weather: May’s weather is transitioning, so things can change quickly. Travelers should be flexible with their plans and take into account possible changes in cloud cover and temperature.
  • Cloudy Visibility: Even though there are typically less clouds and fog continue to linger around and impair visibility, especially in the early morning or late evening.
  • Limited Flora Blooms: The entire blooming of the flora may have passed its peak in May, even though the area is still lush from the rainy season.


In conclusion, May is a great time to visit Machu Picchu because of the special combination of weather, which blends the beauty of the wet season with the clearer skies of the dry season. Though there may be obstacles, you can maximize your experience during this transitional phase by being prepared for it. More about it below!


General Recommendations for Visiting Machu Picchu in May

traveler in front of machu picchu ruins during sunset

Planning is essential if you want to make the most of your time and visit Machu Picchu in May. You may find the next five tips useful when traveling.


1. Best Time to Enter Machu Picchu

In May, the best time of day to enter Machu Picchu is very early between 6 and 8 am. The sky is clear at this time of the day, unveiling the amazing beauty of Machu Picchu.


2. Use Layers of Clothing

Pack a waterproof raincoat in your suitcase with several layers of breathable apparel. Even if the weather is mostly sunny and mild during the day, you will need several layers of clothing to stay warm and comfortable. More details are given below.


3. Tickets and Reservation

ancient ruins at machu picchu

Make reservations for both the train and Machu Picchu well in advance, especially if you plan to come in the busiest morning hours. This will also guarantee that you will receive your preferred tickets and enjoy the highlight of your trip.


4. Choose a Guided Tour

The best way to discover more about Machu Picchu’s history is to arrange a guided tour. Our best-rated Machu Picchu tour delivers an amazing experience with the support of an experienced guide who will show you around and give you important background information about this sacred site.


5. Acclimatization

Make sure to give your body enough time to get used to the altitude. A great way to do that is to stay in Cusco’s Sacred Valley before starting your hike. We recommend reading our blog post about altitude sickness all you need to know and how to avoid it.


May Travel Packing List for Machu Picchu

traveler is packing luggage

It’s important to pack well for a May trip to Machu Picchu, especially in consideration of the weather’s variability. The things that you should always carry with you can be found in this brief checklist.


Clothing Recommendations

As previously mentioned, layering is crucial for adjusting clothing to the weather. Bring a warm mid-layer, a waterproof jacket, and light, breathable base layers to protect yourself from the occasional rainfall. Always remember to protect your eyes from the sun and rain by wearing a hat and sunglasses.


Recommended Footwear

A fun and safe excursion requires solid, waterproof hiking shoes with lots of traction. Wearing supportive footwear is essential for your trip because trails can get slick, especially following rain.

Having solid hiking footwear is much more important if you plan to climb either Machu Picchu or Huayna Picchu. Take the time to learn the differences between Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain to see whether an additional hike would be a good choice for you.


Gear and Accessories

  • Backpack: A small backpack for essentials when visiting Machu Picchu, such as snacks, documents, sunglasses and more.
  • Insect repellent and Sunscreen: Bring an effective bug repellent with you to fight off mosquitoes and other insects, especially in the humid circumstances surrounding Machu Picchu. Next to that, protect your skin from the Andean rays by using a sunscreen with a high SPF to guard against the high-altitude sun.
  • Snacks: Bring fruits, energy bars, or trail mix as snacks to help you stay energized while traveling.
  • Power Bank: Carrying a portable power bank will make sure that your mobile phone is always charged, especially if you use it for navigation or pictures.


To fully enjoy the breathtaking environment which contributes to the incredible experience of visiting Machu Picchu in May, make sure to pack ahead of time.


Frequently Asked Questions

travelers in poncho at machu picchu ruins

Is May a Good Time to Discover Machu Picchu?

Yes, May is known as an ideal time to visit Machu Picchu since it welcomes the dry season and provides a pleasant mix of green views, brighter skies and less rain. It’s also not crowded yet in comparison to the following months. In our opinion, it is one of the best months to visit Machu Picchu.


What Kind of Weather Can I Expect in May at Machu Picchu?

May is a mild month at Machu Picchu, with average daily temperatures of 17°C (63°F) and lows of 7°C (45°F). Next to that, there are almost no clouds, a lot of sun and clear skies.


How Should I Dress for Machu Picchu in May?

Bring layers of clothing, insect repellent, waterproof clothing, sturdy hiking shoes, sunscreen, and a reusable water bottle. Check the weather forecast and make necessary adjustments to your packing.


Is May a Good Time to Hike the Inca Trail?

Yes, you can hike the Inca Trail in May, but you need to get your tickets several months in advance.


What Is the Best Time to Visit Machu Picchu in May?

couple cuddling in front of machu picchu ruins

The best time to visit Machu Picchu in May is very early between 6 and 8am as you will experience clear skies, and the sun rising above the ruins.


Are Guided Tours Still Available in May?

Yes, we provide guided trips all year long. Having a guided tour will offer you valuable insights into the significance and history of Machu Picchu.


Is Machu Picchu Crowded in May?

Compared to the peak months, May is considered to be in the shoulder season, with less tourists. Although it offers a more tranquil experience, reservations for tickets and accommodations are recommended.


Exploring the Timeless Beauty of Machu Picchu’s Mystical Landscape in May

sunny ruins

In conclusion, there are many pros and a few cons to visiting Machu Picchu in May.

The weather is mild, sunny and you can expect clear skies with almost no clouds and rainfall. That leads to better visibility and a great overall experience at the magical ruins. Next to that, you won’t face as many travelers as in the following months. In short, the conditions won’t get a lot better than that.

Also, be aware of the cons, which include an increased demand for tickets, unpredictable weather and increased prices for accommodation.

In the end, you need to consider all of these points as well as your personal preferences. Nevertheless, you are going to have an unforgettable time at this picturesque place.

Now as you know more about the weather in May, it’s time to learn why you should combine the Sacred Valley with Machu Picchu.

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