Visiting Machu Picchu in May

Machu Picchu in May

May is a month of vibrant transition at Machu Picchu, a time when the ancient ruins are bathed in a unique light and the Sacred Valley of Cusco begins to bloom in its full glory. This guide aims to provide you with a comprehensive overview of what to expect when visiting Machu Picchu during this enchanting month.

What to Expect

May in Machu Picchu is a blend of mild weather and increasing tourist activity. As the winter in the Southern Hemisphere approaches, the days are warm and the nights get cooler. The lush greenery of the landscape, combined with the lesser crowds early in the month, offers a perfect setting for exploration.

Things to Do and See

Things to do in Machu Picchu in May
  • Explore Machu Picchu: The iconic Inca citadel is at its most beautiful, with clear skies offering spectacular views.
  • Attend Local Festivals: May hosts several cultural events in the Cusco region, like the Vigil of the Crosses and celebrations in Pisac and Ollantaytambo.
  • Hiking and Outdoor Activities: Trails like the Inca Trail and paths around lesser-known ruins are ideal for hiking.
  • Wildlife Watching: The diverse fauna of the region, including bird watching and spotting mammals along the riverbanks, is a highlight.


Expect daytime temperatures around 66°F (19°C) and nighttime temperatures dropping to about 37°F (3°C). Mornings at Machu Picchu can be misty, adding a mystical aura to the ruins.

Crowds & Costs

Early May still enjoys the calm of the shoulder season with potentially lower costs in accommodations and tours. However, as the month progresses, the influx of tourists increases, leading to a peak in both crowds and prices.


  • Pleasant Weather: Warm days and cool nights create ideal conditions for exploring.
  • Vibrant Local Culture: May is filled with local festivals, offering a glimpse into the rich traditions of the Cusco region.
  • Diverse Activities: From hiking to cultural tours, May offers something for every kind of traveler.


  • Increasing Crowds: As May progresses, tourist numbers increase, especially towards the end of the month.
  • Variable Morning Visibility: Early morning cloud cover can sometimes obscure the views from Machu Picchu.


  • Plan Ahead: Book accommodations and tours in advance, especially towards the end of the month.
  • Pack Appropriately: Include a range of clothing for variable temperatures.
  • Embrace Local Festivals: Participate in local events for a unique experience.
  • Stay Hydrated and Sun-Protected: The sun can be strong during the day, so take necessary precautions.

In summary, May is a magical time to visit Machu Picchu, offering a blend of pleasant weather, cultural richness, and natural beauty. With proper planning and an open mind, your journey to this ancient wonder in May can be an unforgettable experience.

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