Planning to hike the Inca Trail in August? This is one of the best months to visit Machu Picchu and experience the magnificent Inca Trail. Here’s what to expect when hiking the Inca Trail in August:
- Mild temperatures during the day and cool nights
- Fewer crowds on the trail due to it being the shoulder season
- Lush greenery and blooming flowers along the trail
Is Inca Trail open in August?
Yes, the Inca Trail is open in August. However, it is recommended to book your permits in advance as they tend to sell out quickly during this time.
August is a dry and sunny month in Cusco, with temperatures ranging from 12°C to 22°C during the day and dropping to around 0°C at night. While the weather is mostly pleasant, it’s important to pack warm clothes for the chilly nights.
Crowds & Costs
August falls under the shoulder season for the Inca Trail, which means there are fewer crowds on the trail compared to the peak season. However, it’s still recommended to book your permits in advance to secure your spot.
The costs for hiking the Inca Trail in this month are similar to those of the peak season, with permits costing around $500-$850 per person. It’s important to note that the costs of accommodation and transportation may be slightly higher during this time due to the influx of tourists.
Pros of Hiking Inca Trail in August
- Fewer crowds on the trail compared to the peak season.
- The weather is mild and pleasant, making it a great time to hike.
- The landscape is lush and green, with blooming flowers along the trail.
Cons of Hiking Inca Trail in August
- The trail can still be crowded during the weekends.
- Accommodation and transportation costs may be slightly higher.
- The weather can be unpredictable, so it’s important to pack accordingly.
Alternative treks to Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in August
If the Inca Trail permits are sold out or you’re looking for an alternative trek, there are several other options available. Some of the popular alternative treks include:
- Salkantay Trek
- Lares Trek
- Choquequirao Trek
- Huchuy Qosqo Trek
- Book your trekking permit and tour at least 6 months in advance.
- Pack for both warm and cold weather, as temperatures can vary significantly.
- Stay hydrated and bring plenty of water or a water filtration system.
- Take your time and acclimate to the altitude before starting the trek.
- Hire a reputable local tour operator (Xplore Cusco) for a safe and informative experience.
- Respect the local culture and natural environment by following Leave No Trace principles.
- Be prepared for high season crowds and book accommodations in advance.
What to do in August in Cusco
Apart from hiking the Inca Trail, there are several other things to do in Cusco during August:
- Day hikes like Rainbow Mountain, Humantay Lake or Palccoyo Mountain.
- Explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas and visit the Pisac Market, Ollantaytambo Ruins and Chinchero Village.
- Visit the Qorikancha temple and the Cathedral of Santo Domingo, two of the most important religious sites in Cusco.
- Taste the local cuisine, such as Cuy (guinea pig), Lomo Saltado (beef stir-fry), and Chicha (corn beer).
Overall, August is a great time to hike the Inca Trail and explore the beauty of Machu Picchu. With mild weather, fewer crowds, and lush greenery, this shoulder season provides a unique and enjoyable experience for hikers.
Yes, it’s safe to hike the Inca Trail in August. However, it’s important to take necessary precautions and follow the guidelines provided by your tour operator.
Yes, it’s recommended to book your Inca Trail permits in advance as they tend to sell out quickly, especially during the peak season.
It’s important to pack warm clothes for the chilly nights, comfortable hiking shoes, a waterproof jacket, sunscreen, insect repellent, and a hat.
Altitude sickness can affect anyone at any time, regardless of the month. It’s recommended to acclimatize yourself before the hike and stay hydrated throughout the journey.
The maximum group size allowed on the Inca Trail is 200 people per day, including hikers, guides, and porters.
Looking for other months?
Check out these articles written specifically to see what each month is like at Inca Trail.