Planning to hike the Inca Trail in July? You’re in for a treat! July is one of the most popular months to visit Peru and Machu Picchu. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know before embarking on your journey, including what to expect from the weather, crowds, costs, pros and cons, alternative treks, and things to do in Cusco during this time of year.
Is Inca Trail open in July?
Yes, the Inca Trail is open year-round, including in July. However, it’s important to note that the trail is closed during the month of February for maintenance. Make sure to book your trek in advance to secure a spot, as permits are limited to 500 per day (including guides and porters).
July is the middle of the dry season in Cusco, which means you can expect mostly clear skies and pleasant temperatures during the day. However, temperatures can drop significantly at night, so make sure to bring warm clothing and a good sleeping bag.
Crowds & Costs
As previously mentioned, July is one of the most popular months to visit Peru and Machu Picchu, which means crowds and costs will be higher than in other months. However, the stunning views and historical significance of the Inca Trail make it well worth it. Make sure to book your trek and accommodations well in advance to avoid disappointment.
Pros of Hiking Inca Trail in July
Despite the crowds and costs, there are plenty of reasons to hike the Inca Trail in July. For one, the weather is generally ideal, with clear skies and mild temperatures during the day. Additionally, the high season means that there are plenty of tour operators and accommodations available, making it easier to plan your trip.
Cons of Hiking Inca Trail in July
One potential downside to hiking the Inca Trail in July is the crowds. The trail can get quite congested, which can detract from the sense of solitude and natural beauty. Additionally, costs can be higher during this time of year, making it less accessible for budget travelers.
- 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.
Alternative treks to Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in this month
If you’re looking for a quieter and more off-the-beaten-path experience, there are plenty of alternative treks to the Inca Trail that are just as rewarding. Some popular options include the Salkantay Trek, the Lares Trek, and the Choquequirao Trek. These treks offer stunning scenery, cultural immersion, and the chance to explore lesser-known Inca ruins.
What to do in July in Cusco
In addition to hiking the Inca Trail, there are plenty of things to see and do in Cusco during the month of July. Such:
- Hiking Humantay Lake
- Hiking Rainbow Mountain or Palccoyo.
- Going to Sacred Valley of The Incas
- Going to local markers
Additionally, July marks the anniversary of Cusco’s founding, with parades, fireworks, and cultural events taking place throughout the city.
Hiking the Inca Trail in July can be a magical and unforgettable experience, but it’s important to be prepared for the crowds and costs. If you’re looking for a quieter and more affordable alternative, consider one of the many other treks available in the region.
You should pack warm layers for the chilly nights, a good pair of hiking boots, a waterproof jacket, sunscreen, insect repellent, a headlamp, and a good quality backpack.
Yes, all hikers are required to have a licensed guide to hike the Inca Trail. This is to help preserve the trail and ensure the safety of hikers.
The Inca Trail is considered a moderate to strenuous trek, with steep inclines, high altitude, and uneven terrain. However, with proper preparation and pacing, most people with average fitness levels can complete the trek.
Looking for other months?
Check out these articles written specifically to see what each month is like at Inca Trail.