March is a popular month for hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. If you’re planning a trip to Cusco and Machu Picchu during this time, here’s what you can expect:
- Beautiful weather with occasional showers
- Moderate crowds and slightly lower costs compared to peak season
- A challenging but rewarding hiking experience
- The opportunity to explore Cusco and other parts of the Sacred Valley
Now let’s dive into the details:
Is Inca Trail Open in March?
Yes, the Inca Trail is open in March. However, it’s important to note that the trail is closed for maintenance every February. So, before planning your trip, make sure to check with your tour operator to ensure that the trail is open during your planned travel dates.
March is the tail end of the rainy season in Cusco, which means you can expect some rain and occasional showers during your hike. However, the weather is generally mild with warm days and cool nights. The average temperature in Cusco during March ranges from 8°C to 20°C (46°F to 68°F).
Crowds & Costs
March is a good time to hike the Inca Trail if you want to avoid the peak season crowds of June to August. However, keep in mind that the trail can still get busy, especially during Holy Week (Semana Santa) when many locals and international tourists visit. In terms of costs, prices are slightly lower in March compared to peak season, but still higher than during the low season (November to March).
Pros of hiking the Inca Trail in March
Despite the occasional rain, this month is a beautiful time to hike the Inca Trail. The landscape is lush and green, and you can see many wildflowers in bloom. Additionally, the weather is mild, making it a comfortable time to hike.
Cons of hiking the Inca Trail in March
One of the main cons of hiking the Inca Trail in this month is the occasional rain and wet conditions, which can make the trail slippery and muddy. Additionally, the trail can still get busy, especially during Holy Week.
- 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.
- Book with a reputable loca tour operator (Xplore Cusco) for a safe and informative experience.
- Respect the local culture and natural environment by following Leave No Trace principles.
- Experience the quieter and less crowded trail during the shoulder season, and enjoy the stunning views of the Andes Mountains.
Alternative Treks to Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in March
If you’re unable to secure a permit for the Inca Trail or prefer to hike an alternative trail, there are several options available in March. Some popular options include the Salkantay Trek, Lares Trek, and Choquequirao Trek. These treks offer similar scenery and hiking experiences to the Inca Trail, but with fewer crowds.
What to do in this March in Cusco
Aside from hiking, there are many other things to do in Cusco in March. You can attend local festivals such as the Cusco Week celebrations and the Semana Santa processions. You can also visit the Sacred Valley and explore other archaeological sites such as Pisac and Ollantaytambo.
March is a great time to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. While there may be occasional rain and moderate crowds, the beautiful weather, lush landscape, and lower costs make it a worthwhile experience. And if you’re unable to secure a permit for the Inca Trail, there are several alternative treks available.
Yes, the Inca Trail is open in March, but it’s important to check with your tour operator to ensure that the trail is open during your planned travel dates.
The weather is generally mild with warm days and cool nights, but there may be occasional rain and showers.
This month is considered a shoulder season for the Inca Trail, so crowds are generally moderate. However, the trail can get busier during Holy Week.
Some popular alternative treks to the Inca Trail include the Salkantay Trek, Lares Trek, and Choquequirao Trek.
Yes, the Inca Trail is a challenging hike, so it’s important to be in good physical condition and acclimatize to the altitude before starting the hike. It’s also recommended to train for the hike beforehand.
Make sure to pack for both warm and cool weather, and bring rain gear and waterproof shoes in case of rain. Don’t forget to also bring sunscreen, insect repellent, and a first aid kit.
Looking for other months?
Check out these articles written specifically to see what each month is like at Inca Trail.