The Inca Trail is one of the most popular hiking routes in the world, leading to the famous Machu Picchu in Peru. May is a great month to hike the trail, as it offers comfortable weather and fewer crowds than the peak season. Here’s what you can expect when hiking the Inca Trail in May:
- Beautiful scenery
- Comfortable temperatures
- Fewer crowds
Is Inca Trail open in May?
Yes, the Inca Trail is open in May. However, it’s important to book your permit in advance, as they tend to sell out quickly during peak season.
May is considered the beginning of the dry season in Cusco, which means you can expect sunny days with comfortable temperatures. Daytime temperatures can reach up to 70°F (21°C), while nighttime temperatures can drop to around 40°F (5°C). It’s important to note that temperatures can vary depending on the altitude, so it’s best to bring layers and prepare for different weather conditions.
Crowds & Costs
May is considered the shoulder season for hiking the Inca Trail, which means there are fewer crowds compared to the peak season of June to August. However, it’s still important to book your permit in advance and expect some crowds on the trail. Additionally, the costs of hiking the Inca Trail in May are generally lower than during the peak season.
Pros of hiking the Inca Trail in May
The pros of hiking the Inca Trail in May include the comfortable weather, fewer crowds, and lower costs. Additionally, the scenery along the trail is breathtaking and it’s a great time to experience the local culture.
Cons of hiking the Inca Trail in May
One of the cons of hiking the Inca Trail in May is that the weather can be unpredictable at times, so it’s important to come prepared for different weather conditions. Additionally, while there are fewer crowds than during the peak season, you may still encounter some crowds on the trail.
- 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 local 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 lush greenery and blooming flowers of the Andean spring season.
Alternative treks to Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in May
If you’re unable to secure a permit for the Inca Trail, there are several alternative treks to Machu Picchu that you can consider in this month, including:
- Salkantay Trek
- Lares Trek
- Choquequirao Trek
Each of these treks offers its own unique scenery and cultural experiences.
What to do in this May in Cusco
Aside from hiking the Inca Trail, there are plenty of other things to do in Cusco in this month, including:
- Visit the historic city center and its many museums and landmarks.
- Explore the nearby Sacred Valley and its ancient ruins.
- Attend the Corpus Christi festival, which takes place in late May and features colorful processions and traditional dances.
- Go for day trek to Rainbow Mountain.
- Go for day trek to Humantay Lake.
Overall, May is a great time to hike the Inca Trail, as it offers comfortable weather and fewer crowds than the peak season. However, it’s important to book your permit in advance and come prepared for different weather conditions. Additionally, there are several alternative treks to Machu Picchu that you can consider if you’re unable to secure a permit for the Inca Trail.
Yes, it’s generally safe to hike the Inca Trail in May. However, it’s important to come prepared for different weather conditions and take necessary precautions.
No, it’s required to hike the Inca Trail with a licensed guide.
You should pack layers for different weather conditions, sturdy hiking shoes, a waterproof jacket, a backpack, a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, and a camera.
You can book your permit through us (Xplore Cusco) or through the official government website. It’s important to book in advance, as permits tend to sell out quickly.
Altitude sickness can be a concern when hiking at high altitudes, such as on the Inca Trail. It’s important to acclimate to the altitude by spending a few days in Cusco before the hike, staying hydrated, and taking necessary precautions.
Looking for other months?
Check out these articles written specifically to see what each month is like at Inca Trail.