If you’re planning to hike the Inca Trail in November, you’re in for a treat. This is a great time of year to visit Cusco and Machu Picchu, with fewer crowds and milder weather. Here’s what you can expect from hiking the Inca Trail in November:
- Cool, dry weather
- Fewer crowds on the trail and at Machu Picchu
- Lower prices for tours and accommodations
Is Inca Trail open in November?
Yes, the Inca Trail is open year-round, including in November. However, it’s important to note that the trail is closed in February for maintenance.
November is one of the best months to hike the Inca Trail because the weather is mild and dry. The average temperature during the day is around 20°C (68°F), and it can get down to around 5°C (41°F) at night. There’s a low chance of rain during this time, so you won’t have to worry about trekking through mud.
Crowds & Costs
November is considered the shoulder season for tourism in Cusco, which means that there will be fewer crowds and lower prices than in the high season (June to August). This is great news for budget-conscious travelers who want to save some money on tours and accommodations. However, keep in mind that the Inca Trail is limited to 500 permits per day, so it’s still important to book your trek well in advance.
Pros of Hiking Inca Trail in November
- Fewer crowds: Since November is not the peak season, there are likely to be fewer people on the trail, making it a quieter and more peaceful experience.
- Good weather: November is generally a good time to hike the Inca Trail, with mild temperatures and less rain than during the high season.
- Beautiful scenery: The trail is surrounded by stunning landscapes, and November is a great time to see the lush vegetation and colorful flowers that bloom after the rainy season.
Cons of Hiking Inca Trail in November
- Rainy season: While November is generally less rainy than the high season, it is still considered part of the rainy season. This means that there is a chance of rain and mud on the trail, which can make hiking more difficult and less enjoyable.
- Limited availability: Due to the lower demand during the shoulder season, some of the trekking companies may not operate as many tours, or may have limited availability for the dates you want to hike.
- Cold temperatures at night: While the daytime temperatures are mild, the nights can be quite cold in November, so it’s important to pack warm clothes and a good sleeping bag.
Here are some tips for hiking the Inca Trail in November:
- Book your trek well in advance to secure your permit
- Bring warm clothing for the chilly nights
- Take it slow and enjoy the scenery
- Stay hydrated and bring snacks for energy
- Consider booking with a local tour operator (Xplore Cusco) for a more immersive experience
Alternative treks to Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in November
If the Inca Trail is fully booked or not your cup of tea, there are several alternative treks to Machu Picchu that you can consider in November:
- Salkantay Trek
- Lares Trek
- Choquequirao Trek
What to do in November in Cusco
In addition to hiking the Inca Trail, there are plenty of other things to do in Cusco in November:
- Visit the ancient ruins of Sacsayhuaman
- Explore the colonial architecture of the historic center
- Shop for souvenirs at the San Pedro Market
- Attend the Festival of All Saints on November 1st
- Take a cooking class to learn how to make traditional Peruvian dishes.
- Hike snow mountains like Rainbow Mountain or Humantay Lake.
November is a great month to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. With mild weather, fewer crowds, and lower prices, it’s an ideal time for budget-conscious travelers who want to experience this iconic trek without breaking the bank. Book your trek well in advance, pack warm clothing, and enjoy the stunning scenery along the way.
No, the difficulty level of the Inca Trail is not affected by the month you hike it in. However, keep in mind that the trail involves steep climbs and descents, so it’s important to be in good physical shape.
Yes, the Festival of All Saints takes place on November 1st, which is a public holiday in Peru. This is a great opportunity to experience traditional Peruvian culture and cuisine.
No, it is mandatory to hike the Inca Trail with a licensed tour guide. This is for safety and conservation reasons, as the trail passes through protected areas.
Some essential items to bring on the Inca Trail include warm clothing for the nights, sturdy hiking boots, a backpack, sunscreen, insect repellent, and a reusable water bottle. It’s also a good idea to bring snacks for energy along the way.
Looking for other months?
Check out these articles written specifically to see what each month is like at Inca Trail.