Machu Picchu in December: Weather, Tips and more

Machu Picchu in December

December is one of the best times to visit Machu Picchu, one of the most iconic archaeological sites in the world. This ancient Incan citadel is located in the Andean mountains in Peru and is a bucket-list destination for many travelers. Here are some things to expect when visiting Machu Picchu in December:

  • Perfect weather for outdoor activities
  • Lower crowds than in peak season
  • Stunning views of the mountains and the ruins
  • Festivities and celebrations in Cusco and other nearby towns

Is Machu Picchu open in December?

Yes, Machu Picchu is open every day of the year, including December. However, the site has limited capacity due to its popularity, so it’s important to book your tickets in advance. You can purchase tickets online or in person in Cusco or Aguas Calientes, the town at the base of Machu Picchu.

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Is December a good time to visit Machu Picchu?

December is during the rainy season, so there’s a higher chance of rain and potential for mudslides. However, the crowds are smaller, and the landscape is green and lush. It’s still possible to have a good experience, but it’s important to be prepared for wet weather.

What is the best time of the day to visit Machu Picchu in December?

The best time to visit Machu Picchu in December is early in the morning. This way, you can avoid the crowds and the heat of the day. The site opens at 6:00 am and the first buses from Aguas Calientes start running at 5:30 am. If you can, try to arrive at Machu Picchu as early as possible to enjoy the peace and tranquility of this amazing place.

Read more about this at: Best time to visit Machu Picchu.


December is summer in Peru, so the weather in Machu Picchu is generally warm and dry. The average temperature is around 22°C (72°F) during the day and 12°C (54°F) at night. However, it’s important to note that the weather in the mountains can be unpredictable and can change quickly, so it’s a good idea to bring layers and a rain jacket.

Crowds & Costs

December is considered low season in Machu Picchu, so there are fewer crowds than in peak season (June to August). However, it’s still a popular time to visit, so it’s important to book your tickets and accommodations in advance. The cost of visiting Machu Picchu in this month is the same as in other months, but you may be able to find better deals on flights and hotels.

Pros of visiting Machu Picchu in December

  • Mild weather and less rain than other months
  • Lower crowds than in peak season
  • Festivities and celebrations in Cusco and other nearby towns
  • Plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking and sightseeing

Cons of visiting Machu Picchu in December

  • The weather can still be unpredictable
  • Some trails and activities may be closed due to maintenance or weather conditions
  • Prices for flights and hotels may still be high due to the holiday season


  • Book your tickets and accommodations well in advance
  • Pack layers and a rain jacket, as well as sunscreen and insect repellent
  • Arrive at Machu Picchu early in the morning to avoid crowds and heat
  • Consider booking a tour with a local travel agency like Xplore Cusco to get the most out of your visit

What to do in December in Cusco

Cusco is the gateway to Machu Picchu and is a fascinating city to explore in its own right. Here are some things to do in Cusco in December:

  • Visit the Plaza de Armas and the Cathedral of Cusco
  • Explore the San Pedro Market for local food and handicrafts
  • Take a walking tour of the city’s historic sites and museums
  • Do a day trip to Palccoyo Mountain or Rainbow Mountain.
  • Enjoy Peruvian cuisine and drinks in one of the many restaurants and bars in the city

Is the Inca Trail open in December?

Yes, the Inca Trail is open in December, but it’s important to note that the trail is closed in February for maintenance. The Inca Trail is a popular hiking route that takes you through stunning mountain scenery and ancient ruins, ending at Machu Picchu. However, permits are required and sell out quickly, so it’s important to book well in advance.

Read more about this at: Hiking Inca Trail in December.


December is a great time to visit Machu Picchu and experience the beauty and history of this incredible site. With lower crowds, mild weather, and plenty of festivities in the surrounding areas, there’s no better time to explore this part of Peru.


What should I wear to Machu Picchu in December?

It’s important to wear comfortable clothes and good walking shoes, as there are many stairs and uneven paths at the site. Bring layers, as the weather can change quickly, and don’t forget sunscreen and insect repellent.

How can I avoid crowds at Machu Picchu in December?

Arrive early in the morning and consider hiring a guide to take you to less crowded areas of the site.

Are there any restrictions on visiting Machu Picchu in December?

No, there are no specific restrictions on visiting Machu Picchu in this month, but it’s important to follow the site’s rules and regulations to help preserve the ruins for future generations.

What other activities can I do in the area in December?

There are many outdoor activities to enjoy in the area, such as hiking, mountain biking, and ziplining. You can also explore nearby towns like Aguas Calientes and Ollantaytambo.

Looking for other months?

Check out these articles written specifically to see what it is like to visit Machu Picchu in other months.

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