I've been researching the best time to trek the Inca Trail, but seem to have found lots of different answers! I was thinking of September, to avoid the summer increase in tourists, and hopefully avoid too much rain.
Can anyone who maybe has first hand knowledge let me know if this is a good month, and if not, suggest a better time to go?
September's a great time to trek the Inca Trail. It is still the middle of the dry season, which means warm days but cool, clear nights - great for photos during the day and stargazing in the evenings.
The rainy season doesn't start in earnest until December, reaching its peak from mid-January to mid-March, and while I can't promise you won't see rain in September the chances are you'll be dry for the whole trek. Last time I walked the trail it was late October and apart from one day of rain the weather was perfect.
As for avoiding the crowds, the trail is busy right the way through trekking season, with the possible exceptions of January and early March (it's closed in February), and it's very likely that the daily quota of 500 trekking permits will be used up from April to December, meaning there will be 200-300 trekkers, plus another 200 or so porters, starting the trail each day. Even with this number of people, the trail still doesn't feel too crowded, and our trek is designed so we hit the stepped section of the trail and the Sun Gate at different times from the majority of other trekking groups.
We do also offer an alternative trek which can be substituted for the Inca Trail if you'd like a more remote hike - check out this page for more information.
I hope this helps - if you'd like to talk more about the trek please give us a call, as we have several Inca Trail experts in the office!
Tim (Peru trip manager)
I did the Inca Trail in August. Perfect, clear weather for photographs. No rain just beautiful sunshine though cold at night but if you know that you can go prepared!
We saw only one other group of 4 our entire trek....and they were going in the opposite direction!
Whenever you go, enjoy!
Some friends and I are in the early stages of planning a Peru trip, and someone told us that there can be problems with smoke haze in the mountains toward the end of the dry season (October/November), when we were originally planning to go. None of my research mentions this, so I was wondering if anyone has encountered it, and if so, when?
I did the trail in September 2012 and the only rain we had was on the last night of the four day trek. Superb views throughout. Cold at night though - freezing and a little bit of snow.
My wife and I are going on the Amazon Rainforest - Inca Trail trip at the end of this October / start of November. We are having problems finding compact 3/4 season sleeping bags as recommended. We are aware that we can hire them in Cusco but my wife has difficulty sleeping in a confined mummy style bag. Does anyone know if we would be able to hire wider sleeping bags in Cusco. Many thanks, Ivan
Ivan, we have just purchased sleeping bags for our Inca trail trip departing 16/10 (when do you go?).
Mountain warehouse do a 3 season mummy style bag BUT you can get it with LH and RH zips so you can zip them together to form 1 bigger bag. That may help?
Have a great time.
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