Best time to tackle Machu Pichu

Old Nov 6th, 2009, 04:22 PM
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Best time to tackle Machu Pichu

Quick question

We are leaving Australia for South America in October 2010 for 8 weeks. The highlight is going to be the climb to Machu Pichu.

What is the best scenario? Start from Lima in Oct and eventually travel down to BA or start from BA and work my way up to Peru and climb MP in later November??.

If I could have the pros and cons of each scenario it would be greatly appreciated.


Thanks

Gary
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Old Nov 6th, 2009, 06:55 PM
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Old Nov 6th, 2009, 07:24 PM
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Machu Pichu - late November. Better weather than October.

You have to remember that October means early spring, still cold, especially when you are in Machu Pichu's altitude.
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Old Nov 6th, 2009, 07:38 PM
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The rainy season in Peru starts in October and gets progressively wetter as the weeks go on. You will likely have better weather at MP in October. I would start in Peru and finish in Argentina.
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Old Nov 6th, 2009, 08:06 PM
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OK, I admit it. I have never been to Peru.
But I was born and raised in Chile - further south. Rainy season is fall (March to July or so), not spring (Sept to early Dec).

Jeff, are you thinking of Costa Rica's weather (Central America)?

i could be wrong, like I said - I've never been to Peru. But I do know Chile's weather and it can't be that different. Very different from Costa Rica's weather though ... (you know, northern and southern hemisphere)
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Old Nov 7th, 2009, 04:20 AM
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You start to see some rain in that part of Peru by October, and by November, you're in the thick of the rainy season. (January and February are the wettest months.) I would always choose October over November at MP for that reason.
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Old Nov 7th, 2009, 02:27 PM
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Thankyou for your input......though I must admit Im still a bit unsure of what to do as there seems to be two types prevailing thoughts.
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Old Nov 7th, 2009, 05:44 PM
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All I can say is this: I'm right about the rain. You might see some in October. You'll see more in November. I would start in Peru and finish in Argentina.

You have to remember that MP is not very far south of the equator. Thinking in terms of "winter, spring, summer, and fall" doesn't mean as much at those latitudes the way it would farther south in Chile. "Rainy" and "dry" are what distinguish the two seasons more than temperatures do.

Also remember (and I think this surprises many people) that MP is in a sub-tropical region, a transition between the highland Andes and the lowland Amazon basin. Think of approximate altitudes:

Cucso = 11,000 ft
Ollantaytambo (Sacred Valley) = 9,200 ft
Machu Picchu = 7,500 ft
Aguas Calientes (town near MP) = 6,500 ft

Even though MP and its little town, Aguas Calientes, are at high elevations, you have to approach them from much higher elevations. No matter what the time of year, by the time you get there, it seems warmer. Not Amazon warm, but warm enough that you probably won't need a jacket during the day, just in the evening. There's also no shade up at the ruins, so you feel warm up there. (Make sure you pack sunscreen and take a bottle of water.)

Bottom line for me: Choose the drier month.
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Old Nov 7th, 2009, 10:32 PM
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Thanks Jeff. Thats cleared it up for me. Its going to be Peru first and then Argentina.
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