Peru in May

Old Dec 21st, 2023, 07:36 AM
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Peru in May

Hi everyone,

I'm trying to decide when to visit in May 2024. It's El Nino year so I appreciate that the weather might differ. Does anyone know how much El Nino has impacted trips later this year?

The first date I'm looking at is arriving in Lima on the 5th May and then doing the Inca Trail on the 12-15 May. The second date is arriving in Lima on the 11th May and doing the Inca Trail on the 19-22 May. I know there is only a week between these dates but I can't seem to decide. The extra week might be more of a buffer for rainy weather. But then how quickly do MP visits ramp up over May, I'm guessing the 19-22 will be busier, especially with day trippers.

Any advice would be great, will the week's difference make an impact.
clairehorne6195 is offline  
Old Feb 13th, 2024, 11:22 AM
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I just happened to notice that you have had no responses since you posted your question, and it's possible that you have already made a decision. If not, the lack of responses may be because you're asking people to do what they cannot do: forum people can offer advice -- advice on hotels, restaurants, tourist sites -- but not prophecy. I suspect that like me, most people who looked at your question decided they had no idea whether 12-15 or 19-22 in the upcoming May is destined to be better, and realised they had nothing to say!
If you haven't yet made your decision, you may want to consult a website like or and see what the weather in Cusco was like during those respective periods over several recent years. Even allowing for the fact that this is an El Niño year, that information may help you decide whether 12 or 19 May is likely (not definitely, just likely) to be the better start date for your Inca trail hike -- though my guess would be that the weather across the past few years will have been so varied that it will be a "toss-up."
Faedus is offline  
Old Feb 13th, 2024, 12:42 PM
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Whilst El Nino does cause flooding at lower elevations and coastal areas; at higher elevations such as Cusco and the Sacred Valley El Nino generally leads to warmer dryer weather .

May is on the cusp of the wet/dry seasons. We have been at the beginning of May a couple of times and the weather generally changed quite suddenly from grey and wet to blue skies and sunshine. If it were my trip I would go for the later dates.

As regards the volume of visitors to Machu Picchu, under the new ticketing regime with booked times and limits on ticket sales, I doubt that there would be any difference between those two dates. The rest of the Sacred Valley should see less tourists and the height of the season is July and August. Cusco always seems busy regardless of the time of year IME.

Of course, you may have already made your decision and booked your tickets, in which case, dont worry about it, I am sure you will have a wonderful time.

crellston is offline  
Old Feb 22nd, 2024, 06:48 PM
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While your (starting on the 19) later date might offer a slightly better chance of drier weather, the difference within a week is unlikely to be significant. Consider other factors like personal preference and availability. As mentioned above, due to the new ticketing system, the difference in crowds between the two dates wouldn't be drastic for Machu Picchu itself. You'll likely encounter similar numbers of visitors regardless. However, the later date might see slightly fewer crowds outside Machu Picchu, particularly in the Sacred Valley. Consider if encountering fewer tourists in Cusco, Ollantaytambo, etc. is important to you.
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