First off – can you climb Machu Picchu? Yes! Your unforgettable bucket list trip to Machu Picchu can include a short climb or hike from Aguas Calientes (a.k.a. Machupicchu Town) at the base of the mountain to the entrance of the Machu Picchu archeological site at the top of the mountain. This hour-long entirely uphill trek is completely optional, but it’s a nice addition to Machu Picchu tours for those inclined.
That’s part of what makes Machu Picchu so special as a World Wonder – it has something for everyone from culture and history dating back to the Inca Empire to being immersed in nature to magical train rides to optional add-on hiking adventures.
If you decide to hike up the mountain to the entrance of Machu Picchu instead of taking the bus, the best time to climb Machu Picchu is at 5:00 am when the bridge to cross the river opens. If you want to be at the front of the line to be among the first few to start the hike, you need to start lining up at around 4:30 am. The advantage of starting so early is to guarantee that you’re at the top before sunrise at around 6:00-6:15 am, so you can catch the enthralling experience of daybreak at the Inca citadel. For the full experience, be sure that you’ve booked your Machu Picchu tour at least a few months in advance and have reserved the first entry time for the archeological site that day.
In terms of the best time of year to climb Machu Picchu – plan your Peru trip for the dry months of April to October (June to August to be extra safe, but these are also the busiest tourist-filled months). These are the driest months in the Andes mountains, which are generally known for an extreme and unpredictable climate. The dry season means the best chance of a dry and non-slippery hike, which makes a big difference considering the stone steps you’ll be climbing. Choosing the shoulder months of April-May or September-October could be a better option – less crowds yet still a high probability of pleasant weather and a dry hike.
Can you climb Machu Picchu?
Yes! You can hike from Machupicchu Town to the entrance of the Machu Picchu archeological site. This is a free hike and is completely different from the Machu Picchu Mountain Hike and the Huayna Picchu Hike.
When is the best time of day to climb Machu Picchu?
The best time to start the climb to the Machu Picchu archeological site is at 5:00 am (when the gate opens) so that you're at the top by sunrise.
What is the best time of year to climb Machu Picchu?
We recommend climbing Machu Picchu during the dry season (April to October) when there's much less chance of rain.
How long does it take to climb Machu Picchu?
The climb takes an average of around 1 hour, depending on your fitness level. You also need to take into account the walk from where you're staying in Machupicchu Town to the start of the climb, which takes around half an hour.
Is it hard to climb Machu Picchu?
Yes! This is a challenging hike as it's 100% uphill the entire time you're hiking.