Machupicchu Exploration

Machu Picchu in December

Machu Picchu in December is still open, it does not have any restrictions, but there is something that makes it strange, many tourists come for the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Cusco, Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley are very popular destinations in Peru for these dates, as some people have short vacations and take advantage of them. Cusco also has one of the biggest handicraft fairs of the year during this month.

Santuranticuy in Cusco
Santuranticuy in Cusco

What is the weather like in December in Cusco and Machu Picchu?

The difference between the maximum and minimum temperatures is not very big this month: the maximum is around 20° C and the minimum is around 7° C. In December, this stretch of the Andes approaches its highest rainfall of the year, although there are always lulls in the rains. Generally, in the wet season, heavy rains occur in the afternoon. Mornings are usually dry. All the rain is undoubtedly good news for the flora, which blooms again after a few weeks of wet weather.

Read more about: Best time to visit Machu Picchu.

Low season and prices

Crowds are low at the beginning of the month due to the rains, but increase again during the last ten days of December due to the Christmas holidays. Many Peruvians from other parts of the country flock to Cusco and the smaller towns in the Sacred Valley to visit family and friends. With good luck and planning, you can enjoy decent weather on a visit to the region this month and not have to share it with too many vacationers. With bad luck and lack of planning, you could find yourself surrounded by busloads of tourists in the pouring rain.

Except for the Christmas holiday period, the bad weather during the low season means that many hotels and tour companies offer great deals at this time of year.

You can find cheaper hotel rates during this time of year.

Where to go and what to do?

December is very busy in Cuzco, with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception at the beginning of the month and a Santu Rantikuy craft fair and New Year’s celebrations towards the end. Worse weather usually restricts outdoor activities, so it is perhaps a place to spend more days than at other times of the year.

You have to be very careful if you try to do any hikes with slopes, such as the climb up Wayna Picchu: the rock is very slippery after all the rain.

You can also take the opportunity to go to the 7-color Mountain.

Please note that if you wish to travel by train from Cusco to Machu Picchu (Aguas Calientes train station), services from Cusco’s Poroy train station stop running from the end of this month: from January, you will be taken by bus from the Cusco-Ollantaytambo section and continue by train to Aguas Calientes from there.


Machu Picchu Private Guide

Things you won’t be able to do because of the weather

  • Go rafting
  • See the mountain in clear colors (not always).
  • Hiking for several days (depending on the weather).

December events

Feast of the Immaculate Conception: The feast of the Immaculate Conception is celebrated on December 8 with processions in honor of the Virgin Mary, especially in Cusco but also in other parts of the region.

Santuranticuy Handicraft Fair: which takes place on December 24, is one of the largest handicraft fairs in Peru. It is held in Cusco’s Plaza de Armas and focuses on the religious figures and ornaments with which Peruvians decorate their homes. However, it can also be a good source of interesting souvenirs.

Christmas/New Year: Christmas itself is a religious and low-key affair by Peruvian standards, but New Year’s celebrations in Cusco are famous throughout the country. The beautiful backdrop of the city, illuminated by multiple fireworks, attracts revelers from far and wide.

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