July is a fantastic month to visit Machu Picchu and its surrounding areas, thanks to the combination of sunny weather and an array of lively festivals. As North America and Europe enter their holiday season, the crowds in Machu Picchu and Aguas Calientes pick up. However, visitors can still enjoy the natural beauty of the region while taking part in the celebrations.
Weather in Machu Picchu in July
The weather in July is similar to that of June – sunny and dry. This makes it an ideal time for North Americans and Europeans to visit. The air temperature during the day can be cool, but visitors can still enjoy stargazing at night. Temperature highs are around 66°F (19°C) and lows around 34°F (1°C).
Crowds and Costs: High Season Continues
As the holiday season begins in North America and Europe, high season continues in Machu Picchu and its surrounding areas. Additionally, a couple of big festivals also draw in Peruvian holiday-makers. Therefore, costs for hotels and activities tend to be the highest of any time of the year.
Where to Go: Aguas Calientes and Beyond
Aguas Calientes, the gateway town to Machu Picchu, is particularly appealing during the festivities of Virgen del Carmen, one of the month’s significant celebrations. However, other Sacred Valley towns also celebrate Virgen del Carmen, and any community in the region is likely to make an interesting stop this month with festivities happening at one point or other.
What to Do
July is an excellent month for hiking. There are numerous treks in and around Machu Picchu that allow visitors to escape the crowds at the main site. Even the steep hike up Wayna Picchu ditches many of the crowds. Visitors must take plenty of water to combat dehydration made worse by the sun.
Bird-watchers should keep an eye out for the majestic Andean condor, which is easiest to spot during the dry months of May through December.
Getting Machu Picchu in July
There are several options for getting to Machu Picchu. Here are some of the most common ones:
- Inca Trail: This is the classic and most popular option for getting to Machu Picchu. The Inca Trail is a 4-day trek that takes you through the Andes mountains, passing through ancient Incan ruins and offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The trek requires a permit and it’s important to book in advance, as permits tend to sell out quickly.
- Salkantay Trek: This is a popular alternative to the Inca Trail, and takes you through diverse landscapes and offers stunning views of the Salkantay mountain range. The trek is a bit more challenging than the Inca Trail, but also less crowded.
- Lares Trek: This is another alternative trek to Machu Picchu that takes you through traditional Andean villages and offers a glimpse into local culture. The trek is less crowded than the Inca Trail and the Salkantay Trek.
- Train: Taking a train is a comfortable and easy way to get to Machu Picchu. The PeruRail and IncaRail services operate year-round from Cusco to Machu Picchu Pueblo, the closest town to Machu Picchu. From there, you can either take a bus or hike up to Machu Picchu.
- Bus: You can also take a bus from Cusco to Machu Picchu Pueblo, and then either take a bus or hike up to Machu Picchu.
No matter which option you choose, getting to Machu Picchu is an unforgettable experience that offers a glimpse into the rich history and culture of Peru.
Read more at: How to get to Machu Picchu.
July Events: Virgen del Carmen and Fiestas Patrias
Two significant festivals happen in July: Virgen del Carmen and Fiestas Patrias. Festivities often spill over into the days preceding and following July 16. Thus, it can seem like every day in July is a party day.
Virgen del Carmen: July 16 marks the official celebration of this religious festival, which is celebrated in various ways, including processions, feasts, agricultural shows, and folk music shows across the Sacred Valley.
Fiestas Patrias: This is the umbrella term given to any of the celebrations held to mark Peruvian Independence Day on July 28 and the establishment of the Republic of Peru on July 29. Around the country, parties, processions, and other events take place on these days, with many Peruvian holiday-makers celebrating and relaxing with friends and family.
July is an exciting and festive month to visit Machu Picchu and its surrounding areas. Visitors can enjoy hiking, bird-watching, and participating in the numerous celebrations that take place throughout the month. While the crowds may be high, the warm weather and lively atmosphere more than make up for it.