The Inca Trail in May starts calm, but as the days go on, it becomes busier, meaning that this is the beginning of the high season in Cusco, Camino Inca, and Machu Picchu. Weather behavior in May is generally pretty good, with sunshine for most of the day, so the countryside landscape is visible for everyone allowing them to take enthralling pictures. There might be occasional light rains, remember the Inca trail posses more than one microclimate, but heavy rains for hours are definitely not something to be worried about.  Temperatures at night can go down as low as zero, so it is cold, but as long as you go with layers, everything will be fine. Put on shorts when it is hot and a warm fleece jacket at night for chilly weather. The day experience is what matters most here due to the visibility of beautiful landscapes.

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Things to Know 

  • May marks the beginning of the dry season in Cusco region, and thus, it is one of the best months to hike the Inca Trail.
  • Inca Trail permits sell out quickly for May. (You must book in October of the year before your trip at least)
  • During May in Inca Trail, at night, early morning or crossing the Dead woman pass is very cold.
  • Early-to-mid-May is still shoulder season, and so flowers still continue to bloom, and the mountainsides are  green.
  • Temperature: It ranges between 0 and 21.1-celsius degrees. (32 and 70 ° F)
  • Rain: It rains on average 3 days of the month.

inca trail in may


  • You will appreciate beautiful flora and fauna and occasional birds on sunny days
  • Wild fauna such as deers come for water to the small lakes.
  • The Southern Milky Way appears in the night because of the clear sky.
  • Shoot the outstanding views of the snow-clad mountains.
  • The skies will be blue and brilliant.
  • Rainfall will be less.
  • This is the month when the moon is at its brightest during the night.
  • A high chance to see the sunrise over Machu Picchu from the sun gate.


  • Inca trail permits run out quicker.
  • A high number of trekkers on the trail in the last 2 weeks of May. 
  • There is a slight risk of late rains extending into the first week of May.
  • Bus stations and Machu Picchu entry get slightly crowded.
  • Cold nights

inca trail steps


  • If you are thinking to hike Inca Trail in May, we recommend you do it in the first two weeks of May because, in the early-to-mid-May is still very much shoulder season, and so crowds are still far short of what they become in June through August.
  • Bring sunblock and chapstick for skin protection.
  • Bring layers of clothes because there are times you will be hot and sweaty. And other times, you will be cold like at the top of the mountain.
  • For bird watchers, bring a long zoom camera or binoculars.
  • Booking in advance is recommended for at least 8 months. 
  • Bring sunglasses for solar radiation.
  • You need to pack both for the hot weather and the cold.

inca trail in may

Do you have a rough idea of when the permits for May sell out by?

Basically, it depends on Peru’s political situation.  In 2019 before the pandemic, the Inca Trail permits for May run out 7 months in advance. However, because of the strike that we had on January 2023, the permits run out 2 months in Advance. Since the strike happened in January travellers have changed their plans. Also, there were many cancelations for Inca Trail.

A key activity in Cusco

On May 3rd, in the city of Cusco and various towns in the region, citizens gather at the catholic feasting of Cruz Velacuy. Each year the congregation renews the old shrouds of the crosses; there in Saqsayhuamn hill, and the crosses in front of churches within the city.

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This video will show how is the landscape and weather on Inca Trail in May. 

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