December is nice and cool, rather than freezing months. Temperatures are not very marked in the difference between daytime and nighttime, it in general, is mild. Although Machu Picchu in December receives rain downpours, touring may be a little bit more difficult, but it is still doable. Traveling to Machu in December fits travelers who prefer not a hectic schedule, but here is one thing that is real; the Christmas and new year: parties in which many Peruvian tourists travel to Cusco and also some more outsiders take vacations at this time, will make Cusco and Machu Picchu see some crowds on the last days of the old year.

Check out our Machu Picchu 1 Day trip and Machu Pichu 2-day trip. We are a local company based in Cusco City. 

When is the best time of the day to visit Machu Picchu in December?

The best time to visit Machu Picchu in December is from 09 am – 12 pm because most of the time early in the morning Machu Picchu stays misty so if you go at 6 am, you have to wait 3 hours to take a classical shot and it rains most of the time in the afternoons.

machu picchu in december

Things to Know

  • The temperature in Machu Picchu fluctuates from a high of 26°C (78.8°F) to and low of 13°C (55.4°F).
  • Crowds are low at the start of the month because of the rainy season, but begin increasing during the last 12 days of December because of the Christmas festivals.
  • Hotels, restaurants, and travel agencies offer great deals at this time of year.
  • If you can’t tolerate rain then visiting Machu Picchu late in the year may not be the best option for you.
  • Some days (and occasionally weeks), you will have a blue sky with amazing vistas.
  • Take note that if you want to travel from Cusco to Machu Picchu by train to (Aguas Calientes train station), services from Cusco’s Poroy train station stop operating at the end of the month because of the landslide that might occur on the way. All the trains will leave from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes. So you need to take colectivos from Cusco to Ollantaytambo.
  • December has the longest day of the year in Machu Picchu, Peru.


  • The cloud formations make the photos look even better, If you catch the picture right with a bit of sun poking through the mist.
  • In December, crowd levels in Machu Picchu drop considerably because of the rainy season.
  • If it is a good day, wait for the summer solstice event, the sunlight hitting through the sun temple window on December 21st. (Weather allowing and very quick)
  • Many species of flora start thriving around Machu Picchu such as lilies, and Orchids. This makes the scenery more vibrant with green landscapes.
  • If you are a pluviophile type of person, late December may be a good option for you.


  • Aggressive mosquitoes swirl around and attack visitors.
  • The trail can be waterlogged, which might make your experience not enjoyable.
  • Machu Picchu in the early hours and afternoon may be barely visible due to thick fog.
  • The trails are often wet after the rain. This makes the path very slippery and can often be slightly unnerving on the steeper sections


  • If you plan to visit Machu Picchu in December, we recommend you book in early December because in late December the rain gets worse and it gets crowded.
  • If you are thinking to visit Machu Picchu in late December, we recommend you book your Machu Picchu tickets at least 3 months in advance because of Christmas and new year, many Peruvian travel to Cusco and take advantage of going to Machu Picchu.
  • Make sure you have a good rain jacket, and a lightweight poncho, and try to pack appropriate apparel.
  • Bring mosquito repellent for anointing your skin, or on the contrary, cover your arms and legs with appropriate clothing.
  • We recommend you have a wáterproof phone and Camera, because of the rain.
  • Bring a dry bag for smartphones and other devices.
  • Take with you shoes with good soles – and possible gaiters.
  • If it is raining heavily once you get to Machu Picchu early in the morning. try to wait either at the café which is close to the Machu Picchu entrance or in the Sanctuary lodge hotel cafeteria. The rain usually lasts 1 hour or 2 hours then it goes away.
  • If you plan to hike Huayna Picchu, or Machu Picchu Mountain. We recommend you book on a later schedule because, in the early mornings, the view from the top is obscured with mist.

Do you have a rough idea of when the Machu Picchu tickets for December sell out by?

Tickets for Machu Picchu with circuits 1 and 2 during the final two weeks of December are typically sold out one month ahead of time. On the other hand, tickets for Machu Picchu with circuits 3 and 4 tend to be sold out 2 weeks in advance. It’s worth noting that during the first two weeks of December, Machu Picchu with circuits 1 and 2 run out two weeks ahead of time, while tickets for Machu Picchu with circuits 3 and 4 are generally available even upon arrival to Cusco.

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