What Is The Best Time To Visit Machu Picchu & the Galapagos?
Galapagos Islands have a pleasant climate year round, so there isn’t
really a bad time of year to visit. The first half of the year
(January – June) sees warmer ocean currents and warmer, sunnier, and
more humid weather. From June to December the climate gets drier and
colder, sometimes characterized by “garua” (a marine layer that
often burns off during the day). The wildlife is abundant and active
all year long in the Galapagos, though there are variations between
the seasons in terms of behaviors, mating rituals, nesting behavior,
and the size of certain animal populations. At any given time of
year you will see unique and interesting things in the islands and it
is very difficult to say that any particular time is “better”
than others for seeing wildlife in the Galapagos. One species that
leaves the Galapagos seasonally is the Waved Albatross. From about
January through March, the population is out to sea hunting. In the
colder, drier season, marine life can be more active
and abundant, but the Galapagos is a great place to snorkel or dive
year round. One consideration for some travelers is that the seas
are a bit choppier in the August to October period than at other
times, and calmest in the January to March period.
Picchu has more marked climate changes. Rainy season in the Andes is
around Dec-April, during which time the ruins can be shrouded in
clouds, obscuring some views but also offering glimpses of the
“classic” Machu Picchu vista – mountaintop ruins veiled in
swirling fog. The heaviest rains fall in the February and March time
period, and during February the Inca Trail is completely closed.
While this is not a busy time of year due to being the rainy season,
if you are not trekking, it is not a bad time to go, because sites
are generally less crowded and the rain is often in the form of
afternoon downpours, rather than all day rain. We have people
traveling all year round to Peru and Machu Picchu, and it is
extremely rare that we hear anyone comment about how the rain had a
significant negative impact on the trip. Often enough people are
quite glad they went during the rainy season because the weather is
better than they expected and it is less crowded.
dry season in Machu Picchu is May – November, with the peak season
for travel in late June through early September. The “shoulder”
seasons in late April to June and late September/October are an
excellent time to go, when weather is good and the area has generally
fewer tourists. In the dry season, skies tend to be clear and the
view will be unobstructed by clouds, if not by fellow visitors. May
is probably the best month for catching the best of the weather while
avoiding the busiest travel period. In terms of combining Machu
Picchu and the Galapagos, we often tell people that if they have
complete freedom to choose, May is the best month to combine these
two destinations: weather is good in both and it’s just outside
the tourist high season.
Please see our full list of Machu Picchu and Galapagos Tour Packages here.
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