Ah yes, there she is, Machu Picchu! Yep, just there, right in front. That rocky protrusion poking out through the mist and rain…
Machu Picchu Weather
Before you make the trip to Machu Picchu, accept the fact that not everything in life looks quite like it does on the brochure. A long-planned trip to the Inca citadel may be a once in a lifetime opportunity, but you will only be setting yourself up for potential disappointment if you pray too hard for perfect weather.
Machu Picchu receives the least amount of rain during the April to October period, with June, July and August being the busiest months (read more about the best time to visit Machu Picchu). I took these photos in April 2008 using an old but reliable BenQ digital camera that was already full of Brazilian sand and Bolivian mud.
Looking On the Bright Side
You will probably be a bit disappointed if you arrive at a wet and dreary Machu Picchu. However, you might as well look on the bright side. A few positives come with a cloudy day:
- Fewer tourists: in the high season (June, July and August), tourists flock to Machu Picchu. There is a good chance of fine weather during these months, but you have to weigh up the pros and cons of crowds versus clouds.
- Bright spells: clouds dip and wisp all through the peaks surrounding the citadel. The rain and mist can disperse in a matter of minutes, suddenly revealing a relatively unobstructed view of the entire site. Be patient and be ready to take the killer shot when the opportunity arrives.
- Mystery: we have all seen that crisp, bright and shiny image overlooking Machu Picchu. It is undeniably impressive, but you don’t really need to take a photo that thousands have taken before. Machu Picchu is still a fine sight as it breaks through the clouds, like the Mary Celeste drifting through an ocean fog.
- Less snapping: obsessive photo taking can really get in the way of actually appreciating what you are seeing. This might be a radical way of thinking, but you could forget about your camera and concentrate on the here and now. Photos are great, but memories and feelings last just as long (and they cut through clouds quite nicely).