The start of dry season in the Andes makes April perhaps the best time to visit South America's most famous historic site. Machu Picchu's weather is more often sunny and rain-free than not, carpets of flowers brighten almost every vista and the communities of the Sacred Valley have colorful Semana Santa celebrations, should Easter fall after the first week of April. Yet this is still shoulder season, with crowds far less than in June, July and August.

Weather

The rainy season is over for the most part in April. Increased spells of sunshine also mean clearer skies at night, with slightly colder nighttime temperatures. The difference between temperature highs and lows is increasing too: highs of about 66° F (19° C) and lows of about 41° F (5° C). You will have to allow for the heat and the cold when you pack for your trip to Machu Picchu this month.

Crowds & Costs

Crowds are on the increase at Machu Picchu from April onwards, but still much quieter than in the main high season of June through August. The busiest time by far will be if Semana Santa, or Holy Week, falls within April, when Peruvians and South Americans take extended vacations. This will also be the time when prices for hotels and tours increase: sometimes to levels as great as or greater than the main high season.

Where to Go

Any of the treks in and around Machu Picchu are perfect to walk again this month. Be sure to stop off in Cusco, too, where Semana Santa celebrations are especially vibrant. 

What to Do

This is the best time of year in and around Machu Picchu for plant lovers, when the flora is at its absolute best after the wet season, and bedazzles with plenty of color. In fact, the landscape's palette is generally at its boldest right now, and photographers will relish this month for snapping that perfect Sacred Valley shot before high season crowds descend in earnest. Trekkers can take full advantage of the Machu Picchu region being largely dry and in bloom to take to trails like the Inca Trail, the Salkantay Trek or even trails within Machu Picchu itself such as the hike to Wayna Picchu. 

From April onwards for the rest of the year, if you wish to take the train from Cusco to Machu Picchu you can do so from Cusco's Poroy train station once more (this was not an option from January through March, when it was necessary to first get a bus to Ollantaytambo, then pick the train up from there).

April Events

The big event of the month, and one of the biggest of the year, is Semana Santa, otherwise known as Holy Week. This week-long celebration falls on the week leading up to Easter, and is sometimes in March but more often than not in April. Within the vicinity of Machu Picchu, Cusco has perhaps the most interesting Semana Santa: they include, on the Monday of Holy Week, the festival of Señor de los Tremblores. This festivity honors the earthquake of 1650 which damaged Cusco: in celebration, a 'Lord of the Earthquakes' effigy is carried through the city.  

More Helpful Information

Machu Picchu in March
Machu Picchu in May
Ultimate Guide to Machu Picchu
Peru in April