Machu Picchu sits on 7972 feets above sea-level, in the middle of a tropical mountain forest, in an extraordinarily beautiful setting. It was probably the most amazing urban creation of the Inca Empire at its height; its giant walls, terraces and ramps seem as if they have been cut naturally in the continuous rock escarpments. The natural setting, on the eastern slopes of the Andes, encompasses the upper Amazon basin with its rich diversity of flora and fauna.
The site’s excellent preservation, the quality of its architecture, and the breathtaking mountain vista it occupies has made Machu Picchu one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world today. The site covers 80,000 acres (32,500 hectares). Terraced fields on the edge of the site were once used for growing crops, likely maize and potatoes.
The approximately 200 structures making up this outstanding religious, ceremonial, astronomical and agricultural centre are set on a steep ridge, crisscrossed by stone terraces. Following a rigorous plan the city is divided into a lower and upper part, separating the farming from residential areas, with a large square between the two. To this day, many of Machu Picchu’s mysteries remain unresolved, including the exact role it may have played in the Incas’ sophisticated understanding of astronomy and domestication of wild plant species.
The massive yet refined architecture of Machu Picchu blends exceptionally well with the stunning natural environment, with which it is intricately linked. Numerous subsidiary centres, an extensive road and trail system, irrigation canals and agricultural terraces bear witness to longstanding, often on-going human use. The rugged topography making some areas difficult to access has resulted in a mosaic of used areas and diverse natural habitats. The Eastern slopes of the tropical Andes with its enormous gradient from high altitude “Puna” grasslands and Polylepis thickets to montane cloud forests all the way down towards the tropical lowland forests are known to harbour a rich biodiversity and high endemism of global significance. Despite its small size the property contributes to conserving a very rich habitat and species diversity with remarkable endemic and relict flora and fauna.
The rain months take approximately the 80% of the annual volume of rains (1.600 – 2.300 mm). The annual average of humidity is 77% in the dry season and in the wet season is 91%.
However, Machu Picchu has part of the Amazon jungle, and the rains are present in all the seasons. In the hottest days it is possible to achieve approximately 26° Celsius (79ºF), in the coldest early mornings in June and July the temperature can drop to -2 ° C(-36ºF). Its annual average temperature is 16 ° C (61ºF). You can clearly make a difference between two seasons: the rainy season (November to March)visitors are recommended to bring appropriate clothing and during the strong sun season (April to October), with a notable increase in temperature.
Generally in Machu Picchu it is hot during the day and cold at night. The tourist must be prepared, because the weather has fluctuations. The ideal thing is carry a backpack,a sweater of wool, a jacket. During the day the tourist can use a t-shirt and a comfortable pair of pants. In the dry season (May- November) the sun makes us wear sunglasses, a hat and sun block.
Make sure to carry an umbrella in the rainy season, also wear waterproof boots for walking, as the floor gets very slippery. Because of the climate in Machu Picchu there will be a lot of mosquitoes which are presented in greater numbers on sunny days, the itching skin irritation occurs. From November to March is the rainy season in Machu Picchu, while between April to November is the dry shiny season. It is necessary to carry many t-shirts,nobody knows when the rain starts, even in the dry season. We recommend bringing mosquito repellent.