Are you planning to visit Cusco between November and April? We know you are about to plan your trip, and considering coming to the sacred Inca City during this season. Don't let the weather stop you from enjoying the best of visiting it away from the crowds. In this blog, we tell you everything you need to know about the rainy season in Cusco!
Weather in Cusco
Cusco is one of the largest regions of Peru. It is located in the east of the country and has high Andean zones, mountains, and a tropical jungle area. Its capital city has an elevation of 3400 meters above sea level. The climate varies throughout the year and even changes during the same day due to its elevation and varied geography. Therefore, knowing it well and preparing adequately for your visit during the Cusco rainy season is a must!
The climate of the region is divided into two seasons per year. It is mainly cold and dry from May to December and rainy from January to April. It is important to note that more than 10 microclimates are distributed in the region, and the average temperature in the city of Cusco is 12 °C, reaching 18 °C at the maximum. On the other hand, the minimum temperature can reach around 4 °C.
Dry Season in Cusco
An absence of rain marks the famed dry or harvest season. This time of year usually lasts from May to October and is the most popular amongst travelers.
During the dry season, the days are sunny and clear, with a mild wind chill and an evident night temperature decrease. In fact, during these months, the temperatures at night might range from 0 to 10 degrees Celsius (32 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit).
Consider that rainy days and higher humidity may occur in certain parts of the region, such as the rainforest and cloud forest, even during this season.
Rainy Season in Cusco
When is the rainy season in cusco?
Let's get right to the point of this blog! The rainy season in Cusco usually lasts from November to April, and during this period, the humidity levels tend to increase significantly. Don't worry! It's not typical for it to rain all day. However, the weather gets more unpredictable during this time. You can expect clear, sunny skies in the morning, and unexpected rainfall after it.
How much does it rain?
Having days or even weeks without rain is very possible during this season. Furthermore, the warm does not vary significantly between day and night. It's also worth noting that the thermal sensation varies depending on where you are. You may feel colder in the city of Cusco, but the Sacred Valley of the Incas and Machu Picchu offer mild year-round climates.
You can experience frosts at the end of the rainy season. This weather phenomenon peaks in May and June and is marked by cold evenings and the sensation of cold in the region's high Andean areas.
What to do during the rainy season in Cusco?
Dear Traveler, you are almost ready to depart for Cusco during this season, and you shouldn't skip the following places and activities while there!
1. The historical center of the city: Starting nearby, you will find the traditional streets of San Blas, the Plaza de Armas, the Qorikancha or sun temple, and a diverse choice of restaurants and bars to taste the best of local cuisine.
2. Enjoy an unconventional Machu Picchu: Because it is located in the highland jungle of Cusco, the temperature is warm and comfortable all year. During this season, you may experience this fantastic location without hardship because the rains usually clear at some point during the day, and the citadel will be less crowded, allowing you to enjoy it uniquely and capture the best photographs in a memorable tour.
3. Sacred Valley of the Incas: This circuit includes some of the region's top archaeological and tourist attractions. If you want to have a mystical, traditional, and satisfying experience, you should visit the ancient sites of Pisaq, Ollantaytambo, Maras, Moray, and other places.
4. Fairs and artisan markets: Traditional markets and local producers' fairs in Cusco and its surroundings should not be missed. You can find fresh products, beautiful handicrafts, and famous street Peruvian food may be found there.
5. Museums: These are a must-see during your visit to Cusco! An excursion to the city's museums is a must if you want to understand more about the region's historical, cultural, archaeological, and artistic richness.
6. Cultural and art events: Cusco has a lot to offer in terms of artistic expression. Throughout the year, the city and its surroundings are alive with music and dance festivals and performances. Look for those that take place under the roof.
7. Christmas and New Year in Cusco: Holiday celebrations take place in December. Don't miss a stroll around the city's main streets, which have been decorated for the celebrations in a colorful and festive atmosphere. On Christmas Eve, the city's artisans gather for the traditional "Santurantikuy" Fair in the main square. The New Year celebration is also significant, and it's enjoyed with music and good wishes.
Advantages of the rainy season
The rainy season has a unique charm among visitors who enjoy green landscapes and those who seek tourist attractions with fewer visitors.
- Exclusive travel experience: Due to the lower number of tourists, visitors arriving during this season can enjoy an intimate and quieter visit to the major attractions of the region. The rainy season is considered the off-peak travel period, and the places are usually less crowded. If you like how this sounds, coming in this time of the year will allow you to have more time and enjoy the activities that Cusco has to offer.
- Lush landscapes: The rainy season is popular among visitors who like the views of the mountains and valleys because the rain helps enhance the colors of the flora in the adjacent landscapes. This time of year is the greatest time to enjoy nature at its greenest.
- More adventure: The rainy season offers more exciting explorations, as hiking trails and routes, as well as conventional tours, face challenges that can become rewarding memories for braver tourists.
- Beautiful Flora and fauna: The rain prompts the blooming of flowers and the growth of vegetation, which enhances the local production of exotic fruits and flowers. Also, the wildlife sightings you can have at this time of year are highly appealing to travelers who enjoy nature trips.
- Savings: If you are planning a trip during this season, this is one of the most important aspects to consider. Hotels, restaurants, and some tours reduce their prices and offer discounts due to the low demand. This is a significant advantage if you are a budget-conscious visitor.
- Culture: Cusco's cultural richness is one of its most appealing features, with numerous events and traditions taking place throughout the year. Easter, Christmas, New Year's, and carnivals cannot be missed throughout the rainy season.
- Photography: There is no doubt that the most scenic views of the city and its surroundings are found between November and April. The rain can create a unique and refreshing atmosphere in Cusco. Be delighted by the beautiful landscape photography opportunities, rainbow sunsets in the city, and ambient shadows that accentuate the vibrant streets. It is unquestionably an unmissable opportunity for individuals who appreciate photographic trips.
Disadvantages of the rainy season
It is essential not to overlook some of the challenges of the rainy season and to plan ahead to live the most outstanding experience.
- Increased precipitation: This is the most obvious disadvantage because rainfall can be intense and continuous in this season, especially during January and February. Plus, there is a lot of muck, which can make some outdoor activities more challenging, especially for those with tight schedules.
- Potential Disruptions: Heavy rains might cause travel delays. Landslides, accidents, floods, and impassable roads are more likely to affect access to particular places.
- Altitude sickness: Because of the cold and humidity, altitude sickness is more common among tourists. It will be necessary to properly acclimate and spend a few days in the city of Cusco before heading to more distant routes.
- Scenery visibility: Fog and overcast skies may blur panoramic views of mountains and landscapes moments before or just after the pouring rain.
- Limitations on outdoor activities: Some activities may be impacted by the rain, including adventure sports, hiking routes, camping, and others depending on clear weather. Consider that some routes, such as the Inca Trail, are closed in February, the rainiest month.
How to prepare for the rainy season?
If you plan to visit Cusco during this time of year, preparing clothing that may be worn in layers during the day is recommended. We also suggest packing waterproof gear, a rain poncho, a warm jacket, a windbreaker, neck bandanas, and a hat for sunny days.
Don’t forget personal items! Always carry sunscreen, lip balm, sunglasses, an umbrella, and comfy, quick-drying shoes.
There is no doubt that Cusco is a fantastic destination at any time of year, and the weather is not an impediment to discovering all of its attractions. Now that you know all about the rainy season in Cusco, don't miss out on an amazing time! Please leave a comment if you liked our content.