The best time to go to Cusco is in May to October dry season,November to April is considered the rainy season, although traveling during any season is perfectly fine as long as you are prepared for the weather. Cusco is busy all year round, but the months of June to October and the week of festivals surrounding Christmas and the New Year are the most popular times to travel. Cusco has many annual, monthly festivals and celebrations, you have to plan carefully to include them or avoid them!
When is the best month to travel?
May could be the best time to visit Cusco. There is a minimal chance of rain, the mountains are lush and green from the rainy season and tourism levels are generally lower during this month.
The wet and dry seasons
The dry season (May to October)
The dry season in Cusco is from May to October. The climate during this season is predominantly dry, especially during June, July and August. The days are bright and sunny with an average daytime temperature of 16°C (61°F). Nighttime temperatures are much lower during the dry season, with the months of June and July often dropping to 0°C (32°F). The dry season is widely regarded as the best time to travel, but it is also one of the busiest times to travel.
The Wet Season (November to April)
The wet season in Cusco is from November to April. During this time Cusco region receives a greater amount of rain. Statistically the rainiest month is January, which receives 160mm (6 ¼ inches) of rain. During the wet season (which is summer in the southern hemisphere) average daytime temperatures are marginally higher than the dry season at 18°C (64°F), but nighttime temperatures are significantly milder with an average of 9°C (48°F). Although the wet season is less attractive for tourism in Cusco, increased rainfall makes the region much more lush and green than the dry season’s dry brown/grey feel. During the wet season it does not rain all day, but typically the rain comes in strong, hard bursts that can last from 20 minutes to a few hours. The rain usually comes in the afternoon (but don’t quote us on that!).
During the wet season there is a greater chance of landslides in the Cusco region and especially around the Machu Picchu region. Landslides can often cause delays in train services operating from Ollantaytambo to the town of Machu Picchu (Aguas Calientes). These delays can be minor inconveniences or major delays lasting one or two days. From experience, landslides are more common during the month of February, as the land has been gradually weakened by the constant rains of the previous months. Although this is cause for concern (as you obviously want to see Machu Picchu), planning plenty of free time around your trip to Machu Picchu is essential to avoid any disappointment!
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I am founder and content creator of Lorenzo Expeditions, since 2006 I started with the Inca Jungle tour, guiding and serving thousands of tourists in a personal way to get to know Machu Picchu in a unique and authentic way.