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Weather – When to Go

Temperatures / Weather you Should Expect for your Trek

«Join Alternative Inca Trails and enjoy unforgetable experience in the andes.»

As the locals say, weather in the andes is always difficult to predict.

Check out the page Wunderground Cusco Weather and scroll down the left hand side of the page to see ‘History and Almanac’. Enter the dates for your trek to see a detailed history. Cuzco is located at 3300m, an altitude similiar to many of the campsites. For higher campsites you could expect to reduce the temperature by 5 degrees celsius.

Note: this is a guide only – one can never predict the weather in the Andes!

weather at machu picchu check out www.orient-express.com

General Seasonal Information

Peak travel season for tourists is largely dictated by the weather.

Peru experiences two very distinct seasons, wet and dry rather than «summer» or «winter». Peru’s high season for travel coincides with the driest (though coldest) months: May through September. June (the month of Inti Raymi in Cusco) and July are considered high season.

May and September are particularly good months to visit much of the country with fewer tourists but some rain. (It depends on the season and your luck.

December, January and February are very wet, particularly in the mountains – however the tourist numbers are lower and trekking routes less congested. We have trekked a lot in these months (as they are the ‘quiet’ season!) and although at times have got wet have still had thoroughly enjoyable times.

From a negative perspective, the best treks to hike during the wet season are the tradtional Inca Trail (as it is paved it isn’t too muddy!) and the Lares trek (although visibility is poor).

Reasons for not hiking during the rainy season include slipperyness, mud, rockfalls, fog (decreasing visibility in the mountains), snow and rivers rising… if there are not good bridges then it can be difficult to cross.

If you have a specific date where you wish to see the weather history, we suggest Wunderground – do a search for Cuzco (not Cusco!) and you will get the forecast for this week. If you are interested in the history of a certain month scroll down to find Detailed History and Climate.

Visiting Cusco in February – a great perspective from the South American Explorers Club We firmly believe that February is THE time of year to be in Cusco – and here’s why:

  • It is the warmest time of year, meaning that you will not find yourself wearing Llama blankets wrapped around your waist as your new stylish evening attire.
  • Carnival in Peru is celebrated by perfect strangers attacking each other in the street with water bombs, foam, eggs etc. It is taken for granted that anyone who ventures out of their house is «playing» – there are no rules, other than that your attacks must be directed at a member of the opposite sex.
  • Ever wanted the chance to visit Machu Picchu all by yourself, or alone with your loved one? Well, now is the time to do it – with the Inca Trail closed and wimpy tourists favoring the coastal sunshine of Lima, you can enjoy an almost deserted Machu Picchu – the mist just makes it more atmospheric.
  • February is one of the best times to appreciate the natural beauty of Cusco. The valley turns a lush green, and due to the bursts of sunshine and intermittent torrential rain, there is a very high chance of glancing impressive rainbows over the Imperial City of Cusco. Just remember to bring your rain jacket.
  • Low season means high bargaining power for the tourists who are here, and impressive discounts on accommodation and food.