The weather in the Cusco region is different from some other parts of the World. We have 2 seasons, the dry season and the rainy season. The rainy season begins usually in December and last until April. May through November is dry season. That does not mean that it never rains in the dry season but it is mostly dry with an occasional light shower.
In the rainy season, we have heavy tropical showers frequently. The Cusco region has a tropical high mountainous type of weather. That means our weather can change quickly from sunshine to a rain showers within a few minutes. Two blocks away, it might not be raining. The showers are localized and then move on. A few clouds form (usually in the afternoons), it rains for a few minutes and then out comes the sun again. We do not usually have rain all day long, only occasionally in the rainy season. The weather reports are very misleading. It can show on the weather forecast that it is raining every day; but all that means is that somewhere in our mountainous region there will be a shower. It can be rainy in one area of Cusco and completely dry in another area.
In regards to the weather on the Inca Trail is very unpredictable and it’s difficult to foresee. It is tropical mountaineous weather. A major factor that affect the weather on the Inca Trail depends on whether it is the rainy season or the dry season. The 1 and 2 day Inca Trails are at lower altitude than Cusco, 1,000 meters or about 3,000 feet lower. Thus it tends to be a bit warmer during the day and at night.
However, it is more tropical and more humid than Cusco. There is always a chance of a rain showers but in the rainy season these showers will last longer and be much more intense tropical rain showers. The Inca Trail is made of stones laid in the ground so they can be slippery to walk on in the rainy season. One needs to be prepared for all types of weather on the Inca Trail, such as light rain gear, light jacket, good trekking shoes and be sure to dress in layers so you can adjust to the weather based on the micro-climates you pass through.
As with all outdoor hikes, we’d recommend you spend some time researching weather conditions for the dates you are interested in visiting so that you are well prepared.
May through November is dry season. That doesn’t mean it won’t ever rain, but you’ll find it should be mostly dry with an occasional light shower.
The rainy season usually starts from December and lasts until April. During these months you may experience heavy tropical showers frequently.
Daytime: 68°F – 80°F (20°C – 27°C) Night time: 50°F – 64°F (10°C – 18°C)
Best Time to Visit
- The peak season for Machu Picchu is during the region’s dry season, when sunny conditions are most probable. However, this also comes with a greater number of tourists visiting.
- The low season for Machu Picchu is during the rainy season. There are fewer tourists and less crowding during this time, but there’s also a much higher probability of heavy rain so you’ll need to make sure you pack your rain gear