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The Rainy Season in Cusco

When planning your trip to Cusco, you are sure to see that there are essentially two seasons in this beautiful region: the dry season from May-October, and the rainy season from November-April. When hearing about the extreme differences between these two seasons, it can be tempting to want to delay your trip until the rain clouds clear. While the words “rainy season” may sound unappealing, this does not mean that there is a constant downpour of rain for 6 months straight. Since the city is located high in the Andes mountains, the weather is constantly changing. Some days may bring only an hour of rain, while others may have downpours lasting throughout the day. However, the rain is not always an indicator of how good or bad your trip might be. Here are a few reasons why this might be a better time to visit than the dry season.

For one, there are significantly less tourists during this time. The majority of visitors come from May-September, which means Machu Picchu is fully booked for months, the central areas are filled with tourists and the hiking trails are highly trafficked. The large number of foreign visitors can take away from the authentic Peruvian lifestyle that still remains in Cusco and make the more popular destinations less desirable. Also, because there are less visitors during the rainy season, many hotels also offer lower prices during this time of the year.

In addition, the rainy season is an excellent time to see a more tranquil Cusco, one that is surrounded by green mountains instead of brown. During the rainy season, there are many plants and flowers that only bloom during this time of year, such as different types of orchids along the Inca Trail.

It is also important to remember that Machu Picchu is located in the rain forest, so it can rain here at anytime, despite whether it is the rainy season or not.

However, when traveling (and especially hiking) during the rainy season, it is important to be prepared and have the following essential items:

  • Waterproof hiking boots
  • Rain jacket
  • Plastic rain poncho
  • Warm layers, such as a down jacket
  • Small towel
  • Plastic bags or waterproof containers to store valuables
  • Umbrella

As long as you are prepared for a trip with intermittent rain, your trip to Cusco can still be a wonderful Peruvian vacation!

By Ella Burnham