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The best time to visit Cusco
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When to visit the city of Cusco?

Cusco is one of the main tourist destinations on the planet. It offers the visitor numerous tourist destinations such as: Sacsayhuaman, the Sacred Valley, Ollantaytambo and, above all, Machu Picchu. It can be visited throughout the year. From June to August they are the busiest months for tourists. The city has many festivals and celebrations.

You should plan your trip well to include them or to avoid them.



Cusco in Peru has endless tourist attractions, such as: Sacsayhuaman, Coricancha, Tipón, Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Chinchero, Aguas Calientes, Choquequirao, Salkantay and, of course, the Inca City of Machu Picchu.


Learn a little more about Cusco

  • Cusco is located in the Andes Mountains of Peru. It is located at a height of 3,399 meters above sea level (11,151 ft).
  • Its main tourist attractions are: Sacsayhuaman, Coricancha, Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Chinchero, Choquequirao and Machu Picchu.
  • It is estimated that each year an average of 3 million tourists arrive in Cusco.
  • The city of Cusco was the ancient capital of the Empire of the Incas. It is considered the ‘Archaeological Capital of America’ due to the many Inca remains that are there.
  • In 1983 the city of Cusco was declared ‘World Heritage’ by Unesco.
  • Currently Cusco does not have an international airport so to get there from abroad you must take a flight from the city of Lima.
when to visit cusco
View of the Main Square – Cusco City

When to visit Cusco?

  • Cusco can be visited at any time of the year. However, it is considered that from April to October is the ideal time to visit.
  • During those months there is a low chance of rain, the mountains are more lush and the sun shines brighter.
  • Likewise, the influx of visitors usually increases during those months.

What is the best month to travel to Cusco?

  • According to tourists who have already visited Cusco, May is the best month to know the tourist attractions of this place.
  • May offers one of the best climates of the year in Cusco. In addition, during those days there is not a large number of tourists in Cusco. Therefore, the visitor can tour the tourist attractions with fewer people around.
  • The weeks before Christmas and New Year are also considered good times to visit Cusco. Another of the festivities to take into account is the famous ‘Inti Raymi’ (Fiesta del Sol) , which is celebrated every June 24.

This is Cusco month by month

MonthDescription
JanuaryThe first month of the year is one of the rainiest. There are not many tourists, except the first days of the month. Bring a raincoat and waterproof clothing.
FebruaryFebruary is the rainiest month of the year. The Inca Trail is closed for maintenance. Carnivals are celebrated throughout Cusco. With a bit of luck you can get a photo of Cusco with a rainbow. Bring a raincoat or umbrella.
MarchMarch is still rainy but not as rainy as February. The landscapes are greenish, ready for incredible photographs. Carnivals are still held on the first Sunday of the month.
AprilIn April the rains start to stop but it is a little colder at night. More tourists also begin to arrive in Cusco. It is an ideal month to visit Machu Picchu because you can take incredible photos.
MayMay kicks off Cusco’s dry season, when the rains lessen. During the day the sun is splendid, ideal for hiking. At night it gets colder. Wear warm clothes at night and light clothes for the day.
JuneJune is the jubilee month of Cusco, when the best celebrations take place and, of course, delicious food is served. On June 24, the Inti Raymi is celebrated, the sun festival of the Incas and which is celebrated today by the people of Cusco.
JulyJuly is one of the months in which more tourists arrive in Cusco. It is also the driest month, it rains but little. You have to reserve everything in advance. The nights are the coldest of the year. The days are sunny.
AugustIn August there are many tourists in Cusco. Machu Picchu can also look crowded, especially in the mornings. On the 1st of the month, the day of Pachamama, Mother Earth, is celebrated. The so-called ‘payments to the land’ are made.
SeptemberAs of September, the cold at night begins to decrease. Visitors also decrease. There is still enough tourism in Machu Picchu and the other tourist attractions. It’s a good month. Neither too cold nor too hot.
OctoberIn October the winds blow stronger. It is not very cold at night and not very hot during the day. It is no longer high season for tourism but there is still much to do in Cusco. It is an ideal month for outdoor walks.
NovemberIn November the rains gradually return. On the 1st of this month, the Feast of All Saints is celebrated with music and gastronomic fairs. The weather is nice. The dry landscapes are already starting to turn green.
DecemberDecember is a good month to visit Cusco. The rains increase but the nights are not so cold. Cusco gets beautiful for Christmas and New Year. Many tourists arrive for these dates. On the 25th, the Main Square of Cusco receives the Santurantikuy fair.

How is the weather in Cusco?

  • The climate in Cusco is mild. Temperatures vary from 0 ° C. (32ºF.) At 21ºC. (70ºF.)
  • During the year Cusco has two different seasons: the dry season (from April to October) and the rainy season (from November to March).
  • Regardless of the time of the year in which you decide to visit Cusco, you should always be prepared for the sun and rain. Rains can be isolated at any time of the year.

How is the dry season in Cusco?

  • The dry season in Cusco runs from April to October.
  • The weather during this season is dry (especially in June, July and August).
  • The days are warm with an average day temperature of 17ºC. The nights are cooler during the dry season. It is not uncommon that in June and July, temperatures drop below 0ºC. (32ºF.).
  • The dry season is considered the best time to travel but it is also the time with the highest number of visitors.
  • The dry season coincides with the high tourist season so tickets to all tourist attractions must be purchased in advance.

How is the rainy season in Cusco?

  • The rainy season runs from November to April. During this time, Cusco has the greatest amount of rainfall of the whole year.
  • Statistical data reveal that the months of January and February are the ones that present the strongest rains of the season.
  • In those months, the temperature during the day averages 18ºC. (64ºF.)
  • Overnight temperatures are significantly higher with an average temperature of 8ºC. (46ºF.).
  • Few people choose to visit Cusco in the rainy season, however, the rains make Cusco look greener so it is a good opportunity to get the best photos.

Cusco holiday calendar

These are the dates of the main festivities of Cusco:

  • 1 of January New Year.
  • March Sunday: Carnivals.
  • Holy Monday: Procession of the Lord of the Tremors.
  • June: Jubilee month of Cusco.
  • June 24: Inti Raymi party.
  • July 28: Fiestas Patrias del Perú.
  • August 1: Pachamama Day.
  • November 1: Feast of All Saints.
  • December 24: Christmas.

Keep in mind that during the weeks adjacent to the Inti Raymi (June 24), the prices of hotels in Cusco may double so you should buy in advance. The same happens in the days before Christmas and New Year.


What to take to the trip to Cusco?

If you travel to Cusco do not forget to bring the following:

  • Raincoat
  • Hat.
  • Sunscreen.
  • Mosquito repellent.
  • Windbreaker jacket
  • Comfortable slippers
  • Photographic camera.
  • Backpack.
  • Warm clothes for the night.
  • Water.
  • Identity documents

And when is the best time to go to Machu Picchu?

  • Machu Picchu, like Cusco, has 2 seasons during the year: the rainy season and the dry season (from April to October). The latter is the best alternative to visit the Inca City. The days are sunny and ideal for an outdoor walk.
  • However, the rainy season (from November to March) also offers a good opportunity to visit Machu Picchu with greener fields and fewer tourists around. It is only recommended to wear raincoat in case a rain begins.

Questions and answers about the trip to Cusco

  • 1) Are the rains dangerous in Cusco?

    No. Cusco does not have any danger due to the rains. However, it is recommended to bring a raincoat, trekking shoes and use formal tours and services.

  • 2) How is Cusco in February?

    February is the month with the most rainfall in Cusco. However, it also presents beautiful days to discover the Inca tourist attractions. This month the Inca Trail (4-day trek to Machu Picchu) is closed.

  • 3) Where will you stay in Cusco?

    The city of Cusco offers all kinds of hotels and accommodations, from luxurious 5-star hotels to simple shared accommodations. There are also various types of lodging in Urubamba, Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu town.

  • 4) When is the worst time to go to Cusco?

    Cusco can be visited every day of the year. According to some travellers, February is a bad time to go.

  • 5)Does Machu Picchu close any day of the year?

    No. Machu Picchu remains open every day of the year.

  • 6) What is the coldest month in Cusco?

    The months of June, July and August have the coldest nights of the year. However the days are sunny and warm. You should wear warm and light clothing.

  • 7) What is the worst date to visit Cusco?

    Cusco is an interesting destination all year round. Some tourists do not like the rains of January, February and March because they prevent them from going on walks or excursions in the open air.

  • 8) What should I not forget on my trip to Cusco?

    On your trip to Cusco do not forget a raincoat, sunscreen, good and resistant shoes and a camera.

  • 9) Does the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu close on any day of the year?

    Yes, the 4-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and also the short 2-day version closes all of February due to heavy rains. In that month, maintenance work is carried out on the route.

  • 10) Does altitude sickness happen on any day of the year?

    Yes, altitude sickness is caused by Cusco’s 3,400 meters above sea level. Drink plenty of water, avoid fatty foods and try to quickly adapt to the mountains of Cusco. In a day or two you will feel better.


 

By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last updated, February 9, 2022