When to go? Seasons, climate, festivities
July and AugustLate summer is the peak tourist season in Peru, specifically July and August. This season has the driest weather and most people aim for the best weather. Even in the late summer, the foothills of the Andes are never completely dry though. Mist often clings to the peaks and you can expect at least a few gentle showers. Nonetheless, the weather is generally clear and warm, and trekking conditions are excellent. Only 500 people a day are allowed on the Inca Trail at any time so this doesn't get too busy. But permits for July and August permits sell out within days of their release. There is no limit on day visitors to the ruins, so July and August will be particularly crowded, especially in the nicest weather.
December to MarchThis is the ‘rainy season’. If you are visiting during this time you will see a lot less trekkers but it will be raining. January and February are the wettest months by far. We really do advise against trekking in this period unless you really have to. Walking is difficult, camp-sites are muddy and it is so cloudy that most of the views are spoiled. And finally, the classic Inca Trail is closed for maintenance and repairs in February.
April to June / October to NovemberThe months just on either side of the peak season are some of the best times to trek in the Andes. There is a bit of rain but far less tourists. So you won’t feel an overwhelming compulsion to build an ark or feel like you’ve somehow wound up at Disneyland.
Temperatures and climate
Min/max temp (°C) / Average rainfall (mm)
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Average temp C° min / max8° / 20°8° / 20°8° / 20°6° / 21°4° / 21°2° / 20°1° / 20°3° / 21°5° / 21°7° / 22°7° / 22°8° / 21° Average rainfall (mm)15015011050155510256575135
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Average temp C° min / max8° / 22°8° / 22°8° / 22°7° / 22°6° / 22°5° / 22°4° / 22°5° / 22°6° / 23°6° / 23°6° / 23°7° / 23° Average rainfall (mm)232917000010023
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Average temp C° min / max21° / 31°21° / 31°21° / 31°20° / 31°19° / 30°18° / 29°17° / 30°18° / 31°19° / 33°20° / 32°21° / 32°22° / 31° Average rainfall (mm)34231128517998555772110182244286
Holidays and festivities
Inti RaymiJuneEach year on June 24, the city celebrates Inti Raymi, an ancient Incan ceremony and celebration which pays tribute to Inti, the Sun God.
Fiesta de la CruzMayVersions of this festival take place throughout South America and all over Peru, but one of the best places to experience locals lugging huge, lavishly decorated wooden crosses from church to church is in and around Cusco.
El Senor de los TembloresAprilEaster is a time of major celebration throughout South America, and Holy Week (the last week of Lent) is an awesome time to be in Cusco. The city is alive with a good-natured buzz; it’s all brass bands and dancing by day, fireworks and partying at night.