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Best Times to Visit Cusco

The best time to visit Cusco is from June to mid-September. Though temperatures rest in the mid- to upper 60s throughout the year, the city sees fewer rain showers during its winter months. Still, this is peak tourist season, so expect plenty of fellow trekkers beside you as marvel at iconic sites. To escape swells of tourists and high room rates, visit during May or between late September and early November. Avoid visiting between late November and April, when heavy downpours delay and dampen exploration. Whenever you decide to plan your trip, bring warm clothing to arm yourself from the chilly nighttime temperatures, which dip into the low 30s and 40s.

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Cusco Precipitation (in) Cusco Precipitation (mm)

Late September-November

With reduced hotel rates, fewer crowds, and comfortable 60-degree daytime temperatures, spring is splendid in Cusco. However, those planning to tour the fascinating ruins should note that this shoulder season experiences some light rain showers. Though you won't have to compete with as many travelers, make your travel arrangements a couple of months in advance to ensure availability.

Key Events

June-Mid-September

Winter in Cusco is beautiful: The weather is dry and the streets are dominated by colorful outdoor festivals. Daily highs hover in the 60s, which are perfect for exploring Cusco or trekking to Machu Picchu. The season's only caveat is its popularity. Winter draws an influx of European, North American, and South American vacationers, so you should book your accommodations and tours at least three months in advance, particularly if you're planning to travel between June and August.

Key Events

November-April

If you don't mind getting wet, visit during Cusco's summer season for unbeatable hotel prices and fewer tourists. But beware: If you have the intent of trekking to Machu Picchu, the Inca Trail closes during the month of February for maintenance. Also, heavy summer rains leave the trail muddy and difficult to hike. On the bright side, if you do decide to visit during these wet months, you'll find the rain doesn't halt activity in Cusco city. Colorful fiestas, including Carnaval and La Virgin de la Candelaria, take place at this time of year.

Key Events

May

Along with the spring months, May is Cusco's other shoulder season, and this short but sweet fall lures travelers with its inexpensive hotel rates and pleasant weather. Daytime highs rest in the 60s and crowds of tourists trekking to Machu Picchu have not yet arrived. That said, don't expect Cusco to be deserted; other tourists will arrive just in time for this brief pre-winter period. You'll want to book your travel arrangements a couple of months in advance for the best deals.

Key Events

  • Quylllur Rit'i (May-June)
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