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INCA TRAIL WEATHER

Weather along the Inca Trail

Climate can basically be divided into two seasons

The dry season (April to October)

Normally between April and October, with generally sunny days, warm evenings and often very cold nights. This is the dry season with little chance of rain. During the day you can expect blue skies pretty much of the time.

Since we are close to the equator and very high up, the sun can be very strong so always bring sun protection cream, a hat and sunglasses. It is comfortable to trek in shorts and t-shirt. However when the sun goes in it can get cold very quickly so always have a warm sweater, fleece and long pants close at hand you also need a good 4-season sleeping bag at night and a warm jacket, woolly hat and scarf.

The scenery can be fairly dry and brown during this period with not much activity in the fields apart from gathering in the harvest and drying it. This is a time for the people in the village to relax and enjoy some of the many festivals. The recommendation is to book hotel rooms / flights, etc well in advance.

September & November; some years the rains can start as early as September. However usually we just get a couple of heavy showers each week and the rest of the time it is sunny or overcast. The rain just lasts for a couple of hours and dries up pretty quick. A plastic rain poncho is recommended. The nights are milder and a 3-season sleeping bag is usually sufficient on the Inca Trail.

The rainy season (from December to March)

The rainy season usually starts around mid-November and can last until the end of March. January and February are at the height of the wet season. During these months you can expect rain on 2 out of the 4 days of the Inca Trail. Although downpours can be heavy during this period they rarely last for more than a few hours and then the sun comes out. Being in the Southern Hemisphere this is also the summer in Peru. The sun can be very strong and soon dries up the rain. The nights are fairly mild. Bring good waterproof clothing, pack your sleeping bag within several plastic bags, and bring sun protection cream and a Good hat.

The Inca Trail is closed in February for maintenance; so this month is not available.

Temperature and Environment along the Inca Trail

Depending on altitude and time of day, temperatures fluctuate between 10ºC (50ºF) to 22ºC (71ºF) in Cusco and 2ºC (35ºF) to 20ºC (68ºF) along the Inca Trail.

The climate is relatively mild all year- round, with heavy rains from November to March, and dry and hot weather from April to October, which is a recommendable time to visit. The annual minimal temperature runs from 8° to 11.2°C. In the months of June, July and August the temperature can often fall below zero.

The annual maximum temperature varies from 20.4° to 26.6°C. The terrain is fairly jagged, with many gullies and streams fed by glaciers which eventually pour into the Urubamba river, which crosses the area forming a deep valley which runs through the granite base of Vilcabamba for more than 40 Km through a variety of eco-systems.

Be prepared for a wide range of temperatures, from sunny and warm during the day to freezing nights. During rainy season you’ll find some blocked roads particularly when trying to visit off the beaten track towns.

Cusco & Inca Trail

Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Avg. High

66

67

68

66

70

68

66

68

70

72

72

Avg.Low

46

47

44

42

36

32

30

32

40

44

46

Rainfall (Inches)

6

4

4

2

0.5

0.5

0.5

0.5

1

2

3

What is the best time to do the Inca Trail?

The high season in Cusco to the Inca Trail is between June and September with July and August being the busiest months. This is because this is the dry season in the Peruvian Andes and Amazon and also because this period coincides with summer holidays in Europe and North America, Canada etc. However since Peru is in the Southern Hemisphere it is also our Winter so the nights can be cold in the Cusco region, often falling to freezing in July and August.