You wake up to rain when you have planned a great day outdoors. What do you do? Despite numerous tourists visiting Peru and Cusco each year, the influx significantly decreases during the rainy season. Why is that? Perhaps they think the rain will spoil their experience, or they can only carry out some planned activities.
However, this is different. There are still many things to do, many of them won’t be affected by the rain. Even if the activities you had in mind experience a few raindrops, it simply adds fun to the experience! Let’s explore some ideas on what to do when it rains in Cusco and how to make your trip equally exciting, whether it’s raining or sunny.
Rainy Season in Cusco, Peru
During the rainy season in Cusco, Peru, which spans from November to March, you can expect frequent showers, but it doesn’t mean it rains all day. Despite the rain, the vegetation becomes lush and green, offering beautiful landscapes. There are fewer tourists this time, and although the rains may cause disruptions, temperatures are not freezing.
Advantages of visiting Cusco during the Rainy Season
Exclusive Privacy: During the rainy season, you’ll experience the magic of Cusco and Machu Picchu with fewer visitors. This period provides a unique opportunity to explore the Inca city in a peaceful and serene environment, allowing you to capture amazing photos without crowds.
Low Prices: During the low-rainfall season, enjoy attractive discounts covering flights, hotels, restaurants, and additional tours, with discounts of up to 25%.
Renewed Nature: The rains transform the landscape of Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley into a spectacular and lush green scenery, with fields covered in grass, flowers, and seasonal fruits.
Warm Days: Although the rainy season in Cusco brings higher humidity, it also brings warmer days. The humidity, reaching almost 96%, benefits the skin and hair by providing natural hydration.
Things you must Do in Cusco during the Rainy Season:
Visit the Many Museums
In case of heavy rain, an excellent option to make the most of the day is to explore Cusco’s various museums. The city hosts many of them, and each one is as captivating as the next. These museums provide a fascinating perspective not only on Inca history but also on other relevant aspects.
The Inca Museum, the Machu Picchu Museum, and Qoricancha are prominent among the museums. Additionally, the Inkariy Museum in the Sacred Valley is a gem worth exploring if you can visit. There are museums dedicated to this cultural expression for those interested in art. Whether it’s raining or not, including some of these museums in your itinerary is a wise decision. Each one offers an enriching experience that complements your understanding of the region’s rich history and culture.
Drink a Coffee and People Watch
The rain sometimes makes it feel chillier, so it’s an excellent excuse to stop for coffee. The coffee from the region is some of the best you’ll find. Find a great spot to sip and read a book, catch up on messages from back home, or simply people-watch from a balcony in the Plaza de Armas or somewhere where you can sit next to the window.
Extra Tip // If you enjoy coffee, many places will sell you bags to take home, either in bean form or already ground. It also makes for an excellent gift for friends and family.
Head Inside the Beautiful Cathedral and Churches
If you love architecture and or religion, visiting these masterpieces is necessary. The Cusco Cathedral in the Plaza de Armas is enormous inside and has incredible sights. There are pieces made from real gold, and every saint you can imagine sits within its walls.
Around the city, many other churches are just as pretty inside. If you have the time or don’t want to head out in the rain, consider visiting the churches in San Francisco, La Merced, and the Santo Domingo Convent. You can easily spend a whole day exploring and keeping these buildings dry.
Take a Bus Tour Around Cusco or the Sacred Valley
This will keep you dry, but relatively. You’ll spend much time on the bus if you choose to do the Sacred Valley or Cusco City tours. You’ll be warm inside and get down now and again to visit the various archaeological sites on each tour. Make sure you take your waterproof ponchos this day, though, to keep you as dry as possible.
The rain in Cusco doesn’t last all day, so you can get off the bus in dry moments and travel from one site to another while it’s wet outside. Whichever way they do it, you shouldn’t get soaked!
Try Out the Many Bars and Restaurants
A trendy way to spend a rainy afternoon is in one of the great bars or stylish restaurants around town. For food, you’ll find a bit of everything here. You can savor cuisines from local traditional food and other Peruvian delights to Indian, Italian, Chinese, and many other options. You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to food. So visiting a good restaurant every day will likely go down well and energize you for your tours.
In addition to restaurants, Cusco is home to a lot of bars. If you want to try out a tasty pisco sour you won’t be short of options. The craft beer industry is also growing in the city, and there are many places to try them on tap or bottled. You can even take a tour of one of the breweries!
Go on Treks and Tours
That’s right! Even though it may rain now and again, it’s rarely all day. All the usual treks will be running, except for in February, when a few close for the month. You just need to take the right precautions and be fine. It will be even more of an adventure to remember if you do it during this season!
You’ll need to ensure you have waterproof trekking shoes, clothes, and a few outfit changes just in case you get wet. You’ll also need to take things a bit more slowly on parts, as it may be slippery due to the rain. Shoes that have a good grip are ideal to avoid sliding over.
See Machu Picchu in a Different Way
When most people go to Machu Picchu, they want to see it with the bright sun, but why? Maybe they think they’ll get the best views. They may get a clearer view, but you can see just as clearly in the rain. You’ll be able to get different photos from what you see on postcards.
Do you think the Incas spent every day in sunshine and warmth? Not at all! Going in the rain will give you a better idea of how they had to live during these times, and it can certainly make it more atmospheric. Going to Machu Picchu in the rain can be a real treat! Don’t let the rain dampen your spirits.
Take a Cooking or Pisco Sour Class
Another perfect and productive way to spend a rainy day in Cusco is by learning to make one of Peru’s national dishes. All classes are over town now, from traditional plates to vegan fare. When you return home, it’s a great way to take home Peru’s tastes and show off to family and friends.
If learning to make the national drink of Peru is more up your street, you’ll also find plenty of spots that’ll teach you how to make a Pisco sour. You’ll be whipping up cocktails for everyone when you get back home and be able to savor that delicious taste time and time again.
Tips for the Rainy Season in Cusco
1. Wear Waterproof Clothing: Include a rain poncho and waterproof footwear to help you stay dry and comfortable while exploring Cusco.
3. Take a Panoramic Bus Tour: Explore Cusco or the Sacred Valley on a bus tour. You’ll be protected from the weather while still enjoying breathtaking views.
4. Stay Informed About the Weather: Keep track of the weather in Cusco and the weather forecast to plan your activities. This will help you choose the right moments for outdoor activities.
5. Have a Flexible Itinerary: A flexible itinerary allows you to adjust to weather conditions and change plans as needed.
6. Experience Peruvian Cuisine: The rainy season can be the perfect time to try comforting dishes from Peruvian cuisine.
7. Consider Short Hikes: Explore nearby areas with short hikes to appreciate the beauty of the landscape during the rainy season.
8. Discover Cusco’s Nightlife: The city’s bars and restaurants offer live entertainment and are ideal for enjoying rainy nights.
Don’t Let It Rain on your Parade
Remember that the rainy season also has its charms, and with proper preparation, you can have a unique and memorable experience in Cusco. If you’re considering coming when it might rain or have already booked your tickets, know you will have a fantastic time. You’ll still be able to do everything you want and enjoy a different experience than most tourists.
Make sure to come well-prepared with the proper clothing and plan your excursions according to the weather. Always have a backup plan that can include museums, bars, restaurants, and all the other indoor activities. So, what are you waiting for? Come and enjoy Cusco in all its glory in the upcoming rainy season. You won’t regret it at all!