The rainy season in the Andes is beautiful- green vegetation covers the mountains, flowers are blooming, and lovely clouds move across the skies.
Here we offer you information to help plan what to bring, and how to best enjoy trekking in the andes during the wet season:
1. Expect the unexpected
In the wet season, which is the Andean summer, more or less from December through April, the weather in the Andes can change quickly and bring sudden downpours and thunderstorms.
These are often of short duration, but not always. Steadier rains usually happen at night.
2. It’s still a warm season
In general, the weather is very pleasant in Cusco during the rainy season. It does not rain constantly, but rather sporadically, and the sun shines on most days.
It can get quite warm in the daytime when the sun is out, up to about 24 C (76 F), even at over 11,000 ft. Nights are generally on the cooler side, but not too cold.
3. Pack the right clothes
With such changeable weather, visitors to Cusco need to prepare by bringing the right kinds of clothing and gear. Certainly, a good waterproof rain jacket with a hood is necessary. Your clothing choices should be varied, with changes for both for cool and warm temperatures.
We also recommend bringing good waterproof hiking boots, even for walking around town. You don’t want wet feet! And a wide-brimmed hat that protects your head both from rainfall and bright sun is very ideal.
Cusco’s mild weather during the wet season make it possible to enjoy all kinds of outdoor activities, tours and hikes. All you need to do is be prepared for some occasional rain. It is a great time to visit Cusco, with less crowds and better prices, since peak tourist season doesn’t begin until June.
4. The higher you go, even in summer, the colder it gets
If your wish is to trek at higher altitudes of the Andes in the wet season, you do need to prepare both mentally and with the right gear, for cold and inclement weather. The higher up you trek, the more chances of getting caught in a situation with cold temperatures, high winds, hailstorms, and even snow.
So, smart gear options are even more important. Bringing a waterproof winter parka and rain pants is necessary, as well as a fleece jacket, wool socks and thermal undies.
Cotton clothes are not ideal. Strong hiking boots that have been well worn in, gaiters and hiking poles are highly recommended. And of course, all the small stuff is essential- especially good sunglasses, sunblock and a small med kit.
5. Choose your destination according to your experience
Some of the highest mountain treks in the Andes will simply not be feasible in the middle of wet season, unless you’re a highly experienced mountaineer. At Andean Lodges, our treks on the Route to Ausangate begin in April and usually continue through November.
Remember, some Ausangate trails go to over 15,000 ft., and up there snow and rain in the wet season can make the going quite tough. So, choose your destinations and travel dates wisely.
6. Options for every taste
For travelers to Cusco in wet season who would prefer not to be roughing it on a full high altitude trek, a great option is to book an acclimatization tour with our new branch, Andean Excursions.
We can help you plan and customize an outstanding itinerary that includes shorter day or half-day hikes, visits to the main Inca sites in the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, and all the diverse cultural features, fun activities and entertainment that Cusco city and the surrounding region have to offer.
Please contact us at: andeanlodges.com, and we’ll be glad to help you plan an amazing journey to Cusco and the Andes, in any season of the year you might choose!
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