Average Weather in Cusco Peru
In Cusco, the wet season is overcast, the dry season is partly cloudy, and it is cool year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 32°F to 66°F and is rarely below 28°F or above 71°F.
Based on the tourism score, the best times of year to visit Cusco for warm-weather activities are from late April to mid June and from mid July to early October.
The temperature in Cusco varies so little throughout the year that it is not entirely meaningful to discuss hot and cold seasons.
Average High and Low Temperature
The figure below shows you a compact characterization of the entire year of hourly average temperatures. The horizontal axis is the day of the year, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the color is the average temperature for that hour and day.
Average Hourly Temperature
In Cusco, the average percentage of the sky covered by clouds experiences extreme seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The clearer part of the year in Cusco begins around May 7 and lasts for 4.3 months, ending around September 15. On July 24, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 57% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 43% of the time.
The cloudier part of the year begins around September 15 and lasts for 7.7 months, ending around May 7. On January 16, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 94% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 6% of the time.
Cloud Cover Categories
A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. The chance of wet days in Cusco varies significantly throughout the year.
The wetter season lasts 4.4 months, from November 16 to March 30, with a greater than 27% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 51% on January 15.
The drier season lasts 7.6 months, from March 30 to November 16. The smallest chance of a wet day is 2% on July 21.
Among wet days, we distinguish between those that experience rain alone, snow alone, or a mixture of the two. Based on this categorization, the most common form of precipitation throughout the year is rain alone, with a peak probability of 51% on January 15.
Daily Chance of Precipitation
To show variation within the months and not just the monthly totals, we show the rainfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day of the year. Cusco experiences extreme seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.
The rainy period of the year lasts for 7.4 months, from September 17 to April 29, with a sliding 31-day rainfall of at least 0.5 inches. The most rain falls during the 31 days centered around January 21, with an average total accumulation of 4.2 inches.
The rainless period of the year lasts for 4.6 months, from April 29 to September 17. The least rain falls around May 31, with an average total accumulation of 0.1 inches.
Average Monthly Rainfall
The length of the day in Cusco varies over the course of the year. In 2018, the shortest day is June 21, with 11 hours, 20 minutes of daylight; the longest day is December 21, with 12 hours, 56 minutes of daylight.
Hours of Daylight and Twilight
The earliest sunrise is at 5:10 AM on November 21, and the latest sunrise is 1 hour, 2 minutes later at 6:12 AM on July 10. The earliest sunset is at 5:26 PM on May 31, and the latest sunset is 56 minutes later at 6:22 PM on January 21.
Daylight saving time (DST) is not observed in Cusco during 2018.
Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight
We base the humidity comfort level on the dew point, as it determines whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid. Unlike temperature, which typically varies significantly between night and day, dew point tends to change more slowly, so while the temperature may drop at night, a muggy day is typically followed by a muggy night.
The perceived humidity level in Cusco, as measured by the percentage of time in which the humidity comfort level is muggy, oppressive, or miserable, does not vary significantly over the course of the year, remaining a virtually constant 0% throughout.
Humidity Comfort Levels
This section discusses the wide-area hourly average wind vector (speed and direction) at 10 meters above the ground. The wind experienced at any given location is highly dependent on local topography and other factors, and instantaneous wind speed and direction vary more widely than hourly averages.
The average hourly wind speed in Cusco experiences mild seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The windier part of the year lasts for 4.4 months, from July 12 to November 25, with average wind speeds of more than 5.4 miles per hour. The windiest day of the year is September 14, with an average hourly wind speed of 6.2 miles per hour.
The calmer time of year lasts for 7.6 months, from November 25 to July 12. The calmest day of the year is April 23, with an average hourly wind speed of 4.6 miles per hour.
Average Wind Speed
The predominant average hourly wind direction in Cusco is from the north throughout the year.
Best Time of Year to Visit
To characterize how pleasant the weather is in Cusco throughout the year, we compute two travel scores.
The tourism score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 65°F and 80°F. Based on this score, the best times of year to visit Cusco for general outdoor tourist activities are from late April to mid June and from mid July to early October, with a peak score in the last week of August.
The beach/pool score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 75°F and 90°F. Based on this score, the best time of year to visit Cusco for hot-weather activities is from late October to mid November, with a peak score in the first week of November.
For each hour between 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM of each day in the analysis period (1980 to 2016), independent scores are computed for perceived temperature, cloud cover, and total precipitation. Those scores are combined into a single hourly composite score, which is then aggregated into days, averaged over all the years in the analysis period, and smoothed.
Our cloud cover score is 10 for fully clear skies, falling linearly to 9 for mostly clear skies, and to 1 for fully overcast skies.
Our precipitation score, which is based on the three-hour precipitation centered on the hour in question, is 10 for no precipitation, falling linearly to 9 for trace precipitation, and to 0 for 0.04 inches of precipitation or more.
Our tourism temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 50°F, rising linearly to 9 for 65°F, to 10 for 75°F, falling linearly to 9 for 80°F, and to 1 for 90°F or hotter.
Our beach/pool temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 65°F, rising linearly to 9 for 75°F, to 10 for 82°F, falling linearly to 9 for 90°F, and to 1 for 100°F or hotter.
Definitions of the growing season vary throughout the world, but for the purposes of this report, we define it as the longest continuous period of non-freezing temperatures (≥ 32°F) in the year (the calendar year in the Northern Hemisphere, or from July 1 until June 30 in the Southern Hemisphere).
The growing season in Cusco typically lasts for 8.8 months (268 days), from around August 27 to around May 22, rarely starting before August 4 or after September 18, and rarely ending before April 27 or after June 15.
Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season
Growing degree days are a measure of yearly heat accumulation used to predict plant and animal development, and defined as the integral of warmth above a base temperature, discarding any excess above a maximum temperature. In this report, we use a base of 50°F and a cap of 86°F.
Based on growing degree days alone, the first spring blooms in Cusco should appear around July 27, only rarely appearing before July 21 or after August 2.
Growing Degree Days
This section discusses the total daily incident shortwave solar energy reaching the surface of the ground over a wide area, taking full account of seasonal variations in the length of the day, the elevation of the Sun above the horizon, and absorption by clouds and other atmospheric constituents. Shortwave radiation includes visible light and ultraviolet radiation.The average daily incident shortwave solar energy per square meter does not vary significantly over the course of the year, remaining within 0.4 kilowatt-hours of 5.4 kilowatt-hours throughout.
Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy
For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Cusco are -13.523 deg latitude, -71.967 deg longitude, and 11,647 ft elevation.
The topography within 2 miles of Cusco contains very significant variations in elevation, with a maximum elevation change of 1,614 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 11,382 feet. Within 10 miles contains very significant variations in elevation (5,217 feet). Within 50 miles also contains extreme variations in elevation (18,212 feet).
The area within 2 miles of Cusco is covered by artificial surfaces (41%), shrubs (27%), and trees (12%), within 10 miles by grassland (43%) and shrubs (38%), and within 50 miles by grassland (43%) and shrubs (31%).
This report illustrates the typical weather in Cusco, based on a statistical analysis of historical hourly weather reports and model reconstructions from January 1, 1980 to December 31, 2016.
Temperature and Dew Point
There is only a single weather station, Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport, in our network suitable to be used as a proxy for the historical temperature and dew point records of Cusco.
At a distance of 3 kilometers from Cusco, closer than our threshold of 150 kilometers, this station is deemed sufficiently nearby to be relied upon as our primary source for temperature and dew point records.
The station records are corrected for the elevation difference between the station and Cusco according to the International Standard Atmosphere , and by the relative change present in the MERRA-2 satellite-era reanalysis between the two locations.
Please note that the station records themselves may additionally have been back-filled using other nearby stations or the MERRA-2 reanalysis.
All data relating to the Sun's position (e.g., sunrise and sunset) are computed using astronomical formulas from the book, Astronomical Tables of the Sun, Moon and Planets , by Jean Meeus.
All other weather data, including cloud cover, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and solar flux, come from NASA's MERRA-2 Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis . This reanalysis combines a variety of wide-area measurements in a state-of-the-art global meteorological model to reconstruct the hourly history of weather throughout the world on a 50-kilometer grid.
Land Use data comes from the Global Land Cover SHARE database , published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Elevation data comes from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) , published by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Names, locations, and time zones of places and some airports come from the GeoNames Geographical Database .
Time zones for aiports and weather stations are provided by AskGeo.com .
Maps are © Esri, with data from National Geographic, Esri, DeLorme, NAVTEQ, UNEP-WCMC, USGS, NASA, ESA, METI, NRCAN, GEBCO, NOAA, and iPC.
The information on this site is provided as is, without any assurances as to its accuracy or suitability for any purpose. Weather data is prone to errors, outages, and other defects. We assume no responsibility for any decisions made on the basis of the content presented on this site.
We draw particular cautious attention to our reliance on the MERRA-2 model-based reconstructions for a number of important data series. While having the tremendous advantages of temporal and spatial completeness, these reconstructions: (1) are based on computer models that may have model-based errors, (2) are coarsely sampled on a 50 km grid and are therefore unable to reconstruct the local variations of many microclimates, and (3) have particular difficulty with the weather in some coastal areas, especially small islands.
We further caution that our travel scores are only as good as the data that underpin them, that weather conditions at any given location and time are unpredictable and variable, and that the definition of the scores reflects a particular set of preferences that may not agree with those of any particular reader.