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Captb Jun 14th, 2004 10:44 AM

January Weather - Macchu Pichu
I discovered that January is the rainy season with projected amounts of close to 6 inches a month. How does that effect Macchu Pichu and the surroundings. Is it a wash out? Muddy paths? All day rain or showers? Do they close the ruins? I would like to take a tour then but the amount of rain raises questions?

Should we go or not?

miguelgcuadra Jun 15th, 2004 05:07 AM

Just remember that it is the opposite to the USA, January is the beggining of summer in the southern hemisphere. Am very positive that rainy season does not start till may.
Buen viaje.....

Jeff_Costa_Rica Jun 15th, 2004 12:05 PM

January is right in the middle of the rainy season. I was there in January 2003 and didn't have any problems. In fact it was warm and sunny when I was at Machu Picchu. But there were news reports at the time of much flooding in the region around Cusco -- that was an exceptionally wet rainy season -- although not any places frequented by tourists. Perhaps the fates were smiling upon me. I'm not sure there are any guarantees that time of year.

Captb Jun 16th, 2004 10:07 AM


Are the storms more like late day thunderstorms or are they all day? I could live with the late day thunderstorms.

Jeff_Costa_Rica Jun 16th, 2004 01:23 PM

I wish I could tell you that it's the standard late-afternoon, rain-for-a-couple-of-hours phenomenon, but there are no guarantees that time of year. I remember bright, sunny days with no rain at all. I remember days with light drizzle. I remember days where it rained in the morning and cleared up in the afternoon. I remember one day where it rained all day. It was a mixed bag, but it wasn't a hardship to travel in and around Cusco, at least not in January a year ago. I loved the time of year.

It was chilly though, but that's due to the altitude, and you'd find that any season. And Machu Picchu, which sits at a lower altitude, actually feels warmer than Cusco.

I'm not sure I'd hike the Inca Trail that time of year, if that's how you were planning on getting to MP. I talked to people who had done it and they said it was kind of wet. They usually close the Inca Trail for maintenance for about a week in February. (Feb is even wetter than Jan.)

The bright side to being there in January? Lower prices and fewer visitors. I could buy my ticket for the MP train the day before I traveled. (And there were passengers who bought their tickets the morning of departure.) Lots of luck doing that THIS time of year with the crowds that descend on the place for Inti Raymi, the winter-solstice festival next week. I've been there this time of year too. January was a lot more low-key.

My advice is, if January is when you have the time to visit, then go. I think this is one of those must-see places in the world.

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