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Inca Trail in January: What to expect?

January is one of the rainiest months in the region of Cusco and the highlands, loaded with dense cloud cover and heavy average rainfall. Although it does not rain all day, it rains at some point in the afternoon and at night, it is better to get up early to arrive on time to the camps. So, January can be a surprisingly good month to hike the Inca Trail.

In this summer season, the Inca Trail has fewer people just like Machu Picchu, among other popular routes. You can also deal with cheaper tour packages and hotel prices can be lower.

Important facts

  • After the New Year and Christmas celebrations, Cusco has less tourists, it’s the
    same in Machupicchu or the classic Inca Trail.
  • While January is one of the rainiest months of year to hike Inca Trail,
    it is also one of the warmest months in the Andes.
  • Historically there are many landslides in Late January.
  • Generally heavy rain comes in the afternoons during January.
  • About Rain: On average, rain falls 20 days of the month.
  • About Temperature: ranges between 6.1 and 20-celsius degrees. (43 and 68 ° F).

Pros of Hiking Inca Trail in January

  • You will have more chances to see a big variety of flora because of the rain,
    like many beautiful orchids.
  • You will see water cascades tumbling down through the rocky slopes.
  • In January, the Inca trail has nothing to compare
    with the overcrowded trail that you can find in the winter season.
  • You muest enjoy this famous route with the calm that the summer gives.
  • You have more chances to get Inca trail tickets, in some cases even upon arrival to Cusco.
  • You will have the perfect weather for shooting a timelapse of clouds.
  • You will be Witness some incredible Rainbow phenomenon.
  • The sun still comes out between the shower.
  • You can take good pictures of the mountains in the mist.

Cons of Hiking Inca Trail in January

  • The constant rains makes the stairs more slippery and consequently more challenging.
  • Most of campsites are located usually along the hillside, and with heavy rain humidity,
    the soil can slide down.
  • Heavy rainfall usually in the afternoons.
  • You won’t have big chances to see Machupicchu from The Sun Gate because of the mist.
  • Railway from Aguas Calientes can be blocked by a mudslide.
  • The views are generally limited along the Inka Trail because of the thick mist


  • Do not book your flight ticket for the same day that your are back
    from Inca Trail because train delayes are very common in January.
  • If you are planning to hike the Inca Trail in January, we recommend you do it
    in the first two weeks of January because the last two weeks of January,
    there are more chances to get rain every day.
  • Well-made rain gear for the trek is definitely necessary.
    There is nothing worse than hiking for hours soaking wet.
  • Try to bring with you a dry bag for smartphones and other devices.
  • We dont recommend to book for the last 2 week of January.

January Events

The city of Cusco and those towns around the sacred Valley commemorate
the descent of the three wise men or bajada de Los Reyes Magos.
It takes place usually on the twelve-day after Christmas with several dances
where wise men give gifts to Jesus in the nativity scene set in the plazas.

This beautiful festivity in Cusco is to memorialize the Epiphany of the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is a very good opportunity for the craftsmen of Cusco to show and make a sale of
their works at the handicraft markets. They bring all kinds of children’s toys and
clothing for these dolls, such as little hats and little booties. In some way,
these artworks show an Andean style.