Cusco is located in the Central and Southeast area of Peru. The Department of Cusco has a geographic structure formed by a great hydrographic basin that has its source in the edges of the Plateau of Lake Titicaca and the snow-capped mountains of the Andes, the thawings of which form the Vilcanota river. This water current flowing from Southwest to Northwest to Quillabamba, where it takes de name of Urubamba, is in fact the central geographic nucleus of the Department of Cusco. Towards this great river whose canyon is one of the most beautiful sights in the world converge numerous tributaries, descending through valleys and ravines on the South through the right or northern margin, it receives the waters of bigger tributaries like Paucartambo and others.
To the West of Cusco runs the great canyon of the Apurimac that marks the limits with the Department of the same name.
Cusco Orographically is crossed by two enormous chains of mountains that form the Vilcanota Knot. This mountain system is prolonged by the Vilcanota chain, refuge of the last rebellious Incas, that penetrates the jungle and constitutes one of the most unexplored and magnificent zones of Peru, separating the mountains from the amazonic tropics.
Limits of the Department of Cusco:
To the North: with the Junin and Ucayali jungles
To the West: with Ayacucho jungle and Apurimac mountains
To the South: with the high zone of the Departments of Arequipa and Puno
To the East: with the great Amazonic plains of the Department of Madre de Dios.
Cusco is under the influence of big masses of air that come from the Southwest jungle, from the Plateau of Lake Titicaca and even from the far away region of the Patagonia. The South jungle winds imply immense masses of humid air, that are moved by East winds.
- The winds that arrive from the Peruvian and Bolivian Plateau are rather cold and dry, same as the ones that come from the Patagonia area, these winds come from the Southeast zone.
- Local winds which are generated in the valleys and in the flat areas of Cusco are responsible for distributing heat and humidity along the day.
- In general we can distinguish 2 seasons, the rainy season from November to March and the dry season from April to October.
Types of climate
Hot (humid and dry)
This type of weather is typical of the low jungle zone (north of low Urubamba region and east of Cusco) at the entrance of the Pilcopata and Araza valleys.
- Rain: More than 1.000 mm/year
- Maximum: 30 �
- Medium: Between 23� and 25�
- Minimum: Around 20�
Hot and dry weather we find in the low "yungas" area and in the Apurimac basin to the Center and Southwest of Cusco.
- Rain: Less than 500 mm/year
- Maximum: 32�
- Medium : between 17� and 18�
- Minimum: around 4�
Moderate (humid and dry)
The areas of moderate weather are of vital importance for settlements. The climate of the valleys across the Andes are typical of the central zone of Cusco, where the difference in humidity is marked by the location in the slope. This is, the close it is to the East the more humid it is, the closer to the West the dryer it gets.
- Maximum: 29�
- Medium : between 11� and 16�
- Minimum: between 7� and - 4�
Cold (humid and dry)
This type of weather is common in the high zone of the valleys, around the glaciers and in areas over 3.800 meters above see level (over 11.000 feet).
- Maximum: 10�
- Medium : varies according to the altitude
- Minimum: below 0�