Visiting Cusco in December is a good choice, but how about Rainbow Mountain in December? Should you take the Rainbow Mountain hike in December? what kind of weather would you expect? December is the rainy season in Peruvian Andes and rain certainly prevails throughout December. In early December rain is not torrential though and it’s usually just a drizzle that occurs for a few hours a day. However, in late December the rain gets worse and worse. There are fewer really good mornings in which only a handful of lucky hikers get impressive views. If you don’t like rain, then hiking to Rainbow Mountain late in the year may not be the best option for you.

Things to know

  • If it is partly cloudy and sunny, the temperature is very nice, not so hot or cold.
  • Crowds are low at the beginning of the month because of the wet season, but start increasing during the last 11 days of December because of the Christmas and New year holidays.
  • The temperature in Rainbow Mountain fluctuates between 24°C (75°F) and 5°C(39°F).
  • Any time of the year is a good opportunity to meet furry alpaca creatures, but in December, there will be Alpacas and their newborns grazing across the valleys just up or down the trail.
  • Sometimes Rainbow Mountain is clear until 8 am then the mist covers until 12 pm.
  • Some days (and occasionally weeks), you will have blue skies with amazing vistas.


  • Ground-level furry Cactus plants that populate the slopes below the trails come into blossom.
  • The cloud formations make the photos look even better, If you catch the picture right with a bit of sun poking through the mist.
  • In December, crowd levels in Rainbow Mountain drop considerably because of the wet season.
  • Many species of flora start thriving around Rainbow Mountain. This makes the scenery more vibrant with green landscapes.
  • If you are a pluviophile type of person, late December may be a good option for you.


  • When the skies get cloudy, that impacts the beauty of Rainbow Mountain and the nearby Red Valleys, making them look poor.
  • Rainy days are frequent as it is close to the peak rainy season in January and February.
  • The trail can be waterlogged, which might make your experience not enjoyable, especially during the climb up to the viewpoint.
  • Sometimes only real early hikers get to see a beautiful sunrise in the mountain, after that, the fog starts shrouding the mountain until quite late.
  • Mountain weather is hard to predict and changes a lot, this will lead to rain showers, snow, and hailstorms anytime in the afternoon or night.
  • Lightning strikes mean a big risk, although these come occasionally with hailstorms.


  • If you are a good hiker and adapt quickly to Rainbow Mountain’s hardness, go straight to the viewpoint to see the sunshine as soon as you get off the bus, because later most likely, clouds will make the views poor or fog will start to cover it.
  • Leave the metal rings and earrings at hotels, there is a danger of being caught by a lightning strike. Especially if you are doing afternoon Rainbow Mountain.
  • If you plan to visit Rainbow Mountain in December, we recommend you book in early December because in late December the rain gets worse and it gets crowded.
  • Make sure you have a good rain jacket, and a lightweight poncho, and try to pack appropriate apparel.
  • We recommend you wear hiking shoes with good soles if you are trekking on Rainbow Mountain in December. When it snows, it is almost impossible to hike with sneakers because you will slip all the time and you won’t make it to the viewpoint to take a classical picture.
  • Take with you trekking poles because they help a lot when the ground is muddy.
  • Take pictures every time you have good visibility, you won´t want to wait for another hour standing in a cold place.
  • Try to be in Rainbow Mountain no earlier than 09:00 am because early in the morning this Mountain is covered with clouds and you can’t see a thing. You need some luck because it is the rainy season.


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