Cusco Travel Guide

Population: The population in Qosqo City by the beginning of the XXI century is projected to be 300,000 inhabitants. The annual growth rate is approximately 4%. In 1821 after 3 centuries of Spanish colonial administration, this city had about 40,000 people. In the Tawantinsuyo’s apogee it should had between 225 to 300 thousand inhabitants.

Altitude: The altitude is 3,400 meters above sea level (11,150 feet). Some persons not used to the high altitude get problems as a consequence of the oxygen scarcity. There is an inverse relationship: the higher the altitude, the smaller the amount of oxygen. That phenomenon makes changes in people who live in high altitudes; they develop their hearts and lungs bigger. Their blood contains a higher amount of red cells too. Scarcity of oxygen produces in some people the altitude sickness that is also known as soroche or sickness of Monge. The symptoms include sleeplessness, headaches, increased excitability, shortness of breath, and a lower threshold of pain and taste. Tendon reflexes slow down and there may be loss of weight, thyroid deficiency, lung edema, or infections. Women may experience dysmenorrhea or amenorrhea, and many people experience psychological or mental disturbances. For some people it may take days, weeks or even years to adjust to some altitudes.

Latitude: 13° 30′ 45″. Our latitude indicates that we should have a tropical or equatorial weather, but it is not like that. Qosqo is cooler because of its high altitude.

Longitude: 71° 58′ 33″. We are 5 hours later than the Greenwich Mean Time.

Temperature: It is relatively cool. The annual average in the city is between 10.3° to 11.3° Celsius (50.54° to 52.34° Fahrenheit). Over here there is some uniformity in temperature between summer and winter. Normally it is somewhat cold at nighttime and during the first hours in the early morning while that at midday temperature increases considerably. During the early mornings in June and July temperature frequently drops to 5° and 7°C below zero (23° and 19.4°F).

Rainfall: The altitude in which Qosqo is found and its proximity to the equator make the city’s climate so special. There are just 2 well-defined seasons: a dry season and another rainy one. The dry season is from May to October and the rainy season from November to April. Generally, rainfall fluctuates between 600 to 880 mm. per year, that is between 31.5 to 34.5 inches.