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How To Handle Cuenca's Rainy Season

Updated on June 1, 2011

Cuenca, Ecuador - A sudden clap of thunder sends locals diving for their umbrellas or racing for the nearest awning. The rainy season in Cuenca is no laughing matter! The skies seem to open up and dump buckets of water down on Cuenca's cobblestone streets, leaving the unlucky soaked to the skin.

The rainy season officially spans from January to May, but precipitation levels vary throughout the year.  The rainiest months In Cuenca are March, April, October, and November.  Sadly, March is also a peak tourism month, especially for US snowbirds.

Fortunately, you don't have to let Cuenca's rainy months ruin your Ecuador vacation or even just your day out in Cuenca. By learning how to handle Cuenca's rainy season you can stay happy and (mostly) dry until the weather improves.

Get Up Early

The rainy season in Cuenca is characterized by bright, warm mornings.  The rain tends to hit around 2 pm.  This means that early birds get to enjoy some of the most beautiful mornings out, while late risers scramble to get anything done before the rains come.

This factoid is especially important for vacationers.  I know, you're on vacation, you want to sleep late, and I don't blame you!  However, during the rainy season, you have to choose between sleep and seeing Cuenca.  Make the right choice - wake up early, do what you need to do before lunch, and have a nice long nap in the afternoon to make up for it.

Getting ready to rain in Cuenca
Getting ready to rain in Cuenca | Source

Watch The Skies

No matter what time the rain starts in Cuenca, you will have plenty of warning.  Thanks to the mountains that surround the city, it can take the clouds a while to move in.  While it may seem that Cuenca's rainy season is full of "sudden" downpours, those who keep an eye on the sky know the score.

Generally, the clouds start moving over the mountaintops around 10 am.  By early afternoon, the city is shaded by heavy rain clouds, waiting for their cue.  Just as things start to get really dark, the clouds will open up.

Bring Your Umbrella

During the rainy season in Cuenca, you need to have an umbrella with you at all time.  ALL TIMES.  You may think you'll beat the clouds home, or that you will be at the restaurant in time, but take it from a resident, the clouds are faster than you and the rains may surprise you.

There is simply no reason to wander around wet and miserable.  Tuck a travel umbrella into your daypack or purse, and you will be ready for the afternoon showers.

A rainy street in Cuenca is not good for flip-flops!
A rainy street in Cuenca is not good for flip-flops! | Source

Wear Sensible Shoes

During the rainy season in Cuenca, you want to be sure to wear sensible shoes.  This means closed-toe shoes with good traction on the bottom. Flats are better than heels, no matter what the local fashionistas are sporting!

Smart footwear is the smart way to handle the rainy season in Cuenca because you stay dry and avoid falls.  Many of the sidewalks in Cuenca are uneven, and they can be quite slippery when wet.  This is an especially big problem in the Centro Historico, where the sidewalks are broad tile or marble stones and super slick during rain storms.  Be safe, be smart, and you just might find that the rainy season in Cuenca isn't so bad.


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    • Thundermama profile image

      Catherine Taylor 4 years ago from Canada

      Great tips. I love your positive approach and practical advise. Super hub!