Best Time to Visit Peru

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Peru is a country with diverse geography and climates, but this does not mean that it has great weather all year round. As a rule of a thumb, the best time to visit Peru is May to September. The rest of the year can be a hit or miss depending on which region are you heading to.

Peru can be broadly categorized into three main regions based on climate: the coast, the highlands or Andes, and the Amazon rainforest. Each region has distinct weather patterns and ecosystems.

In this guide, I’ll talk about when is the best time to visit Peru for each of its regions. This includes what to expect for temperature and what you should wear for each season. I’ll also note in which region each popular tourist landmark is located.

Let’s get started!

When is the best time to visit Peru?

When picking the best time to visit Peru, a big factor to consider is the climate especially if you plan to go to the highlands or the jungles of Amazon.

Costa (Coast)

best time to visit peru

Most popular destinations

Lima

Lima is a modern and urban capital city situated along the Pacific Ocean. It is well-known for its historic center, Peruvian catacombs, Huaca Pucllana, and its vibrant culinary scene, offering a blend of world-class gastronomy, ancient ruins, and breathtaking natural landscapes.

Trujillo

Trujillo, Peru has the monikers “City of Everlasting Spring” and the “Capital of the Marinera” dance. The city is also renowned for its proximity to the extraordinary pre-Columbian ruins of Chan Chan, making it a perfect base for travelers interested in exploring ancient archaeological sites

Chiclayo

Chiclayo is best known for being a city in northern Peru, famous for its important archaeological sites of the Mochica, Chimú, and Lambayeque cultures, including the Royal Tombs of Sipan and the Tucume Pyramids.

What is the climate like?

The coastal region is characterized by a desert climate, with dry and arid conditions. The temperature is generally moderate, with warm summers and mild winters.

Temperatures vary along the coast, with the southern and central coast experiencing temperatures ranging from 13˚–26˚C, and the north having a more semi-tropical climate with temperatures averaging 24˚C

Best Time to Visit

May to October. During these months, temperatures along the coast are generally mild to warm. In Lima, for example, temperatures can range from around 15°C (59°F) to 22°C (72°F). The coastal region benefits from a cool ocean current, the Humboldt Current, which helps keep temperatures moderate.

Worst Time to Visit

December to March. The austral summer brings warmer temperatures, with highs reaching into the upper 20s and sometimes low 30s degrees Celsius (mid-70s to low 90s Fahrenheit). Humidity can also increase during this period.

Sierra (Highlands or Andes)

best time to visit peru - Machu Picchu

Most popular destinations

Cusco

Cusco was the historic capital of the Inca Empire, as well as a vibrant city filled with Inca buildings and history that were rebuilt by the Spanish. It is a popular tourist destination due to its rich cultural heritage, stunning architecture, and its proximity to the iconic Machu Picchu and other Inca ruins

Arequipa

Arequipa is best known for its delicious cuisine, distinct colonial charm, and beautiful buildings made of white volcanic stone. It is also the jumping-off point for visiting Colca Canyon, the second deepest canyon in the world, and is often referred to as Peru’s most beautiful city

Huancayo

Huancayo is nicknamed as the “Incontrovertible City,” with its vibrant craft fair held every Sunday on Huancavelica Avenue, and its original landscapes. It is considered the main commercial center of the Peruvian Central Andes, offering rich history, beautiful crafts, and a range of outdoor attractions, including the Huaytapallana Mountain Range and the geological formations of Torre Torre

What is the climate like?

The highlands are marked by a variety of climates depending on the altitude. Generally, the higher the altitude, the cooler the temperature. The northern Andes are subject to frosts, while the southern Andes are drought-prone

In the Andes, you can find areas with a temperate climate, as well as high-altitude areas with colder temperatures.

Best Time to Visit

May to September. In the highlands, especially during the dry season, daytime temperatures can range from 15°C (59°F) to 25°C (77°F) in popular destinations like Cusco. However, temperatures can drop significantly at night, especially at higher altitudes, so layers are recommended.

Worst Time to Visit

December to March. The rainy season can bring cooler temperatures, and highs during the day may range from 10°C (50°F) to 20°C (68°F). Nights can be particularly chilly, especially in mountainous areas.

Selva (Amazon Rainforest)

Best Time to Visit Peru -

Most popular destinations

Iquitos

Iquitos is the largest city in the Peruvian Amazon and is best known for its proximity to the Amazon River, Belen, and La Isla De Los Monos

Puerto Maldonado

Puerto Maldonado is best known as the gateway to the Amazon rainforest, offering easy access to the Tambopata National Reserve and Manu National Park, two of the most biodiverse areas in the world.

What is the climate like?

The Amazon rainforest region has a tropical climate with high temperatures and high humidity throughout the year. It experiences heavy rainfall, especially during the rainy season.

Best Time to Visit

May to October. During the dry season, temperatures in the Amazon rainforest are generally warm and can range from 25°C (77°F) to 30°C (86°F). Humidity is still high, but rainfall is reduced, providing more comfortable conditions for exploration.

Worst Time to Visit

November to April. The rainy season brings warmer temperatures, often exceeding 30°C (86°F), and high humidity. While the rainforest is lush and vibrant during this time, the increased rainfall and higher temperatures can make outdoor activities more challenging.

Where Should I go Depending on the Month of the Year?

January

Destinations: Lima, Paracas, Nazca

These coastal destinations experience warm temperatures, ranging from 20°C to 28°C (68°F to 82°F).

It would be the perfect month to enjoy the lively atmosphere of Lima’s streets, take boat tours to observe wildlife in Paracas, and marvel at the ancient geoglyphs of Nazca.

February

Destinations: Arequipa, Colca Canyon

Arequipa has warm days with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F), making it an ideal time to wander through the historic streets of Arequipa or visit the Monastery of Santa Catalina

If you’re feeling adventurous, trek through the awe-inspiring Colca Canyon.

March

Destinations: Cusco, Sacred Valley

This month is when Cusco and the Sacred Valley experience mild temperatures around 10°C to 20°C (50°F to 68°F) with occasional rain. It’s also marked as the re-opening of Machu Picchu.

If you’re still undecided if this is the right month for doing the multi-day Inca Trail hike, visit the historic city of Cusco and explore the archaeological wonders of the Sacred Valley.

April

Destinations: Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

The official start of dry season is April, and temperatures along the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu range from 10°C to 25°C (50°F to 77°F).

This would be the best time of the year to trek the Inca Trail and be surrounded by breathtaking scenery, and experience the awe of discovering Machu Picchu. It rarely rains during this month, offering an even better view of the mountainous landscapes, and there is a smaller influx of travelers

May

Destinations: Machu Picchu, Cusco

Dry and mild weather continues, creating pleasant conditions with temperatures around 5°C to 23°C (41°F to 73°F).

Continue exploring the Andes, Machu Picchu, and the Amazon, as it is the end of the rainy season, with bright and clear skies and greener, more lush landscapes. You can also participate in the lively Corpus Christi celebrations in Cusco

June

Destinations: Lake Titicaca, Puno

when to go to peru - lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca experiences cool temperatures of 5°C to 15°C (41°F to 59°F), making it an excellent time for island exploration. From there you can cruise the islands of Lake Titicaca, attend the Inti Raymi festival in Cusco, and witness the winter solstice celebrations.

July

Destinations: Huaraz, Cordillera Blanca

The highlands (Huaraz, Cordillera Blanca) have cool, dry conditions with temperatures ranging from 5°C to 18°C (41°F to 64°F). This may be among the best months for high-altitude treks in the Cordillera Blanca.

You won’t be disappointed visiting Huascarán National Park, and enjoying outdoor adventures in the Andes.

August

Destinations: Lima, Trujillo, Chan Chan

Coastal areas experience mild temperatures, around 16°C to 22°C (61°F to 72°F), making it comfortable for exploring archaeological sites. If you haven’t spent enough time in other coastal areas, find the time to uncover the history of Chan Chan and discover the archaeological richness of Trujillo.

September

Destinations: Amazon Rainforest (Iquitos)

The Amazon rainforest sees a dry season (finally), with temperatures ranging from 22°C to 32°C (72°F to 90°F). This would be the best time to experience the Amazon Rainforest in Iquitos during the dry season.

You can venture into the Amazon for wildlife watching, nature walks, and river cruises in the more accessible dry conditions.

amazon rainforest - locals

October

Destinations: Paracas, Islas Ballestas

This is the prime season to witness the biodiversity of the Islas Ballestas, explore Paracas National Reserve, and revel in the coastal scenery. Coastal regions (Paracas, Islas Ballestas) offer pleasant temperatures around 18°C to 24°C (64°F to 75°F).

November

Destinations: Mancora, Northern Beaches

Northern beaches (Mancora) have warm temperatures, ranging from 22°C to 28°C (72°F to 82°F). There will be enough sun to enjoy and surf on Mancora’s beaches, go surfing, and explore the laid-back atmosphere of the northern coast.

Best Time to Visit Peru -

December

Destinations: Lima, Barranco, Miraflores

Coastal areas experience summer conditions, with temperatures ranging from 20°C to 28°C (68°F to 82°F), making it suitable for beach activities and city exploration.

While it’s snowing and dull in your home country, Lima’s is bursting with the festive atmosphere of Christmas. It will be perfect to als explore the artistic district of Barranco, and enjoy the coastal ambiance of Miraflores.

Wrapping Up

Peru has something exciting to offer all year round. Each region has its own unique charm and character that you’ll appreciate regardless of the month you visit. Whether you’re into exploring ancient places like Cusco and Machu Picchu, enjoying the beaches in Paracas, or experiencing the Amazon rainforest, each month has its own special places to check out.

Get ready to discover the beauty and history of Peru in a way that will stay with you for a long time!


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