When’s the Best Time to Visit Peru? A Month-By-Month Guide
When’s the Best Time to Visit Peru? A Month-By-Month Guide
The best time to visit Peru depends completely on which part of the country you plan on exploring. Peru can be divided into three main areas when it comes to the country’s average climate: the coast, the Amazon Jungle and the Andes Mountains – the latter of which being the location of Machu Picchu.
As a result, it’s hard to give an exact idea of the average weather in Peru as it varies significantly across the country; this country covers around 1.285 million square kilometres, making it just a bit smaller than the state of Alaska.
But there are distinct variations in weather and temperatures between the different parts of Peru, meaning there are certain months when it’s better to visit a particular region.
Weather in Peru month by month
We’ve broken the average weather and temperatures in Peru down into the different months of the year to give you a real sense of when is the best time of year to go to Peru – all depending on the type of activity you’re hoping to do.
Note that the rainy season in Peru lasts from December through March, with most rainfall in the Andes Mountains and the jungle, while winter, when temperatures drop, particularly at night, is from June through August.
Peru weather in December through March
December through March in Peru is considered the rainy season. You can expect high rainfall in the Andes Mountains, peaking at 144mm in and around Cusco. This isn’t a great season to visit Machu Picchu, particularly as rainfall can make many of the more challenging hikes to the Inca site, including the Salkantay, Lares and the extension of the Choquequirao trek, dangerous, with many operators choosing not to run tours from the start of January.
Peru in February is also not a great month if you plan to visit Machu Picchu via the Inca Trail, as the path actually closes for the entire month (although Machu Picchu remains open).
Further north in the Amazon Jungle, rainfall is even greater, with levels of up to 278mm in Iquitos. This means boat travel around the jungle is easier because the rivers are fuller, but there’s an increased risk of mosquitos.
However, in December, January or February, the coast is a winner. Lima in December and January has some of its most pleasant weather: temperatures peak at around 25˚C (77˚F), matched with humidity levels of around 81% (the lowest in the year), making this a good month to visit the Peruvian capital.
Other coastal towns including Huanchaco, Mancora and Punta del Sal, experience peak tourist season during these months – and you can expect price hikes on accommodation and beaches full to bursting with bronzing tourists.
Peru weather in April through May
Marking the start of the Peruvian shoulder season, April is when the showers stop and the dry season creeps back in, making it an excellent time for trekking in the Andes Mountains – including to Machu Picchu or Rainbow Mountain.
Temperatures along the coast and in Lima in April and May see a slight drop to an average of 23˚C (73˚F) in the capital, although humidity increases – so be sure to drink plenty of water if planning to visit the city.
Elsewhere in the mountains, it’s perhaps the best time to visit Peru because you can expect less footfall on famous hikes, such as the famous Inca Trail, than in the coming months and temperatures are still warm, hovering around 19˚C (66˚F).
The weather in the Amazon Jungle in April and May bucks the trend of the rest of Peru with heavy rainfall (the highest in the entire year), although a slight drop in humidity makes this a good time for trekking and other active jungle adventures in and around Iquitos. The chances of spying endemic wildlife swimming in the swollen river waters is also high.
Peru weather in June through August
The peak months for travel in Peru, June through August see the driest weather in Peru – which, coinciding with summer holidays in the northern hemisphere see crowds of tourists at sites such as Machu Picchu. Be aware that nights can get cold, particularly at altitude in Cusco and Huaraz, so you’ll want to pack some warm clothing for this season.
If you want to escape the crowds, it’s still a good time to visit coastal Peru, with Lima in June and July experiencing warm, slightly humid weather, with temperatures hovering around 19˚C and matched with plenty of sunshine.
Further north up the coast, temperatures in vibrant beach town Mancora are still at a balmy 26˚C (79˚F), combined with warm waters and far fewer other beachgoers than in the peak months of summer, making this period an excellent window for a visit.
June, July and August in the Amazon Jungle see some of the lowest periods of rainfall, although this generally doesn’t affect your chances of heading deep into the rainforest by boat and often means you can actually explore further into the undergrowth because of the land that is uncovered when the waters recede. It’s also low season for mosquitos – a handy thing if you’re prone to being bitten.
Peru weather in September through November
The other shoulder season lands in the months of September, October and November, when temperatures across the country start to increase and tourist numbers decrease – making this one of the best times to visit Peru.
Rainfall is a possibility in Cusco in October and November, although these months remain excellent for trekking to Machu Picchu, particularly as the warmer weather means nights at altitude aren’t quite so cold. However, cloud coverage can potentially spoil some of your photos – although the risks are still minimal.
Along the coast, temperatures pick up to a pleasant springtime 22˚C (71˚F) in Lima in November, with decreasing humidity making it a good time for exploring the capital city, as well as other coastal locations.
In the jungle, rainfall is still low, allowing for trekking through the rainforest, as well as boat trips along Amazon tributaries.