Peru’s weather and seasons: When is the best time to visit?
Weather can play an important part in how you experience Peru, which has two main seasons: wet and dry. Their wet season is typically from November to March, which sees warmer temperatures with intermittent showers. Dry season is from April to October where you can expect more consistent weather, sunny days, and clear skies.
But for a greatly vast country like Peru, predicting the weather isn’t as simple as following seasons. From mountains to deserts, and beaches to jungles, Peru holds highly diverse geographies, each with their own distinct climate. To break it down, the country has three main climate regions: the coast, the rainforest and the mountains. Read more in our travel guide below for visiting Peru.
Lima, Cusco, Paracas, Huacachina, Mancora, Punta, Paracas, Trujillo
The coast is part of the desert, and consists of bays, beaches and cities. This region rarely ever rains in general. If visiting in the summer, between December - April, you can expect hot, dry heat, with temperatures reaching 77°F - 95°F (25°C-35°C) or even higher along the north coast. In winter, between May-October, temperatures are milder, with high humidity. Around this time, much of the coast is shrouded with a misty, gray fog called garúa that maintains a low temperature.
The coast of Peru is a stunning and varied region that offers a wealth of experiences for visitors. From the vibrant capital city of Lima, with its world-class peruvian cuisine and colonial architecture, to the ancient ruins of Chan Chan and the seaside oasis of Huacachina, the coast has something for everyone. With miles of pristine beaches, picturesque fishing villages, and bustling coastal cities, the region boasts a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether you want to surf, sunbathe, explore archaeological sites, or indulge in delicious seafood, a visit to the coast of Peru is an unforgettable and enriching experience.
Iquitos, Tambopata, Manu:
Peru’s rainforest has sub-tropical climate, with high humidity and consistent temperatures throughout the year. The best time to visit the Peruvian jungle is during the dry season, which runs from May to October, where day temperatures reach 90°F (32°C) or higher, and the nights get cooler. During this time, the weather is typically driest with sunny days, lower humidity, fewer mosquitoes and other insects. This makes it easier to explore the jungle and enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, birdwatching, and wildlife spotting.
However, it's worth noting that the jungle region can experience rain showers at any time of year, so it's important to bring appropriate rain gear and be prepared for changing weather conditions. Additionally, the dry season is also peak tourist season, so expect larger crowds and higher prices for accommodations and tours.
As a travel tip, if you prefer to avoid the crowds, you can consider visiting during the shoulder seasons of April or November, which can still offer good weather conditions but with fewer tourists. However, it's important to note that the jungle region can be more challenging to navigate during the rainy season, which runs from December to April. The rivers can be higher, trails can be more slippery, and some lodges may be closed due to flooding.
Why visit the Amazon jungle in Peru? It is a truly unique and breathtaking destination that is a must-visit for anyone who loves nature and adventure. This vast and pristine rainforest is home to an incredible array of wildlife, including jaguars, monkeys, macaws, and anacondas, as well as thousands of plant species. Exploring the Peruvian Amazon offers a chance to witness these amazing creatures in their natural habitat, as well as to learn about the traditional ways of life of the indigenous communities that call the jungle home. Whether you choose to go on a jungle trek, take a boat ride along the river, or visit a remote village, the Amazon jungle tour in Peru promises an unforgettable and life-changing experience.
To reach the Peruvian Amazon, you can either fly or take a bus to one of the gateway cities, such as Iquitos, Puerto Maldonado, or Tarapoto. These cities are located in the jungle region and are well-connected to other parts of the country by air and road.
Arequipa, Cusco, Machu Picchu, Puno:
There is little rain in the Andes region during May to October. Temperatures in the day reach warm highs of 68°F to 77°F (20°C-25°C), but nights can be very cold, particularly in June and July.
December to March is especially rainy, with January and February being the wettest months. During this time, temperatures are somewhat milder between 64°F to 68°F (18°C-20°C), and lowering only to 59°F (15°C) at night. Mornings tend to stay dry, with heavier showers in the afternoon when rain clouds drift in.
With that being said, even during this wet season, Arequipa still doesn’t rain much. And in Colca Canyon, which is located higher than Arequipa and surrounded by snowy mountains, sees climates of the Andean Mountains. The dry season is April – November, with wet season December – March. In November and April, when the season is transitioning, rain still occurs but skies are brighter and clearer, with warmer temperatures.
Rainbow Mountain Weather:
The Andes climate varies greatly based on elevation and season. Like most Andean regions, Ausangate has a wet and dry season. Dry season spans from May to November, where skies are clear, days are cool, and the nights get very cold. The best time to hike in the Ausangate and Rainbow Mountain region is at the peak of the dry season June through September. Because the multi day Rainbow trek is vast and remote, there won’t be traffic of people on the trail, even during these peak times.
Rainy season is from December to March, when the climate is warmest, and visibility on the mountains can be poor. Due to the rain, and possible snow, the trail can be muddy, wet and difficult to hike so be prepared for these conditions with good trail shoes and clothing. Snow doesn't permanently cover the mountain in any season, if it does cover the mountain it typically burns off in the afternoon sun only lasting for a day or so.
Day time Temps: 40-60°F (5-15°C)
Night time lows: 10°F (-12°C)
*Due to the high elevation of our campsites temperatures drop drastically in the evenings when the sun goes down. Be sure to dress appropriately so you can be comfortable and have an enjoyable experience!
When’s the best time to visit Peru?
This depends on you and what you prioritize. As mentioned, each region in Peru has its own distinct climate, which makes it difficult to define an absolute best time to visit Peru if you’re traveling all over the country.
However with dry season from April to October, this is a wonderful time to visit. That does also mean peak season, so book well in advance to ensure availability of tours. If you want to avoid the large queues and crowds of other eager sight-seeing tourists then visit in April, May, September or October, as these fall right before and after rainy season.
So, is it worth traveling during rainy season?
Absolutely. Peru really can be visited all year round, with every season offering a unique experience of its own. Rainy season may be the wettest, but it’s also the warmest time of the year, with showers often only lasting a few hours. Traveling in low season also means less crowds and queues of tourists; more stunning, greener scenery; and lower costing flights and accommodation.
The weather will naturally impact your trip in some way. But fog, rain, sun or blue skies, in a country like Peru, the landscape, nature, history, culture and people always remains beautifully fascinating.
How many days in Peru is enough?
The number of days you need in Peru really depends on what you want to see and do. Peru is a diverse country with a rich cultural heritage, stunning natural beauty, and a wealth of historical and archaeological sites to explore.
If you want to visit some of Peru's most popular destinations such as Machu Picchu, Cusco, the Sacred Valley, Lake Titicaca, and the Nazca Lines, a trip of at least 10 to 14 days would be ideal. This would give you enough time to explore these destinations in depth, take part in various activities, and experience the local culture and cuisine.
However, if you have limited time, a week-long trip would still allow you to see some of the highlights of Peru. You could visit Machu Picchu, Cusco, and the Sacred Valley in a few days, then head to the coast to visit Lima and the nearby Paracas National Reserve.
Overall, it is recommended to spend at least a week in Peru to fully experience the country and its many attractions, but if you have more time, you can always extend your trip and explore more of this fascinating country.
When is the best time to hike in Peru?
The best time of year to trek in Peru is during the dry season, which runs from May to September. This is when the weather is typically sunny and dry, with clear skies and pleasant temperatures during the day. The trails are also less muddy and easier to navigate during this time, making it ideal for hiking and trekking. Additionally, during the dry season, there are fewer mosquitoes and other insects, making for a more comfortable and enjoyable experience. However, it's worth noting that the dry season is also the most popular time (High season) to visit Peru, so trails and campsites can get crowded and permits for popular treks like the Inca Trail can sell out quickly. Therefore, it's important to start planning ahead and book your trek well in advance to avoid disappointment. If you prefer fewer crowds especially along the popular Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, you can also consider hiking during the shoulder seasons of April or October, but be prepared for more unpredictable weather conditions.
The weather in the Andes Mountains of Peru can be challenging for hikers due to the high altitude and variable weather conditions. Here are the average temperatures and weather conditions to expect during the hiking season:
Dry Season (Best Months - May to October):
- Daytime Temperatures: 15°C to 20°C (59°F to 68°F)
- Nighttime Lows: -5°C to 5°C (23°F to 41°F)
- Rainfall: Low to none
Wet Season (November to April):
- Daytime Temperatures: 10°C to 15°C (50°F to 59°F)
- Nighttime Lows: -5°C to 5°C (23°F to 41°F)
- Rainfall: Moderate to high, with occasional thunderstorms and landslides
It's important to note that temperatures and weather conditions can vary depending on the location and elevation within the Andes Mountains, as well as the time of day and season. Additionally, the high altitude can make temperatures feel colder and the air thinner, which can affect breathing and physical exertion. Hikers should be prepared with appropriate clothing for both warm and cool weather, as well as rain gear and sturdy footwear for hiking in potentially muddy and slippery conditions. It's also recommended to acclimate to the high altitude gradually and stay well-hydrated throughout the trip.
Why Visit Peru?
It is the third largest country in South America by area and has a population of over 32 million people. This South American country has a mega diverse boarder shared with Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Ecuador, in addition to its coastline along the Pacific Ocean. Peru is home to a rich and diverse cultural heritage, including the Inca civilization, Spanish colonial architecture, and a vibrant indigenous culture. Its capital city, Lima, is a major center of commerce, culture, and tourism, while other cities such as Cusco and Arequipa are popular destinations for their historical and archaeological sites. Peru is also known for its stunning natural beauty, including the Andes mountains, the Amazon rainforest, and the Pacific coastline.
From trekking through the Andes mountains and exploring ancient Incan ruins such as Machu Picchu, to rafting down the Amazon River and sandboarding in the desert oasis of Huacachina, there are plenty of adrenaline-fueled experiences to be had. Peru is also home to a variety of wildlife, including jaguars, llamas, and giant river otters, making it a great destination for wildlife enthusiasts. Additionally, Peru's vibrant local culture, delicious Peruvian cuisine, and warm hospitality add to the overall adventure of the trip. With so much to see and do, Peru is a must-visit destination for any adventure traveler looking for an unforgettable and immersive experience in South America.