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, sun, 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.
The coast: 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 Rainforest: Iquitos, Tambopata, Manu:
Peru’s rainforest has sub-tropical climate, with high humidity and consistent temperatures throughout the year. Dry season is between April and October, where day temperatures reach 90°F (32°C) or higher, and the nights get cooler. There are frequent rainfalls in November to April, but these often last only a few hours, and ultimately cause the rivers to swell making them easier to navigate during treks.
The Mountains: 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.
Ausangate Region- 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 Ausangate and Rainbow Mountain region is at the peak of the dry season in 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.