Heading to Peru and wondering when the best time to visit Peru is? A trip to Peru sounds good to us. This crazy biodiverse country has it all: the hot and humid rainforest of the Amazon, the soaring peaks and mystifying history of the Andes, bustling cities, and a surfer-friendly coastline.
Being so varied, the best time to visit Peru can also vary. When is the best to visit for the Inca Trail? Or to go canoeing in the rainforest? For surfing and beach parties? Don’t worry; we’re here to help. With our in-depth, seasonal, month-by-month guide to when to visit Peru, you’ll be able to decide when’s best for you!
When is the Best Time to Visit Peru?
Weather in Peru in January
Lima, the capital, is pretty nice this time of year: sunny days, warm weather, around 23°C on average – it’s pleasant. At nighttime, it’s around 19°C. If you feel like hitting the beach, you can definitely do that; even the water temperature is good for swimming. The Andes are cooler and rainier, with Cusco seeing an average of 19°C and a mix of light and heavy rain. It’s a good time of year to see mountain flowers in bloom, however. The Amazon, on the other hand, is hot and humid, with high levels of rain at this time of year.
Weather in Peru in February
February in the capital is beautifully hot and sunny; it’s a great time of year to visit Peru if you’re looking to come to Lima. There’s hardly any rainfall, the average temperature still hovers around 23°C, and the sea temperature is also about 23°C. In Cusco and the highlands, it gets pretty wet in February. Paths on the Inca Trail are often closed this month for maintenance, so it’s not the best time to visit Peru if that’s what you want to do. The Amazon is firmly in the middle of its wet season and is accordingly seeing a lot of rain, as well as high temperatures of around 30°C – and a lot of mosquitoes too!
Weather in Peru in March
When Peru moves into March, it’s still pretty wet in the highlands and Cusco. The temperature, happily, is still around 18°C, so it’s not all bad. Being high altitude, the nights can be pretty chilly – we’re talking around 5°C. Basically, the higher up you go in Peru, the colder it’s going to be. Along Peru’s coastline and in the capital, the weather is fine, dry, and hot, typically seeing a pretty sweaty 27°C. The Amazon is still in wet season, with high rainfall and water levels – suitable for exploring via river, not good for trekking.
Weather in Peru in April
April is another dry and sunny month for Peru’s coastal regions – as well as the deserts. Lima sees highs of 24°C and lows of 18°C. It’s shoulder season in the country, and things should be a little cheaper and less busy; the beach is still a viable option, too. Up in the Andes in places like Lake Titicaca and Cusco, the rainy season starts to ease off. There’s a high of about 19°C, there’s still quite a lot of cloud cover, but the natural scenery is beautiful here. The Amazon Rainforest is still hot and very humid, with highs of 31°C; rains occur in the afternoon either in downpours or all-out storms. The rainfall for the Amazon region in April is 12 inches!
Weather in Peru in May
Things are getting a little cooler in Peru’s coastal regions, as well as the capital in May. It’s still dry, it’s still sunny, but the temperature in Lima by now will have dropped to around 20°C, with lows in the mid-teens. The feeling is decidedly more spring-like (even though Peru is in the Southern Hemisphere). The Amazon? Yeah, that’s still hot, it’s still humid, but the rain in the south of the Amazon region does start to ease off by the end of the month. The temperatures are in the late-twenties. The Andean areas see less rain and more sunny days, but cold temperatures (daytime: 16°C; nighttime: 3°C). It’s a good time to visit Peru if you want to see Machu Picchu without huge crowds.
Weather in Peru in June
One of the driest times of the year (well, it is dry season), June is excellent for hikes, visiting Cusco, Machu Picchu, and other historical sights dotted in the country’s Andean areas. Temperatures on average for the highlands are still 16°C, but nights are cold, so pack accordingly! The Amazon gets less rain in June; it’s much drier in the south. It’s just about the right time to trek in the southern part of the rainforest. Basically, June is one of the best times to visit Peru if you don’t care about hot weather but like to get out and hike in nature – and see the country’s most incredible historical sights.
Weather in Peru in July
Things are getting colder in Peru in July. It’s especially noticeable in Lima, with daily averages in the late-teens. There’s even some fog that hangs over the city sometimes; if you want nicer weather, go north of Lima (closer to the Equator). July marks high season for Amazon visits, with seeing only half the rainfall of rainy season. Don’t expect much rain at all in the Andes, but do expect cold, cold nights (1°C!). It’s a perfect time to visit Machu Picchu, though come before mid to late-July; summer vacations across the world means visitors start pouring in and crowds are mounting. The coastal region is in low season, however.
Weather in Peru in August
August is well and truly high season for all things Andes and Amazon in Peru. Lake Titicaca, Cusco, Machu Picchu, the Inca Trail – all these places see blue-sky days with sunny weather and temperatures of about 18°C. It will be busy – but it also will be beautiful. It may not be the best time to visit Peru if you don’t like crowds. Likewise, the Amazon gets the least amount of rain in August. If there is a downpour, it’ll be in the late afternoon, so you can plan around it. Hiking, canoeing, general adventuring – all great this time of year. Coastal Peru is sunny, but not warm. Sea mist and highs of 18°C in Lima don’t make it the best place to visit, unless you like that sort of thing; it’s good for sightseeing, not beaches.
Weather in Peru in September
September is another shoulder season in Peru. Summer vacation around the world has ended, so you’ll get to enjoy all the nature and history of the country without the crowds of the previous months. Lima is seeing some more spring-like weather and a bit more sun, but it’s still pretty misty, with temperatures in the mid to late-teens. Lake Titicaca and Cusco see highs of 20°C; with clear days, it’s a great time to visit: it’s still dry, sunny, and beautiful, but with fewer crowds. This is easily one of the best times to visit Peru if you want to go to the mountains (though Cusco can be a little cloudy in September).
Weather in Peru in October
October means spring in Peru – and still a shoulder season. It’s a great time of year to visit, especially the Amazon. It’s the last part of the region’s “dry” season, so it makes for some great nature-watching and trekking in the rainforest – but that doesn’t mean you’re not going to see any rain. In coastal regions, surfers begin to flock to the beaches and ride the waves, heralding the first glimpses of summer. Expect highs of 20°C in coastal regions and in Lima, though to the north, it’s obviously going to be warmer. The Andes are mostly dry, and it’s getting warmer (21°C on average), but there is more chance of rain.
Weather in Peru in November
Marking the end of the dry season, November is still a good time to visit Peru, we’d say. There are fewer crowds and still plenty of chances to enjoy the country’s various sights without getting caught in the rain. The Andes are warming up, with Cusco seeing a pleasant 21°C – but that comes with some wet weather. Elsewhere, the Amazon is humid and has highs of 32°C. The coast, with less rain and warmer weather, is starting to get quite busy; many people begin turning up to enjoy the fabulous climate here. This is one of the best times to visit Peru for its coast, just before the holiday season begins.
Weather in Peru in December
It’s the best time to hit the beach in Peru. The temperatures of the Pacific Ocean are rising, the waves are pretty epic for the surfers, and temperatures (in Lima, anyway) are hitting the mid-twenties. Not bad! The Andes, however, are starting to see some rain. So if you feel like a Christmas trip to Machu Picchu, expect wet days, but highs of around 20°C in Cusco. You can still trek in the highlands, just be prepared for rain. The Amazon is (you guessed it) hot and humid, but December is the proper start of the rainy season. It is a rainforest after all.
Festivals in Peru
**Keep in mind that Peru’s location in the southern hemisphere means seasons may be reversed from what you are used to. Summer technically lasts from December to February, while winter spans June to August.
Summer Festivals in Peru
On December 8, there’s the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. It’s a national holiday celebrated yearly with, you might imagine, feasts. There are also performances of indigenous dances, which shows the mix of pre-Spanish traditions and Catholicism are still very much a thing.
In Cusco on Christmas Eve, there’s the market of Santurantikuy. It means the “Sale of Saints.” Of course, that means you’re going to be able to buy a whole lot of different figurines, dolls, and statuettes of Catholic saints here. There are also a lot of nativity scene figures if you’re in the market for any of those.
Head to the beach for the biggest festivities of New Year’s Eve (it’s high season for the beaches, don’t forget). There will be parties, music, merriment, and mayhem.
In January, there’s the Trujillo Marinera Festival. Expect parades, dancing in the streets, and horse exhibitions (no, really). This takes place in the Trujillo region, obviously.
February sees one of the best festivals in Peru take place. The Fiesta de la Candelaria is, in fact, one of the biggest festivals in South America (only Rio and Bolivia have bigger events). Thousands of people hit the streets for, well, what you’d expect – fun!
Fall Festivals in Peru
Carnaval marks the start of Lent in Peru. It’s a nationwide set of celebrations, but one of the best places to see the pageantry is in Cajamarca. Picture nine days of singing, feasting, parades, dancing, eating, and all-round madness and you won’t be far off.
But then the week preceding Easter sees the start of Holy Week – or Semana Santa. There will be processions in streets across the land, as well as folk-dancing and local musical events. Head to Ayacucho for one of the most comprehensive; it’s almost like an arts festival! Interestingly, the focus of Holy Week in Cusco is a statue of Jesus that has been dubbed ‘Lord of the Earthquakes.’
Fiesta de las Cruces (Festival of the Crosses) on May 3 is a Hispanophone festival, but in Peru, they do it a little different. Each town has unique ways of doing things; in the highlands, there’s bullfighting and dancing, for example. Every place where it’s celebrated puts its own mark on it.
Winter Festivals in Peru
June 24 sees the thoroughly indigenous festival of Inti Raymi. It’s a festival of the winter solstice in June (Southern Hemisphere, don’t forget) and many indigenous practices are carried out. Think cockfighting, feasting, and dancing late into the night. It was banned by Spanish colonists in 1535 but revived in 1944.
In July – on or around July 15, to be more precise – there’s the Fiesta de la Virgen del Carmen. It spans three or four days and is basically a big party. It’s a “religious” festival, but basically in name only. People come together for traditional song and dance, shows that depict Peruvian history, music, and merriment. This is held in Paucartambo, near Cusco. Often, there’s so little space for visitors that partygoers spend the night out in the open!
In Peru, there’s not one but two independence days. On July 28 and 29, the declaration of independence was put into effect by South American independence leader José de San Martin in Lima. Parades and civic events and general national pride come out on these two days.
August 30 sees an interesting festival that celebrates Santa Rosa de Lima, the first indigenous American saint. This day marks the day of her death. The patron saint of the capital, her most famous memorial is held just outside Lima in Santa Rosa de Quives.
Spring Festivals in Peru
September starts with a foodie event: the Mistura Culinary Festival. Food stalls, street vendors, bars, and restaurants in Lima celebrate the food of Peru in mid-September for about ten days. Sounds delicious to us.
Head to Ancash for celebrations of La Virgen del Rosario on October 4, complete with a symbolic cosplay of a battle between Moors and Christians. It’s also held in Lima, Cusco, and various other towns. Also in October (the 8th), and also commemorating a battle, Peru celebrates Admiral Miguel Grau, a naval hero in the War of the Pacific.
Another festival celebrating Jesus as a protector from earthquakes, October 18 sees the celebration of The Lord of the Miracles. An earthquake in the 18th century wrecked most of the city, leaving only the statue standing. Spooky.
When is the Best Season to Travel Peru?
High season (May-September): You may be surprised to hear that winter in Peru is actually the best time to travel there. Between May and September is the driest time to visit Peru, it’s a bit cold but it’s certainly better than rain!
Shoulder Season (April and October, November): Tourism is lower during this time, and temperatures are mild and a little unpredictable. Still it’s not going to be raining all the time!
Low Season (December to March): This is the Peruvian Summer and while you may like the sound of warmer weather Peru experiences heavy rainfall during these months.
When is the Best Time to Travel to Peru?
As mentioned the best time to travel Peru is during the winter. It’s during this time that the air is dryest and you stand less of a chance of rain. We traveled to Peru in June and had a fantastic time. Just note that it is winter so you’ll want to bring a packable down jacket and other warm gear.
When is the Best Time to Visit Machu Picchu?
The Andes have two very distinct seasons – wet and dry. December to March is the wet season and despite getting rained on a bit it’s still a fantastic time to travel to Machu Picchu. Bring a packable rain jacket.
To avoid the rain you should visit Machu Picchu during the dry season (May-November). We visited Machu Picchu in June and were met with fantastic weather, great for hiking!
When is the Best Time to Hike the Inca Trail?
The Inca Trail is good to go during the dry and wet season, although it does close during the heaviest of rainfall in February. If you can I would recommend hiking the Inca Trail in the dry season!
When is the Cheapest Time to go to Peru?
Peru is a pretty affordable country to travel through and prices don’t change that drastically depending on season. However for more of a deal you should travel during the offseason. Though many establishments may be shut. Although you’ll be saving a buck you’ll be sacrificing it for unpredictable weather.
When is Best Time to Visit the Amazon in Peru?
The Peruvian Amazon has the same climate as most tropical rainforests. Temperatures average around 25 °C year round and humidity is always high.
June to October is the dry season and is the best time to visit the Peruvian rainforest for trekking. If you want to cruise down the Amazon the best time to visit is actually the wet season as the rains cause the river to swell.
What to Pack for Peru
You’re going to need something to carry your belongings in while you’re traveling around the world. Even if you’re not doing extensive hikes you need at least something small for day trips. My favorite daypacks are from Camelbak.
Goretex Rain Jacket
We’re building up a collection of shell jackets. We always carry one in our pack and they’ve come in handy many times. Weather around the world can be iffy in Peru during the rainy season, so it’s best to be prepared. They are lightweight, durable, packable, waterproof, and windproof and really a great travel rain jacket. We have a bunch of different shell jackets after several years, but my favorite right now is from Arc’teryx.
Any jacket can do the job, but the top dollar ones will hold up and really help in inclement weather.
I love real books, but for traveling it can be easier to carry a lighter and more compact item like a Kindle. Plus, then you can download new books on the go!
Make sure you have a universal travel adaptor like we have before landing in a new destination!
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