Best time to visit Peru
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Book your individual trip, stress-free with local travel experts
Choosing when to go to Peru is complicated by huge differences in temperatures across the country’s different regions. The best time to visit Peru will depend on which regions you intend to go and what activities are you planning to do.
The dry season (May to September) is considered the best time to visit Peru. It's also high tourist season in. Coastal areas, including Lima and Paracas, have mild temperatures and minimal rainfall. It's an excellent time for visiting popular attractions like Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley, and Cusco. The Andean region experiences colder temperatures, particularly at higher altitudes, so be prepared for cooler weather if you plan to visit areas like Arequipa or Puno.
During the wet season (November to March) there's more rainfall, especially in the Andean region and the Amazon rainforest. Trekking routes, such as the Inca Trail, may be closed due to heavy rains and landslides. However, the wet season can be an excellent time to visit the coastal regions, including Lima and northern Peru, as they experience warmer temperatures and fewer tourists.
The shoulder seasons (April and October) mark the transition between the dry and wet seasons. The weather can be more unpredictable, with occasional rainfall. It's a less crowded time to visit popular sites like Machu Picchu, and you may find better deals on accommodations and tours.
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It’s challenging to choose the best time to visit Peru because of the change in the weather across regions. January is the best month for a trip to the coast for fantastic weather, while May to September is the ideal period for visiting the Andes, Machu Picchu and the Amazon when it’s driest.
Since you’re unlikely to find the best time to visit all areas on a single trip, there's little point in worrying about it. The country’s attractions are broad enough to override the need for guarantees of good weather.
Expect warm temperatures and abundant sunshine in Peru in January. Coastal areas like Lima enjoy average temperatures of 25-28°C (77-82°F), perfect for beach visits and water activities.
In the Andean highlands, temperatures range from 10-20°C (50-68°F), ideal for exploring ancient ruins like Machu Picchu. The Amazon rainforest experiences high humidity and temperatures around 25-30°C (77-86°F).
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The weather in February is still pleasant weather and largely dry. Along the coast, temperatures hover around 25-28°C (77-82°F) with minimal rainfall, perfect for beach outings.
The Amazon rainforest experiences tropical weather, with temperatures around 25-30°C (77-86°F) and occasional showers.
Rainfall increases in the Amazon in March but the northeast coast still experiences temperatures of 25-28°C (77-82°F) and minimal rainfall.
In the Andean highlands, temperatures range from 10-20°C (50-68°F), creating comfortable conditions for hiking.
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April in Peru brings favourable weather for exploration. Coastal areas like Lima enjoy temperatures around 23-27°C (73-81°F) with minimal rainfall, perfect for coastal activities and exploring archaeological sites.
In the Andean highlands, temperatures range from 10-20°C (50-68°F), providing pleasant conditions for hiking the Andes or visiting cultural gems like Arequipa. The Amazon rainforest experiences warm temperatures around 25-30°C (77-86°F) and increased rainfall, offering vibrant ecosystems and unique wildlife encounters.
With our tailor-made trip to Peru for nature lovers, you can explore one of the most ecologically diverse countries on earth. Peru boasts an impressive range of ecosystems, with 84 out of the 103 known ecosystems and nearly 90% of the world's recognized climates found within its borders.
May to September is considered to be the best time to visit Peru. The weather in May is still comfortable for exploring much of Peru. Temperatures in Lima hit around 21-24°C (70-75°F) and there isn't much rain.
The Andean highlands have similar temperatures to April, ranging from 10-20°C (50-68°F), providing pleasant conditions for visiting Machu Picchu or trekking through the Sacred Valley.
The Amazon rainforest has more showers and warm temperatures that hit 25-30°C (77-86°F).
Temperatures in Lima start to drop to around 18-21°C (64-70°F) in June, though rainfall remains minimal.
The humid Amazon rainforest experiences Peru's warmest June temperatures of between 25-30°C (77-86°F) with regular rain showers.
In July temperatures drop again to around 17-20°C (63-68°F) but there is still little rainfall, meaning this can be a good time to explore the city.
Temperatures in the Andean highlands stubbornly stay at around 5-15°C (41-59°F), providing cool weather for trekking to Machu Picchu or visiting Cusco.
The Amazon rainforest remains warm and humid with regular downpours.
August in Peru has pleasant weather for hiking the Andean highlands and trekking the Inca Trail.
Lima is largely dry, despite temperatures falling again to around 16-19°C (61-66°F), whilst the Amazon rainforest experiences thes warmest temperatures of around 25-30°C (77-86°F) with occasional showers.
The low mist that descends over the Lima Valley in June will start to clear with temperatures sitting around 16-19°C (61-66°F) and occasional showers, creating a refreshing time to explore the capital.
In the Andean highlands, the relatively dry period starts to ease, ushering in more rain. This can be the time to explore cultural gems like Arequipa rather than hiking.
The Amazon rainforest is warm, with temperatures around 25-30°C (77-86°F), wet and vibrant.
Lima welcomes its coolest temperatures in October (lows of 15˚C and highs of 19˚-20˚C), whilst the Amazon heads into its hot and humid dry season with less rainfall.
It hardly rains in Cusco or around Machu Picchu either, so weather-wise it can be a good time to visit, though many will have the same idea.
The coastal regions of Peru, such as Lima, have seen temperatures stick around 20-23°C (68-73°F) with more chance of rain.
The air is fresh and crisp in the Andean highlands with little chance of downpours and warmer temperatures that fluctuate between 10-20°C (50-68°F).
It’s also much drier in the Amazon and a good time to visit.
Coastal regions like Lima experience temperatures around 21-24°C (70-75°F) with minimal rainfall, providing ideal conditions for beach visits and water sports.
In the Andean highlands, temperatures range from 10-20°C (50-68°F), creating pleasant weather for trekking to Machu Picchu or exploring the Sacred Valley.
The Amazon rainforest experiences temperatures around 25-30°C (77-86°F) with occasional showers, offering lush landscapes and incredible biodiversity.
It’s worth taking a look at the weather patterns to assess when to visit Peru; the climate varies according to different physical characteristics and by altitude. Each region, from the desert coast, to the Amazon basin, to the Andes, has a different and varied climate and environment.
Whereas the summer months in the Northern Hemisphere fall around June to August, the height of the summer (verano) along the desert coast more or less fits the expected image of the Southern Hemisphere.
That’s to say it’s extremely hot and sunny between December and March (especially in the north), cooler and with a frequent hazy mist, known as garúa, between April and November. Only in the polluted environs of Lima that the coastal winter ever gets cold enough to necessitate a sweater.
The peak tourist season in Peru generally coincides with the dry season, which runs from May to September. During this period, the weather is usually favorable with minimal rainfall, making it an ideal time to visit popular attractions like Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley, and Cusco.
The peak season attracts a significant number of tourists, so popular sites can be more crowded, and prices for accommodations and tours may be higher. It's advisable to book your travel arrangements well in advance if you plan to visit Peru during the peak season.
In the Andes, the seasons are more obviously defined, with heavy rains from December to March and a warm, relatively dry period from June to September, the peak season. Inevitably, though, there are always some sunny weeks in the rainy season and wet ones in the dry. There is quite a difference between temperatures in the day and at night, so be sure to pack warm clothing.
In the Andes and the Amazon Basin locals consider the rainy season (December to March) to be winter. To minimise the confusion it’s probably clearer if you just refer to seasons as the ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ season. With this in mind, the wet season in the Amazon is hot and humid.
In Arequipa in the south, the temperatures are really pleasant at this time of year. During the December to February period, you can expect the rainy season in the Amazon Basin and the Andes. Water levels are high at this time, and flora and fauna are abundant. At this time of year, the Inca Trail often closes during February due to possible landslides and maintenance. Machu Picchu itself remains open during this period.
For those coming from the Northern Hemisphere spring is considered to be roughly from March to May. From March the temperature on the coast begins to get milder. It’s still wet within the Andes, but you will find that it’s quieter with fewer crowds on the trails. The rainforest is still hot and humid – as it is all year.
In March to May, it is still hot in the coastal areas, but temperatures are beginning to drop. March is the end of the rainy season in Machu Picchu, and you can expect the area to be drier and warmer by May.
In the coastal regions, such as Lima and the northern coast, the average annual rainfall is relatively low, ranging from 0 to 100mm (0 to 4 inches) per year. These areas are characterized by arid and desert-like conditions.
In the Andean highlands the average annual rainfall varies between 500mm and 1,000mm (20 to 40 inches). The rainy season in the highlands coincides with the summer months, from December to March.
To minimise confusion we’re talking about the summer months in the Northern Hemisphere – which are Peru’s winter months. Dry conditions and warm weather make this an ideal time to visit Peru.
Cusco is at its best and you can make the most of the Andes’ fantastic trekking opportunities. It is cold though when the sun goes down, so take extra layers. The Amazon is hot all year but at its driest during the May to September period.
December to February can be the best time of year to visit Peru if you are travelling to the coastal regions, especially in the north. You can expect temperatures to be hot and sunny at around a pleasant 29˚C. There will be very little rainfall in coastal regions.
There is less rain in the Andes at this time of year and it’s a good time to travel for those who want to go trekking or climbing. You’ll get some excellent views of the mountain peaks and clear blue skies.
Temperatures are much milder on the coast – at around 18˚-22˚C– than between December and March. Lima is also shrouded in grey mist at this time of the year. The coolest temperatures occur from June to October (lows of 15˚C and highs of 19˚-20˚C).
In the Amazon, temperatures are hot and humid, but this is the dry season, so there will be less rainfall and lower water levels
Machu Picchu is an unmissable highlight of any trip to Peru. In high season, from June to September, the entire Valle Sagrado swarms with visitors and it might be difficult to avoid the crowds. If you plan to go in the high season, you need to book several months ahead as the trail is so popular.
The whole area is quieter from October to April but it’s wetter. The Inca trail is closed in February, which is usually the wettest month. It closes for annual maintenance and repair, although Machu Picchu itself is still open.
The month of May is quite a good choice as it’s the end of the rainy season, and the sky will be bright and clear with excellent views.
Rough Guides tip: check our Rough Guides Itineraries
If you are working out the best time to visit Peru and want to discover Lima at its best, the ideal period is between December and March. This is the the warmest time of the year, when the sky is bright and sunny, and it’s a wonderful time to stroll around the colonial architecture and coastal park.
If you visit between April to November, you may experience a blanket of grey mist, although it hardly ever rains in the capital.
Festivals big and small are cause for celebration throughout Peru – from major cities to small towns and villages. These events centre around elaborate costumes, parades, music and dancing and, of course, food and drink. It’s quite common to stumble into a village fiesta, with its explosion of energy, noise and bright colours.
The main national holidays are those at Easter, Christmas and during October, when everything closes up for the holidays – worth bearing in mind if planning a visit to Peru at these times.