When to go to Peru
When to go to Peru
Our Guide on When to Visit Peru
One of the reasons for Peru’s allure is that it has several unique climate zones to explore, and each has its own best time to visit, although for most areas that falls within the dry season, between May and October when days are warm and sunny. But if you plan to stick around Lima and the Pacific coast, November through March is the better time to go for warmth and sunshine. The Peruvian Amazon is best visited during the dry season with May through September the optimal time to come with less rain making it more accessible and temperatures slightly cooler. For hiking in the Andes and visits to Machu Picchu, you’ll want to avoid the rainy season, aiming for May through September, although April and October can be good months for weather and fewer crowds. The wettest months are January and February; in fact, the Inca Trail closes down entirely during the month of February due to the heavy rainfall. That helps to protect the route from too much damage while keeping hikers safe from treacherous conditions.
If you visit Peru during the rainy season, there will be fewer visitors, lower hotel rates and airfares, and more lush, green scenery. Just be aware that heavy rains can make traveling in the mountains unsafe. While it will be wet in the Amazon, there are always breaks in between showers and the flora and fauna will still be abundant. In addition to the wet and dry seasons, there are two “shoulder” seasons, which are very short here, consisting of April and November. These are transition months and while a little less predictable, the weather is generally good.
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My love for South America started when I was living in Lima, Peru, and family and friends came to visit. That year I went to Machu Picchu 5 times! I do not have one drop of Latin blood in me, which is painfully obvious if you see me dance, and yet without realizing it for the past 15 years South America has been my home.
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Best time to go to Peru
Weather patterns do vary, this is just a guide based on historical patterns and data.
May - October
As mentioned, this period is the dry season which is spread over fall, winter, and early spring in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s also the high season as the most popular time to visit Peru with conditions are ideal for hiking in the Andes where afternoon temperatures range in the upper 60s to mid-70s Fahrenheit/20 to 25 Celsius, as well as for visiting the Amazon. In the rainforest it can be quite warmer, ranging anywhere from the upper 80s to 100 Fahrenheit/30 to 38 Celsius, with high humidity. It will be mild on the Pacific coast, with highs in the mid-70s Fahrenheit/around 25 Celsius. With more visitors in Peru now, you can expect it to be much busier, with heavy traffic and bigger crowds at all the tourist attractions.
November is one of Peru’s two short “shoulder” seasons when the weather is a little more unpredictable, serving as a transition time between rainy and dry. It won’t be as crowded, and you might be able to score some discounts on accommodation and airfare. Even the most popular attractions like Machu Picchu will be open and are often more enjoyable if you don’t mind risking the possibility of some bad weather. If there is rain, you’re likely to enjoy plenty of sun in between.
December - March
Summer in the Southern Hemisphere is the wet season. If you don’t plan on hiking in the mountains or visiting Machu Picchu and can deal with the rain, it can be a great time to come to avoid the crowds, enjoy more tranquillity, and discounts on airfare and hotel accommodation. Do be aware that the period around the Christmas/New Year’s holidays is unlikely to come with any bargains. Those who plan to spend most of their time enjoying the beaches will want to visit now as it’s generally dry along the coast with temperatures perfect for soaking up the sun, ranging from the upper 70s to mid-90s Fahrenheit, 25 to 35 Celsius. In the mountains, it will be cooler and wet, with afternoon temperatures in the mid-60s Fahrenheit/around 18 to 19 Celsius, while trails may be unpassable due to heavy rainfall. Also as noted, in February the Inca Trail will be closed.
April is one of Peru’s two short “shoulder” seasons when the weather changes seasons, the weather is harder to predict over this time. It won’t be as crowded and the most popular attractions like Machu Picchu will be open and are often more enjoyable if you don’t mind risking the possibility of some bad weather. If there is rain, you’re likely to enjoy plenty of sun in between. April is particularly ideal for visiting the country’s most famous ancient ruins – after the heavy rainfall of the wet season, the surrounding landscapes will be incredibly lush and green. You may want to avoid Holy Week, Semana Santa, which leads up to Easter as it’s one of the most popular vacation times for locals.
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