Best Time To Visit Peru

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Peru’s climate is as diverse as its landscapes, ranging from the semi-arid subtropical desert on the coast to tropical rainforests in the north. Temperatures can range anywhere from 13˚ to 35˚C (55˚ to 95˚F) depending on where in the country you find yourself. Each geographic region in Peru has its own climate, with hot, dry summers near the coast, humid showers in the rainforests and a cold arid climate in the Andes Mountains.

Peru has incredible landmarks dotted throughout the South American nation, however, none are as well-known as Machu Picchu, which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007. So, of course, deciding the best time to visit Peru depends on which part of the country you’re planning on travelling. But it doesn’t matter when you visit, there’s always something interesting to see somewhere in Peru.

Also read:

Best Time To Visit Peru

Peru in Summer

van camping at Cotahuasi Canyon
Van camping at one of the deepest and most beautiful canyons in the world, the Cotahuasi Canyon.

Peruvian summers are hot and wet, and it’s also Peru’s rainy season, with the country receiving its most rainfall during this time.

Summer in Peru lasts from December to February.

It has rainy weather in the mountainous regions and Peruvian rainforests and hotter temperatures combined with less rain in the coastal areas.

Summer temperatures usually range between 24˚C (75˚F) and 29 °C (84 °F) but can reach upwards of 32° (90°F).

Venturing into the Peruvian mountains and rainforests during the summer months can be challenging, as many hiking trails become inaccessible due to heavy rain.

Daylight hours range from roughly five hours during December to over seven hours in February.

Here are the average high and low temperatures in summer. **All weather information provided is based on data for Lima. 

December

  • Daylight hours: 5 hours
  • Average Low Temperature: 17 °C (63°F)
  • Average High Temperature: 24 °C (75 °F)

January

  • Daylight hours: 6 hours
  • Average Low Temperature: 19 °C (66 °F)
  • Average High Temperature: 26 °C (79 °F)

February

  • Daylight hours: 7 hours
  • Average Low Temperature: 19 °C (66 °F)
  • Average High Temperature: 26 °C (79 °F)

Five Things To Do In Peru In Summer

1- Trek Through Peru
when is the best time to visit peru machu picchu
One of the best times to visit Peru for hiking is in summer as the warmer weather gives you more options for places to hike, such as the Cordillera mountains.

Trek through incredible landscapes and explore ancient Incan ruins.

Peru’s Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is the most popular trail to hike, taking you on an incredible journey to the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Inca Trail isn’t the only option available to intrepid travellers looking to explore Peru.

Great choices are the Santa Cruz Trek, the Cordillera Blanca, the spectacular Rainbow Mountain Trek, and the eight-day Cordillera Huayhuash Trek.

2- See The Floating Villages on Lake Titicaca
best time to visit peru weather Island, sky, birds on Titicaca
One of the best times to visit Peru is in summer because the weather is perfect for exploring Lake Titicaca.

Lake Titicaca straddles the Peruvian-Bolivian border and is the world’s highest navigable lake at 12,507 feet (3,812 m) above sea level.

The Uros people, a group of people indigenous to the region, permanently live on the lake’s hand-built islands made out of reeds.

Around 70 of these artificial floating islands can be seen on the lake, with many open to visitors hoping to experience traditional Uros culture untouched by outside forces.

Best observed during summer, Lake Titicaca’s Uros islands can be reached via a short boat journey from Puno and is one of the highlights of any visit to the country.

3- Paddle Down The Amazon

Peru’s stretch of the Amazon Rainforest is one of the most ecologically diverse regions.

Home to over 60% of Peru’s unique fauna and flora, the Amazon Rainforest is the largest rainforest in the world.

Running through it is the equally impressive Amazon River, the second-longest river on the planet.

This incredible region is best explored on water via a canoe journey down the Amazon River, allowing travellers to spot rare plants and animals like spider monkeys, toucans and anacondas.

4- Relax On The Beaches of Mancora
best time to visit machu picchu peru Unidentified people on the beach and in the water in the light of the setting sun
The best time to visit Peru for its beaches is in summer. Pictured here is Mancora, a popular beach town in northern Peru.

Peru’s beachside party town, Mancora, is home to some of the country’s best beaches.

The town near the border of Ecuador has a warm and sunny climate, making it a great place to relax away from large crowds.

5- Explore The Nazca Lines
the best time to visit peru Astronaut, Nazca Lines in Peru
Have you seen the Astronaut Nazca Line in Peru?

These massive drawings made by the Nazca people are an unmissable sight in Peru’s arid coastal desert, roughly 400 km (249 miles) south of Lima.

These mystifying etchings of animals and people still baffle experts and are said to predate the Incas by over 2,000 years.

Perfectly preserved, thanks to Nazca’s unique climate devoid of heavy rain or wind, the Nazca Lines are some of Peru’s best attractions and are a great place to visit during summer.

Top tips

It’s best to steer clear of Peru’s mountainous or tropical regions as heavy rainfall could jeopardise many attractions in those regions.

Stick to the country’s dry coastal regions near Lima to get the best out of your Peruvian stay between December and February. 

Peru in Autumn

best time to visit chile and peru Cordillera Huayhuash
The best time to trek in Peru’s Cordillera Huayhuash is between the drier months of April to September.

Autumn in Peru is one of the best times to visit the country.

It allows travellers to explore virtually all regions with the assurance that temperatures are warm and dry, perfect for visiting the mountains and coastal cities.

There’s a reasonable amount of daylight, ranging from seven hours a day in March to four hours in May.

The mountains are lush, with various streams flowing strongly after the summer rainfalls, creating a picturesque image for hikers and photographers.

Below are the high and low temperatures one can expect to encounter during Peruvian autumns and the average daylight hours of every month.

March

  • Daylight hours: 7 hours
  • Average Low Temperature: 19 °C (66 °F)
  • Average High Temperature: 26 °C (79 °F)

April

  • Daylight hours: 6 hours
  • Average Low Temperature: 17 °C (63 °F)
  • Average High Temperature: 24 °C (75 °F)

May

  • Daylight hours: 4 hours
  • Average Low Temperature: 16 °C (61 °F)
  • Average High Temperature: 22 °C (72 °F)

Five Things to do in Peru in Autumn

1- Enjoy The Dunes At Huacachina
best time to visit peru lagoon surrounded by sand dunes and the town
The best time to visit Peru depends on where you’re planning to go. The Huacachina lagoon is one of the places to visit in the fall.

Huacachina is an oasis in the middle of the desert with a palm-fringed lagoon and a village.

Spend the day sandboarding and riding dune buggies on the sand dunes, then return to the village for dinner and cocktails along the lagoon’s shoreline at sunset.

Huacachina is about four hours from Lima.

2- Visit Pre-Columbian Americas’ Largest Mud-Brick City

Chan Chan is the largest pre-Columbian mud-brick city in the Americas and a UNESCO World Heritage archaeological site in Trujillo, the La Libertad region’s capital.

Visit the partially repaired Palacio Nik for its expansive courtyard, storerooms, sophisticated architectural design and magnificent royal burial chamber.

3- See The Moray Ruins
when is the best time to visit peru moray inca terraces
The best time to visit Peru if you’re keen on seeing Moray, the ancient Inca circular terraces, at its greenest is from November to March.

The Moray ruins, reached via the little village of Maras, is an ancient Inca site comprised of numerous terraces carved into a giant earthen basin.

Each layer of the earthen bowl has its own microclimate, with the temperature differential between the top and bottom layer possibly being as much as 15 °C (59 °F).

Although the terraces are a mystery, it’s believed that the Incas used them as a research area to figure out the best conditions for cultivating different species of crops.

4- Wander around Peru’s White City
best time to visit lima peru architecture in Arequipa with volcano in the background
Volcano El Misti overlooks the city Arequipa in southern Peru. Arequipa is the second-most populous city and lies in the Andes mountains.

Arequipa is often recognised as Peru’s most beautiful city, situated a dizzying 2,300 m (7,546 ft) above sea level.

The city’s central area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site set against a backdrop of snow-capped mountains.

Arequipa is mainly known for its beautiful historic architecture with buildings made of sillar stone, a volcanic rock with vivid displays of colour when exposed to the sun.

The colonial buildings in Arequipa’s old city centre were constructed with this stone, earning it the nickname ‘white city.’

5- Hike the Colca Canyon
best time of year to visit peru machu picchu
Although you can visit Peru’s Colca Canyon any time of year, the condors are most active between March and June .

Colca Canyon is a stunning canyon that is one of the deepest canyons in the world and a popular trek for those who have completed the Inca Trail at Machu Picchu.

Arequipa, Peru’s second-largest city, is a gateway to this canyon and the Cotahuasi Canyon. 

Keep a watch out for Andean condors, the world’s largest flying bird, once you’ve entered the canyon.

Top tips

Autumn is one of the best times to visit Peru if it’s your first time in the country, as temperatures are mild.

Peru in Winter

what is the best time to visit peru man wearing a poncho staring at themulticoloured mountain
One of the best times to visit Peru’s Rainbow Mountain is in winter.

Peruvian winters are usually the driest time of the year, with minimal rainfall.

Temperatures vary from region to region, however, travellers can expect to be greeted with a mild climate and cool evening temperatures between June and August.

Wintertime is the perfect season in Peru to visit and explore tall mountains and lush rainforests, however, don’t expect to find too many beach days.

Below are the average high and low temperatures during Peru’s winter months and the expected number of daylight per day.

June

  • Daylight hours: 1 hour
  • Average Low Temperature: 15 °C (59 °F)
  • Average High Temperature: 19 °C (66 °F)

July

  • Daylight hours: 1 hour
  • Average Low Temperature: 14 °C (57 °F)
  • Average High Temperature: 18 °C (64 °F)

August

  • Daylight hours: 1 hour
  • Average Low Temperature: 14 °C (57 °F)
  • Average High Temperature: 18 °C (64 °F)

Five Things to do in Peru in Winter

1- See The Rainbow Mountain

Rainbow Mountain, located in the Peruvian Andes about three hours from the historical city centre of Cuzco, is rapidly becoming one of Peru’s must-see attractions.

5,200 m (17,060 ft) above sea level, the mountain is known for its natural, multi-coloured splendour.

The area’s rich mineral sediments give the mountain its rainbow-like appearance, resulting in incredible displays of turquoise, lavender, gold and many other colours.

2- Hike around the Cordillera Blanca

Cordillera Blanca is a magnificent landscape of striking mountains and valleys that attracts hikers and mountain climbers from all over the world.

Huascaran, Peru’s tallest peak, is also located in the Cordillera Blanca and 16 other Andes mountains, all exceeding 6,000 m (19,685 ft) in the same area.

3- See Wildlife On Islas Ballestas
best time to visit peru Islas Ballestas
One of the best times to visit Peru to see wildlife is in summer, but if you happen to be in the area in winter, it may still be worth booking a wildlife cruise.

Pisco and its surrounding Islas Ballestas and the Reserva Nacional de Paracas on the Paracas Peninsula are about 200 km (124 miles) south of Lima.

Islas Ballestas is directly west of Pisco and home to hundreds of thousands of birds, colonies of sea lions, pelicans, penguins and dolphins.

It’s often called the ‘poor man’s Galapagos.’

4- Be Mesmerised By Salinas de Maras
best time to visit amazon peru salt mines
When planning the best time to visit Peru, keep in mind that salt harvesting at Salinas de Maras occurs between May and October.

The Urubamba Valley’s Salinas de Maras is on the slopes of the Qaqawiay Mountain.

The ancient salt mine is made up of about 3,000 individual salt pans, which are shallow pools filled with salted water from an underground spring.

The salt pans were created well before the Incas arrived.

Local families still gather the mine’s salt deposits by hand throughout the Peruvian dry season between May and November.

5- Explore Ancient Kuelap
best time to visit peru and chile
The best time to visit Peru if you’re interested in the pre-Inca ruin of Kuelap is in winter. Kuelap is in the northern Peruvian mountains near Chachapoyas and was built as a fortress.

Kuelap blends ancient ruins, a cloudy forest and the Amazon River into one surreal destination.

The Chachapoyas (or Cloud People) built the ancient walled city of Kuelap, where the Amazon River formed a canyon in the Andes deeper than the Grand Canyon.

The castle at Kuelap is the largest in South America, even predating the Incas.

Top tips

Peruvian winters are much milder than winters in North America or Europe, making the country a great destination to visit.

Peruvian winters are renowned for being arid and chilly, so you can freely explore the Andes Mountains and Amazon Rainforest without being worried about torrential rain ruining your trip.

Peru in Spring

best time to visit peru and machu picchu
If Machu Picchu is your main reason for visiting Peru, the best time to go for warmer weather is in summer but it’s drier in winter.

Spring sees Peru welcoming warmer and wetter weather as the winter comes to an end.

Stretching from September to November, Peruvian springtime is known for mild yet unpredictable weather, with temperatures ranging from mild to warm.

Rain showers can often occur out of nowhere, so carry an umbrella or a raincoat whenever you’re in Peru during this time of year.

Similarly, springtime in Peru allows travellers to experience the best of both worlds, so it’s an excellent time to visit if you’ve never been to the country before.

September

  • Daylight hours: 1 hour
  • Average Low Temperature: 14 °C (57 °F)
  • Average High Temperature: 19 °C (66 °F)

October

  • Daylight hours: 3 hours
  • Average Low Temperature: 15 °C (59 °F)
  • Average High Temperature: 20 °C (68 °F)

November

  • Daylight hours: 4 hours
  • Average Low Temperature: 16 °C (61 °F)
  • Average High Temperature: 22 °C (72 °F)

Five Things to do in Peru in Spring

best time of year to visit machu picchu peru
One of the best times to visit Peru for photos is in spring when the street markets are full of flowers.
1- Go Hiking In The Highlands
best time of year to visit peru
Because of its diverse landscapes, there’s no best time of year to visit Peru. You’ll find somewhere to go no matter when you visit.

Trekking is the most popular activity in Peru’s Andean range, which has long captivated outdoor enthusiasts.

Besides Machu Picchu, there are several multi-day treks to select from, ranging in length and difficulty.

Hiking in the Andean Highlands is the best way of experiencing this unique corner of Peru.

2- Venture to Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is the number one bucket-list destination for visitors to Peru, whether they want to reach it by climbing the famous Inca Trail for four days or taking the luxury train from Cusco.

The ancient Incan city goes back to 1450AD, but it wasn’t until 1911 that it became a world-renowned destination after American historian Hiram Bingham rediscovered Machu Picchu.

3- Explore Lima
best time of year to visit lima peru , government palace
Aerial view of the historic centre of the capital of Peru, Lima.

Lima, Peru’s capital city, is surrounded by magnificent colonial structures built by the Spanish.

Lima, formerly known as the City of Kings, is a large metropolis surrounded by scenic hills and valleys and exquisite beaches that straddle the Pacific Ocean.

Lima has many things to do and see, thanks to the city’s rich cultural heritage, including a spectacular array of historical monuments and great examples of colonial architecture.

Most of Lima’s historic landmarks and attractions are conveniently located in the city centre’s UNESCO World Heritage Site, making exploring the city a breeze.

4- Travel to Cuzco
best time of the year to visit peru cuzco
The best time to visit Peru if you’re heading to Cuzco is from June to September.

Once the Inca Empire’s capital, Cuzco is now a lovely city with unique mestizo-style architecture that combines Incan foundations with Spanish colonial architecture.

Visit Plaza de Armas and the San Blas, Lucrepata and San Cristobal neighbourhoods to get the most out of the city’s incredible architecture.

5- Explore The Sacred Valley
best time to visit peru amazon Ollantaytambo village
The village of Ollantaytambo.

The villages of Pisac, Urubamba and Ollantaytambo and the Sacred Valley are less than an hour’s drive north of Cuzco.

This verdant valley has several Inca ruins worth exploring and is an intriguing place to wander around marketplaces and discover the local culture.

Top tips

Springtime is the best time to visit Peru if you’re travelling on a budget or prefer smaller crowds at the top attractions, as it’s usually the least-visited time of the year.

You’ll also find significant discounts between September and November.

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Christina Pfeiffer Travel Writer
Christina Pfeiffer is a writer, photographer and video blogger based in Queensland, Australia. She has lived in three continents and her career as a travel journalist has taken her to all seven continents. Since 2003, she has contributed travel stories and photographs to mainstream media in Australia and around the world such as the Sydney Morning Herald, CNN Traveller, The Australian and the South China Morning Post. She has won many travel writing awards and is a full member of the Australian Society of Travel Writers.