The Best Time to Visit Peru
When is the best time to visit Peru? Consider the climate at the time of your trip for the geographic region you wish to visit, especially since most activities take place outdoors. Here are some tips to help you prepare.
Peru has a varied geography (Coast, Highlands and Rainforest). It is located near the Equator and its shores are part of the cold Pacific Ocean currents. As such, weather conditions vary greatly from city to city. Although you can travel to Peru every day of the year, consider some of the following tips to improve your travel experience:
The city of Lima is in the coast of Peru, and weather conditions are mild year-round. The summer season (from mid-November to late-March) is sunnier and warmer than the rest of the year when it’s overcast and humid. It rarely rains in the coast, however it does drizzle somewhat, especially in Lima. Yet you can still visit Lima all year.
Paracas and Nazca, two popular destinations are a few hours driving distance south of Lima. The weather is generally warm and sunny, although it might be windy at times.
The northern coast of Peru (Trujillo/Chiclayo/Mancora) is known for its beautiful beaches and amazing surf year round. Given these warmer climates, you can visit these places all year.
If traveling to the highlands (i.e. Cusco and Arequipa), the higher you go, the colder it is and the “thinner” the air is. Please read our post regarding altitude sickness so you know how to best acclimate to this very popular part of the country, and better enjoy your trip.
Here, you can feel really warm in the sun but really cold in the shade, so layering clothes is really important for this region. In addition, because of the altitude, the seasons are inverted in the mountains as compared to the coast. In other words, the rainy season in the mountains takes place during the summer months in the coast (mid-November to late March). Temperatures are also warmer in the mountains during this time period.
On the other hand, when it’s overcast and humid in the coast (April through mid-November) it is dry and cold in the mountains. Usually, this is the best time to travel to Cusco, Machu Picchu, Arequipa & Colca Canyon as well as Lake Titicaca, which are all in this region.
This region of Peru is hot and humid all year so you should wear light colored clothes to keep fresh. It is especially rainy during the wet season (mid-November to late March), but the upside of traveling during this period is that you will spot flora and fauna that are generally not seen during the rest of the year. August and September are the best months to spot wildlife such as jaguars, caimans and wild pigs. The rainforest, however, is not always hot, on rare occasions, cold fronts take place during the dry season.