Peru is an incredibly diverse country in South America, with three main terrain types: arid coastal desert (costa), the snowy peaks of the Andes mountains (sierra), and the humid Amazon rain forest (selva). But what are the best times to visit Peru for an outstanding trip?
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It is a fascinating country with plenty of attractions to keep visitors busy. Whether you’re looking for stunning mountain scenery, ancient ruins, or vibrant cities, Peru has it all. The best time to visit will depend on what you want to do and see, but we’ve put together a guide to the best times of year to visit Peru.
Weather and Climate of Peru
The pleasant weather in Peru is strongly influenced by the towering Andes Mountain range and the hot Amazon basin.
The cool air that descends from the eastern slopes of the Andes produces a highland climate, while the heat and humidity that rise from the jungle create a warm, wet environment on its western slopes. The large central plain has a subtropical climate.
Temperatures in Lima
Temperatures in Lima are usually between 21°C and 27°C, although they can fall below 10°C overnight during the winter months. The eastern regions have much colder nights between June and September when temperatures drop below freezing at higher altitudes.
Most rain falls in the coastal areas of South America, where it can be very wet. The Andean regions have a dry season between May and August.
The Best Times to Visit During the Year
The following are the best times to visit Peru by month.
January is an excellent time to go to Peru if you’re looking for a relaxed trip with few crowds. It is the best time of year to do some outdoor activities as there are more hours of sunlight and rarely rains than in other months, but it can be hard to plan your trip as this also depends on which region of Peru you want to visit.
The Festival de Marinera, as it’s known in Spanish, or the Trujillo Marinera Festival is an annual Peruvian cultural festival held in January in Trujillo. The event is centered on a dance competition called the Marinera, a traditional city, and rural dance.
This festival is one of the country’s most prominent cultural events, and Trujillo has been designated as the National Capital Marinera by the Peruvian government.
February suffers from extremes in weather, so best avoided if you want to do outdoor activities. The best option is the coastal areas which are best for surfing and diving.
Weather conditions during this month are best in the Andean region of Cusco. February is best for visiting Arequipa, Puno, and Cusco, where the dry winter weather makes way for more comfortable temperatures.
The Andes and Amazon are at their wettest, with the Inca Trail closed for February. However, travel is still possible, and Machu Picchu remains open – it will just be more difficult for trekkers.
The Inca Trail reopens around the end of February, and more travelers begin to arrive, especially as Easter approaches. This is also a popular time to go if you want to combine a trip to Peru with the Galapagos Islands.
The Fiesta de la Candelaria is Peru’s largest and most well-known event and one of the largest in South America. One of Peru’s most famous events is a two-week-long blend of indigenous and Catholic traditions.
One of the best times to visit Peru for a few days at the beach or an action-packed trip seeing ancient ruins.
March has good weather throughout Peru, although prices may be higher due to the spring break season! The best place for outdoor activities (e.g., hiking, biking, and rafting) is the Andean region of Cusco.
Depending on when Easter falls in a given year, the month of March can be either highly busy or relatively quiet in terms of major Peruvian celebrations. The International Harvest Festival, also known as the Festival Internacional de la Vendimia, is known for selecting a queen to ceremoniously crush the first grapes of the season.
April marks the beginning of the best time to visit Peru, with sunny days and clear blue skies in Lima and Cusco for Easter Week festivities.
Festividad del Señor del Los Temblores del Cusco is a festival in Cusco, Peru, held on the fourth Saturday of Easter (which can fall at any point during April or May), and is dedicated to the Lord of the Earthquakes (El Señor de Los Temblores). The festival begins with a series of processions and religious rituals, and then the Lord of Earthquakes is venerated through traditional worship and offerings.
With fresh mountain air and fewer tourists after the winter rush, May is the best month to visit Machu Picchu. Coastal places in Peru have excellent weather during April and May, thanks to plenty of rain, which keeps the water calm for swimming and other water activities.
It’s recommended to stay away from the highlands (such as Lake Titicaca), which get the most significant rain during this period. These are, nevertheless, the most incredible months to visit the Amazon jungle and see its fauna!
Both Cusco and Lima celebrate Fiesta de la Cruces on May 3rd. It is a procession of flower-adorned crosses taken to nearby hills and churches. It is hosted, complete with traditional music and dances.
The best weather for the lush Amazon jungle is the best time to visit Peru if you’re visiting for outdoor activities. Although there is very little rainfall in this country region, it’s best to avoid the coastal areas due to high winds and large waves on the water, making it more difficult for boating and swimming.
Inti Raymi is a festival in Peru on the shortest day of the year (June 24, winter solstice). It is both a religious and cultural event dedicated to the sun god.
It is an Inca Empire ceremonial event honoring the god Inti (Quechua for “sun”), the most worshipped deity in the Inca religion. The Inca New Year coincided with the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year between sunrise and sunset.
The best place to visit Peru is in the coastal areas as the best weather is recorded here. It’s best to avoid highland regions, cold and wet with lots of soggy ground, making it challenging to explore ancient ruins!
The Fiesta de la Virgen del Carmen is held yearly around July 16 in the tiny hamlet of Paucartambo, some four hours outside of Cusco. This three- or four-day festival is ostensibly religious, but it’s also one of Peru’s most prominent and craziest parties, attracting guests from all over the country.
August is the best time to visit Peru and the best time of year for beach holidays with fine weather across the coastal areas. Rainy but the best option if you’re looking for perfect beach weather! The best region to enjoy this is the central coast, where you can find excellent resorts, as well as Lake Titicaca.
It’s best to avoid the Andean region of Cusco, which has bad weather during this month, including frequent rain and low temperatures. September is also best avoided as it is the tail end of the wet season.
On August 30, the anniversary of Santa Rosa de Lima’s death, the most renowned Santa Rosa de Quives celebrations were held all around the country.
Santa Rosa de Lima was the first native-born American saint to be canonized by the Catholic Church, and her legacy is honored worldwide. Then, it should come as no surprise that the most lavish celebrations take place in her native Peru.
The weather is also at its most pleasant during September, with many festivals taking place that will keep you entertained.
In September, the Mistura Food Festival, held in Lima, Peru, celebrates Peruvian cuisine and agriculture. It includes a vast market where more than 300 farmers from across the country display and sell the products of their respective regions.
Visitors can sample famed Peruvian potatoes, doughnuts, picaroons or enjoy local and foreign dishes supplied by celebrity chefs, small vendors, and recognized restaurants at various food stalls.
The best weather in the Andean region of Cusco with pleasant temperatures and less humidity, although best avoided if you plan to spend any time at the beach or go hiking.
Coastal regions have good weather this month, with dry conditions making it best for exploring and soaking up the sun! October brings increased rainfall to the amazon but lower prices.
The senor de Los Milagros festival is one of the oldest on our list, and it takes place every year in mid-October, with the grand procession taking place on October 18.
A procession is similar to a walk or parade in which giant floats and other creative exhibits commemorate a crucial religious figure (or people).
The year’s best weather is best in the Amazon jungle, with sunny conditions best for outdoor activities, including sports. We recommend avoiding most other parts of Peru as it can be wet, particularly coastal regions which are stormy with lots of rain.
In November, it is when Puno Week is held to commemorate the birth of Manco Cápac, the first Inca, according to legend. This includes a fascinating re-enactment of his arrival on the city’s border with Lake Titicaca, as well as a perfect excuse to party for the entire week.
The best time to visit Peru for culture with fewer crowds is December because it’s winter here and most people choose to spend their holidays in warmer countries!
However, this means that prices are higher during the peak holiday season, but the best time for visiting the highlands of Cusco. The best weather is in the best coastal areas for surfing and diving!
Every year, December 24 is celebrated as Santuranticuy. It is only held in Cusco, where enormous outdoor marketplaces are put up to commemorate the festival. The term loosely translates to “sale of saints.”
Facts to Remember About Peru
The best time to visit has a lot to do with what you want to get out of your trip. If you’re looking for great weather for outdoor activities, it’s best to head to the coastal areas in the best months, January through to April. However, if you’re looking for cheaper travel costs and fewer crowds, the best time of year to visit Peru is September through December. If you’re visiting during these months, prices are best across all regions of the country!
When you choose to visit Peru, you’re sure to have a fantastic time. There’s always something new to explore in this great country with its rich culture and history.
We hope our guide has helped you figure out the best time of year for your trip based on what you want to get out of it. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your Peruvian adventure today!