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When is the best time to visit Peru?

05.02.2018  |  updated: 23.06.2022
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Inka trail Peru

A tour to Peru has something to suit all tastes – whether you’re into lush rainforests and other picturesque scenery, indigenous markets or beautiful Inca ruins.

But when is the best time to visit the scenic South American country?

You can visit Peru at any time of the year, but some periods are better than others, depending on what you wish to experience. The Inca Trail, for example, is not accessible all year round.

Read on below to find out when it’s the best time for you to visit Peru.

The weather in Peru

Peru is located in the southern hemisphere and so has summer when it is winter in the UK.

The South American country generally has two seasons: a wet one and a dry one.

Peru spans three different regions with very different climatic and weather conditions, making the distinction between “wet” and “dry” somewhat blurred.

The three areas are:

  • Western Peru (Lima and the coasts), which are predominantly dry
  • The highlands (Cusco, Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail), which are temperate to cool
  • The Amazon Jungle is hot and humid.

Western Peru: Lima and the coast

Coast of Lima

The capital, Lima, and the country’s coastline, which consists mainly of desert, are hot and dry all year round with very little rain.

From December to April, temperatures in this part of Peru average 24–27°C.

From May to October, it is a lot milder, when the average daytime temperature drops to 18–22°C. It never gets as cold as it does here, but it is very humid at this time. In Lima during this period, you may experience the weather phenomenon, La Garúa: a thick layer of low-hanging cloud, creating fog with light drizzle over the city.

The mountains and the highlands: Cusco, Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail

Machu Picchu

Peru’s mountain area and highlands vary greatly in height, so you can expect different temperatures depending on where in the highlands you are. The higher you go, the lower the temperature and humidity.

The highlands have two seasons: one wet and one dry.

The dry season lasts from April to October, when you can expect clear weather with average daytime temperatures of 21–22°C. However, the nights are somewhat chillier during this season, with temperatures dropping to as low as freezing, particularly in June and July.

The dry season is peak season for Cusco and Machu Picchu, which means nice weather, but most visitors, too.

The wet season extends from November to March, when temperatures are also milder. Temperatures average 19–21°C during the day and 7°C at night. The wettest months are January and February. It is typically dry in the morning with afternoon rain.

During the wet season, you can expect more rain, but fewer visitors. The landscape will also change colour from arid brown to lush green during this season.

Best time for the Inca Trail?

Unlike Cusco and Machu Picchu, the Inca Trail CANNOT be visited all year round.

The Inca Trail is closed in February due to the weather and maintenance work.

We therefore recommend completing the Inca Trail between April and November to avoid mud. Remember to book in VERY good time, ideally 6–12 months before departure, as the trek may otherwise be sold out.

Eastern Peru: The Amazon Rainforest

Amazon Madre de Dios River

The Amazon Rainforest in eastern Peru has high temperatures and high rainfall all year round. However, the southernmost parts of the Amazon have cold winters.

  • There is a high probability of dry weather between April and October.
  • The period from November to April has more rain with frequent showers, but which often only last for a couple of hours at a time.

So when is the best time to visit Peru?

Peru offers amazing experiences that you can experience all year round.

However, it is useful to note that:

  • Lima and the coastline of western Peru are hottest between December and March, when it is summer and peak season in this part of Peru. However, you can expect hot temperatures throughout the year.
  • The highlands have a dry season from April to October, which many people consider to be the best time to visit. However, you should be aware that there are more visitors during this season.
  • In eastern Peru in the Amazon, you can expect a lot of rain and high daytime temperatures all year round. There is a high probability of dry weather between April and October, however, there is always a risk of rainfall in the rainforest whatever the time of year.

Check out our tours to Peru below:

Any questions?

Please note that this guide to Peru is a guideline only, and recommendations may change over time.

We therefore always recommend that you contact our travel consultants to work out the best time for you together.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

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