The only thing predictable about Peru's weather is its unpredictability. It's not uncommon to experience all four seasons in a single day! For a vast country like Peru, predicting the weather isn’t as simple as following seasons. From mountains to deserts, and beaches to jungles, Peru holds highly diverse geographies, each with their own distinct climate. To break it down, the country has three main climate regions: the coast, the rainforest, and the mountains.
Generally speaking, Peru has two seasons, wet and dry, but altitude, and local weather patterns vary greatly throughout the different regions of Peru. Peru´s location just south of the equator, means a temperate climate all year round, however, The Andes have their very own weather patterns and seasons, so when we talk about the weather, we need to break down the 3 distinctive regions of the country. Here is some more information about the best time of year to go to Peru and the country’s seasons.
The coastal region known as la costa, has a dry hot climate all year round, with temperatures reaching 45 C (110 F) from December through April, so it's perfect for soaking up some sunshine and sipping on a local beer or Pisco Sour. Temperatures are milder and more humid throughout the winter months of May through October. During this time of year, much of the coast, especially Lima, is covered in a misty, fog called “garua”, which keeps the temperature low. The weather on the Peruvian coast is very different from the Andes. In the coastal areas, we find a sub-tropical climate with high humidity and very little rainfall. The warmest months on the Peruvian coast are January and February. Peruvian summer on the coast is characterized by hot, humid, and sunny conditions, with occasional afternoon and nocturnal rain showers.
Further inland in the highlands of The Andes, the Andean region (la Sierra) has more or less cold temperatures depending on the altitude. There are two distinctive seasons: wet and dry. The dry season is between April and October, but even the mountains' wet season isn't always really wet and the dry season sees its share of downpours. Temperatures during the day in the dry season can get hot as 20°C-25°C, (68°F to 77°F). At night, temperatures can drop quickly and a warm sweater or fleece is essential, particularly in June and July.
Expect heavy rains from December to March, with January and February being the months with the worst rainfall. Between 18°C-20°C (64°F and 68°F) during the day, and 15°C (59°F) at night, the weather is a little more bearable at this time. On days with a higher concentration of passing rain clouds, the mornings are generally dry. This is something to bear in mind if you are visiting Cusco, Machu Picchu, Arequipa, or Puno.
The eastern area of Peru is covered by the Peruvian section of the Amazon rainforest. It has a hot and humid climate throughout the year, but humidity and rain increase from December through March. Peru Amazon experiences include rain, heat, and more rain and heat! The average daytime temperature is 30-32° C (85-90° F), while nights can cool down to 20° C (68° F). They do have a wet and wetter season with the ”dry” season corresponding with the dry season in the highlands. In the region around the Manu National Park and Tambopata Reserve of Peru, there are two seasons: the dry season during the months of May – September, and the wet season from October – April. Be aware of the fact that there are more mosquitos in the wetter months of the year, so hikes and explorations of the rainforest are better done in the dry season.
This depends on you and what you prioritize. As mentioned, each region in Peru has its own distinct climate, which makes it difficult to define the absolute best time to visit Peru if you’re traveling all over the country.
However, with the dry season from April to October, this is a wonderful time to visit. That does also mean peak season, so book well in advance to ensure the availability of tours. If you want to avoid the large queues and crowds of other eager sightseeing tourists then visit in April, May, September, or October, as these months fall right before and after the rainy season. Peru really can be visited all year round, with every season offering a unique experience of its own. The rainy season may be the wettest, but it’s also the warmest time of the year, with showers often only lasting a few hours. Traveling in the low season also means fewer crowds and queues of tourists; more stunning, greener scenery; and lower costing flights and accommodation.
The weather will naturally impact your trip in some way. But fog, rain, sun, or blue skies, in a country like Peru, the landscape, nature, history, culture, and people always remain beautifully fascinating.