Peru is located close to the equator, and given its tropical climate, the country experiences very distinct weather patterns throughout the year. Rather than having a traditional four seasons, Peru’s main seasons are simply wet and dry.
November to April is when Peru experiences the most rainfall, and this also tends to be the low season. The Inca Trail and other popular sites can close completely, while traveling in the Amazon and remote, rural areas can be dangerous. In the wet season, it’s hot and humid, and at times the weather can be unbearable.
May to October is when the country enjoys its dry season, and this is always the best time to visit Peru. The weather is hot and sunny, and you can hike, hit the beaches and enjoy the best sights and attractions in glorious sunshine, but just remember that it’s also going to be busy.
To inspire your trip to South America, here’s the best time to visit Peru!
Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Peru (Travel Guide)
Best Time to Visit Peru: A Month by Month Breakdown
Visiting Peru in January
The start of the year is the middle of the rainy season, and it’s not necessarily the best time to visit Peru. This is the height of summer, and the country is lashed with rain throughout January.
It’s hot, it’s sticky and it’s humid across much of the country, and particularly in the Amazon and around Cusco, but head to the coast and things are very different.
This is a good time to visit the capital, Lima, where you can enjoy hot weather but, as this is one of the driest places in South America, even though it’s the rainy season you won’t see much rainfall at all. You can enjoy the beaches and even go swimming in the Pacific Ocean.
Across the country, it’s a quiet time to be in Peru, as this is certainly not high season, and if you do brave the rain then you can see plenty of Inca ruins without the crowds that follow in the dry season.
Visiting Peru in February
The rainy season counties into February, and unfortunately, this is again not a good time to be in Peru if you want to see all the traditional tourist sites.
The Amazon is still hot, humid and sticky and there’s a huge amount of rainfall throughout the month. If you aren’t used to such conditions, then it can become unbearable fairly quickly.
In the highlands, the rainfall also continues and this is one of the wettest months of the year. Given that most first time visitors to Peru want to visit Machu Picchu and hike the Inca Trail to this iconic mountainside ruin, February is not a popular time to visit, because the Inca Trail is often closed for renovation and maintenance during February.
If you do want to visit Peru in February though, then you’ll have the country to yourself but you might want to stick to the drier coastal and desert regions rather than heading inland.
Visiting Peru in March
You still haven’t escaped the rainy season yet, and in March there are still high levels of rainfall across the country. March is the end of summer, and from here on the temperatures start to drop, although, given Peru’s equatorial location, temperature differences can be minimal.
In the highlands, temperature changes are more marked, and the rain begins to lessen and the humidity drops. In Lima, you can enjoy the last of the wonderful summer sun and almost no rainfall, as you can in the desert regions too.
Visiting Peru in April
In April, you can still expect rain, but this is the last month of the rainy season. You’ll experience a few showers, but the humidity is markedly less and the weather is not quite as hot.
In fact, it can be the best time to visit Peru if you want to experience the country without the crowds and still enjoy good weather. April usually sees the celebration of Holy Week, a great cultural experience to be part of, although a time when all buses and planes are bound to be busier than usual, as locals travel to visit family.
The highlands are beautiful in April, and although Machu Picchu and the hiking trails are very much open for business, there are few other people around.
Visiting Peru in May
May is the start of the peak tourist season in Peru and after a long rainy season across much of the country, the visitors begin to arrive in large numbers.
This is the end of the wet season and the start of the dry season and it could be the best time to visit Peru. The highlands around Cusco are beautiful in May, as the scenery is lush and green from the rains but the sun is shining.
You’ll be able to hike through the Sacred Valley and along the Inca Trail, as the now mild temperatures offer optimal hiking conditions.
In Lima, things are, as always, dry and you’ll find that the coast is now cooling down considerably. It’s warmer than the highlands but you might not want to go swimming in the Pacific Ocean this time of the year.
Visiting Peru in June
June is when things begin to get busy in Peru as the rains are over and the tourists are arriving. Temperatures are still hot, especially along the coast and in the Amazon, and this is your last chance to see the most popular attractions before the crowds arrive next month
Visiting Peru in July
When it’s July, the peak season is in full swing and while this can be the best time to visit Peru in terms of the weather, it can also be incredibly crowded.
There’s no rain in Peru in July, but as this is winter, you will find that at night it can get cold, especially in the mountains at altitude and in the desert at night.
Conditions for hiking trails are perfect, but you will want to make sure that you book in tours to places like Machu Picchu in advance as there are only ever a limited number of permits issued and spaces fill up quickly.
If you want to escape the crowds consider traveling the lesser-known trails in the highlands rather than visiting Machu Picchu.
Visiting Peru in August
August can be very busy, and if you want peace and quiet then this is not the best time to visit Peru. The weather is dry and skies are clear, and although temperatures can get low at night, they still hit the pleasant heights of the mid-twenties in most destinations during the day.
If you’re visiting the touristy spots, then just like in July, make sure you are booked well in advance. Much of the world has school holidays and summer breaks in August and that brings in large numbers of tourists to Peru.
Visiting Peru in September
After the rush of July and August, things wind down a little in September but the most iconic spots are still definitely going to be busy.
It’s still dry and it’s still warm in September, and actually, after this, the transition to summer begins again.
This is a fantastic time to be in the Amazon, as the weather is beautifully cool in comparison to the approaching summer and at the end of the dry season, you’re more likely to spot wildlife. With less vegetation around, animals congregate in more visible areas and have fewer places to hide in the jungle.
Visiting Peru in October
October is the last month of the dry season or the first month of the rainy season. The weather can be unpredictable.
It’s the best time to visit Peru before the full force of the rains hit the highlands and the Amazon, so head to the mountains or to the jungle to make the most of the October weather.
Towards the end of October when rain is more likely, head to the coast and to Lima, where things are heating up again before summer begins.
Visiting Peru in November
November is the real start of the rainy season in Peru, and the start of summer too. It’s hot along the coast, it’s humid in the Amazon and it’s getting warmer and rainier in the mountains.
If you don’t mind a few downpours interrupting your trip, this is a great shoulder season month, and it can be the best time to visit Peru if you want a quieter trip.
It’s your last chance to visit the Amazon and to see the wildlife before the rains get heavier, and spotting animals in the dense bush becomes more challenging.
Visiting Peru in December
December can be a busy time for travel in Peru, given that this is the Christmas period, and although the weather might not be optimal it can still be popular.
Head to the coast of Peru to catch the summer weather and to enjoy a hot Christmas on the beach, or head up to the mountains where you can still tackle the hiking trails and see the iconic Inca ruins in all their glory.
It’s a great time to visit Peru, as there’s always a festival or celebration happening in December, no matter where exactly you might find yourself in the country!
Our Top Recommended Peru Tours:
- Explore Northern Peru & Machu Picchu with National Geographic Journeys – 16 days
- Explore Northern Peru with National Geographic Journeys – 9 days
- Explore Machu Picchu & The Amazon River with National Geographic Journeys – 11 days
- Amazon Riverboat Adventure with G Adventures – 7 days
- The Lares Trek with One Day Inca Trail with G Adventures – 8 days
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More on Peru:
- 11 Cool Things to Do in Peru + Planning Tips
- From Cusco to Machu Picchu: Everything You Need to Know
- How to Visit the Amazon in Peru
- Wasai Tambopata Lodge in Peru: Lodge Review
- Unforgettable Amazon with the Tambopata Research Center
- Posada Amazonas: Where Culture Meets the Amazon