Planning a trip to Peru but you aren’t sure the best time to visit? Peuru has three unique climate zones, including the tropical climate in the Amazon jungle, the arid desert climate in the west and the Andean highlands in the center of the country. The country also has two main seasons so timing your travel is important if you want to enjoy your stay and see the sights.
When to Travel to Peru
The weather in Peru varies substantially depending on the region, although there are two main seasons in the area: wet and dry. The higher you go in elevation, the cooler the weather becomes. The peak tourist season in Peru is from June through August, as this is when the weather in the Andean highlands becomes cool and dry. This is also the busiest season to hit the Inca Trail to the remains of Machu Picchu. If you’re planning a trip to the beaches, hit Peru during the hot, humid season from late December through the month of March. In the highlands, the dry season and the best time to visit is from June through October.
When to Avoid a Trip
If you’re traveling to the southern or central area of Peru, the coast remains cloaked in thick coastal fog from April through early December and most of the beaches remain deserted. You can still head to the beaches in the northern part of the country, however. The wettest season in the rainforest is from December through the month of May and you’ll find it doesn’t stop raining for more than a couple of hours at a time. You can still enjoy the area although you may prefer to plan your trip for a drier time of the year.
What to Expect in the Dry Season
During the dry season in Peru, which lasts between May and November, the weather is usually fairly cool and nighttime temperatures can drop below freezing. Most tourists visit the country from June through August so you’ll face more crowds during the peak tourist season.
What to Expect in the Wet Season
The wet season runs from December through April and it’s common to experience rain fall 3-4 days per week. If you don’t mind tracking through muddy trails, you can enjoy less crowds and more beautiful scenery as the wildflowers are usually in bloom.
The Shoulder Seasons
From April to June and then between September and November you can actually get the best of both worlds with less crowds and more comfortable temperatures than you’ll experience at the height of the dry season, when most people visit. You’ll still get rain with perhaps a few rainy days each week.
Taking Advantage of Off-Season Prices
Given its wildly varying weather, the best time to visit Peru is whenever you can manage. It doesn’t always work to plan your trip around the weather, which is notoriously hard to predict in such a diverse area, and many people plan their trip to the area during the off-season to enjoy the sights with less crowds and take advantage of cheaper flights and accommodations.