When is the Best Time to Visit Peru?
The best time to visit Peru is from May to October, the dry winter season which brings clear and sunny days. During this period, conditions are perfect for outdoor experiences. If you want to hike The Inca Trail, we recommend avoiding the rainy season (November to April) as it is closed.
The climate in Peru varies greatly depending on region; Lake Titicaca has an average daytime high of 14°C (57°F) in July, whereas the Amazon can experience 31°C (88°F) during the same period.
During the wet season, between November to March the Amazon receives the heaviest rainfall compared to Trujillo, in the north, which remains dry. The shoulder season months of April and October can deliver good weather with fewer crowds across Peru.
When is the rainy season in Peru?
Peru’s rainy summer season, between November to April, brings warm temperatures, lush landscapes and fewer visitors. January and February are especially very wet. This is a good time to travel to skip the crowds and enjoy the local food scene. If you want to explore the great outdoors and hike The Inca Trail, we recommend avoiding the rainy season.
Climate guide for Peru
With such diverse landscapes and varying climates – there is always a good time to visit Peru. We’ve put together a monthly climate guide to help you decide on the best time to visit.
Visiting Peru in November - April
November to April is the wet season in Peru, it’s also summer, so temperatures are warm. In January, the Amazon can see highs of 33°C (90°F) and Machu Picchu can reach 26°C (79°F).
January and February are the wettest months and the worst time to go hiking with the Inca Trail closing in February to protect the ancient pathways.
Visiting Peru in May - October
May to October are the best months to travel to Peru. Although it’s winter, the day time temperatures feel pleasant. Expect highs of 25°C (77°F) at Machu Picchu with sunny, bright blue skies. Be sure to pack layers as early mornings and evenings get very cold, dropping to 0°C (32°F) at altitude.
In the Andes very little rain falls, making it perfect to go hiking in the Sacred Valley, Inca Trail or embark on boat trips on Lake Titicaca. In the Amazon temperatures can reach 33°C (90°F) with low water levels. This is the best time to explore the Amazon Forest on foot.
Best things to do in Peru
Choosing what to do in Peru will depend on the seasons, climate and your interests. There’s endless possibilities for families, foodies, adventurers and those interested in history and culture. Aside from Machu Picchu there’s countless other highlights from Choquequirao to the ancient adobe city of Chan Chan.
Visit the Amazon
The best time to visit the Amazon for nature walks is between June to October, the low water season. The best time to visit the Amazon to cruise on higher waters and experience wildlife in the tree canopy is November to May.
During the low water season, you can set off on nature walks and enjoy a better chance of seeing migratory birds. While cruising on high water, watch out for monkeys and sloths in the treetops.
Lodges in the Southern Peruvian Amazon are best for families. Enjoy treasure hunts and tip-toeing across the canopy walkway at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica. For complete luxury look no further than northern Peru Amazon cruises, a wildlife-rich, pristine region, best explored by boat.
Head to the beach
The best time to go to the beach in Peru is between May and November. The northern beaches, including Mancora receive little rain and temperatures are pleasant at 24 °C (75°F). A great place for romantic sunset boat cruises, fun surfing lessons and fishing.
Wooden walkways connect the chic bungalows and infinity pool of Kichic, a peaceful beachfront hideaway - the perfect spot for honeymooners. Add some history and culture at Chiclayo and Trujillo where you can watch traditional reed boats in Huanchaco or visit one of the many immense ancient ruins of the region - don’t miss the desert adobe complex of Chan Chan.
Catch a festival
Visiting Cusco and the Sacred Valley between March and June is the best time for festivals in Peru. Holy week takes place in March or April and brings many religious processions to Cusco with the Plaza de Armas and Cathedral Basilica becoming the focal points of the festivities. The solemn religious practices merge with cultural tradition creating celebrations unique to this part of Peru.
The ancient Incan festival of Inti Raymi, festival of the sun, is celebrated every year on 24th June with a majestic ceremony. Brightly coloured costumes are worn and traditions are followed. A procession moves from Incan sites around Cusco into the main plaza - roads are closed and the balconies of bars and restaurants become busy as everyone tries to get a good view. We strongly recommend booking well in advance and including an expert guide to show you the best ways to avoid the big crowds and enjoy this incredible festival.
Visit Machu Picchu
The best time to visit Machu Picchu is between May and October which bring clear skies. Early mornings are misty and cold - so be sure to pack layers. Typical midday temperatures are 26°C (79°F). Visit during the morning and afternoon to witness the shifting shadows and lights bring the ruins to life.
There are many ways to witness the dramatically located ancient ruins. There’s no road to Machu Picchu so most visitors will take a train at least one way. The Hiram Bingham is the epitome of opulence, the elegant dining popular with couples. The Vistadome train boasts massive windows that reach into the ceiling, immersing travellers in their surroundings. During your exploration of the citadel, we highly recommend taking a break for afternoon tea at The Sanctuary, just at the gate to Machu Picchu.
Visit Cusco and The Sacred Valley
The dry season, May to October, is the best time to visit Cusco and The Sacred Valley. Clear blue skies with very little rain are great for site-seeing and enjoying wonderful views. A great place for families to visit with a host of family friendly hotels and activities.
Cusco has plenty of museums, galleries and brilliant restaurants, which can be enjoyed year round. However, the better weather between May and September hails the start of a number of festivals, including Qoyllur rit’I, an important native Indian festival. Holy Week, in March or April, brings many religious processions to Cusco. Enjoy your stay in style at one of our favourite hotels, the Palacio Nazarenas.
In the Sacred Valley there’s something for everyone with zip lines and quad bikes to markets and cultural visits and the ancient ruins or Maras, Moray and Ollyantytambo. A collection of luxury, individual stone cottages, delicious restaurants, a spa and swimming pool make-up the glorious Sol y Luna hotel. But there’s more - the hotel’s foundation, committed to helping children in poverty, among many life-changing initiatives, runs a primary for over 150 children from the valley. Sol y Luna is a must-visit for anyone interested in positive impact trips.
Explore Lima, Paracas and Nazca
The best time to visit Lima, Paracas and Nazca is between November and May when the days are sunny and temperate. Calm conditions are the best for light aircraft flights over beguiling, mysterious Nazca and boat trips to the wildlife-rich Ballestas islands.
Peru’s capital, Lima is known as the gastronomic capital of South America. From food markets, hole-in-wall gems and Michelin star restaurants - the foodie tours here are diverse and delicious - a must-visit for any foodie. Home to a collection of beautiful hotels, explore the city in style from the grand cliff-top Miraflores Park Hotel or the Hotel B, a chic, art hotel in the bohemian neighbourhood of Baranco.
Visit Paracas and the Nazca Lines from November to May to try a variety of excursions, just a short drive from Lima. There’s pisco tours and sand dunning in the valleys of Ica and incredible birdlife on the Ballestas islands, Peru’s answer to the Galápagos - they even have a Peruvian booby. Calm weather conditions are perfect for light aircraft flights that reveal the scale of the Nazca lines, let expert guides explain the many theories behind the mysterious carved symbols.
Best hikes to do in Peru
The best time of year to go on Peru’s best treks is the dry, winter season between May and October. The ground is dry and very little rainfall means conditions are comfortable. Avoid January and February as it’s too wet and the Inca Trail is closed.
The Inca Trail can get busy during Peru’s peak season between July and August. We recommend booking well in advance or, avoid the crowds and visit during the shoulder months of May, early June, September or October instead. There’s many other treks across the Sacred Valley such as the Lares trek, which is best for communities and culture. There’s the epic seven day Salkantay, which is also best experienced between May and October.
Although all treks require a certain level of fitness, some are more challenging than others. The best time to hike the Ausangate trail is between June and September. The trek takes 4 nights and 5 days and although it’s possible to stay in mountain lodges rather than tents, they are basic ‘lodge’ style.
Choquequirao is the only trek that leads you in, and out, on the same route. Best experienced between April and September, it is one of the most intrepid hiking routes in Peru, the trail leads you to enormous Incan ruins shrouded in dense jungle.