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When is the best time to visit Peru?

Written by
Jobi Chan, Jennifer Richt & Lily Bunker

Most visitors to Peru will make a beeline for Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. The best time to visit Peru for these sights is from May to October, when the weather is drier.

The best time to visit Lima and the Nazca Lines is between November and May. However, a wealth of incredible restaurants, museums and galleries make a trip to Lima great any time of year.

Those looking to explore the Amazon have a choice between low and high water season - when the water levels can differ by as much as ten metres. Both have their advantages; jungle treks are on offer during low water season but closer animal encounters are possible in high water season.

Dry season
May - October
Rainy season
November - April
Peak season
June - August
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When is the best time to visit the Amazon?

There are two main seasons in the Amazon: the high water season from November to May and the low water season from June to October. There is around a 10% difference in rainfall between the seasons, which results in an increase in the level of the river. It can rise and fall between eight and ten metres. The main difference between the two seasons is the types of activities you can do.

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In the rainy season the Amazon is flooded so although there is no opportunity to hike, you are higher up and closer to the treetops which allows you to see animals and flowers close up. During the dry season you can explore the rainforest on foot and there is a better chance of seeing migratory birds. There are also fewer mosquitos during the dry season and temperatures are slightly higher.

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MAY-OCT

Best time to hike the Inca Trail

Towards the end of January and during the rainiest month of February, the Inca Trail closes for essential repairs. It reopens in March, although it can still be fairly wet through to April. May and October are great months to hike the Inca Trail as there are fewer crowds and it is much drier.

JUN-SEPT

Best time to hike the Ausangate and Choquequirao Trails

The best time to hike the Ausangate trek is between June and September. We don’t recommend visiting from January to March or during November and December due to weather conditions. Those looking to hike the Choquequirao trek should look to visit between April and September. January, February and December are not recommended.

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When is the best time to visit Lima and the Peruvian coast?

Peru’s capital, Lima, has enough to keep you entertained whatever the weather. However, the most pleasant time to visit is between November and May when the days are sunny and temperate. Lima is the gastronomic capital of South America and foodies may well want to check out the Mistura Food Festival during September. November to May is also a great time to visit Paracas and the Nazca Lines. There is great fishing and sand duning to be done, as well as the opportunity to visit the pisco grape valleys of Ica.

Peruvian woman, Inca ruins, Sacred Valley, Peru

Trujillo and Chiclayo generally enjoy great weather year-round. However, depending on the el niño weather pattern, January to April can experience rains which may affect visits to the ruins and pyramids as they are made of mud bricks. The Marinera Folk Dance Festival takes place in January or February each year, while the Spring Festival takes place in September. Both are great fun to visit. The best time to visit the northern beaches, including Mancora, is between May and November. Here you can surf, fish and swim with turtles.

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May - October

Machu Picchu

Visiting Machu Picchu is a highlight of any trip to Peru. The dry season runs from May to October when you’ll have the highest chance of clear blue skies. The mountains will also be lush and green after the rains that fall from November to early April. It is worth noting, however, that there may still be heavy mist during on mornings and afternoons during this time. June, July and August are typically the busiest months as days are warm, nights are cool and there is very little rainfall.

May - October

Cusco and the Sacred Valley

The dry season – May to October - is the best time for clear blue skies and wonderful views. Cusco has plenty of museums, galleries and brilliant restaurants so it can be enjoyed any time of year. Between May and September there are a number of local festivals, including Qoyllur rit’I, the biggest native Indian festival, and Mamacha del Carmen in Paucartambo, which honours the Virgin Carmen, patron saint of Paucartambo.

What is Peru like?

"It's romantic being in the mountains, exploring the old Inca citadels and colonial squares, there's beautiful restaurants and you can do everything in comfort and style. Kids love exploring the country and its history, meeting the different animals, it's like one big outdoor adventure playground."

"Jacada provided us with the utmost in professionalism in planning our trip to Peru.

Accommodations were beyond expectations and guides provided were both personable and willing to do whatever needed to be done to ensure that our trip was perfect. Along the way, they even threw in a few unexpected surprises which enhanced our experience even more. Not only will I unconditionally recommend them to friends and family, I already have while also contemplating my next adventure for them to plan and organise for us.”

Donald, 5 Stars

Cruising on the Amazon, Peru

Whatever you want from your trip to Peru, our team of expert travel designers are ready to help.

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