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Best Time to Visit Peru | When to Go & Travel Tips

Best Time to Visit Peru | When to Go & Travel Tips

Peru is undoubtedly a gem in South America, with an endless variety of tempting attractions. This lovely place, known for its diverse landscapes and historic cultural history, has plenty to offer to every enthusiastic tourist.

Fans of the outdoors and animals will be spoiled for sure with Amazonian rainforest expeditions and trips to the Colca Canyon, one of the world’s deepest canyons, and Lake Titicaca, among the must-sees.

Machu Picchu in Peru, one of the world’s seven wonders, is a woodland ridge outside of Cusco City.

While Machu Picchu is a popular tourist destination in Peru, it does not provide a comprehensive picture of this fascinating country. Learn about the reasons why you visit this beautiful place and the best time to visit Peru.

Read Next: The Best Time to Visit Machu Picchu

Why Should You Visit Peru

Nice view of two people standing next to llamas during the best time to visit Peru

SL-Photography/Shutterstock

Aside from its most renowned sights, this South American city has plenty to offer visitors, including:

Food

Peruvian cuisine has long been renowned for its high quality. There is now some attention being paid to this issue throughout the world. 

As a result of the country’s significant immigrant Chinese and Japanese populations and the abundance of locally grown fresh produce, Peruvian cuisine has earned its present trending status.

Rich History

A variety of civilizations have inhabited Peru since the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors. The Inca civilization, centered in Cusco, Peru, was the most significant and most prominent. 

For example, you may see Machu Picchu, one of the outstanding examples of Incan architecture, among a host of other historic landmarks and sites in Peru.

Llama, Alpaca and Vicuña

In Peru, you’ll feel like it’s the last night before the new year when you see your first camelid.

No matter how big or tiny, domesticated or wild, llama, alpaca, or vicuña are, these adorable and gregarious creatures play an important role in Andean culture, giving their keepers fiber, meat, strength, and even spirituality. 

The high-altitude section of the road between Colca Canyon and Arequipa is one of the most incredible spots to see Peruvian camelids.

Textiles

Don’t forget to allow enough room in your suitcase. Peru’s textile and craft industries make it nearly impossible to leave the country without a souvenir.

Peruvian artists draw on thousands of years of native fiber work to produce sophisticated, tempting objects, from colorful, hand-dyed pillow coverings to meticulously woven blankets.

Great Adventure

Peru is a diverse country with a wide range of sights to see. Lima is a multicultural melting pot where different cultures’ traditions coexist side by side. Peru’s capital, Lima, serves as a good starting place for understanding the country’s unique blend of cultures. 

Cusco is another option. Cusco has so much to offer, from the typical tour of the city’s most popular attractions to the more adventurous Inca Trail. In Cusco, visitors of all ages will find something to enjoy.

Overall Best Time to Visit Peru

Llama standing on the hill by Machu Picchu during the best time to visit

Northstars/Shutterstock

Because of the wide variations in climate seen throughout the country, it might be challenging to pinpoint the ideal time of year to visit Peru. 

The best time to visit the shore is in January, when the weather is perfect, while the best time to explore the Machu Picchu, the Amazon, and the Andes is from May to September – the driest season.

There’s no use in stressing over it because you’re unlikely to find the perfect time to see everything in a single trip. Because the nation has so much to offer, there is no need to worry about the weather.

Best Time to Visit in Winter

The Northern Hemisphere’s winter season is usually summer in the Southern Hemisphere. The best time to visit Peru if you plan on visiting the shore is between December and March.

During this time, the weather is hot and there is little precipitation. Swimming and other beach activities are plentiful due to the excellent weather conditions.

Best Time to Visit in Spring

Winter in the Northern Hemisphere lasts from the end of February to the beginning of March. Coastal locations remain hot from March through May, although temperatures begin to decline.

Machu Picchu’s rainy season ends in March, and by May, the environment should be dryer and warmer. This time of year may be less crowded and simpler to obtain an Inca Trail permit.

Best Time to Visit in Summer

To avoid misunderstanding, we’re referring to the Northern Hemisphere’s summer months, the winter season in Peru. Thanks to the dry air and mild temperatures, it’s at its most beautiful during winter.

It’s the greatest time to visit Cusco, and the Andes provide incredible hiking options. 

When the sun sets, it gets chilly, so dress warmly. The Amazon is hot and dry throughout the year, although the driest months are from May through September.

Best Time to Visit in Fall

Visits to Cusco, Machu Picchu, and the Amazon Rainforest are best made in the early fall. It seldom rains in Cusco and surrounding Machu Picchu between September and October.

So it’s an excellent time to visit weather-wise. It’s essential to remember that the trails will be busiest during favorable weather.

Cheapest Time to Visit Peru

Jungle shacks in Iquitos in the rainforest pictured during the best time to visit Peru

Jess Kraft/Shutterstock

We got you if you’re less interested in having the greatest Peruvian weather than having a low-cost trip. The rainy season in Peru often runs from the end of October to the middle of December and from the middle of January to the end of April. 

However, keep in mind that Lima is experiencing its busiest season at this time of year. Travelers on a budget should avoid the Andean Highlands from June to August as a rule of thumb.

When it comes to Machu Picchu or Cusco travel, these are the busiest months of the year. When comparing airfares, keep in mind that flying during the week is usually less expensive than on weekends.

It’s comforting to know that Peruvian accommodations are relatively reasonable, even if you can’t get a cheap ticket. When it comes to saving money, living in hostels or hospedajes might be an excellent option for travelers.

In the Andes, January is a quiet season for tourists. Booking flights and hotels at a discount will save you money in the long run. But if you want to get the greatest deals, we recommend making your reservations in advance.

Least Busy Time to Visit Peru

Jiron Carabaya street pictured during the least busy time to visit Peru with empty streets and sidewalks

Adwo/Shutterstock

The low season which runs from January to April is also the least busy time to visit Peru. It has persistent heavy rainfalls, resulting in the closing of one of Peru’s most popular tourist destinations — the Inca Trail — in February.

You might give windsurfing at Máncora a go, or you could go on a tour of the catacombs that are located in the historical heart of Lima.

If you do not mind getting wet while trekking, you should make the most of the remaining time on the Inca Trail. Festival de Marinera is a celebration conducted during January in Trujillo, located in the northwestern region of Peru.

During this time, parades and dance contests are performed all around the city. Similarly, Lima celebrates its birthday every year on January 18, which was established in 1535.

The festival has performances spread out throughout the day, with fireworks at midnight as the culmination of the event. Instead of traveling to Peru during the height of the low season, you might want to consider going during the shoulder season.

Enjoy the best weather and avoid the masses of people that visit during the busiest times of the year for tourists. If you plan on traveling in April, you should try to schedule your trip outside of the holy week known as Semana Santa (Easter).

Worst Time to Visit Peru

Iquitos crowd gathering on Palm Sunday during the worst time to visit Peru

Nowaczyk/Shutterstock

The wet season follows on the tail of the dry season and lasts from November through April. A word of caution: the months of January through April, also known as the rainy season, are the very worst time to visit Peru.

One of the most common suggestions for vacations in Peru is to go there in March or April so that you may visit the Galápagos Islands. The Inca Trail is closed during February due to severe rains. If participating in this activity is vital to you, you should avoid traveling during this month.

Since prices increase even higher over the holiday season and in the days leading up to the new year, it is significantly more difficult to locate affordable hotel options around these times.

Things to Consider

Pisac market during the best overall time to visit Peru

Matyas Rehak/Shutterstock

Every nation has its peculiar customs and traditions that are well known to the people who live there but may be unfamiliar to tourists visiting for the first time.

Before you travel to Peru, there are a few things you should be aware of, including the following:

  • Don’t miss the off-the-beaten-path attractions that most tourists aren’t aware of, such as the Paracas National Reserve, the Secret Slave Tunnels, and Huacachina, the extraordinary Desert Oasis.
  • Traveling by bus is preferable to flying. Before going to the next location, make sure you spend a significant amount of time in each place and genuinely get to know it.
  • Be prepared. Remember to bring along things like toilet paper, comfy shoes, lots of fluids, sun protection, and hand sanitizer.
  • Be sure to check the forecast. On the map, two locations might appear to be located fairly close to one another, but their climates can be significantly different.
  • Get a taste of the typical lunch “menu.” Families often own these restaurants and provide customers with various entrées, desserts, and drinks.
  • Bring Peruvian Sol, and don’t be scared to bargain when shopping.
  • The Inca Trail is a tough climb.
  • The cheapest flights to Peru usually take you to Lima, which is the primary departure point for most visitors.
  • Purchase handcrafted souvenirs from the Sacred Valley’s Ccaccaccollo Women’s Weaving Co-op.
  • Discover Peru’s 3,500 potato varieties at the Parque de la Papa conservation project.

Most Frequently Asked Questions

Guy in the the desert with a cloak over his face selling colorful blankets

Simon Mayer/Shutterstock

We strive to make your vacation to Peru as enjoyable and straightforward as possible. Find some quick answers to all of your questions regarding traveling to Peru.

Do I need a visa to Peru?

You will be issued a tourist visa upon arrival. This is true for residents of Canada, the E.U., Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S. Immigration officials will determine the length of your stay, although you’re only allowed to stay up to 183 days.

Visa extensions are not available in Peru. Present a valid passport upon arrival. Immigration officials may also ask for documentation of onward travel.

What vaccinations do I need?

Peru encourages Hepatitis A, B, and Yellow Fever vaccines. Yellow fever vaccination is essential for persons traveling to rainforest areas lower than 7,500 feet in elevation.

What is the Capital of Peru?

Lima is Peru’s capital city. It is the business and industrial center of the country.

What is the currency in Peru?

The Peruvian Sol is the country’s currency. It’s always a good idea to have some U.S. dollars on hand, even if it’s simply for emergencies. When you arrive in Peru, you may either use your dollars to pay for accommodations and excursions (and avoid any ATM costs) or convert them for soles.

What is the official language in Peru?

The official language of Peru is Spanish, which is spoken by over 84 percent of the population. However, over 26 percent of the population does not speak Spanish as their mother tongue. Quechua (13 percent), followed by Aymara (2 percent), are also both spoken in the country.

Where can I change money in Peru?

Banks, Casas de Cambio, hotels, and street money changers are the four places in Peru where you may exchange money. Queues at banks are notoriously lengthy, making currency exchanges a time-consuming ordeal.

What are the taboos in Peru?

It is illegal to bring raw ham into the country from Portugal or Italy and export items that have artistic or cultural significance. In Peru, it is considered rude to address someone as “over there” while curling the first finger of one hand upward.

So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Peru?

There is a significant temperature disparity across the various regions of Peru, making it difficult to determine the best time of year to travel there. Because of this, picking the ideal time to go to Peru depends on the destinations you choose to visit.

Considering all of these, the best time to visit Peru if you plan on going to the shore is in January when it is hot, and the greatest time to travel to the highlands and jungle is after the rains, which is from May to September.

Keeping these things in mind, start planning your Peruvian adventure now!