Deciding when to visit Peru can be difficult because the country covers three major geographic and climatic zones. It is split north to south by the Andes Mountains and is covered by the Amazon Jungle in the east. The country generally experiences two seasons: a wet season from November through March and a dry season from April through October. Most leisure travelers come to Peru from June through September during the dry season, which is the best time for hiking the Inca Trail (a four-day hike that only allows 500 people a day) and Machu Picchu because the sky is clear. The dry season is also the best time to visit the jungle. For visits to the coast, however, the best time is November through March when the weather is hot and perfect for the beach. The country sees peaks in demand during the Christmas and Easter holidays. The city of Cuzco attracts many visitors for the week-long festivities of Inti Raymi in June.
- high season: mid-December to mid-January, June to August
- shoulder season: mid-January to May, September to mid-December
Weather in Peru's coastal areas is temperate to warm throughout the year with very little rainfall. Afternoon temperatures can reach highs in the 80s, while the evenings cool down into the 50s. June through October tends to be the coolest time, with more humidity.
The Andes and high elevation valleys experience daily sunshine, with temperatures in the 80s in the afternoon and the low 30s in the evening. Machu Picchu is the warmest mountain, with temperatures averaging 75 degrees, while Puno is the coldest, averaging 32 degrees with some snow in the wet season.
The Amazon basin jungle is continually warm and humid, especially during the wet season.
Peru celebrates more than 1,000 festivals a year, with many in homage to a Christian patron saint and some linked to ancient Pagan myths. One of the largest festivals is Inti Raymi, the Festival of the Sun, held in Cuzco in June. The Fiesta de Carmen also attracts many visitors to Puacartambo in July.
Hotels, shops, and other attractions remain open year-round, but the Inca Trail usually closes for one month of maintenance in January or February.
When to Save
Depending on the destination, Peru can be affordable year-round. Prices may be higher around holidays, but most remain standard throughout the year.
When to Book
Although, it's wise to book in advance to ensure availability, prices remain fairly standard throughout the year. Last-minute prices can be found for those with flexible schedules. However, book at least one month in advance for lodging in Cuzco during the week-long celebration of Inti Raymi to ensure availability. Also, book at least one month in advance for the Inca Trail, especially during July and August.
Information provided by Promperu.