At Cusco Peru.Travel our travel specialists are available to help you plan your perfect holiday. Based in Peru and with extensive knowledge of the country and know the weather conditions of each region. They are best placed to share honest advice and design your tailormade trip to make the most of your travel, whatever the weather in Peru.
Peru is home to dramatic geographical diversity, with jungles, deserts, Andean Valleys and some of the world´s highest mountains, and this gives way to 30 of the world’s 32 climates. For that reason, the weather in Peru varies significantly from region to region at any given time of year.
Weather wise, there are only two or three destinations that are highly seasonal. For lodge based stays in the Rainforest, we would recommend you avoid January and February. For all other destinations, the weather is fine for travel year round. The rainy season in the Andes is not acute and intense as the monsoon season in Asia and visiting is perfectly feasible.
Peru’s dramatic geographic contrasts, rich history and diverse ethnic makeup, results in a colorful array of festivals, especially in the Andes and Cusco region where Catholic traditions and pre-Hispanic customs combine to produce unique cultural events so there are plenty of events to plan your trip around, or to coincide with while you are travelling. Processions, large and small often follow the same pattern, with dancers in costume and images of Saints and Christ carried in floats through the town.
The best time to visit Peru depends largely on where you plan to spend your trip. There are marked variations in weather between the principle three geographical regions in Peru- the Coastal Desert, the Andes Mountains and Highlands, and the Amazon Rainforest. For Machu Picchu, the main weather consideration is the difference between dry season and rainy season.
MACHU PICCHU & THE ANDE MOUNTAINS
The weather consideration in Peru is the difference between dry season and rainy season, while taking into account there are shoulder months between these when weather is variable. Within each of the highlands region, temperature and conditions vary based on altitude (higher elevation is generally colder and lower elevation warmer).
DRY SEASON: MAY TO OCTOBER
During dry season it is generally sunny and there is little chance of rain, though it is not unheard of for there to be occasional showers. Temperatures are cooler in the dry season, though the variation between day and night means it’s best to bring layers!
- Daytime temperatures: 18-25º C / 65-77º F
- Nighttime temperatures: -5-5º C / 23-41º F
RAINY SEASON: DECEMBER TO MARCH
During rainy season, the highest chance of rain is usually in late January and February. While other months see rain, there are also often sunny and dry spells – though the timing of these is hard to predict! The Inca trail to Machu Picchu is closed for the month of February for maintenance work. Temperatures in rainy season are warmer than in the dry season. Example average temperatures and precipitation in the mountain city of Cusco can be seen to the right.
- Daytime temperatures: 20-26º C / 68-79º F
- Nighttime temperatures: 0-10º C / 32-50 º F
SHOULDER MONTHS: APRIL & NOVEMBER
During shoulder months between dry and rainy season, weather can go either way. With luck you will have sun and no showers, but if you travel in a year of heavy precipitation, you may find the same rainfall as December – March.
OTHER CONSIDERATIONS WHEN TRAVELING TO THE MOUNTAINS AND HIGHLANDS
Because Peru has an extensive number of micro-climates, it is important to note that temperature and conditions will also vary within the region. For example, while Arequipa and the Colca Canyon are often visited together, the Colca Canyon and Valley are affected much more by the rainy season. Though technically in the mountains and highlands, Arequipa is generally temperate year round, while Colca experiences lower temperatures and heavier rains from December – March
Cities on Peru’s coast such as Trujillo and Chiclayo, as well as the southern coastal cities of Ica and Nazca are hot, sunny and dry most of the year. The northern beaches of Mancora boast consistent warm weather. Peru’s capital Lima is also on the coast, and along with nearby Paracas it can be cooler and overcast between May-October. Due to its desert geography, rainfall across the coast is minimal and rare.
- Daytime temperatures: 23-28º C / 74-82º F
- Nighttime temperatures: 12-18º C / 54-64º F
Destinations in the Peruvian rainforest, such as Manu National Park, the Tambopata National Reserve and the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve (visited via luxury amazon cruises from Iquitos) share the same dry and rainy seasons as the mountains and highlands. Though there are still opportunities for spotting wildlife during the rainy season from November to March, the opportunities are usually lower.
- Average temperature: 21-30º C / 70-86º F
Full of festivals all year round, we will give you some advice on what the best festivals are and what to see on your luxury vacation.
Important, impressive festivals take place throughout the year in Peru. There are many local Peru festivals held in towns across the country all year round, on your visit to Peru you will most likely coincide with some sort of celebration – our team will advise you when designing your private trip to Peru.
KEY FESTIVALS IN PERU
- Candelaria is a colorful festival celebrating the Virgin of Candelaria, taking place on the shores of Lake Titicaca in February.
- Easter Week (Semana Santa) is one of Peru’s most important religious celebrations, with a week of processions leading up to Easter Sunday.
- Señor de los Temblores is a major festival in Cusco, when the most venerated image of Christ is taken out in procession and the entire city participates in March.
- Corpus Christi is Cusco’s most important religious festivity with colorful procession in May.
- Señor de los Milagros is a religious procession through the streets of Lima in October.
FESTIVAL CULTURE IN PERU
For many centuries, dating as far back as 2000 B.C., Peru has been filled by different cultures each with their own unique complex religions and administrations. Diverse ethnic groups lived scattered throughout the Andes, the jungles and the coast. The mixture with the Spanish and subsequent immigration from Africa, the Far East as well as Europe, has created a society that is immensely rich in culture in Peru.
Visiting Peru today, you can see how people celebrate the religious and natural cycles of their age-old calendar. Most religious celebrations and festivals have a pagan undertone: the shrines to the Virgin are often the same as those to the Mother Earth and those to Christ are related to mountains. Furthermore, Peru boasts deep traditions of folk music and dance. There is Creole music on the coast, based on guitars. Andean music and dance is found in the mountains, with the world famous panpipes.
VISITING THE BEST PERU FESTIVALS
Because of Peru’s history, expert guiding will make all the difference in understanding the historic and present-day significance of Peru’s festival culture. See processions from the best vantage points, to understanding the symbolism in vibrant costumes and traditional music. CuscoPeru travel will help you see the best of Peru´s festivals.