The weather in Peru
weather in Peru mist on Machu Picchu

What is the weather in Peru like? When is the best time to travel to Peru? It are frequently asked questions and the answers will depend on what your travel plans in Peru are.

The location of Peru

Peru is located on the southern hemisphere. So for those of us who live in the northern hemisphere, the meteorological summer and winter in Peru are opposed to our summer and winter. If you visit the Peruvian coast, especially Lima, during our summer you are likely to encounter grey skies and a chilly, humid climate. However, the other way around, this doesn’t mean that a vacation in Peru is a great way to escape the cold winter in the northern hemisphere.

Sun, rain and floodings in Peru

Plaza de Armas Trujillo PeruYes, when you travel to the coast of Peru from December till march there is a good chance that you can enjoy sunny days and warm and humid weather. However, you also run the risk of getting caught in heavy rain showers. Because the coast of Peru consists mainly of desert landscape, the infrastructure is often not well prepared for heavy rainfall. Especially during the weather phenomenon of El Niño, rivers might flow over and cause damage on infrastructure and other buildings. In March 2017 extreme heavy rainfall caused several rivers in the north of Peru to overflow their banks, destroying houses and roads in Piura and causing a lot of damage in Trujillo, the third biggest city of Peru. At one point there stood even more than half a meter of water in the historic center of Trujillo!

Dengue in Peru

Luckily heavy floodings like those of 2017 are not common, but a returning problem during summer and raining season is the increase of insects, especially mosquitos. This in combination with the presence of Dengue Peru and mainly the north of Peru, increases the risk of getting infected with Dengue. So especially when the weather in Peru is warm and humid, it is extra important to protect yourself well against mosquitos.

Weather in the Amazon of Peru

Warm and humid weather you also find in the Amazon region of Peru. Each year during summer time, when the weather in Peru brings more rain, rivers in the Amazon region flow over and cause (minor) damage to roads and other infrastructure. Also in this period the amount of Dengue infections in Peru increases. This is not only because of the temperature and humidity, but also because the rain creates many shallow pools. These pools with stagnant tepid water are great breeding grounds for the mosquito. Especially in Iquitos and Piura these new breeding grounds for mosquitos cause a spike in Dengue infections.

Weather in the highlands of Peru

weather Peru while Camping Huayhuas TrekWhat about the weather in Peru in the highlands and mountains? For many people traveling to Peru some of their highlights include visiting Cusco, Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca, all at an higher altitude. Summer in Peru also means more rain in the highlands. This doesn’t mean that it will rain every day and all day. But you can expect foggy mornings (on Machu Picchu) and/ or short, or more extended periods of rain on most of the days. Usually, but not always, this rain falls in the afternoon and/or evening. Infrastructure in the highlands is better prepared for rain, but high levels of water can still cause trouble in the Sacred Valley and to the railway between Cusco and Aguas Calientes. It happens at least once a year that the railway gets temporarily blocked because of a (small) landslide or overflowing river. The same can be said for the alternative road from Cusco to Santa Teresa, behind Machu Picchu.

Good weather in Peru for trekking

For those of us who like trekking, the best weather in Peru is from May until October. Especially in May, when grass, plants and trees are green, and flowers bloom. When the sun is out more often, but there is still enough snow on the tops of the snowcapped mountains. Especially in the surrounding of Huaraz this will create almost perfect trekking conditions! But also the weather predictions for the Classic 4 day Inca Trail and alternative Inca Trails, like Inca Jungle Trail Salkantay Trek, Lares Trek, the Choquequirao Trek and the Ausangate Trek are better. There will be more sun and less rain during the day, but clear skies at higher altitude does mean that at night the temperature will drop quickly and at some campsites even below freezing. So make sure to bring a good sleeping mat and sleeping bag.

The exception to the general weather in Peru

The exception to the general weather pattern in Peru is Mancora in the far north west coast of Peru. Because this is the only place on the South American Passific coast were the warm ocean current hits the cost, Mancora has almost year round good weather and higher temperatures. But this doesn’t mean that Mancora isn’t affected by the occasional (heavy) rain shower and overflowing river.