Peru is somehow a complex land, comprising three main geographic regions, very different from one another: desert coast, mountains of all kinds, and humid-hot jungle.
The northern end of the country almost reaches the Equatorial line so it is very tropical!!!, while the southern end gets close to the Capricorn Tropic and it eventually receives the influence of the Antarctic currents, brrrrr!.
Peru experiences the four seasons more or less markedly (as it is for the southern hemisphere), where the winter makes appearance from June to September, and summer by the end of the calendar to March (so, the opposite of the northern section of the globe). While autumn and spring are not severe seasons to worry about.
Elevationally speaking Peru’s altitudinal range goes from 0 to 6768 m, and historically speaking, record temperatures can be found anywhere between -20 to 34 degrees celsius, but take the latter only as a reference and not as a rule.
We also have El Niño, La Niña, and Climate Change, but either way, we will do our best to try to give you as most hints (or tips?) as possible to effectively tackle the weather during your holidays.
Remember that during your briefings your travel specialist, as well as local guides, will give you all the necessary advice. Any extra info can also be obtained through the Whatsapp group that will be organized between you and us once your trip is confirmed.
-Although technically incorrect, in the mountains and the jungle, the rainy season is called winter by the locals, while the dry season is called summer, but make sure you don’t get confused about this because it is actually the opposite.
-The coast rarely experiences rains, and when it does it is not very significant.
The following table shows all 24 Peruvian departments named one or two times given its geographical characteristics, while main attractions are indicated in parentheses.
Next, you will find the most common destinations on a tour around Peru, explained in more detail.
Lima sea level to 160 m
Most travelers spend their time in the coastal section of Lima, where the city is, and not at its mountains. In general, it is very humid (well above 80%) and cold during winter (June-September), overcast almost every day (little showers of droplets can be expected but never enough to ruin any plan); while temperate during fall and spring; clear skies and warm temperatures are almost exclusively of the summertime.
Warm clothes (and wetsuits for surfing!) are recommended.
Paracas sea level to 110 m
Located in the Ica department, a coastal-desert location almost always sunny year-round, but windy in the late afternoons and for instance a bit cold at night. Sometimes conditions may change and the sea gets rough provoking the cancelation of excursions to the islands.
Light clothes for the day and something warmer for the night. And do not worry about the nonexistent rains. Sandals are very popular around here.
Arequipa about 2300 m
The city of Arequipa (and near surroundings) is blessed with privileged weather and sunny days all year round. Nights can be chilly but nothing to worry about it if you have some fleece on. Little rains are expected during summer (January to March).
The Colca Valley (in the Arequipa region) 3300-3800 m
This valley’s climate is a totally different thing, with extreme daily changes in weather although little climatic changes along the year, just the common (not so heavy) Andean rainy season (January to March).
Puno – Titicaca above 3800 m
This region is known for very crude winters, although that occurs mostly in the most elevated sections of it (4000 to 5000 m). However, the city and towns around the Titicaca lake are still quite high, so pay special attention to your garments. Early mornings, nights and also during navigation periods will require all of your layers. Rains (November to April) are a matter of consideration, hail is not rare.
The city is located at 3400 m.a.s.l. It is normally always cold in the shade, mornings and nights, but with the reward of sunny and hotter periods of time during at least part of the day, especially if you are doing the walking tour you will feel the need of getting rid of most of your layers. Rains can be heavy and pouring so keep that in mind all the time but especially during summer (November to April).
Sacred Valley (Ollantaytambo, Coffee Route, Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu) – Cusco region
All the locations mentioned are below the elevation reported for the city of Cusco (down to 1600 m), so you will experience milder temperatures, sometimes hot, and for instance, heavier rains than the ones experienced in the city. Mosquitos and similar flying annoyances can be expected.
Lighter clothing but pants and long sleeves are recommended.
Puerto Maldonado about 180 m
Hot-hot-hot and huuuumid!, although proximity to any of the big surrounding rivers can chill out any overheating. Get ready for pouring rains and to get soaking wet during an extended summer (October to April) or virtually any time of the year. Light clothes but protection from insects are suggested.
GENERAL TIPS FOR ALL DESTINATIONS:
Wear hats, use sunblock, keep yourself well hydrated and moisturized. And for the jungle destinations don’t forget about the insect repellent.
We always promote to travel light, and although Peru’s nature won’t make that easy, we will do our best to provide the most accurate information for you to make your packing decisions.