Where do you want to go—to the jungle, coast or highlands? Deciding on the best season to visit Peru depends on the destinations and activities you have in mind, as much as it does the weather.
If you’ve made a bucket list chances are Peru is on there. When deciding on the best season to visit Peru, are you more concerned about pleasant weather or extreme levels of tourists?
There’s much to do in Peru, from visiting the capital of Lima to exploring the flawless Inca citadel, Machu Picchu. Deciding on the best season to visit Peru largely depend on the activities a traveler wishes to partake in while visiting this gem on the Pacific coast. Some tourists want to spend time in nature, be it cruising along the Amazon River, strolling a coastal path or trekking through mountain ranges. The diverse landscapes in Peru are all so heavenly and awe inspiring. The opportunities for adventure vary greatly in Peru, as do the climates, so a person will want to be prepared depending on which destination—highlands, coast or jungle— they plan on visiting in Peru.
Machu Picchu on the Mind
The Inca citadel, located in the Cusco Region, is one of the most popular attractions of the geographically-rich South American country. When is the best season to visit Machu Picchu? One wants to have the best opportunity to see the ruins in all of their might. Traveling from May to October will give tourists the best chance of doing just that. The dry season runs along these months, allowing one to stay dry in the cooler temperatures. If you’d like to avoid the crowds, aim for late April or early May to catch the end of the rainy season, or the beginning of November—just before the drops begin to fall.
There’s more to get out of the Machu Picchu experience than just the amazing view at the top (which is surely enough to please many). The famous Inca Trail is something that has to be enjoyed by those looking for a truly unique experience. The four-day trek will offer travelers the opportunity to see the unique countryside that makes Peru great. Machu Picchu is the reward at the end of an unparalleled hike. A hike like that wouldn’t be as enjoyable under the barrage of rainfall and the thousands of slick stairs. Just don’t try to hike the trail in February, where it is closed due to dangers caused by the rainy season.
Summer in the City
Peru experiences the warmer season from November through April. The capital of Lima offers a variety of color and cultural experiences that one will remember for a lifetime. While an individual will certainly prefer cooler temps while trekking the impeccable Machu Picchu, the summer months are going to be preferred when visiting coastal cities like the capital. With temperatures ranging from 70°F-90°F (with intense humidity), visitors can visit ancient ruins and museums by day and walk the malecón or do paragliding during sunset. Lima is rich in culture and history and allows visitors plenty to experience while vacationing there.
As the largest city in Peru (home to eight million in the urban sector), Lima is full of great eating options, such as cevicherias, restaurants specializing in the raw fish dish. Most visitors are so keen to get to the Cusco region to enjoy the pleasures of Machu Picchu that they don’t get the most out of the capital city. Dig deeper by choosing a Peru vacation package with ample time left to explore.
The Highs and Lows of the Amazon
Peru is also home to a section of the most beautiful parts of the Amazonian rain forests. Going to the Amazon feels like traveling to another planet and there is nothing quite like it. There are various activities you can do depending on the water level of the Amazon River. The high water and low water seasons make it tricky for the type of activities available for tourists, so be sure that you check the season before you want to book.
During the high water season (December-March), it is an excellent time to kayak through the beautiful Amazon and admire the beauty you can see for miles. During this time, more mammals and flora and fauna are visible, which makes it an excellent time for Amazon river cruises, canoeing and swimming alongside pink dolphins.
From April-November, plenty of activities abound for tourists during the low water season. With the water level substantially lower, you can traverse the beauty of the Amazon on foot. It is an excellent time to visit some of the many Indigenous populations that still live in the Amazon. This could be on a guided tour, or through local charities that allow you to volunteer abroad with these unique cultures. Be sure to always be respectful of their customs, as the ancient jungle is their home and native land.
Regardless of when you decide to go, rest assured that a journey to Peru is well worth every dime and will be an adventure you will never forget. Just be sure to check out these 10 travel tips before you pack your bags.