The climate of Peru is very diverse but two seasons can be distinguished:
- Dry: May to October
- Wet: November to April
Being in the south hemisphere means that the seasons are reversed; so summer falls between December and March, autumn between April and June, winter from July to September and spring from October to December.
However, the climate varies a lot according to the natural landscape. Hence, there are three distinct regions to take into account.
The coast is predominantly arid and mild. The summers — lasting from December to April – are hot and dry with temperatures between 25C and 35C. Winters — May to March — sees milder temperatures. Only the beaches in the north offer warm enough waters for swimming. The capital of Lima falls under the coastal climate.
The Pacific coast is similar to the Mediterranean coast , with the only difference that the rainfall during the winter is significantly lower in Peru.
The highlands are characterized by the dry season between May and October when there’s almost no rain. The daytime temperature is between 20C and 25C but at night it drops to almost freezing. From December to March rainfall is abundant, which means some roads cannot be used. The temperatures are slightly lower during the day (18C to 20C) but go up during the night (15C). The temperatures are inversely proportional to the altitude or in other words : the higher you go, the warmer it gets. Snowfall is frequent above 5,000 m during the wet season.
The jungle is typically equatorial but it also experiences two seasons: dry — May to October — and wet — November to April. Regardless of the time of the year, the temperatures stay between 30C and 38C.
Best time to visit Peru
Generally the dry season — May to October — is the peak travel season in Peru. June to September are the best months to visit Machu Picchu , but expect most crowds during July and August. This is also the best time to visit the Amazon jungle as the rivers are at their lowest, the beaches are visible and the mosquito population is also low. Mid-December to mid-January is also peak travel time due to the winter holidays.