Peru is an extremely diverse country, with 11 ecological regions and 84 of the world’s 117 different types of “life zone”. The coast, jungle and mountains stretch across the entire country from North to South and divide Peru into three natural geographical areas. This means that Peruvian weather is incredibly diverse and can, at times, be unpredictable.
The arid coast runs along the Pacific Ocean where you can find cliffs, peninsulas, bays and beaches. The Peruvian weather is different on the coast, where summer has its peak between January and March. So if you enjoy a sunny beach holiday this is the perfect time period for travelling to Peru. Please be aware that temperatures in Lima and other major cities can get hot during the summer, and therefore it might be a good idea to spend more time on the beaches to escape the urban heat. Beginning in April, the temperature drops in the coastal areas and around Lima a perpetual fog dominates the period from April to September. In the northern coastal region of Piura and Tumbes (close to the border with Ecuador), summer weather is felt year-round. It rarely rains on the coast.
The Andes Mountains can be divided into 3 regions from North to South, with the North containing lower mountains, the center with the highest, and the southern part of the Andes forms the broadest part of the range. If you want to visit Cusco and Machu Picchu, we recommend that you plan your trips to Peru between April and December. The months of January, February and March are at the height of the rainy season in and around Cusco and your vacation could get very wet. Throughout February, the Inca Trail is closed and generally we do not recommend you to go on the Inca Trail in January, February and March, when intense rainfall may cause cancellations or delays. During the period from April to January it is mostly sunny in and around Cusco, but please be aware that it can get very cold at night, as temperatures fluctuate dramatically between day and night in the mountains. Scattered rainfall can and will occur at any time year round in this area, so it is important to bring proper clothes.
The jungle represents the largest area occupying 60% of Peru’s territory and is filled with exotic vegetation and wildlife. The jungle is commonly divided into two areas: a high altitude area between 3500m and 800m with a humid semi-tropical climate, and a low altitude area between 80m and 800m with a very humid tropical climate.
While Peruvian weather is diverse within each region, this guide will give you an idea of what to expect in each different area. Don’t get caught out!