Peru Weather

When you visit Peru, one of the first things you’ll hear from the locals is that the country has three geographic zones: costa, sierra, y selva—coast, mountains, and jungle. Each zone has its own distinctive climate, so it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the latter when planning your trip.

The weather along the coast is generally moderate. This may seem strange, considering the area is basically desert, but its due in part to the cold Humboldt Current that flows along the shore. This means that the weather in cities like Lima and Trujillo hovers between 60 and 80 degrees all year, with almost no rain. In summer (December to March), there are warm days with strong sunshine, but in the winter a coastal fog called la garúa sets in and makes everything gray.

Weather in the sierra consists of wet and dry seasons; the former runs from November to March, the latter from May to September. The days are generally bright and clear, but at night, temperatures can dip down below zero, especially on the southern altiplano (Andean plateau), so you’ll need a warm jacket. Also, beware of sudden rainstorms, which can spring up quickly during the wet season. Fortunately, the sierra’s peak tourist period (June to August), with its numerous festivities, coincides with the dry season, so North Americans and Europeans who go during their summer vacation should have no problems.

The jungle, too, has wet and dry seasons, with strong heat and humidity year round. Generally the months from June to September are the best time to go, since wildlife-viewing opportunities will be reduced during times of heavy rain. Landslides and flooding are also a problem from January to April; plan accordingly.

Average monthly temperatures (°F) and rainfall (inches) for select locations in Peru are shown below.

Arequipa

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High 69 68 69 70 70 69 69 69 71 71 70 70
Low 51 51 51 49 47 46 46 46 47 48 48 49
Rain 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Cusco

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High 64 64 65 66 67 66 66 66 67 68 67 66
Low 45 46 46 43 39 35 34 37 41 44 45 45
Rain 6 5 4 2 0 0 0 0 1 2 3 4

Iquitos

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High 88 87 87 87 86 85 85 87 88 88 88 88
Low 73 73 73 73 73 72 71 72 72 72 73 73
Rain 11 10 12 12 11 8 6 7 8 9 10 10

Lima

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High 79 80 80 76 72 69 67 66 67 69 72 76
Low 68 69 69 66 63 61 60 60 59 61 63 66
Rain 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Puerto Maldonado

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High 87 87 88 87 87 86 86 92 92 90 90 87
Low 72 69 69 69 66 63 60 62 66 67 69 71
Rain 8 6 6 3 2 3 2 0 3 5 5 10

Trujillo

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High 75 77 77 74 72 70 68 67 67 68 70 73
Low 67 70 69 67 65 63 62 61 61 61 63 65
Rain 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Source: Weatherbase.

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