When is the Best Time to Travel to Peru?
When is the best time to travel to Peru? That can be answered by looking at the geographical diversity and the altitude of Peru. Basically there are two seasons in Peru; wet and dry. In addition the seasons are divided into three distinct regions. The coastal region; the highlands region and Rainforest region, the high season in Peru coincides with the driest months of the year May to October. If the Inca trail is included in your plans you should plan your trip at least 6 months in advance to secure your tickets for the Gates of the Sun hike (max allowance of 500 people per day).
Peru by the Seasons
There are two defined seasons in Peru. May to October is dry season with April to November being rainy season. In the highlands the four wettest months of the year are January to early April. Roads are nearly impassable because of the sheer volumes of mud. The climate in the three regions is very different during the same times of the year. For example in February in the mountains you can have rain and on the coast you can have nice summer days.
Seasons of the Coastal Region
In the north of the coastal region its warm all year round. Temperatures can average a high of 95 degrees in the summer months. In the central and southern areas of the coastal region there are two definite seasons, winter from April to October and summer from November to March.
Seasons of the Highlands Region
The highlands region again has two distinct seasons. Summer is dry from April to October. Winter is accompanied by sunshine and rains from November to March.
Seasons of the Rainforest Region
There are two types of rainforest in Peru. High rainforest (elevations greater than 2300 ft.) is temperate, subtropical with little variance of weather patterns in the course of the year and massive amounts of annual rainfall. In the lower rainforest (elevations under 2300 ft.) you will experience a summer season April to October (sunny and hot) and from November to March winter comes to the Amazon with its companion “seasonal downpours.”
Wondering How to Prepare for your Peruvian Adventure Vacation?
When you’re getting ready for your trip to Peru, think of dressing in layers like an onion. In the mountains it can be cool and rainy in the mornings. Start out the day wearing layers that you can peel off as the morning sun warms you up. In the Amazon, if its wet season or dry season, you will need to have long sleeves and long pants. Dressing in this manner will protect you from the bugs and the sun. No matter where you are going in Peru, take your rain jacket, sunscreen, bug spray and a hat, you’ll be glad that you did.
Things to Know Before You Go
1. There are no vaccinations required to enter Peru. We do recommend making sure you’re up to date on all routine immunizations before you go. Or visit the WHO website http://www.who.int/topics/travel/en/ for current updates.
2. Consult with your physician or travel clinic for medications for altitude sickness and upset stomach. the altitude on a Machu Picchu trip is significant.
3. If you’re planning on using a credit card for purchases you may be charged extra fees.
1. Before you leave home notify your bank and Credit Card Company when and where you will be traveling. This will prevent their fraud detection departments from freezing your accounts.
2. Coca tea or mate de coca has long been used in South America for medicinal purposes. Coca tea helps with indigestion and altitude sickness. If you don’t like to drink the tea you can go to the market and purchase it in alternate forms of lozenges, gum and taffy.
3. Lima is comprised of 143 “neighborhoods” most popular with international visitors are Miraflores, Barranco and San Isidro.
4. The official currency of Peru is Soles. It is ok to make purchases using USD, please make sure that the bills are in good condition and not tattered or torn.
5. If you are planning a trip to Peru that includes hiking The Inca Trail, plan your trip at least 6-9 months in advance. The Peruvian government only allows 500 people per day on the trail. Once the 500 tickets are sold there are no more tickets issued. Tickets cannot be transferred or sold to another individual.