Peru, being one of the 16 most diverse countries in the world, is country with more climate zones and variety than the European continent as a whole. Therefore giving a clear cut overview of the Peruvian climate is an almost impossible task. Nevertheless in order to provide a bit of guidance when it comes to the weather in Peru the best way is to divide Peru into the three main geographical zones; the coastal desert, the central highlands and the jungle.
The coastal desert includes the whole coast of the country from Ecuador in the North to Chile in the South. The climate is characterized by little or no rain and an average tropical climate. Temperatures almost never go under 15ºC (60ºF) and hardly over 30ºC (85ºF). The humidity however can make the sensational temperature feel colder or warmer depending on the season. On the southern part of the Coast (Lima and down) there is also an effect called “Garúa” which translates in “drizzle” and means a humid mist mostly in the morning allowing for little visibility at times. This effect is provoked by the cold Antarctic Ocean currents colliding with the warm desert air.
The Peruvian Highlands runs in the center of the country also from North to South and comprise some of the most impressive mountain ranges in the world. With altitudes from 1000 meters (3,200ft) to 6,768 meters (22,200ft) one can imagine that there are a lot of different climates to be found in this region. Nevertheless the main common demeanor for the highlands are the rainy and dry season. The rainy or green season (which sound a lot more dramatic than it actually is, allowing for great tourism opportunities) runs basically from December through March and the dry season from April through November. During the dry season there is little rain and warm sunny days but cold nights. In the green season there is more chance on rain and more clouding but with higher nighttime temperatures. The green season also allows for less crowds and more diverse country sides.
The jungle comprises actually the largest part of Peru but houses only about 10% of the population. In general the jungle is always hot and humid with a good chance on rain throughout the year. Nevertheless the jungle also has a rainy and dry season. The rainy season runs from November through April and the dry season from May through October. Both seasons have their charm and their typical wildlife. The rainy seasons allows for better access on rivers and lakes allowing to see wildlife from the boat on the shores and in the water. The dry season on the other hand allows for better hikes through the jungle allowing you to get to spots one can often not get to in the rainy season. Less water also means that animals often concentrate around the different water sources around.
The national currency in Peru is the “Sol” with an approximate exchange rate of 3 Soles for the US Dollar. The US Dollar is also officially accepted but can best be avoided for smaller purchases due to the less favorable exchange rates in shops. They can however easily be exchanged in local “Casas de Cambio”. When bringing US Dollars to Peru, please make sure you bring along new and impeccable bills as older or teared bills are not accepted. ATM are widely found in Peru and accept most Debit and Credit Cards. ATM’s disperse both Soles and US Dollars. Debit cards may have a limited and in some cases have to be activated for the country in advance with your bank. Please check with your bank any costs for withdrawals with your credit or debit card. In most higher-end tourist restaurants and shops credit cards are accepted. Tipping is appreciated and for higher end restaurants the norm is around 10%. For guides and drivers the amounts can vary slightly but around US$5-10 per person for a full day is the going rate. For more information, please do not hesitate to write your travel consultant.
Visitors from the USA, Canada, European Union, Australia and New Zealand do not need a visa to enter Peru just a passport valid for at least 180 days on the day of arrival to the country. For more information feel free to get in touch with your travel consultant.
We do also recommend taking out travel insurance. Everyone knows that travel is full of variables and there is always a risk, however small, that something might go wrong before or during your trip. Something as minor as a flight delay can have a significant financial impact, as can illness, bad weather or luggage delays.