Peru’s Weather and Best Packing List
Peru is essentially broken up into three climatic regions based on geography – the tropical rainforest, the highland Andes, and the coastal desert.
The most popular time for tourists is between May and August, the summer vacation of many countries, because this is the dry, but cool season in the Andes which hold the highlight of any Peru vacation – Machu Picchu. These dry months are the best time to hike the Inca trail or do any adventure tourism in the area, however they can be done throughout the year – even the rain cannot ruin your visit to Machu Picchu. Note – the Inca Trail is closed for the whole month of February for maintenance. The wet season in the highlands goes from December to March, and it is very wet, often causes hazards such as floods and landslides in areas not prepared for the season. There is a great range in temperatures between night and day – day time temperatures average between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit while night time temperatures can dip below freezing. Therefore, it is important to wear layers to adjust to the varying temperatures throughout the day.
On the coast, you can expect a dry climate year around except in Lima which is extremely humid. The southern part of the coast has two seasons; winter from April to October, and summer from November to March. Finally, the tropical forest in the Amazon basin of Peru has year around hot and humid weather – leading to plenty of mosquitos. Although this is a rainforest, it will usually only rain for a few hours a day (although very heavily) leaving nearly all days pleasant and sunny for the most part.
Because you will experience a great variance in temperatures and weather while in Peru, it is important to be prepared for all types of situations. In Peru, layers are key to prepare you for a transition from day to night or a gorgeous sunny day to a torrential downpour.
Here is a suggested clothing packing list:
- 1 Rain-resistant jacket
- 1 fleece jacket to use as a warm under layer
- Pair of waterproof pants (especially if trekking)
- Pair of weatherproof hiking boots or sneakers
- A couple of sweaters
- Short sleeve shirts to layer under sweaters for warmer days
- Hat and sunglasses for sun protection
- 1 – 2 pairs of jeans
- Pair of shorts
- Pair of comfort pants (linen, yoga pants etc.)
- Bathing suit and sandals for the beach or hot springs
- Thick socks
- 1 – 2 nice outfits for a nice dinner out
- Warm pajamas
- Toothpaste, toothbrush
- Moisturizing lotion (the air is often dry)
- Insect repellant
- Medications, Diamox, anti -diarrheal pills and ibuprofen etc.
- Camera and memory card with plenty of space
- Day pack for day-long excursions
- Purse/waist bag with secure zippers
- Plastic bags
- Refillable water bottle
- Electric adaptors
- Sewing kit
- Travel alarm clock
- Multiple photocopies of your passport, credit cards, insurance etc. to hide in safe places