Peru Weather in August: Clear Mountain Views, Best Places to Visit

Peru Weather in August: Clear Mountain Views, Best Places to Visit

By Laura | Updated Sep. 28, 2023

August in Peru is the cool and dry season in the Andes and along the coast. This is the best and most popular time to go to Machu Picchu, Cusco, and the Sacred Valley.

It is also the driest time to take a cruise down the Peruvian Amazon. Because the weather is so good in August, you can expect popular tourist destinations to be crowded and accommodation prices to be high. 

If you want to visit Peru in August make sure to bring a coat and a few sweaters to stay warm in the cool, crisp mountain air!

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1. Peru Weather in August Overview

On the way to Machu PicchuOn the way to Machu Picchu
  • Average temperature range: 2°C-31°C (36°F-88°F)
  • Fog season: Lima and the coast
  • Dry season: All of Peru
  • Rainfall:   8 mm (0.3 inches) in Cusco
  • Rainy days: 2 in Cusco, 4 in Lima

Peru is located in the southern hemisphere which means that August is the middle of winter and when the country sees its coolest temperatures. 

Despite this, August is one of the most popular months to visit Peru because of its clear skies, crisp mountain air, and sunny afternoons. This is the perfect season to spend time in the Sacred Valley and Cusco. 

While the Andes mountains and Machu Picchu are quite cool in August, temperatures are warmer in Lima and along the Pacific Coast. The Amazon Rainforest is hot and rainy year-round, but August is one of the coolest and driest times to visit.

Suggested reading: How to Plan a 2-Week Peru Itinerary

Machu Picchu in August

Machu PicchuMachu Picchu

August is a great time to visit Machu Picchu for clear views of the surrounding mountains and sunny skies with crisp mountain air.

Temperatures in August at this world wonder can drop down to 2°C (36°F) at night and get up to 20°C (68°F) during the afternoon. The cool temperatures and cloudless sky make for incredible photographs of the Incan ruin surrounded by the Sacred Valley below.

Because of the great weather and great views, many people flock to Machu Picchu in August. In fact, August is the busiest month of the year after June. The busiest time of the day to visit Machu Picchu is at 6 am during the sunrise. If you want to avoid the crowds, try to visit after 2 pm when most other travelers have already left. 

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2. August Weather by Region

Peru has three different climate regions that each have their own distinct weather patterns. These regions include:

  • The high-elevation Andes Mountains
  • The arid coast
  • The wet Amazon Rainforest

If you are visiting more than one region, you will need to pack different clothes for different climates.

Cusco and the Andes: 2°C-20°C (36°F-68°F)

Peruvian Andes landscapePeruvian Andes landscape

This region includes some of Peru's most popular destinations like the Sacred Valley, Rainbow Mountain, and Cusco. It also is the coldest region in the country because it is at a higher elevation.

In August, this area experiences cold mornings and comfortably cool afternoons. Most foreign travelers prefer to visit the Andes during this time to take a break from the hot summers in the northern hemisphere and enjoy some fresh mountain air. 

There is little to no rain in August in the Andes making it the perfect time to take a short walk in the mountains or enjoy the view of Lake Titicaca and Cusco. 

Lima and the Coast: 15°C-18°C (59°F-64°F)

Lima sunsetLima sunset

August is part of the low travel season in Lima and along Peru's desert coast. Winter here is mild with dry weather and sunny days.

What makes August part of the low season is the thick and heavy sea mist called la garua that tends to linger in coastal cities during the winter months. At this time, the ocean is also too cold for swimming or surfing.

If you don't mind the fog, the cool temperatures make for a great time to take a walking food tour of Lima or explore the colonial district of Arequipa.

The Amazon and the East: 21°C-31°C (70°F-88°F)

River in the peruvian Amazon jungleRiver in the peruvian Amazon jungle

The eastern half of Peru is covered by the Amazon Rainforest which is hot and wet year-round.

August is one of the driest months in the Amazon with 203 mm (8 inches) of rainfall on average. During this time, you can expect heavy fog in the morning and some rain every day, typically in the afternoon. Rainfall is often heavier in northern cities like Iquitos and lighter in southern cities like Puerto Maldonado. 

3. Best Places to See in Peru in August

August is the perfect time to explore Peru and see some of its most beautiful and popular destinations. 

It's also a great time to get to know Peruvian culture through many colorful festivals. Experience the ancient harvest festival of Pachamama on August 1st or the anniversary of Arequipa on August 15th. Then, head to Lima on August 30th to watch the streets fill with large processions during the Feast of Santa Rosa de Lima.

1) The Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu

Ancient inca terraces in Sacred valleyAncient inca terraces in Sacred valley

The Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu are absolute must-sees for any first-time visitor to Peru!

Located in the valley below Machu Picchu, the towns in the Sacred Valley are cultural gems. Visit other, lesser-known Incan ruins in Ollantaytambo and then explore the Spanish colonial villages and handicraft markets in Pisac and Sacsayhuaman.

After you've marveled at the cultural beauty of the valley, take the Incan Rail to Machu Picchu and catch the breathtaking views of this world wonder surrounded by clear skies and green mountains.

2) Cusco

Downtown square of CuscoDowntown square of Cusco

Cusco is a charming mountain city full of cobblestone streets, old cathedrals, and wandering llamas.

Enjoy a hot cup of coffee or tea in the Plaza de Armas while taking in the view of the surrounding mountains. Then spend your time exploring handicraft markets or head up to the ruins of the Incan Sun temple to get a bird's eye view of the city below.

3) The Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon RainforestThe Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon Rainforest has some of the highest levels of biodiversity in the world and contains some of the most interesting and remote tribal people. August is one of the best months to visit the Amazon because temperatures are cooler and there is less rain. 

Take a river cruise through the jungle to spot wildlife and stop in tribal villages to learn about indigenous culture. Cruises often range from 2 to 12 days and start in Iquitos or Puerto Maldonado.

4) Lima

The City of LimaThe City of Lima

Despite the fog that hangs over Lima in the winter, August is still a great time to visit this capital city for fun nightlife and an incredible food scene.

Go on a walking tour in the comfortable cool weather to see Spanish cathedrals and interesting museums. Then head to the Miraflores district to watch the sunset overlooking the bluffs and the Pacific.

5) Trujillo and Northern Peru

Beach in TrujilloBeach in Trujillo

If you are looking for an off-the-beaten-track place to visit after fighting the crowds in Cusco and Machu Picchu, then Northern Peru is your spot.

August is technically the low season in this area despite the great weather and cool ocean breeze. Explore the adobe pre-Incan ruins of Chan Chan, the colonial architecture of Trujillo, and the wildlife of Paracas National Park.

4. August Crowds and Costs

Sandboarding in PeruSandboarding in Peru

August is one of the busiest months for international tourism in Peru because of the great weather and comfortable temperatures combined with North American and European summer vacations.

This means that it will be important to book all your travel, accommodation, and tours early if you plan to visit Peru in August. It also means that your trip will likely cost slightly more than it would if you visited in the off-season. However, the clear skies and breathtaking views at Machu Picchu really do make it worth the hassle.

Plus, there are a few ways you can avoid the crowds. Avoid them entirely by spending part of your trip in Lima or along the coast in off-the-beaten-track spots. Or, for must-see places like Machu Picchu, avoid the crowds by visiting at odd times.

Most tour groups go to Machu Picchu at 6 am to catch the sunset and by 2 pm around 80% of visitors have left. Visiting after 2 pm will be a much more peaceful and enjoyable experience, even if it means missing the sunrise.

A knowledgeable guide will know the best times to visit popular spots to avoid the crowds.

5. What to Wear in Peru in August

Scenery of Machu PicchuScenery of Machu Picchu

What you should wear on your trip to Peru depends on which regions you want to visit.

  • In the Andes and at higher altitude locations, temperatures can drop close to freezing at night, so you will need plenty of sweaters and light jackets. However, it gets warm during the day and most people will be comfortable in a sweatshirt and jeans.
  • In the Amazon, temperatures are cooler than normal but still hot by most standards. You'll want to bring plenty of moisture-wicking clothes and T-shirts. 
  • In Lima and along the Pacific coast, the weather is quite mild, and pants with a sweater or light jacket will be perfect for most visitors.

Monthly Weather in Peru

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