In Peru, January is the wet season in Machu Picchu and the mountains but is the dry season in coastal cities like Lima. If you don't mind the rain, January is a good time to visit Peru for lower prices and fewer crowds.
Just make sure to bring an umbrella and raincoat and plan a few extra days in your trip to work around the weather!
- 1. Peru Weather in January: Overview
- 2. January Weather in Peru by Region
- 3. Best Places to Visit in January
Peru Weather in January: Overview
- Average temperature range: 6°C-25°C (43°F-78°F)
- Wet season: Cusco, Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley, Lake Titicaca, the Amazon Rainforest
- Dry season: Lima, Ballestas Islands, Trujillo, Arequipa
- Rainfall: 158mm (6 inches) in Cusco
- Rainy days: 18 in Cusco, 1 in Lima
Located near the equator, temperatures in Peru remain about the same year round and the biggest seasonal change is between the wet season and dry season. January in Peru is the wet season in the high-altitude Andes Mountain region and the Amazon Rainforest but is the dry season on the coast.
Machu Picchu in January
Although January is the wet season at Machu Picchu, it is still a good time to see the world wonder. The cloudy skies and misty mornings make for great photos and the temperatures are cool but comfortable. Also, January is considered the low season and is a great time to go to avoid the crowds at this popular site.
January is a summer month in Peru making it one of the warmest times to be up in the mountains. Expect temperatures ranging from a cool 7°C (45°F) to a comfortable 21°C (71°F) with a 60% chance of rain.
January Weather in Peru by Region
Peru has three separate and distinct climate regions including the high-altitude Andes Mountains, the arid coast, and the tropical wet Amazon Rainforest. If you are visiting more than one region of Peru, you'll need to prepare for different seasons and weather!
Check out more details about each region below.
Cusco and the Andes: 7°C-19°C (45°F-66°F)
This area of the country is also known as the highlands and is much cooler than the rest of Peru because of its elevation.
January is the height of the rainy season in the Andes with an average of 158mm (6 inches) and 18 rain days for the month. In this region in January, there will be light to heavy rainfall almost every day. Mornings are most likely to be dry and sunny, so it's best to plan tours that end before lunch to make the most of the clear skies.
Lima and the Coast: 19°C-26°C (66°F-79°F)
January is the middle of summer on the coast and is the high season for travel. This is the best time to feel the sun on your face as you walk through Lima or along the beach. Lima gets almost no rainfall in January and experiences comfortable temperatures with clear skies.
Prices are often higher in Lima and other coastal cities at this time because it is the surfing season and many people will come from all over the world to ride the country's famously big waves.
The Amazon and the East: 22°C-31°C (72°F-88°F)
The eastern section of Peru is covered by the Amazon rainforest which is warm, humid, and rainy in January. Although the Amazon is humid all year round, January sees almost daily rains ranging from small drizzles to large downpours and thunderstorms.
This area of the country includes cities like Iquitos which is the starting point for Amazon River cruises. In January, Iquitos receives an average of 277mm (11 inches) of rain.
Best Places to Visit in Peru in January
January is one of the best months of the year to visit Lima for beautiful temperatures and sunny skies.
First, head out and explore the city on a food tour to take in the colonial architecture while trying the delicious flavors of this up-and-coming culinary hot spot.
Then, relax at some of the city's popular beaches to soak in the sun, or travel to the nearby Paracas National Reserve to explore sand dunes and diverse wildlife.
2. The Sacred Valley and Cusco
Although January is the rainy season in the Sacred Valley and Cusco, it's still a great time to visit as long as you don't mind getting a little wet.
Explore the Sacred Valley to take in the ancient Incan ruins and culture of the local area while enjoying travel without the crowds. Visiting Machu Picchu in January is a more personal experience where you can explore the ruins at your own pace instead of fighting with the crowds to get the best pictures.
Arequipa is located in southern Peru and is part of the desert coastal region despite its mountainous location.
This city is ringed by three picturesque snow-topped volcanoes and is full of charming colonial-era buildings that are made from white volcanic rock. This is a great place to relax in coffee shops and cafes while taking in the view from a city balcony. You can also reach the famous Colca Canyon from Arequipa for a chance to see the famous Andean Condor.
4. Ballestas Islands
The Ballestas are off the coast of northern Peru and are also known as the “Peruvian Galapagos Islands” for their variety of rare wildlife and birds.
Take a day trip from Pisco out to the islands to catch sight of Inca terns, dolphins, whales, penguins, Peruvian boobies, and sea lions.
Trujillo is a coastal city in Peru and is a great place to visit in January to experience the Festival de Marinera. This festival is a month-long celebration that includes dance competitions, parades, and horse exhibitions. This is the perfect stop if you want to dive deep into the culture of Peru and maybe even learn a few dance steps to take home as a souvenir!
January Crowds and Costs
Overall, January is a more affordable month to visit Peru, especially for first-time travelers who want to hit top destinations like Machu Picchu, Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and Lake Titicaca. You will also find better prices on hotels, tours, and transportation at this time, except for in Lima and other coastal cities where the prices will be higher than average.
January is a great time in Peru to avoid the crowds. Although you will still see other travelers in Lima and Arequipa, there will be almost no crowds in some of the country's busiest spots like Machu Picchu, Cusco, and the Sacred Valley.
What to Wear in Peru in January
When traveling in Peru in January, you'll need a waterproof raincoat, umbrella, and waterproof shoes to stay comfortable and dry. This is one of the warmest months in the country so you can leave your winter jackets at home and instead bring light jackets and fleeces to help keep you warm in the mountains at night. You will want to dress in layers as mornings will be cool, but afternoons may be warm and humid.
In Lima, summer attire is appropriate. Shorts, T-shirts, skirts, and dresses are great clothes for city tours, beach days, and boat rides.
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