Peru Weather in March: Less Rain? Best Places to Visit

Peru Weather in March: Less Rain? Best Places to Visit

By Laura | Updated Sep. 28, 2023

March in Peru is the last month of the wet season in the Andes. At this time, rain will still happen but it will become less frequent at top destinations like Cusco, Machu Picchu, and Lake Titicaca. This is a great time to visit Peru for people who want to avoid crowds and travel more affordably.

March is a month of beautiful weather in the Galapagos Islands, so if you'd like to visit Peru and the Galapagos together in one trip, this is a good month to do it!

1. Peru Weather in March Overview

  • Average temperature range: 6°C-31°C (42°F-88°F)
  • Wet season: Cusco, Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley, Lake Titicaca, the Amazon Rainforest
  • Dry season: Lima, Arequipa, Trujillo, the Ballestas Islands, Ica, Huacachina
  • Rainfall: 108 mm (4 inches) in Cusco
  • Rainy days: 11 in Cusco, 0 in Lima

Peru is located near the equator and typically temperatures don't change very much over the year.

The biggest weather change in Peru is between the wet season and the dry season. March in Peru is the end of the wet season in the Andes and Amazon, but the continuation of the dry season on the coast.

Machu Picchu in March

Machu PicchuMachu Picchu is one of the New Seven Wonders of the world

Machu Picchu is still rainy in March, but the weather gets better towards the end of the month. The skies remain overcast during this time making for beautiful pictures of this world wonder surrounded by mystical-looking billowing clouds.

Temperatures range from 6°C (42°F) at night to 21°C (71°F) during the day. This is great weather for exploring the ruins with just a light jacket and pants. It's also a good idea to bring an umbrella and waterproof shoes in case of sudden rain or mud.

Machu Picchu gets around 108 mm (4 inches) of rain on average in March. Each day there is around a 37% chance of rain. Rain usually happens in the afternoon in this region, so it's best to schedule your tour in the morning to make the most of the sunshine!

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

2. March Weather by Region

Peru has three separate and distinct climate regions. 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: 6°C-18°C (42°F-65°F)

hiking in CuscoHiking in Cusco

This region of Peru contains many popular destinations such as Machu Picchu, Cusco, the Sacred Valley, Lake Titicaca, and the Rainbow Mountain. Temperatures here in March are quite comfortable during the day but can drop quite quickly after the sun goes down. You'll want to wear layers to make sure you are ready for any change in weather.

March is the rainy season in the Andes and you can expect almost daily showers. Rain normally happens in the afternoon and the mornings are typically sunnier and dryer.

Lima and the Coast: 19°C-26°C (66°F-79°F)

Lima in PeruLima,Peru

The coastal region of Peru which includes Lima, Arequipa, Ica, and Trujillo is an arid area of the country that receives almost no rain and has no rainy season. March in Lima is sunny and warm and is the perfect time to tour the city or enjoy the beach.

In March the waters of the Pacific Ocean are still quite chilly and you'll need a wet suit for snorkeling, scuba diving, or surfing.

The Amazon and the East: 22°C-31°C (72°F-88°F)

The Amazon in PeruBoat in the river in peruvian Amazon jungle

March in the Amazon is the time of afternoon thunderstorms and heavy rains. This region of Peru is warm and humid all year round, but March is often the rainiest month with an average rainfall of around 356mm (14 inches) in Puerto Maldonado. To the north, the city of Iquitos gets a little less rain with an average of around 272 mm (11 inches).

Despite the rain, it is still possible to visit the Amazon in March. Some areas of the forest are only accessible by boat during the rainiest months when the water is high enough to carry travelers through.

3. Best Places to See in Peru in March

March is a great time to visit Peru for more affordable rates, fewer crowds, and also to experience some beautiful cultural festivals. Some great celebrations this month include the Grape Harvest Festival and, depending on the year, Easter.

There are also plenty of other great things to see and do!

1). Lima and Northern Peru

the city of LimaThe city of Lima

March is a great time to visit this off-the-beaten-track part of the country. Spend time in Lima strolling along the beach, touring beautiful colonial architecture, and trying fusion food in the famous Miraflores district. Nature lovers can take a day trip to Paracas National Park and the Ballestas Islands where you'll find a colony of sea lions and hundreds of species of birds.

If you are a fan of watersports, this is the best time to experience them in Peru. Lima is famous for its big waves that draw competitive surfers to the region from all over the world. Playa Chicama is a good place to go parasailing and get a bird's eye view of the coast!

2). Cusco and Machu Picchu

Machu PicchuMachu Picchu, Peru

Despite the rain, March is a good time to visit Cusco and Machu Picchu because there will be fewer people at the world wonder. Not to mention the beautiful lush green mountains that make for excellent photos this time of year. In March, wild orchids bloom in the Sacred Valley and the skies are less cloudy and misty than they are in January and February.

If you visit Cusco during Easter, you can watch the parades and religious celebrations that happen in the streets for the whole week leading up to the holiday.

3). Arequipa

View of ArequipaView of Arequipa

Arequipa is one of the few cities in the Andes that is dry all year round. Because of this, Arequipa is a great place to visit for the mountain experience without the March rains. This city is famous for its incredible Colonial-era architecture which is made from white volcanic stone. The city is also ringed by three formidable snow-topped volcanos that can be viewed from café balconies and colonial markets throughout the city.

Take a day trip to the nearby Colca Canyon to get incredible views of one of the world's deepest canyons and possibly catch sight of an Andean Condor.

4). Ica

wine production in Ica, PeruPeruvian Pisco and wine production, Ica

South of Paracas National Park is an arid area of Peru that is famous for its vineyards and wineries. This is a great place to try the local beverage, Pisco, which is made from white grapes. March is a great time to visit Ica to see the Grape Harvest Festival, the Festival Internacional de la Vendimia. This celebration includes musical events, dancing, parades, fireworks, and stomping grapes.

Ica is also right next to one of Peru's most famous picture-perfect spots, Huacachina. Huacachina is an oasis in the middle of rolling sand dunes that you can reach by dune buggy. Once you grab your oasis photo, head further south to the famous Nazca lines that are etched in the sand and only visible from the air.

4. March Crowds and Costs

local women dancing during the festival in LimaLocal women dancing during the festival in Lima

March is an affordable and less crowded month to visit popular destinations like Machu Picchu, Cusco, Lake Titicaca, the Sacred Valley, and the Rainbow Mountain. It is also an affordable time to visit the Amazon and take a cruise down the river.

During the week of Easter, prices do go up and crowds do increase at all popular travel destinations in the country. This is because many Peruvians and other Latin Americans get the whole week off of work and take this time to travel.

Prices and crowds will be higher than normal in Lima and other coastal cities due to the good weather and waves. In March, you can expect accommodation, tours, and food to be slightly higher than average in coastal areas.

5. What to Wear in Peru in March

visitor in Machu PicchuVistitor in Machu Picchu

When traveling to Peru in March, what you should pack will depend on where you plan to go.

In the Andes and Amazon, you will need a raincoat, waterproof shoes, and an umbrella. Destinations in the Andes are a bit cooler, so bring a light jacket or fleece to stay warm at night. The Amazon region will be very warm, and you should wear loose-fitting clothing made of moisture-wicking materials.

Lima and the coast experiences warm and comfortable weather in March. For this region, you can bring summer clothes like T-shirts, shorts, dresses, and sunglasses.

Monthly Weather in Peru

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