Peru Weather in September 2023: A Good Time to Visit

Peru Weather in September 2023: A Good Time to Visit

By Laura | Updated Sep. 28, 2023

September is the first month of the shoulder season in Peru. This is a great time to visit for dry and sunny weather in the mountains with smaller crowds at popular destinations like Machu Picchu.

At this time, the weather across the country starts to warm up and rains become more frequent, however, most days are still dry and sunny with, at most, an occasional shower.

As the crowds get smaller, prices for hotels and travel also drop making this one of the best times to travel in Peru.

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1. Peru Weather in September Overview

Machu Picchu, PeruMachu Picchu, Peru
  • Average temperature range: 5°C-32°C (41°F-90°F)
  • Dry season: All of Peru
  • Fog season: Lima and the coast
  • Rainfall: 22 mm (0.87 inches) in Cusco
  • Rainy days: 7 in Cusco, 1 in Lima

September is the end of the dry and cool winter and the start of spring. This means that rain will become more common, especially in the mountains and Amazon Rainforest. Lima and other coastal cities stay dry throughout the year.

Peru is located close to the equator meaning that temperatures stay pretty much the same year-round. In September, temperatures rise slightly in the mountains with lows around 5°C (41°F) and highs of around 20°C (68°F). 

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Machu Picchu in September

Machu Picchu, PeruMachu Picchu, Peru

September is a mostly dry month in Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. Although the chance of rain is slightly higher at this time, the temperatures are also a bit warmer making it overall more comfortable than the winter months of June, July, and August. In September, temperatures stay above freezing at night and get up to comfortable sweatshirt weather during the day.

As September is one of the shoulder season months between the dry season and wet season, the weather tends to be sunnier at the beginning of the month and wetter toward the end. There is an average of 7 rainy days at Machu Picchu in September. Rains at this time are often brief showers that take place in the afternoon.

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

2. September Weather by Region

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

  • The high-altitude Andes
  • The coast
  • The Amazon Rainforest

If you plan on traveling to multiple regions, you will need to pack for different weather depending on where you go!

Cusco and the Andes: 5°C-20°C (41°F-68°F)

Andes Mountains, PeruAndes Mountains, Peru

Also known as the Andean highland zone, this area of Peru is the most popular to visit and includes spots like Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, Cusco, and the Rainbow Mountain. This region experiences comfortably cool temperatures in September and mostly dry weather making it an ideal time to visit.

Although most mornings are clear and dry, you may experience some rain in the afternoons and evenings. As weather changes quickly in the mountains, it's a good idea to always have an umbrella or raincoat with you in case of stray showers.

Lima and the Coast: 15°C-19°C (59°F-66°F)

Lima beaches, PeruLima beaches, Peru

This region is also known as the desert strip because of its lack of rainfall year-round and includes some of Peru's largest cities like Trujillo, Arequipa, and Paracas. In this region, the weather is dry and sunny in the north but becomes cooler and foggier the closer you are to Lima. 

September in Lima is known for its slightly chilly and dreary weather, as the heavy sea mist called la garua continues to hang over the city. However, temperatures are quite comfortable making it a good time to explore the city without the risk of getting a sunburn. 

The Amazon and the East: 21°C-32°C (70°F-90°F)

The Amazon River in PeruThe Amazon River in Peru

The Amazon Rainforest is hot, wet, and humid year-round.

In September, rainfall is still relatively low making it a good time to take a cruise down the Amazon or trek through the jungle. Despite September being the end of the dry season, it is still likely to rain almost every day in this region but showers will be much lighter and shorter than in the wetter months.

3. Best Places to See in Peru in September

With good weather and smaller crowds, September is one of the best times to visit the most popular destinations in Peru like Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. The smaller crowds make it easier to capture perfect pictures and will also make your visit more enjoyable. 

Check out the best places to visit in September below!

1) The Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu

Inca Salt pans at Maras, PeruInca Salt pans at Maras, Peru

Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley are unmissable stops for any first-time traveler to Peru!

Machu Picchu, of course, is a World Wonder and the most popular Incan ruin to visit. In September, you can enjoy the breathtaking beauty of this old-world architectural marvel with great weather and fewer crowds.

Before taking the Incan Rail to Machu Picchu, make sure to explore the bright green hills of the Sacred Valley dotted with Spanish colonial villages and smaller, lesser-known Incan ruins.

2) The Amazon Rainforest

Amazon forest in PeruAmazon forest in Peru

September is still part of the dry season in the Amazon, making this a great time to take a slow and luxurious cruise through this wild place. Sit on the deck of the boat as you meander down the coiling river spotting wildlife, cloud forests, and indigenous communities.

Animals in the Amazon are more active in the dry season, and you'll have a better chance of seeing wildlife at this time. 

3) Lima

Lima sunset, PeruLima sunset, Peru

Despite the heavy fog, this is still a great time to visit this capital city if you are a foodie. Lima has always been a top culinary destination, but in September the Mistura Culinary Festival comes to the city. This celebration is a massive food festival that takes place over one week in mid-September and is an exhibition of the country's best restaurants and street food. 

After stuffing yourself at the festival, make sure to explore the beautiful cathedrals and museums of Lima. Then head to the art districts, like Miraflores, for fun nightlife and great shopping.

4) Lake Titicaca

Reed boat on the Lake Titicaca, PeruReed boat on the Lake Titicaca, Peru

Lake Titicaca is both the largest lake in South America and the highest navigable lake in the world. Located at 3,810 meters (12,500 feet) above sea level, this lake was a holy place in Incan mythology and was believed to be the birthplace of the sun and the beginning of the world.

The lake is particularly famous for its man-made islands that were built by the local Uros tribes as floating homes. Explore the islands by boat to meet the indigenous people and learn more about their lifestyle and traditions.

5) Arequipa and the Colca Canyon

Arequipa, PeruArequipa, Peru

Arequipa is an incredibly charming Spanish city that is ringed by three impressive volcanoes. Often called the White City, Arequipa is famous for its beautiful colonial-style buildings built entirely from white volcanic rock. While here, make sure to explore the impressive Santa Catalina convent and the Santuarios Andinos museum which houses the mummified remains of Incan sacrifices including Juanita, the Ice Maiden.

After exploring the city, head out to the Colca Canyon to spot the Andean Condors as they fly high above the canyon riding the morning thermal air currents.

4. September Crowds and Costs

Arequipa, Peru Arequipa, Peru

In September, the high season comes to an end and tourism starts to die down across the country. This means that prices start to lower and crowds start to thin. However, many people still visit Peru at this time to take advantage of the smaller crowds and nice weather, so it will still be important to book your travel and hotels a few months in advance.

In September, popular destinations like Machu Picchu and Cusco will still have crowds, but less-popular Incan ruins in the Sacred Valley and across Peru are often almost empty.

5. What to Wear in Peru in September

Hiking in Cusco, PeruHiking in Cusco, Peru

As September is the start of the shoulder season, the rains become more common.

Although it will not rain every day, it's a good idea to bring a raincoat with you when traveling in the mountains or the Amazon in case of sudden showers. 

Temperatures start to rise in the mountains and you will no longer need a winter coat in Cusco. However, nights are still cold so bring plenty of hoodies and sweaters!

In the Amazon, temperatures remain sweltering and it will be important to wear light and loose clothing made of quick-dry material.

Monthly Weather in Peru

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