Peru's Rainy Season???

Oct 1st, 2004, 10:33 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 4
Peru's Rainy Season???

Hello, I'd like to hear from some travelers who have been to Peru's highlands during the rainy summer months. I'm curious to know exactly how rainy it was. I have been to Central America during a rainy season -- and the precip was very regular, and nearly always during the mid-afternoon. Is it similar to that in the highlands? If so, that's perfectly tolerable. But if it pours all day -- frequently -- that'll be tough. We were thinking of traveling there in mid- to late-January for a couple of weeks. Thanks!
jdrproducer is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2004, 05:35 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 137
Hi - we are doing the same. I have heard it is rainy, but yes, what sort of rain? We are going regardless and will just have a good time anyway. But any info would be great!
lorikeet is offline  
Oct 4th, 2004, 07:18 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Weatherbase <> says that there in Cuzco there is an average of 5.9 inch of rain in January.
Jed is offline  
Nov 29th, 2004, 01:58 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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I would love to hear information about this also. Has anyone been there during the rain season that can give us first hand information? Thanks!!!!
Traegua is offline  
Nov 30th, 2004, 05:24 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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HI JDR, Jed, Traequa.

I have been a number of times to peru during january and february. Realize that everyone can have a different experience but here is what I think.

There are far fewer tourists, and for me that is a good thing! In the major tourist places like cusco some of the hotels and restaurants may shut down or cut back services during this low season. But then you can probably get much better rates at the better hotels during this time.
The inca trail to machu picchu is a wet mess, and the 4-day trek is closed during february. Visiting machu picchu is still ok by train from cusco.

The rain itself is not a big deal: bring good rain gear, and if you are planning to hike the mountains make sure you have boots that support your ankles and ones that can handle slippery wet rock. And give yourself extra time to get to the places you plan on visiting.

The weather does however create problems with both airline and road travel. Domestic airports can have delays and cancelled flights. Roadways may have to close because of landslides or flooding.

January is the summer for peru, so the pacific coast (Chiclayo, Trujillo in the north coast), Lima, and Nasca and paracas (south coast) have very few problems (or rain). It is sort of a high-tourist time in these areas, and there are a number of really cool things to do/see along the pacific coast.

Cusco: there are fewer flights in the low season, flights can be delayed, though usually not too drastic. Around cusco the rain does not stop people from using the train (landslides are not frequent on the tracks, but it can happen. A few years ago a major landslide hit between cusco and aguas calientes so the peruvian government brought in helicopters to fly people back and forth to Machu Picchu). Places in the sacred valley are ok to visit. More remote treks around cusco, or things like river rafting may be more difficult.

Manu: good chance flights to boca manu would be delayed, cancelled, or even terminated for a short time. Overland routes across the andes to manu can have road delays. Once you are in the jungle, the rain is not a problem.

Tambopata: on some of my visits there were major airflight delays coming from lima or cusco. And the overflooding of the river put the city streets of puerto maldonado under water. Other times I would totally luck out and the weather would be great. As with manu, wildlife is different during the rain, high water season. Although macaws will visit the clay licks, if it is pouring rain it will be difficult to see very much. Many of the trails are flooded, but then that is why rubber boots (up to your knees) are good (many of the lodges have extra boots, or in puerto maldonado you can buy boots).

Iquitos: very few problems with air flights in any weather. Rivers (especially the amazon west of iquitos) are really high (up to 60 feet difference). So trails become canoe paths. You may have to go to the more remote areas for the best wildlife opportunities (up the amazon to the maranon river and the pacaya reserve, or to the Tamshiyacu reserve off the Tahuayo river). Iquitos has a good number of tourists year round in part because the rain season is less of a problem than in other jungle areas of peru. Hotels, tourist attractions and lodges do not have the low season like manu/cusco does.

Tarapoto: few problems with airflight. Tourists are just beginning to come to tarapoto, though for many years it was a popular place for vacationing peruvians (Palm Springs of the amazon).

Chachapoyas: airflight totally off (most of the time in the dry season too!). The road from Chicalyo to tarapoto, passing by the road up to chachapoyas, was improved and paved just this year. The road up to chachapoyas is half finished (expected to be done by mid-2005). The rain in chachapoyas can be everyday, all day at times. But then in 2004 they had very little rain the entire rain season january to april, and then had rain starting in september! Still, unless you are a real die-hard, chachapoyas is best to visit during july-august. And DEFINITELY worth while for one of the most incredible places in peru.

All that said it really comes down to what your special interests are: jungle, wildlife, mountains, ruins, hiking, culture, nightlife.

A bit about wildlife:

Peru offers a number of amazon destinations for wildlife and flora, the most popular being manu (just over the mountains from cusco), tambopata (the jungle town of puerto maldonado in SE Peru), and iquitos, in northeast Peru on the Amazon river.

These places all have a great variety of wildlife, in general monkeys, birds, river snakes, butterflies. Specific wildlife can be found at particular destinations, as not all destinations in the rainforest have the same animals and plants.

Lodges in Puerto Maldonado that are really good: Sandoval Lake Lodge, and Heath Wildlife Center. Places around Iquitos are: Yarapa (part of the Cornell University Research Station), and Tahuayo Lodge (in the Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo Reserve). Manu has the Manu Wildlife Center, consider by many as the prime destination in the amazon for wildlife.

Tambopata, a great place to see giant otters and macaws. With 5-8 days you can get to more remote areas. A great place is the Heath River area (river that is the border of Peru-Bolivia).

For Iquitos it is best to have at least 5 days, as the better wildlife areas are about 6+hours by boat each way from Iquitos (places like Tahuayo and Yarapa). New trips are now possible to the Pacaya Sameria Reserve, the largest protected reserve in Peru (even camping trips combined with a budget lodge).

Manu, Iquitos and Tambopata have a great variety of wildlife, birds and a good number of monkeys. Tambopata is known for giant otters and macaw clay licks (like one at the Heath River). Iquitos is famous for pink dolphins and the rare Uakari monkey (red-faced monkey). Manu for tapirs, otters, macaws, and nearly a score of monkey species.

A new accessible destination in the Iquitos area that has excellent wildlife is a place on the Maranon River (150 miles west of Iquitos, the Maranon becomes the Amazon River). This is an area bordering the upper Pacaya Reserve, and has very little (if any!) tourist visitors.

Some of my travel stories to the amazon are at

A web site with more info is

Let me know about your special interests and I would be glad to respond in more detail.

Happy trails,
davarian is offline  
Dec 4th, 2004, 07:14 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 978
Read the climate section on this page:

From this it sounds as though you'll find most mornings to be dry and then have heavy afternoon showers.

When we get back from our trip in Feb, I'll have first hand information. Then again, perhaps you will update this post before I leave on Jan 29.

SharonNRayMc is offline  
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