If you’re planning a trip to Peru during June, July, or August – winter in Lima and in the southern hemisphere – you may already know that it’s peak travel season to visit Machu Picchu. During this time, conditions to visit this Inca archaeological site are typically sunny and daytime temperatures warm. But what should you expect during your stay at sea level in Lima?
Peru may only be about the size of Alaska, but sandwiched within its borders is impressive geographic diversity. Lima, the capital city, resides halfway down the country’s thin sliver of desert coast . The climate here is remarkably different compared to that of the Andes Mountains where Machu Picchu and other popular destinations like Cusco and the Sacred Valley are located.
Coastal Vs. Highland Winter Climates
In this graphic, we zero in on how Lima winter weather compares to that in the high altitude destinations of Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley, and Cusco.
Understanding these climate differences will help you decide what activities to fill your daily agenda and what items to pack (or not pack) in your suitcase.
Read our entry about TIPS FOR PEAK SEASON TRAVEL TO MACHU PICCHU for more information about climate conditions and packing essentials.
Lima Winter Weather
The relatively mild winter climate in Lima means that you can comfortably explore the city without interruptions or delays from extreme weather. When a limeño – a city local – tells you that it never rains, rest assured that they are not exaggerating. Total precipitation each year is rarely more than 2 inches (50 mm).
From June to August, temperatures in Lima average between 60°F to 68°F (16°C to 20°C). There’s quite a bit of humidity in the air – up to 95 percent – and during wintertime it brings a damp, penetrating chill. As such, a daytime temperature of 63°F (17°C) can actually feel more like 53°F (12°C), notably in the coastal districts of Miraflores and Barranco where a breeze may pick up. Our advice is to bundle up in a cozy jacket during a private city tour to visit Lima’s UNESCO-recognized Historic Center and the pre-Columbian artifacts at Larco Museum.
Lima’s weather is regulated by the northward flow of the cold Humboldt Current. It moderates the heat of the tropical sun and brings persistent cloud coverage from June to September and a hazy fog that locals call garúa. Despite the city’s close proximity to the equator and coastal location, wintertime in Lima is not an ideal time to relax at the beach…even if you don’t mind cooler temperatures.
How to spend a day of winter in Lima
Here are just a few suggestions:
Take a leisure stroll or bike ride along the coast.
El Malecon is a paved path that weaves along the high bluffs in Miraflores and passes popular attractions such as Larcomar, a complex with restaurants and brand name stores, and Parque del Amor (Love Park).
What’s nice about El Malecon during the wintertime is that there tend to be far fewer people compared to summer months. There are playground structures to entertain children and park benches to sit and get lost in your book.
Dine at a world class restaurant.
Nowhere else in Peru than in Lima are you able to enjoy such a wide variety of dining establishments that showcase the flavor diversity and fusion of Peruvian cuisine. And of course, a savory meal can be enjoyed anytime of year.
Maido is chef Mitisuhari’s acclaimed Nekkei restaurant that ranked #1 of the 50 Best Latin American Restaurants in 2017. Other award winning options in Lima include Central, Astrid & Gaston, and DonDoh.
Ask your travel advisor for a complimentary copy of Incas Expert’s Lima Restaurant Guide. Inside, you’ll discover our team’s favorite restaurants serving traditional Peruvian dishes, seafood dishes like ceviche (very popular in Lima), and vegetarian-only options. Mangos is one of our favorite restaurants in Miraflores that has outdoor seating with an ocean view and patio heaters to keep you nice and toasty on a cool winter evening.
Experience the bohemian charm of Barranco
This trendy district is celebrated for its art galleries, boutique hotels, and lively nightlife.
Even on the overcast days that define winter in Lima, its mustard yellow mansions and skillfully curated street murals are no less vibrant.
- Paragliding: While wind conditions are the strongest during the winter, the aerial view over Miraflores and the Pacific Ocean is best during the summer when the city is not blanketed in clouds.
- Surfing: Wearing a full-length wetsuit is recommended if you rent a surfboard or take a surf lesson during the winter in Lima. From May to October, the temperature of the ocean averages between 63°F to 66°F (17°C to 19°C).
Visit Incas’ destination page featuring Lima for even more activity and tour ideas.
Apart from regular cloudy conditions, there are no real downfalls to planning a trip during winter in Lima. The city’s historic, cultural, and culinary highlights can always be enjoyed. In fact, some travelers may even prefer the more cooler winter temperatures in Lima compared to the heat of summer.