FAQ - South America Weather

What will the weather be like?
  • Due to these countries’ proximity to the equator, you will not find the usual four well-defined seasons in all of the areas you visit as you might find in most of North America and Europe, but instead a RAINY SEASON and a DRY SEASON.
  • The rainy season usually falls between November and April (the southern hemisphere ‘summer’) and the dry season between May and October (the southern hemisphere ‘winter’).
  • The weather, temperatures and views will depend mostly on these seasons and the geographical area that you are visiting, with a general overview shown in the table below.

NB. You can find good climate charts on city’s Wikipedia pages, or check www.accuweather.com for each city.
Rainy SeasonDry Season
Low-lying jungle areasVery warm and humid; heavy showers most days.
Average daytime temperatures around 31°C (88°F)
Average nighttime temperatures around 21°C (70°F)
Very warm but less humid; showers occur throughout the year.
Average daytime temperatures around 30°C (86°F)
Average nighttime temperatures around 18°C (65°F)
The Andean highlands e.g. Cusco Exact temperatures vary based on altitude, e.g. Machu Picchu somewhat warmer and Puno a little cooler.Often overcast with frequent heavy showers, snow/hail at higher altitudes; warm in direct sun and much cooler in the shade or under cloud cover.
Average daytime temperatures around 20°C (70 °F)
Average nighttime temperatures around 7°C (44°F)
Clear bright skies nearly 100% of the time; very warm in direct sun and much cooler in the shade; ground frosts overnight; very dry.
Average daytime temperatures around 20°C (70 °F)
Average nighttime temperatures around 0°C (30°F)
Coastal areas e.g. LimaVery overcast with heavy fog most mornings; very little rain all year around.
Average daytime temperatures around 19°C (66 °F)
Average nighttime temperatures around 15°C (60°F)
Sunnier days, some mist in the mornings, clearing during the day; very little rain all year around.
Average daytime temperatures around 26°C (79 °F)
Average nighttime temperatures around 19°C (66°F)
Coastal areas e.g. GalapagosWarm and humid with some chance of rain all year around. Warmer sea temperatures.
Average daytime temperatures around 29°C (85°F)
Average nighttime temperatures around 22°C (71°F)
Warm and humid with some chance of rain all year around. Co0oler sea temperatures.
Average daytime temperatures around 26°C (79°F)
Average nighttime temperatures around 21°C (69°F)

During the rainy season, how much does it rain?

Rainfall depends on the exact location, with La Paz experiencing a much drier climate than Cusco for example. In the jungle it is likely to rain almost every day, but showers fall in short heavy bursts. In the highlands, showers are generally short-lived, can be heavy and most often occurring the afternoon or overnight. Rain is often interspersed with sunny periods, but it can sometimes rain all day (especially in February) or remain overcast much of the day.

What is the best time of year to avoid the crowds?
  • High season tends to be June through August, coinciding with the dry season and European/North American school holidays. December and January are also very popular in the Galapagos Islands and northern Peru.
  • The Cusco region (and associated destinations) are very busy almost all year around, with less tourist traffic during the end of November/beginning of December and second half of January through March (depending on Easter dates).
  • Machu Picchu receives high tourist traffic from April through October, with the afternoons being the quietest periods to visit the ruins.