Why should you consider spending your winter season in Peru? While the period between December and February marks the winter season in the northern hemisphere, South American countries like Peru are in full summer swing. Sure, high-altitude cities and sites such as Cusco and Machu Picchu may be less appealing at this time of year as the rainy season is in full force— but Peru is much more than the famed Inca citadel.
A winter escapade in Peru is ideal for travelers seeking pleasant climates, less crowds and a handful of cultural activities— but you have to know where to go. Here’s where and how to get the best out of Peru during the northern hemisphere’s winter season.
1. Feel The Energy Of Sunny Lima
Cusco may be getting soaked with rain during Peru’s summer months but, fortunately, these wet weather conditions don’t affect all of Peru. In fact, at this time of year, coastal cities like Lima are experiencing scorching hot weather.
So picturesque is Peru’s capital during the South America’s summer season that many visitors are surprised to learn that Lima’s weather is dull and gray every other time of year.
There’s a noticeable change in the city’s atmosphere from early December to late February. Spirits lift and locals hit the beaches to soak up the sun during the day and stroll the popular malecón (coastal pathway) at sunset. Lima could rightfully be compared to dreary London throughout the rest of the year, but in summer, it’s more akin to sunny Miami.
2. Hit The Streets In Lima’s Exciting Barrios
Escape Lima’s congested center and go for a walk in the cool, cosmopolitan barrios of Miraflores and Barranco. Relax in one of the numerous coffee shops and restaurants clustered along the seafront, and take in stunning views over the Pacific Ocean. Don’t forget to indulge in Lima’s culinary delights such as a delicious ceviche, the perfect plate to enjoy under the summer sun.
After a few inspiring nights out at top restaurants, you just may be so inclined to try your hand at preparing a few Peruvian dishes. Head to the local district markets in Surquillo or Magdalena del Mar and feast your eyes on the immaculate displays of fruits, vegetables, herbs and tubers from all regions of Peru. Ask your Kuoda travel designer to organize a cooking class for your travel group!
3. Journey To The Buzzing Northern Beaches
Most travelers associate Peru with ancient archaeology, colonial cities, and distinctive cuisine but, thanks to northern towns like Mancora, the country is also becoming known as a fantastic beach destination. Peru’s northern beach towns come to life in December, drawing locals and visitors alike with their pristine coastlines and vibrant nightlife.
Untouched coastline meets yearlong sunshine with a stunning food scene. The area is an ideal spot for morning yoga on the shoreline or just simply lazing in the sun.
Mancora, Lobitos and less touristy northern beaches such as Zorritos are stand-out destinations for surf and water sports. Don’t miss a visit to the historic fishing village of Cabo Blanco in Talara of the Piura region. This humble town is where the famous author Ernest Hemingway used to hang out, drink Pisco Sours and pen classics like “The Old Man and the Sea.”
4. Looking For A Mix Of Beaches, Culture & History?
If you answered yes to the question above then the city of Trujillo is your answer. Known as Peru’s “culture capital,” this city is packed with history, culture, and of course idyllic beaches. In fact, Trujillo is not only hailed as the birthplace of Peru’s national dance “La Marinera” but its laid back beach town of Huanchaco is popularly considered as inspiring the modern-day surfboard.
The waves of the seaside town continue to be dotted with reed boats known as caballitos de totora which have been around for thousands of years. Though the fishermen usually sit on these woven rafts while trying to hook a fish, it’s not uncommon to see them standing up with superb balance alongside a group of local surfers.
You can also visit the well-preserved pre-Incan site of Chan Chan, which is considered the largest pre-Hispanic mud brick settlement in the Americas. When in Trujillo, there is also an interesting archaeological complex called El Brujo. For more Moche history, travelers to Trujillo can also visit the Moche Pyramids, Huaca del Sol and Huaca de la Luna. Literally translating to “Pyramid of the Sun” and “Pyramid of the Moon,” this is where it is believed priests carried out human sacrifices.
5. Avoid the Crowds in the Sacred Valley
While the Sacred Valley is technically part of Cusco and therefore in the midst of the rainy season during Peru’s summer months, this time of year can be rewarding for intrepid travelers who wish to avoid crowds. Keep in mind that sites like Machu Picchu that are located near the cloud forest can be unbearable during the month of February when the rainfall is at its highest. Plan on visiting in early January and hit up the historic Inca citadel and the myriad of other Inca sites located throughout the valley.
Lush green with the rain, sites like Chincheros and Moray are especially picturesque at this time of year. It should also be considered that valley towns such as Urubamba and Ollantaytambo do not experience rainfall every day of the rainy season. So take advantage of the low tourism season and travel slow in the spiritual and majestic Sacred Valley.
– Spend Your Winter Season in Peru
Does a winter escapade sound like the right time for your private Peru vacation? Contact Kuoda Travel today and let us know how we can design a personalized luxury vacation ideal for you.