Peru in December
December is a perfect time to visit Peru if you don’t like crowds and prefer the more relaxed approach to planning your vacation. If you don’t mind the wet weather you can have the Inca Trail (and Machu Picchu) pretty much for yourself (or in other words it’s not crowded anymore) and you can also enjoy some hiking in the mountains. Everyone is now at the beach but don’t worry as they are not that crowded (yet).
Weather in Peru depends on the region you are visiting , so in order plan your vacation you need to know what to expect in December in the three distinct weather regions in Peru.
December in the mountain highlands (such as Cusco) falls during the wet season . It’s usually clear in the mornings , though, and most of the rain falls in January and February. The temperatures during the day are mild. Inca Trail is not crowded now but you need to be prepared for the rain.
December is summer time on the cost (such as Lima), so expect to be able to swim and get a lovely tan. Temperatures average 25-35C and there’s hardly any rain.
In the jungle, December falls during the wet season. You can expect rain any time but only rains few hours at a time.
Arequipa avg high 18C ; avg low 7C
Cuzco avg high 21C; avg low 9C
Lima avg high 24C; avg low 18C
Flights and accommodation in December
While December is not the preferred time for most travelers to visit Peru, the airfare and accommodation aren’t very cheap. After all, many festivals take place before Christmas and generally traveling around Christmas is more expensive than during the low season.
What to do
December is one of the best months to head to the beach. It’s not crowded yet –that happens usually in January and February – but you can swim, tan and surf. Visit the beach of Mancora for excellent surfing year round. Chicama is another well known surfing spot in Peru.
You can also spend some time in the city of Cusco . Explore the city’s sights, check out the markets and get used to the high altitude.
If you like climbing, then tackle El Misti and although during summer you won’t need any special equipment, during winter you’ll also encounter patches of snow and ice, so take appropriate gear with you. Make a base in Arequipa and then plan the 2 days / 1 night climb on El Misti.
December is wet in the jungle and most of the trails turn to small rivers. It can rain anytime but the rain doesn’t last for too long. If you don’t mind the wet weather, you can plan such a vacation in Peru now.
Visiting Machu Picchu during this time of the year is quite a lovely option because you pretty much have the Inca Trail to your self (or in other words: not crowded). And the site is not crowded either. Yes, expect rain and bring appropriate gear for it.
Make sure to check out the local food, too. From the bizarre food – fried guinea pig, anyone? – to the national dish of ceviche (raw fish marinated in lemon juice with herbs).