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Peru Climate

Peru has one of the world’s most diverse climates. Of the 32 world climate classifications, no less than 28 are found in Peru, with various microclimates tucked into its numerous valleys and mountainsides. This is largely because of the Humboldt Current, a cooling current that runs through most of South America’s western coast, and the presence of the Andes.

Overall, however, Peru climate is classified as dry and subtropical. Much of the country gets little rainfall, except for the Andes where summers are wet and winters decidedly dry. Going into the eastern lowlands, the weather warms up considerably with rains scattered throughout the year. The coastal regions have moderate temperatures, except up north where it warms up near the equator. The mountainous regions get frequent rain, and get noticeably cooler as it nears the Andes.

The coastal climate is often compared to Greece or Italy, although there are some differences. Winter, for example, is cloudy and humid in these areas, but is less rainy than Mediterranean coastlines. This season, which is summer in North America, has comfortable temperatures down to 14°C. Summer is hot and humid, with seasonal highs of around 38°C.

Further down the coast, including the central region where Lima sits, it gets considerably cooler, with temperatures running from 8°C to 29°C and about 30% less rainfall. In the summer the temperature can go down to 18°C, but is generally between 22°C and 25°C. Rain, when it does fall, is more common during the night. Winters are noticeably foggy from the coast to a few kilometers inland, known locally as garua.

The Andes is no doubt the country’s most diverse area in terms of climate. The higher up, the lower the temperatures get, with the coldest areas reaching or dropping slightly below freezing point in the winter. Rains occur frequently from January to March. Areas directly to the east of the mountain can get close to 400 inches of rain in a year. Snow is usually seen only at altitudes over 5,000 meters early in the year, and above 3,800 meters from May to August.

The eastern lowlands, which include Iquitos, have the same climate as the neighboring Amazon Rainforest. Here the climate is steadily hot and rainy, save for brief cool periods from May to September where temperatures can drop to 10°C. Most of the time, however, temperatures are in the mid-20s with lows of 18°C and highs of 36°C.