Peru in December: Festivities in Monsoon

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From the mysterious Nazca Lines to breathtaking trekking trails and vibrant culture, Peru has plenty of activities for all types of travelers. And even though December is part of the country’s wet season, the weather in most areas of the country is mild, with a low risk of precipitation. Along with that, there are fewer tourists and plenty of celebrations, which make this month one of the best times to visit the many magnificent tourist attractions in Peru.

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Peru Weather in December

Machu Picchu   Wonder of the World, World Heritage Site, The Lost City in P
Visitors frequent Machu Pichhu to visit the ancient archeological site in the Sacred District.

December falls smack in the middle of the wet season, but this must not deter you from traveling to Peru. Three distinct climate zones characterize the country, all with varying weather conditions. If you are looking for the best climate, head towards the coast. As you get closer to the equator in the country’s north, temperatures are mild, and precipitation is rare. In cities such as Lima, located in the central coastal region of the country, the weather is ideal, with an average of 24℃ during the day. The highlands, where Cusco and Machu Picchu are located, are slightly colder. Precipitation here is frequent, so make sure to bring an umbrella with you. Average daily temperatures are around 20℃ in this part of the country, and the area experiences 16 days of rain during the month.

It is warmer in the Peruvian Amazon in December than in other months, with lows of 8.5℃ and highs of 20℃. However, precipitation is frequent, so check with the weatherman before heading out to explore the rainforest.

For a seasonal overview, make sure to go through our travel guide on the best time to visit Peru.

Weather in Peru in December - Rainfall and Temperatures

Nov Dec Jan
Avg Daily (°C) 23 25 26
Avg Nightly (°C) 17 19 20
Avg Daily (°F) 74 77 79
Avg Nightly (°F) 63 67 68
Avg Rainfall (mm) 3 0 3

Why Visit Peru in December

Aqua Parrot Looking Directly at Camera in Iquitos, Peru
Peru is known for its bio-diversity, with over 1800 species of birds.
Llamas on Machu Picchu Terraces
Visitors can find llamas basking in the winter sun in the Andean highlands. 

Many people avoid traveling to Peru during the wet season. But do not let the rain stop you! There are plenty of good reasons to visit Peru in December. We have listed a few of them below.

  • More affordable prices: Traveling in the low season has its perks. Number one on our list is the prices, which are more affordable than during the dry season of July and August. December is perfect for those on a budget as you can save your money both on accommodation and plane tickets.
  • Lesser crowds: If you are among those who cannot stand humongous groups of tourists, book your flight for December. The foot traffic is lower during this month than in other months.
  • The Amazon Rainforest: December is the beginning of the high-water season in the Peruvian Amazon. This means that most of its rivers, streams, and lakes are navigable. Book a cruise and see the lungs of the Earth from a completely different perspective! Glide down the river in a boat and spot a variety of wild animals such as monkeys, jaguars, and alligators.
  • Celebrations and festivities: Peru is a predominantly Catholic country. For this reason, Christmas here is celebrated with great fanfare. If you get the chance, try to take part in Misa de Gallo, the Christmas eve mass. Most Peruvian families participate in this event and then go home to exchange gifts with each other.

Where to go and what to do

Cathedral of Arequipa, Peru
The Basilica Cathedral of Arequipa also serves as the base of the Archbishop and the Metropolitan Council.

There is an abundance of things to do in Peru in December. Spend at least ten days in Peru and, if you can, celebrate New Years' Eve with the locals. Peru has a whole set of traditions that are associated with this date. People wear yellow underwear and welcome the new year with a fireworks display. There is also a tradition of eating 12 grapes after midnight, each of which represents a wish for every month of the new year.

December is also a great month to visit some of the most famous tourist attractions in Peru. You can head towards the mysterious Nazca Lines or explore Machu Picchu before travelers from all over the world pour in.

Nature lovers can also opt for a hiking trip in the country. You can try one of the six great Cusco treks or embark on an adventure on the Santa Cruz trail. Another option for experienced hikers is the Ausangate trek. This path is 70 km long and has an average altitude of 4,000 meters. It also takes you to one of the most stunning highlights of Peru, the Rainbow Mountains!

Those who prefer urban chaos should add a sightseeing tour of Lima to their itinerary. Lima is the perfect place to learn everything about Peruvian culture. A walk in the city center will teach you a lot about the history of this country. Make sure to check out Museo de Arte de Lima, where you will find exhibitions of local and international artists.

Are you ready to plan your customized trip to Peru in December? Wonderful! Remember that if you are feeling overwhelmed, you can always reach out to our local travel experts in Peru who can devise a personalized itinerary for you. For some instant inspiration, check out our trips to Peru in December.

For instant inspiration, check out our trips to Peru in December

More Information

Published by Will Cooper, updated on August 23, 2022

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