As the international gateway to Peru, Lima is an unavoidable stop for travelers planning a trip to Machu Picchu. But there are reasons to stick around. Spend a day or two here to experience the electrifying mix of old and new; meet Peruvians from every corner of the country and with ancestry from all over the world; and work your way through a long list of must-eats including ceviche, lomo saltado, causa rellena and more.
In Lima, you can choose to relax in the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the capital city or pack your itinerary full of visits to historic plazas and churches, 1,000-year-old adobe ruins, world-class restaurants, buzzing nightlife spots, ocean-view parks, and renowned museums and galleries. The capital city is a melting pot, with a long history of migration from other parts of the world, including Asia, Europe, and Africa. Add to that recent internal migration from the Andes, Amazon and coastal regions, and the result is a fantastic mix of vibrant backgrounds and cultures.
Climate & Weather
Lima has two clearly-marked seasons, summer and winter, with transitional periods in between. Being in the southern hemisphere, Lima has warmer, sunnier weather in the northern hemisphere’s winter months (December to March), and cooler, greyer weather in the northern hemisphere’s summer months (June to September).
- January to March
- Sunny, warm, humid days and spectacular sunsets
- Temperatures: 81-85°F (28-29°C) during the day, 66-70°F (19-21°C) at night
- June to October
- Cloudy, damp, chilly days with a light drizzle
- Temperatures: 62-65°F (17-18°C) during the day, 53-59°F (12-15°C) at night
There are quite a few factors that influence Lima’s weather. Peru is close to the equator, but the cold water Humboldt Current flows up from Antarctica and interacts with air temperatures to keep things cool.
The Andes Mountains are a second factor affecting the climate. The tall peaks, which begin to rise not too far from the coast, create a rain shadow effect that prevents rain clouds from forming. This geography explains why much of Peru’s coast is desert. In Lima, the result is a temperate climate with high humidity around the year.
During the winter months, a constant gray fog called garúa covers the city of Lima. Travel some miles north or south of the city or up into the foothills and you’ll experience the sunny skies that typify the rest of coastal Peru.
Best Time to Visit
It is best to visit Lima during its summer season, between December and April. Lima in the summer is sunny, and with temperatures in the 70s and 80s (roughly 21°C to 30°C), you can visit the parks, beaches, and historic districts with ease – and fully enjoy a refreshing, citrusy ceviche lunch. This is a great time to experience summer from the southern hemisphere, and perhaps even escape the cold weather of your home city in the northern hemisphere.
The transitional months between summer and winter, May and November, can also be a nice time to visit, as the weather can be more moderate with a mix of cooler, cloudy days and warmer, clear days.