From the rugged coast of Lima to the towering Andes, Peru has some of the world’s most beautiful vistas. Spend your summer trekking the trails of Machu Picchu, standing on a floating island in Lake Titicaca, and sipping a cerveza in Lima.
North America's summer, May to September is the ideal time to check these items off your bucket list. It's the dry season so you won't have to worry about trails being washed out or carrying an umbrella. But make sure to bring warm clothes because although the days may be warm, the nights can get cold. It's also the most popular time to visit, so plan your trip at least nine months in advance so you don't miss out on anything. Here's some more seasonal information about traveling to Peru.
Read on for 5 of the incredible experiences you can enjoy in Peru between May and September.
Trek Throughout Peru
Trekking through Peru is a once in a lifetime experience. Whether you choose the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu (or one of the many lesser-known hikes to the top), you'll come across incredible vistas, Incan ruins, new friends and more.
But Machu Picchu isn't the only hiking option in Peru. There are dozens of treks for novice hikers and experienced ones. Choose between the Santa Cruz Trek into the Cordillera Blanca in northern Peru, the instagrammable Rainbow Mountain Trek, or the eight-day Cordillera Huayhuash trek—read about more excellent options here.
Trekking during summertime is key because its when Peru is at its dryest. Otherwise, you'd be trekking in the pouring rain, and many of the trails could be washed out. But as always, the weather can be unpredictable so bring rain gear and plenty of sunscreen.
Explore the Floating Islands of Lake Titicaca
Straddling the border of Peru and Bolivia, Lake Titicaca is the world's highest navigable body of water at 12,507 feet above sea level. On the lake lives a community of indigenous people known as the Uros. They are a small and traditional group of people living on 70 reed islands built by hand.
Once you step off your boat and onto the reeds, its as if you stepped back in time. The inhabitants dress in traditional Peruvian outfits and cook over an open fire. This living history museum is worth a visit because they may be the last generation to inhabit the floating islands. Most of their children have moved to the city to go to college and pursue a different life.
Visiting during our summer is ideal as the skies on the lake will be blue instead of cloudy and rainy. You can visit these islands from nearby Puno, meet with the locals and take a tour of their reed huts. They are a shy people, but won't be afraid to show off their gorgeous handmade goods available for purchase.
Check out this article for more great local experiences in Peru.
Bask on Mancora's Beaches
This beach party town is famous for never having a cloudy day whether it's summer or not. On the border of Ecuador, the coastal spot located in the northwest is known for having some of the country's warmest days and best surf, making our summer an ideal time to go. It's still largely unknown, so you can enjoy a relaxing day on the sand without too many people crowding your stunning ocean view.
When you're not soaking in the sun or sipping from a coconut, stroll down Avenida Piura to find a local spot serving up fresh ceviche and a pisco sour or two. At night, the bars come alive and reggaeton can be heard from every open window.
Sample Fresh Ceviche and Local Beer
Ceviche is the country's national dish made from fresh fish, red onion, lime, salt, and pepper, plus a little bit of spice. Traditionally served with a side of corn and sweet potato, each bite is meant to contain all three ingredients.
Peru claims the dish dates back 3,000 years to a small coastal village where it was first made with passion fruit juice, but every other South American country disagrees.
Lima is the best place to find ceviche and there are endless places to try it. For a more upscale option head to the popular La Mar and for a more local experience visit Cevicheria Bam Bam Y Sus Conchas Negras. Either spot will have plenty of local beer to enjoy with your ceviche. The Pilsen Callao and Cristal are among the most popular. It's the perfect way to cool off during a warm summer day in the capital.
Need more recs for Lima's best eateries? Look no further.
Canoe Down the Amazon River
Peru's Amazon Rainforest is one of the most ecologically diverse areas in the world. Nearly 60 percent of Peru is covered by the unique flora and fauna of the area, making it the world's largest rainforest.
It is also home to the second longest river in the world. Here you can canoe down that river with a local guide, passing some creepy crawly creatures and if you're lucky, a pink dolphin or two. The rainforest is also the ideal place to see spider monkeys, toucans, sloths, and anacondas. Summer months are the ideal time to see snakes and lizards too; during the rainy season many of the walking trails are flooded, leaving less of an opportunity. And although it is very hot, you won't have as many mosquitos to swat away.
There are other ways to experience the Amazon if you're not into canoeing. Cruise ships, motor boats, and kayaks are all available—read more about your options in this river trip roundup.