Summer in Peru is spent mostly on the coastal regions as the highlands don’t really experience the warm summer months.
Lima the capital of Peru in the months of December, January, February, March and April can reach temperatures of up till around 32 degrees Celsius and also with very high humidity most of the day make for perfect beach weather. Most of the savvy people of Lima head to the beaches that scatter along the coast to pass the day and to cool down, making the beaches in Lima, very crowded, but having said that, the experience on Lima´s beaches is not one to miss, with the local people selling everything you could need or want right there on the beach, if you have no sunglasses you can buy them right there, or did you forget your bathing suit, don’t worry you can purchase one from one of the friendly ladies on the beach, or if you are feeling hungry there are plenty of people selling any matter of food to fill your belly.
Further down the coast from Lima is the coastal beach town of Plaza San Pedro, if you want to get away from the crowds of Lima this the place to do so, this beach is usually deserted, but the surf can be dangerous so be careful, further south are the beaches of El Silenco with its great seafood restaurants for the lovers of seafood, nearby is San Bartolo which has hostels, restaurants and very good surfing waves. Not far down the road is the fishing village of Pucasona now a fashionable resort for the people of Lima. Further south is the resort town of Asia, full of trendy nightclubs and hotels, formally an agricultural town now is the place to go for the rich of Lima. Another 20 kilometers down the coast is Cerro Azul, which is becoming popular with surfers for its excellent waves.
Let’s move to the North of Peru, crowded with better beaches than Southern Peru. Firstly, no visit to the beaches of Northern Peru is complete without a visit to Mancora, this once sleepy town has been transformed into the most famous town in Northern Peru, attracting crowds from Brazil and Ecuador, Mancora is full of bars and restaurants and is very popular during the summer months so you will have to book early. Close to Mancora is the town of Vichayito, the perfect place if you are looking for peace with its deserted beaches, the perfect place for a relaxing peaceful swim.
If the beach is not your cup of tea head inland to the Andean town of Cajamarca, full of beautiful colonial buildings and some of the best mountain views anywhere in Peru. At 2720 meters above sea level Cajamarca has a lovely temperate climate during the day but at night can get a little cooler. Cajamarca is the place where the Spanish Conquistador Francisco Pizarro captured, tortured and ransomed the last Inca lord Atahualpa for gold and when the Spanish received the priced gold they proceed to kill him anyway. There are many attractions in and around the center of Cajamarca, like the ransom room near the main plaza, the pretty Plaza de Armas, also worth a visit is the Baños del Inca, which date from pre Inca times a wonderful way to spend the afternoon.
North of Lima is not usually on the tourist track but well worth the time as there are many and varied things to see in this region of Peru, for example Trujillo with its beautiful Spanish style streets, colonial houses and many churches. Nearby ruins such as Chan Chan can be reached from Trujillo by taxi, the ruins stretch across the Moche Valley and includes many different complexes to visit and you will need at least half a day to explore the site.
South of Lima around a 4-hour drive is the town of Paracas, a fishing village with access to the famous Ballestas Islands. Accessible by many speed boats that wait in the harbor, worth a visit for the many different varieties of sea birds, also for the colonies of sea lions that rest on the islands during the day, just south of Paracas is the small town of Ica, well known as a wine growing region of Peru and not far from Ica is the desert oasis of Huachachina, where sandboarding on the desert dunes is a great way to pass the time, after which you can take a refreshing dip in the desert lake.
A 3-hour bus journey from Ica and you will arrive at the town of Nazca, a small town in the middle of the desert where the famous Nazca lines can be found. One of the great mysteries of the Americas, the lines are a series of animal and geometric shapes some up to 200 meters in length, drawn into the deserts rocky floor. The best way to experience the lines is by small plane, which leave from the local airports most mornings.
The city of Arequipa lays a day’s journey from Lima. Arequipa is Peru’s second largest city with a population of almost 900,000 and is surrounded by four volcanos the biggest and most famous being El Misti. The city features a dry warm climate, beautiful white buildings, made from local quarry stone. The main square features lovely gardens, beautiful church and many restaurants where you can sit on a balcony and enjoy a delicious meal.
Probably to most famous attraction in Arequipa is the Monasteries de Santa Catalina, just two blocks north from the Plaza de Armas, this monastery was opened to the public in 1970 and is the most prestigious religious building in Peru, this grand building is a hive of small room and plazas that you will need at least three hours to explore. There are also many other churches and museums, a visit to Arequipa is a must for any summer vacation to Peru.
So here you have many different suggestions for the perfect summer vacation to Peru.