Many people from all over the world choose to take their annual vacation in the month of December, this is for many different reasons, maybe the children have holidays, work is slower and your company will give you vacation time, or maybe you want to reward yourself with an end of year trip for all the hard work you do. Whatever the reason you choose to travel on your Peru vacation, you will need to decide if December is the best time to travel to Peru.
Regarding the weather, Peru has three regions, the coast, the highlands and the jungle. Each region has its own climate, the coast has four seasons, where December to March is very hot and humid, the rest of the year is dull and cloudy, the highlands and the jungle have two seasons, the wet and the dry. If you want to go to the jungle region in December, expect rain. The jungle will be wet and the ground a bit muddy. When you take your walk through the rainforest, expect to see many species of birds and animals that live in the Amazon. In the rainy season, the forest is alive and fresh. December is a good time to visit the forest the temperature is cooler, it is less humid but you will need your wet weather gear and make sure you bring waterproof shoes.
December in Cusco City is a very special time of year. Being a mainly catholic country Christmas in Cusco is a delight to see. There are many activities planned for the month and parades in the streets always feature a religious theme. Most of the saints are taken from the temples and churches and carried through the streets on the shoulders of the local men. The local people throw flower petals at the parade and there are many good photo opportunities.
Normally the Peruvian people celebrate Christmas with family but if you are lucky, you may be asked to share a meal for Christmas with a Peruvian family.
The weather in Cusco in December is rainy, with December being the middle of the rainy season. The rain will generally last around an hour and is a little uncomfortable but nothing too serious.
While in Cusco, you must do a city tour, so that you can see the beautiful churches and the impressive ruins on the outside of the city. In December, the city is decorated for Christmas and the main square has an impressive decorated Christmas tree.
During the dry season in Cusco, thousands of people flock to Cusco to walk the famous Inka Trail. At this time of year, the trail is full and can be crowded. If you do not like the crowds, you could always do the Inka Trail in the rainy season, as this will allow you to have have more time to do the trail without being rushed.
Machu Picchu is another place that is calmer in the rainy season, there are no lines, there is no waiting for the bus, and you can spend more time at each point of interest not hurried along by the crowds. Another factor on the positive side is that in December you can stay at the ruins all day, not like the high season where there are two daily entrances and you can only stay for a few hours.
Traveling south to the Puno area of Peru is where the fascinating Lake Titicaca is located. The lake is one of the largest in South America. What you might not know is that the lake is home to the Uros people who have made their home on the lake. The people made the islands out of torta reeds, which they maintain by putting another layer every six months, giving the islands a spongy effect when you walk on them. From the same material, they also make their houses and the boats they use to get from island to island. Also in Puno it is the rainy season in December, so the crowds are a lot smaller, making for a more enjoyable experience. If you have time, you should also travel further out on the lake to Taquille Island, a rock island where a small community of settlers live, growing their own food and making a living knitting jumpers, hats and gloves for the tourists. You will notice the tranquility of the islands as there are no cars and everybody walks. This is a great place to experience a different way of life. Once again, you will need to bring your wet weather gear if you want to visit Puno in the rainy season.
Traveling towards the Pacific coast of Peru from Puno you will eventually arrive in Arequipa, one of the prettiest places in Peru. Most of the city is built from white volcanic stone, with colonial style buildings all set around a beautiful main plaza. The convent of Santa Catalina is most definitely worth a visit for its religious historical value. In December, Arequipa has a lovely warm climate with no rainfall at all. The climate attracts many Peruvians who spend their holidays at the beaches close by.
Not only does the climate affect your Peru holiday, the other important factor for making your decision to go to in Peru in December is of course, the savings you can enjoy in the low season months. By doing some research you can find many great deals on hotels trying to fill their rooms. Discounted tours are also on offer, with the passenger numbers down, so take a look online to find many great offers. If you are super lucky, you may also find great deals on airfares. Never discount traveling to Peru in the rainy season; you will not regret the decision of seeing Cusco in December at the height of the festivities. Take a luxury tour in December, reward yourself, take the family, or go on special occasion trip like a honeymoon or a wedding anniversary, a birthday present, whatever the reason, you know that Peru is the destination for you.