Coastline: This month is the busiest (and most expensive) and the best time to find open beach facilities and festivals moving in on the coast. The rainy season in the mountains and canyons is best avoided for hikers and mountaineers.
Peru New Year is the craziest party (including underwear) to welcome the New Year.
The last week of January is a national dance festival, particularly popular in Trujillo. The Marinera is a synchronized dance between a man and a woman. They seductively walk around each other without touching.
This month the Inca Trail is closed. Many Roman Catholic festivals are celebrated this month with great pomp, especially in the indigenous towns of the highlands.
Celebrated on February 2, this highland festival, also known as the Candelaria, is incredibly colorful in Puno, where celebrations of music and folkloric dance last for two weeks.
Carnival fest is celebrated in the last days before Lent (February/March) and does usually marked by weeks of water fights, singing, dancing, parades, and lots of fuss. It is prevalent in highland cities such as Huaraz.
Spa prices drop, and crowds disperse, although the coast remains sunny. The Inca Trail is open again.
Now is the perfect time to taste the local piscos and wines in Ica ( Click here ). The festival celebrates the second week of March when you will see fairs, floats, musicians, and beauty queens stomping grapes.
Semana Santa is a significant event, so book your hotel and transportation well.
Although Holy Week is a solemn event, the week before is celebrated with spectacular religious processions almost daily throughout Peru. The most important ones are Cusco, Arequipa, and Huaraz in the highlands.
A fascinating indigenous pilgrimage of the sacred mountain of Ausangate, outside Cusco, in May/June. Although it has Catholic overtones, it is full of elements of the indigenous animist faith.
This festival, celebrated on May 3, is most intense in Lima, Ica, and Cusco. People carry crosses of various sizes in a procession leading to the church during the festivities.
The high season for international tourism begins. Book train tickets and entrance to Machu Picchu in advance; it is also the busiest time for festivities in and around Cuzco.
This celebration commemorates the Holy Eucharist as the body of Christ and does celebrate on the ninth Thursday after Easter. The processions in Cuzco are especially spectacular.
Also, the St. John the Baptist feast and Day of the Peasant are the largest Inca festivals, celebrating the winter solstice on June 24. It is undoubtedly the year’s spectacle in Cuzco, attracting thousands of Peruvian and foreign visitors.
The feast of San Juan is all the rage in Iquitos, where dances, parties, and cockfights go on from the early morning of June 23 until the dinner itself on June 24.
Peter and Paul are the patron saints of fishermen and farmers and are honored with processions. An image of St. Peter is carried in a decorated boat to bless the waters for the fishing season, usually near Lima and Chiclayo on June 29.
This feast (July 16) is celebrated mainly in the southern Andes and is especially important in Pisac and Cuzco. The Virgin is the patron saint of the mestizos.
Independence from Spain does celebrate throughout the country on July 28 and 29, and the southern Andes begin with the feast of St. James on July 25. Good luck finding a seat on a bus or plane during these dates.
This weeklong food festival in Lima brings together Peru’s top chefs and guest gastronomes worldwide for cooking demonstrations, talks, and tastings. For dates and locations, log on to www.Mistura.pe.
The best time to tour the Amazon is between September and November, when the drier weather allows for better wildlife viewing.
The longest raft race in the world runs between Nauta and Iquitos in September or early October.
On October 4, the celebration of this saint arrives in Lima, Arequipa, and Cuzco.
Celebrated with processions throughout Peru, the enormous feast of the Lord of Miracles does celebrate in Lima. Expect many Peruvians to wear purple.
It is a good month for festivals, and worth seeing the wild celebrations in Puno.
All Saints Day is November 1, and many Peruvians go to mass.
On November 2, food, drink, and flowers bring to relatives’ graves. It is exceptionally colorful in the Andes.
Beginning November 5, this week-long festival in Puno includes several days of spectacular costumes and street dancing to celebrate the legendary appearance of the first Inca, Manco Capac, on Lake Titicaca.
Beach season returns with warmer temperatures in the Pacific. The Amazon experiences heavy rains from the end of the month through early April.
The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is a national holiday celebrated with religious processions in honor of the Virgin Mary. It does celebrate on December 8.
Celebrated on December 25, Christmas is less secular and more religious.