8 coldest tourist cities in Peru

Peru is a country with diverse regions that include arid and hot coasts, high mountains of the Andes Mountains and an immense green Amazon with a tropical climate. In the Andes there are various tourist attractions such as the city of Cusco, Huaraz (the Cordillera Blanca), Puno (Lake Titicaca), Arequipa (the Colca Canyon) and many other destinations with temperatures that can drop to less than zero degrees Celsius. . Get to know the 8 coldest tourist cities in Peruvian territory.

8 coldest tourist cities in Peru
8 coldest tourist cities in Peru


Cusco in Cusco

Cusco in Cusco
Cusco in Cusco

Cusco is the archaeological capital of America. It is there that the Incas established the capital of their vast empire, the sacred city or, translated from the Quechua language, the ‘navel of the world’. The Inca city is in the middle of the Andes Mountains of Peru, at an altitude of 3,399 meters above sea level. Due to the cold winds coming from the snow-capped Ausangate and Salkantay, the city has temperatures that can drop to -2ºC. or even less.

Cusco has amazing tourist attractions. Highlights include the Sacred Valley of the Incas (Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Chinchero), the 7 Colors Mountain (also called rainbow mountain), the Humantay lagoon, the South Valley of Cusco, Choquequirao and, of course, the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, a of the 7 wonders of the modern world. This archaeological site alone receives around 1.5 million visitors each year.

  • How to get there? From abroad, you first take a flight to the city of Lima. Then a 1-hour plane trip or a bus trip in approximately 20 hours.
  • Approximate price of visit: An average tour of 5 days and 4 nights through the main tourist attractions of Cusco (including Machu Picchu) costs between 1,000 and 3,000 dollars per visitor.

Ayacucho in Ayacucho

Ayacucho in Ayacucho
Ayacucho in Ayacucho

The department of Ayacucho and its capital, the city of Huamanga, are one of the most famous tourist destinations in Peru. It is located on the eastern side of the Andes Mountains (about 556 kilometers by road from the city of Lima). It is known as ‘the city of churches’ for its numerous and beautiful colonial churches throughout its historic center. Every year it receives thousands of visitors, especially on the day of ‘Holy Week’, a religious and cultural festival that shows the symbiosis between the indigenous and colonial past in the city.

The average temperature in the city of Ayacucho is 14ºC. However, during winter (from June to September) drops of up to 3 degrees Celsius are recorded. Even on the Libertadores highway (on the way to Huamanga) temperatures can drop below zero degrees Celsius. Its main tourist attractions are: the Ayacucho Cathedral, the Wari archaeological complex, the Quinua pampa and the turquoise waters of Millpu.

  • How to get there? From abroad, you first take a flight to the city of Lima. Then a 1-hour plane trip or 11-hour bus trip to the city of Huamanga.
  • Approximate price of visit: An average tour of 5 days and 4 nights through the main tourist attractions of Ayacucho (during Holy Week) costs between 500 and 1,200 dollars per visitor.

Huancayo in Junin

Huancayo in Junin
Huancayo in Junin

The city of Huancayo in the department of Junín is one of the favorite tourist destinations for Peruvians. It is one of the highest cities in Peru, located in the heart of the Andes Mountains at 3,259 meters above sea level. It is known as an ‘unbeatable city’ after the independence of Peru in 1822. It is located in the Mantaro Valley, just 304 kilometers by road from the city of Lima.

Huancayo has a cold temperate climate with temperatures that in winter (June, July and August) can drop to 4ºC. It has natural landscapes and a lot of culture (ancestors of the Huanca culture). Its main tourist attractions are: the Huanca identity park, Torre Torre, the La Libertad hill, the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception, the Huancayo Cathedral, the Paca lagoon, Jauja and more. Due to its proximity to Lima, this destination is visited by thousands of Lima residents on holidays.

  • How to get there? From abroad, you first take a flight to the city of Lima. Then a 1-hour plane trip or a bus trip in approximately 20 hours.
  • Approximate price of visit: An average tour of 5 days and 4 nights through the main tourist attractions of Huancayo costs between 400 and 1,000 dollars per visitor.

Puno in Puno

Puno in Puno
Puno in Puno

Puno is one of the highest and most touristic cities in Peru. It is located on the Collao plateau, the high plateau, at an elevation of 3,827 meters above sea level, at the foot of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. Puno is recognized as the ‘capital of Peruvian folklore’ for its great tradition of dance, music that is related to its Aymara and Quechua culture throughout more than fifteen hundred years of history. Its main festival is in honor of the Virgin of Candelaria (celebrated in February each year).

Puno has a temperate climate with icy winds due to its elevation on a high plateau. In the city, between June to August, temperatures can drop to -2 degrees Celsius or even lower. However, in the highest areas of the region temperatures of -10 degrees Celsius can be recorded. Its main tourist attractions are: the island of Uros, the island of Amantani, the island of Taquile, Sillustani, Pucara, Putina and its festival in honor of the Virgin of Candelaria.

  • How to get there? From abroad, you first take a flight to the city of Lima. Then a plane trip of 1 hour 40 minutes or by bus in approximately 20 hours (on the route that runs through the city of Arequipa).
  • Approximate price of visit: An average tour of 5 days and 4 nights through the main tourist attractions of Puno (during the Candelaria festival) costs between 500 and 1,500 dollars per visitor.

Huaraz in Ancash

Huaraz in Ancash
Huaraz in Ancash

The city of Huaraz in the department of Ancash is one of the most important tourist destinations in Peru, especially for lovers of hiking and natural mountain landscapes. It is located 402 kilometers from the city of Lima, in the Huaylas alley and at the foot of the imposing Andes Mountains (where Huascarán is, the highest snow-capped mountain in the country).

Huaraz is located at an altitude of 3,052 meters above sea level, making it one of the highest tourist cities in Peru. It has a cold temperate climate due to its proximity to the imposing snow-capped mountains of the Cordillera Blanca. Its minimum temperature can drop to 2 degrees Celsius. Its main tourist attractions are: Chavín de Huántar, the Pastoruri snow-capped mountain, lagoon 69, Churup lagoon, Llanganuco lagoon and its famous treks through the Cordillera Blanca.

  • How to get there? From abroad, you first take a flight to the city of Lima. Then a 1-hour plane trip or a bus trip in approximately 8 hours.
  • Approximate price of visit: An average tour of 5 days and 4 nights through the main tourist attractions of Huaraz costs between 500 and a thousand dollars per visitor. If you take a hiking route, the cost can double.

Andahuaylas in Apurimac

Andahuaylas in Apurimac
Andahuaylas in Apurimac

The city of Andahuaylas is the capital of the Apurímac department in southern Peru. It is located in the Chumbao River valley about 758 kilometers by road from the city of Lima. It is famous for its Chanca past (who fought against the Incas for control of the Andean territory). It is also famous for its natural landscapes and culture with events such as bullfights, dances, carnivals and typical dishes.

Andahuaylas is located at an altitude of 2,846 meters above sea level. It has a temperate climate with an average temperature of 16ºC. At night the temperature can drop to 4ºC. Rainfall is more frequent in January, February and March but temperatures are lower in June, July and August. Its main tourist attractions are the Pacucha lagoon, the archaeological complex of Sondor, the Chanca ruins of Achanchi, the archaeological complex of Curamba and its multicolored carnivals (in February and March).

  • How to get there? From abroad, you first take a flight to the city of Lima. Then a plane trip to Andahuaylas for 1 hour or by bus in approximately 16 hours.
  • Approximate price of visit: An average tour of 5 days and 4 nights through the main tourist attractions of Andahuaylas (during carnivals) costs between 400 and 900 dollars per visitor.

Colca in Arequipa

Colca in Arequipa
Colca in Arequipa

The Colca Valley in the province of Caylloma, Arequipa is one of the best tourist destinations in Peru. It is the deepest canyon in the world (4,160 meters). It is located about 167 kilometers northeast of the city of Arequipa. The main tourist towns near the canyon are Chivay and Cabanaconde. Both are located approximately 3,600 meters above sea level. Colca is visited by thousands of tourists a year, including Peruvians and foreigners from all over the planet.

Colca has a cold temperate climate due to its location in the heart of the Andes Mountains. Its average climate is 18ºC. However, at night the cold can drop to 4ºC. In some elevated towns in the valley, temperatures even reach below zero degrees. There are many tourist options in Colca. Its viewpoints stand out (such as the flight of the condor viewpoint), its thermal baths, hiking routes of 1, 2, 3 or more days; as well as its hotels and services in the towns of Chivay and Cabanaconde.

  • How to get there? From abroad, you first take a flight to the city of Lima. Then a 1-hour plane trip or 16-hour bus trip to the city of Arequipa. Finally, a 4 or 5 hour bus trip to the Colca Valley.
  • Approximate price of visit: An average tour of 5 days and 4 nights through the Colca Valley costs between 800 and 1,800 dollars per visitor.

Marcahuasi in Lima

Marcahuasi in Lima
Marcahuasi in Lima

Marcahuasi in the province of Huarochiri is one of the most visited tourist destinations by Lima citizens. It is located in the mountains of Lima, about 90 kilometers from the city center, in the district of San Pedro de Casta. From there there is a walk of approximately 6 kilometers to the natural complex of Marcahuasi, famous for its natural landscapes and stone figures formed by wind erosion thousands of years ago.

Marcahuasi is located at a height of 4 thousand meters above sea level. This makes it one of the coldest tourist attractions in Peru. Many visitors, despite the temperatures of less than zero degrees Celsius, like to camp there, especially on the holidays of Holy Week and National Holidays (when traditional festivals are celebrated in San Pedro de Casta). Marcahuasi is famous for stone figures, such as: the monument of humanity, the sacred feline, the toad, the valley of the seals and more.

  • How to get there? From abroad, you first take a flight to the city of Lima. Then a bus trip to San Pedro de Casta (passing through the Chosica district). Finally a 2 to 4 hour walk to the Marcahuasi stone valley.
  • Approximate price of visit: A visit of 1, 2 or 3 days to Marcahuasi (it is recommended to travel during the National Holidays of Peru) costs between 100 to 300 dollars.

 

By Machupicchu Terra – Last updated, April 25, 2024


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