Ecuador is located on the equatorial line, producing little seasonality yearly. The country has two defined seasons: wet and dry seasons, called winter and summer, respectively, which vary depending on the region. The rainy season generally runs from December to May, while the dry season lasts from June to November. However, there are exceptions and variations depending on the region and altitude.
When is the best time to visit Ecuador? The answer depends on what you want to see and do and where you want to go. Ecuador has four distinct regions: the coast, the highlands, the Amazon, and the Galapagos Islands. Each region has its own climate and weather patterns, which vary throughout the year. In this note, we’ll tell you a little about each region of the country and the best time to travel to each of them.
Insular Region – Galapagos Islands
The Insular Region, or Galapagos, is one of Ecuador’s four geographical regions. The climate of the archipelago is strongly influenced by the complex system of ocean currents that surround it. Galapagos is the confluence point of the Cromwell, Humboldt, South Equatorial, and Panama currents. This particularity allows you to constantly appreciate its unique wildlife and enjoy moderate temperatures throughout the year.
Galapagos has a hot and humid season from December to May, with an average temperature of 27 to 32 ºC (81 ºF to 90 ºF). The average temperature in the hot and dry season is 21 to 27 ºC (70 ºF to 81 ºF) from June to November.
If you wonder about the best time to visit the Galapagos, the best time to travel there is between December and May. During these months you will enjoy sunny weather and the marine currents will allow you to navigate in a calm sea. These aspects must be considered if you want to enjoy a desirable climate and wave conditions that allow you to carry out all the outdoor activities you have in mind. Remember to read our note to know the Best time to travel to Galapagos.
Sierra Region (Andes Highlands)
The Sierra or inter-Andean region is a geographical region of Ecuador that extends from north to south through the Andes. In this region of the country is the city of Quito, officially San Francisco de Quito, the capital of the Republic of Ecuador and the oldest capital of South America.
If you wonder about the best time to travel to Quito, any time is a good time to visit the country’s capital. Quito is located at 2,800 meters above sea level (9186 feet) and is very close to the line of Ecuador. Generally, the city enjoys clear skies and plenty of morning sun. However, it is characterized by its cold and constant temperatures. There are two well-defined seasons: the dry season, which runs from June to September, and the rainy season, which runs from October to May. Hence, the best time to visit the city is between August and September when it is not so cold and the probability of rain is less than in the rest of the year.
Quito is also characterized by its sudden weather changes: one day, you can enjoy a wonderful sunny day and end with a copious downpour. Hence, when you visit the country’s capital, we recommend you wear several layers of clothing, that is, in the morning you should wear a light sweater, and at night you might need a coat or even a raincoat in case it rains.
Generally, the sierra region is characterized “by a humid tropical climate in transition zones towards the coast and Amazonia, temperate semi-humid to humid in the inter-Andean zone, warm and dry in the inter-Andean valleys and cold high mountain in the páramos, above 3000 m altitude. […] The temperature is linked to the height; between 1500 and 3000 m, the average values vary between 8 and 20 ºC”. The temperature decreases ~5 ºC (41 ºF) for every 1000 m altitude (Ron, S. R., Merino-Viteri, A. Ortiz, D. A. 2022. Amphibians of Ecuador. Version 2022.0. Museum of Zoology, Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador, access date March 2023).
Since the temperature fluctuates greatly from morning to night in the country’s highlands and changes markedly as you gain altitude, you must take several layers of clothing with you whenever you visit the highlands. The optimal months to visit this region of the country are from June to December since there will be little rainfall and you will enjoy more pleasant temperatures.
On the other hand, if you come to Ecuador to ascend its iconic volcanoes, located in the Andes mountain range that crosses the country, November to February is the best time to do so. This time is perfect for hiking in the Andes and enjoying the cities of the highlands of Ecuador. It is not recommended to carry out mountain activities in June, July, and August as there is a lot of wind.
Now that you know the best month to visit Quito, the highland region of Ecuador, and the ideal months for mountaineering, we recommend you visit the country’s capital and its historic center, the largest in South America, in our company. On board the only double-decker bus in the city, the Quito Tour Bus, you can safely tour this famous Latin American capital and have fun on our Quito City Tour.
The Coastal region, also called the coastal region, is another of the four geographical regions into which the Republic of Ecuador is divided. The climate of the coastal region of Ecuador “is characterized by a tropical arid climate to the southwest, dry to humid towards the center-south and very humid to the north, in the Chocó area. […] The average temperature of the entire region ranges between 24-25 ºC (75-77 ºF). However, it can be less than 22 ºC (72 ºF) in mountainous areas” (Ron, S. R., Merino-Viteri, A. Ortiz, D. A. 2022. Amphibians of Ecuador. Version 2022.0. Museum of Zoology, Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador, access date March 2023).
The ideal time to visit the country’s coastal region that borders the Pacific Ocean is the rainy season, which runs from December to April-May. Indeed, the rainy season has a sunnier climate than the dry season, and the rains are usually in the afternoon and are intermittent. The dry season, characterized by low temperatures and scant rainfall, lasts from June to November or December.
Also, if you want to know when the beach season is in Ecuador, the best time to visit the beaches is from December to April. The water temperature is warmer, and the days are sunnier. Generally, the sea temperature drops between May and November, although in Ecuador, the sea is never really cold; that is, the sea temperature is appropriate for swimming all year round.
If you visit this region of Ecuador, we recommend wearing light clothing, although you could also take a raincoat with you in case of rain and thin pants or lycra to avoid annoying mosquito bites. Also, you must know that the equinoctial sun is quite intense and can cause burns even when there are clouds, so you should always wear sunscreen and sunglasses.
If you wonder when is the best time to travel to Guayaquil, the second most populated city in Ecuador, located on the Pacific Ocean coast in the country’s coastal region, we recommend you do it between May and December, since usually the rainiest and those with the highest temperatures are January, February, March, and April. However, Guayaquil is a destination that can be visited at any time of the year as it enjoys warm weather.
The Amazon region of Ecuador, also known as Amazonia or Oriente, is another of the country’s geographic regions. This extends over an area of exuberant vegetation, typical of humid-tropical forests, and represents 43% of the Ecuadorian territory. The average temperature in this area “is 24-25 ºC (75-77 ºF), which fluctuates very little, with maximums of up to 40 ºC (104 ºF) in May” (Ron, S. R., Merino-Viteri, A. Ortiz, D. A. 2022. Amphibians of Ecuador. Version 2022.0. Museum of Zoology, Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador, access date March 2023).
The Amazon of Ecuador has a warm and humid climate with a high amount of rainfall throughout the year, which suffers a significant increase, especially between December and June. However, this does not mean that it rains constantly. At this time, you can enjoy even more the exuberance of the jungle vegetation. While the season in which the rains decrease somewhat is between July and November, this does not mean it never rains. Despite that, you will enjoy clearer skies and drier trails for hiking. For this reason, the best time to visit the Amazon of Ecuador is between July and November. However, any time of the year is perfect for visiting this region since, both in the dry season and the rainiest season, you can appreciate different species more easily.
If you visit the Amazon region of Ecuador, remember to pack simple, loose-fitting, light clothing, preferably cotton and light-colored (Dri-Fit), with long sleeves to avoid mosquito bites and other insects, as well as a raincoat.
Ecuador is one of the countries with the greatest diversity in the world. In its territory, although small compared to other countries in the region, you can find more than 25 active volcanoes, the Amazon jungle, virgin beaches, and others full of atmosphere and brilliant life. nightlife, and the incomparable Galapagos Islands. Located on the equator line, it cannot be said that there is a specific time when it is not recommended to visit Ecuador since the country does not experience extreme climate changes and is considered one of the countries with the best climate on the planet, thanks to its geographic location.
Ecuador has two seasons: wet and dry. These seasons are not very pronounced and can vary from year to year. The rainy season generally runs from December to May, while the dry season lasts from June to November. However, there are exceptions and variations depending on the region and altitude. In addition, to define the dates of your trip, you must know that the high season in Ecuador runs from June to August, while February and March and what goes from September to November are considered low season months.
If you are going to visit this extraordinary destination in Latin America and you want to know what is the best time to travel to Ecuador, you must select which part of the country you want to know and what activities you are going to do. The best time to visit the Galapagos is between December and May, since during these months you will be able to enjoy sunny weather and the ocean currents will allow you to navigate in a calm sea; while the best time to visit the mountain or inter-Andean region of the country is between June and December since there will be little rainfall and you will enjoy more pleasant temperatures. Remember that if you intend to climb to the tops of the country’s volcanoes, the mountain season runs from November to February.
For its part, the best time to visit the country’s coastal region is from December to April-May. This time is perfect for visiting the beaches as the water temperature is warmer and the days are sunnier. Finally, as for the Amazon region of Ecuador, the driest season lasts from July to November. However, any time of the year is perfect for visiting the Ecuadorian Amazon since both the dry season and the rainiest season, different events in nature are always worth seeing.