Quito, the capital of Ecuador, is a city located in the heart of the Andes, specifically, in the middle of the world, which is why it enjoys spring weather all year round, which makes it an excellent tourist destination and an ideal starting point to visit more destinations in Ecuador. Because Quito is a privileged destination due to its climate and with the desire that you can plan your visit to the capital of the country, we want to tell you about the best time to visit Quito.
Cover photo by Ministerio de Turismo del Ecuador.
Stations in Quito
The city of Quito is located in the Andean mountains of northern Ecuador, at an altitude of 2,850 meters (9.350 feet) above sea level; and, because the city is located close to the Equator line and due to its height, it has a climate that is characterized by mild spring temperatures throughout the year. In other words, despite being so close to the Equator line (just 25 km / 15.5 miles away), Quito’s high altitude means no sweltering heat. At the same time, it is possible to be surrounded by spectacular Andean peaks and majestic mountains without feeling extremely cold.
Ecuador, on the equator line, produces little seasonality throughout the year. There are two seasons in Quito: the dry season and the rainy season. Usually, the dry season runs from June to September, and the rainy season runs from October to May. It tends to rain more in the rainy season, particularly in April and May.
It should be noted that Quito is a destination that has little seasonality, it is located in the Middle of the World, and the presence of the sun is constant, so it is a destination that can be visited at any time of the year. So the best time to travel to Quito is the dry months, from June to September. Other months of the year, especially those between October and February, are also perfect for visiting the city.
And suppose you want to know the recommended month of the year to visit Quito, August, because there is little rainfall in this period. In that case, it is a month known as “August, the month of the arts”, a time in which the city’s fulfillment of cultural and artistic activities is encouraged. That is, this month, you can go to exhibitions, concerts, festivals, workshops, and parties in various places in the city.
We know you want to know about other destinations in Ecuador, so we recommend reading our note to tell you the best time to travel to Ecuador. In it, we provide you with information about each of the country’s natural regions: Coast, Sierra, Amazon, and the Galapagos Islands, and we indicate the best time to travel to each of them.
Climates, by season
In Quito, temperatures vary little throughout the year. That is, the city maintains spring temperatures almost all year round, although, during the dry season, temperatures can even drop to 3 °C (37,4 °F) at night, while during the day, they could reach 26°C (78,8 °F). It is not strange that heavy rains, low temperatures, and bright suns can be witnessed on the same day in Quito. Hence, when you visit the city, we recommend you take different layers of clothes, which you can use according to the weather conditions at the times of the day, allowing you to be comfortable at all times.
Remember that the sun emits radiation, and in the equatorial zone, it arrives perpendicularly, and all the intensity of energy that comes from the sun in this part is generated with more power than in other parts of the world. Hence, it’s always a good idea to be prepared, so regardless of where you’re headed, you will need a hat and sunscreen to give you adequate protection.
¿When is it more expensive and cheaper?
The high season in Quito is in June, July, August, and September. Hence, one could think of this as the time in which it would be more expensive to visit Quito; however, the costs for tourism in the city remain regular throughout the year. In any case, your travel budget will depend, as in any other part of the world, on whether you are a thrifty tourist or if you plan to spend a luxury vacation in Quito.
When are there more or fewer tourists?
The months with the most significant influx of tourists to the city are June, July, August, September, October, and November. That is, typically, tourists visit the city to a greater extent during the dry season. While the months with the lowest number of tourists are February, March, April, and May, months in which there is a more significant presence of rain.
On the other hand, if you wonder how many days it is recommended to visit Quito, your stay in the city should be at least three days. Quito not only has the most prominent, best preserved, and least altered historic center in all of Latin America, but because mountains surround it, it has paradisiacal surroundings and is close to natural and cultural destinations in Ecuador, such as Cotopaxi, Quilotoa, Mindo, Baños and Otavalo.
When is the best time to visit the destinations around Quito?
Quito is an excellent starting point to visit more destinations in Ecuador, and some of the most desirable and closest to the city are: the Cotopaxi National Park, the Quilotoa lagoon, the Mindo cloud forest, Baños de Agua Santa, considered the adventure capital of Ecuador, and the Otavalo market.
These destinations can be visited at any time of the year; however, it must be noticed that in Ecuador, the climate varies with altitude; hence in mountainous places such as the Cotopaxi National Park, which houses the Cotopaxi volcano, an almost perfect snow cone with 5,897 meters (19.347 feet) of altitude, the temperature will be lower so you should wear much warmer clothes. Remember that the mountain season runs from November to February if you intend to climb to the top of this iconic volcano, a symbol of our natural geography.
As for the other destinations around Quito that we have mentioned, such as Quilotoa, Mindo, Baños de Agua Santa, and Otavalo, and as we have said before, they can be visited all year round; however, you must know that you should always wear several layers of clothing: a t-shirt, a long-sleeved shirt, a sweater or jacket, garments that will help you feel more comfortable at any time of the day.
Now that you know the best time to travel to Quito, we also want to let you know what to do in Quito. This note will help you plan your schedule when you arrive in the city as we tell you about the top 12 things to do in Quito, giving you useful general information about the city.
Remember that the Quito City Tour and the Middle of the World Tour are two of our activities you must attend if you visit the capital of Ecuador. Quito has the most extensive, best preserved, and least altered historic center in Latin America, and we invite you to see it on our Quito City Tour. This guided tour is essential to get a first perspective of the city. In addition, this is a safe and fun way to tour the capital aboard the only double-decker bus in the city. Also, in our Middle of the World Tour, you will get to know the iconic monument to the Middle of the World, located north of the city, being able to live all the unique experiences in the center of the planet.
Also, we would like to let you know about the best areas to stay in Quito. In our note, we tell you about the historic center of the city and about the sectors of La Mariscal, La Floresta, La Carolina, Bellavista, and the airport, which are the most appropriate places to stay in Quito during your visit.
In conclusion, the best time to travel to Quito is the dry season which runs from June to September. At this time, the probability of rain is less, and you can enjoy privileged views of the snow-capped mountains and volcanoes. However, the other months of the year, especially those between October and February, are also considered excellent for visiting the city since the proximity that Quito maintains to the Middle of the World allows you to enjoy the presence of the sun and pleasant temperatures, even if there is a little rain during the day. Quito is a destination that can be visited quietly throughout the year.
Additionally, August is the recommended month of the year to visit Quito since it is known as “August, the month of the arts”, and in this period, there are always many cultural activities in the city, making your trip even more enjoyable.
|June to September
|Mild temperatures, little rain
|October to May
|More rain, pleasant temperatures
|Little rainfall, “August, the month of the arts”
Visit Quito, considered for its pleasant climate, as the City of Eternal Spring. This destination will dazzle you for its historical and cultural richness and for being a place in the Andes surrounded by impressive natural beauties.