Best Time to Visit Ecuador
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Historic streets of Quito Ecuador

Best Time to Visit Ecuador

When is the Best Time to Visit Ecuador?

The best time to visit Ecuador is in May or June when the rainier time is coming to a close leaving travelers with a pleasant climate for exploring. Ecuador received its name from its distinct geographical location along the equatorial line. With the equator running through the country, there are very few variations in the weather throughout the year, making it a perfect destination to visit year-round. Still, based on a traveler’s preferences, it may be better to travel at certain times in the year than others, particularly with concern to whether a traveler would like to explore the coast or inland territories of this exotic country.

Ecuador weather is highly varied by region, ranging from hot and humid in the Amazon Basin in the east, to cool and crisp in the Andes and back down to heat again on the Pacific coast. The Galapagos Islands have a rainy season and a dry season with the dry season in the Galapagos also being the cooler time. See our Galapagos page for more details.

Have a look at our Top 12 Ecuador Tours for inspiration – we have Ecuadorian Amazon tours, tour of the Andes and of course Galapagos trips.

Note: Located on the equator, Ecuador does not really have a spring, summer, autumn, and winter. The seasons have little impact on visiting Ecuador and this really is a year-round destination. To better understand Ecuador’s weather patterns, it’s best to look at the weather in specific areas of the country as each has its own distinct climate.

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Visiting Ecuador in the holiday season: October, November, December and January

Galapagos sea turtle swimming in warm Ecuador summer waters

High Season in Ecuador (October – January)

From October to January, Ecuador enters a wetter and in some parts, warmer period. This is a popular time to visit and includes a number of festivals such as Independence Celebrations in October, Day of the Dead in December and of course Christmas and New Year. Late December and early January are peak holiday periods and as such some of the busiest times to visit Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. Galapagos cruises need to be booked well ahead for travel over the holidays. There are plenty of good reasons to travel to Ecuador at this time.

Ecuador Weather in the High Season

The Galapagos is shifting from its cool, dry season towards its warmer, wetter season. By November, the seas are calming. Around November and December in the Ecuadorian Amazon, river levels are rising which makes it a good time for a cruise. In the Andes, in common with most of the year, the weather is highly changeable: it can be raining one moment, sunny the next, and nights are cool.

Quito

27ᵒ C / 80ᵒ F

Galapagos

33ᵒ C / 91ᵒ F

Amazon

29ᵒ C / 84ᵒ F

Best Things to Do in Ecuador during the High Season

Visit the Galapagos – there is always something interesting happening with the wildlife on the islands. Giant tortoises are laying eggs in October, sea lions are breeding in November and by December, some giant tortoise eggs are starting to hatch along with waved albatross. A cruise of the islands involves regular landings for guided walks, snorkeling and on some cruises the option of kayaking or diving.

Cruise the Amazon – during the high water season you can journey into remote stretches of the Amazon Basin. Take a week-long cruise to really get an in-depth feel for the beauty of the rainforest.

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Visiting Ecuador in the wetter season: February, March, April and May

Ecuador cruise explores the Galapagos and pinnacle rock during wet season

Wet Season in Ecuador (February – May)

From March to May in Ecuador, aside from Easter this is a relatively quiet time to visit. Typically rainfall peaks in March and April both on the mainland and in the Galapagos Islands. On the mainland this is one of the coolest times of year. This is a great time to visit the Galapagos Islands for wildlife spotting, snorkeling opportunities and more! May is arguably one of the very best times to visit Ecuador as the frequency of rainfall decreases everywhere and there are not many other visitors.

Ecuador Weather in the Wet Season

While March and April are among the wettest months throughout the country, the difference is not huge and is not really a reason to avoid travel. In the Andean town of Cuenca, expect temperatures similar to the rest of the year at around 22C / 71F by day and cool nights of around 11C / 52F. In the Galapagos Islands, the water is at its warmest and calmest during these months.

Quito

27ᵒ C / 80ᵒ F

Galapagos

33ᵒ C / 91ᵒ F

Amazon

29ᵒ C / 84ᵒ F

Best Things to Do in Ecuador during the Wet Season

Cities like Guayaquil are fantastic for strolling and sightseeing. Be sure to check out the Malecón 2000, a gorgeous boardwalk located along the Guayas River. The 2.5km walkway blends some of the cities top monuments and viewpoints and is a fantastic strolling place on warm days. This is also a good time to visit the Galapagos islands or Amazon regions for wildlife viewing. The Amazon at this time is still in its rainy season up until April and is ideal for cruising the rivers of this lush region.

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Visiting Ecuador in the dry season: June, July, August, and September

Vintage train in Ecuador traveling through fields in Dry Season

Dry Season in Ecuador (June – September)

July and August are the high seasons when the country is most visited. Booking in advance is recommended for trips to Ecuador during this time of the year. Temperatures are slightly cooler, especially in the Galapagos Islands. However, with the lowest rain levels of the year, this is a fantastic time for hiking around the country.

Ecuador Weather in the Dry Season

This is the driest time of year throughout Ecuador. One might expect the driest time of year to be the warmest too, but particularly in the case of the Galapagos Islands this is not the case and the islands frequently see a mist in the mornings in these months and sea is at its coolest and choppiest. These months definitely have the best weather of the year for trips focusing on the Avenue of the Volcanoes and elsewhere in the Ecuadorian Andes.

Quito

27ᵒ C / 80ᵒ F

Galapagos

33ᵒ C / 91ᵒ F

Amazon

29ᵒ C / 84ᵒ F

Best Things to Do in Ecuador during the Dry Season

Exploring the highlands and experiencing some of the world’s most unique train lines are among the top things to do in these months. While temperatures around the country begin to cool slightly, particularly along the coast, the dry climate offers perfect conditions for exploring the highlands of Ecuador. Trekking through Ecuador’s many national parks, with dramatic Andean mountain ranges and looming volcanos is a must. Without the rain, trails will be accessible, and viewpoints clear. For a relaxing and unique travel experience, explore the diverse geography of Ecuador on a historic train ride through the mainland. With services like Tren Crucero or the Chaski Antawa train, travelers will have no shortage of viewpoints and hiking opportunities

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