Ecuador is a wonderful country the trip across the mainland is uncomplicated, entertaining and scenic experience. Regardless of whether you go on a tour or spend your time on one of the numerous haciendas, a vacation in Ecuador always offers wonderful nature, good food and hospitable people.
Ecuador is suitable for traveling all year round, with different weather mostly being due to regional differences and not to clearly defined seasons. Although there is a drier phase in the highlands from June to September, the phenomenon of the “four seasons in one day” can occur at any time. Therefore, you should not fix your trip at a fixed point in the year. You can visit the cultural sights of the country at any time, as well as hikes or easy tours along the “Road of the Volcanoes”. Likewise, you can enjoy the wildlife of mainland Ecuador all year round. The Amazon and cloud forests delight visitors at any time of the year.
Best travel time
According to philosophynearby, there is no real summer and winter in Ecuador. The country’s weather generally varies according to regional geography, with temperatures being determined by altitude rather than time of year or latitude. The warmest and driest months in the Sierra are from June to September, although the whole thing can be different due to the different microclimates in some areas of Ecuador. Outside these months, typical mountain weather offers sunny, clear mornings and cloudy, often wet afternoons.
On the coast of Ecuador it is usually uncomfortably cool, humid and often cloudy during the dry season from late May / early June to November. So if you are planning a beach vacation and prefer to sunbathe, the rainy season from December / January to April / May is the best time to visit Ecuador. It is much warmer at this time of year. In the morning it is mostly sunny, the rain usually falls in the afternoon and then consists of short tropical downpours.
In the Amazon it rains all year round. From December to May, however, it is particularly humid and the roads can often be blocked and impassable due to the heavy rainfall. Some parts of the rainforest are even flooded in places at this time of the year. Then you have the chance to take boats to some regions that are otherwise difficult or impossible. The whole thing can be exciting and an incentive for one or the other adventurer to venture to Ecuador despite the rain. The temperature is pleasantly cool at this time. Unfortunately, in the rainforest you get to see significantly fewer wild animals and the number of mosquitoes is quite high in contrast.
The seasons in the highlands are more stable and consistent than on the coasts of Ecuador, although the warmer and much more humid period from December to March is best avoided, especially if you are planning hiking and touring. All year round, the days can be hot and sunny, while the nights are sometimes bitterly cold. Rain or hail can occur at any time and very suddenly.
Ecuador not only has tropical rainforests, but also very high volcanoes. The volcanoes Chimborazo (6267 m) and Cotopaxi (5897 m) are the highest mountains in the country. The Cotopaxi is one of the highest active volcanoes in the world and one of the most visited peaks in the Andes. Ecuador’s volcanoes make their own weather – the temperatures on the slopes do not reflect what is happening on the peaks. It can be hot, rainy, or snowing. Because of this, there is no best or worst time to climb the mountains.
Peak seasons don’t just draw crowds – they mean higher prices. If you’re on a budget, many operators and accommodations offer discounts from February to April (excluding Easter) and in September, October, and November. You can also book the booking up to a later date – this may be the best time to visit Ecuador for the disorganized traveler!
June, July, August and September and the end of December to January are the main season in Ecuador due to the school holidays in Europe and North America. If you are planning a Galápagos trip during this time, be sure to book well in advance.
However, this does not necessarily coincide with the best weather. December to May are the warmest months on the Galápagos, the wind falls on calmer seas. While there is a greater chance of rain as well, these are the best months to visit if you are spending several days on a boat. June to November is drier, but chillier – with poor visibility for divers. Wildlife is visible and active in the Galápagos all year round, although certain species and activities (such as turtles that lay eggs and sea lions are born) are limited to certain times. If you have special interests please consult our Galápagos guide.
Optimal travel time after months
January – May
The coolest and wettest time to travel to Ecuador is between January and May, and the rain usually falls even in the afternoon. However, many people still travel to Ecuador at this time of the year, as the waters around the Galapagos Islands are warmest and calmest then.
June – September
These are officially the driest and warmest months to visit mainland Ecuador. Visitors can often enjoy the clear blue Andean skies and warm sunshine. Since there are fewer showers, longer bird watching in the cloud forests are possible. This is also the best time to visit neighboring Peru , so planning your trip early is advisable.
October – December
Towards the end of the year, the waters around the Galapagos Islands will calm down again. This is a popular time to visit Ecuador, so booking early is advisable for this time as well.
The best travel guides for Ecuador and the neighboring Galapagos Islands come from DuMont , Lonely Planet, Reise Know-How and Michael Müller Verlag. The Lonely Planet is the most extensive, as usual you get a lot of detailed information. The DuMont scores with the fact that it does not recommend every tourist destination, but also advises against it when in doubt. Something like this is rare and very welcome because it is more realistic than many other travel guides who present and recommend everything. The guide from Michael Müller Verlag is also very detailed, maybe even a little too detailed. It is sometimes a bit difficult to focus because you learn a lot about regions and places that may only be relevant to a limited extent.
Climate in Quito
The maximum temperature in Ecuador is 22 ° C in August and September. In March the thermometer rises to a maximum of 20 ° C. The summer (June to September) with average 22 ° C warm . In the winter months it is around 21 ° C warm . During the day, the average annual temperature in Ecuador is a pleasant 21.1 ° C.
At night it gets coldest at 7 ° C. While the nights in summer are averages of a mild 7 ° C, the thermometer drops to a cool 8 ° C between November and March. The temperature averages 7.7 ° C at night all year round.
With 15 rainy days, April is the rainiest month of the year. The July and August are with 3 days of rain, the driest months of the year . From June to September Ecuador is quite dry with an average of around 6 rainy days each, the winter (November to March) is relatively humid with 10 rainy days. An annual average of 9.3 days of rain falls per month.
The official language in Ecuador is Spanish, although it is not the mother tongue of the majority of the indigenous population. Most people understand and speak English, especially in the tourism industry.
Food and drink
Based on meat or fish, rice and vegetables, Ecuadorian food is cheap, tasty and rich. There are dozens of exotic fruits such as lulo, passion fruit and prickly pear that are made into delicious ice creams and juices.
In September 2000, Ecuador abandoned its centuries-old currency (the sucre) and started using the US dollar. Change is always scarce, so many places don’t accept bills larger than $ 20, nor do torn or dirty bills. There are ATMs in the larger cities. VISA and American Express are accepted almost everywhere.
Tips for good service are welcome, the amount of the tip is a matter of discretion.