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Highlands of Ecuador

When is the best time to visit Ecuador?

The best time to visit Ecuador depends on which area of the country you travel to. The weather variations are usually the result of regional differences and microclimates, rather than clearly defined seasons. There is a drier season from June to September in the highlands, for example, but the ‘four seasons in a day’ phenomenon can happen at any time.

On Ecuador’s coast, the wet season is the best time to visit — temperatures are warmer and rain usually falls in short bursts in the afternoon, so you can still enjoy sunny mornings.

Ecuador’s cultural attractions and sightings of wildlife on the mainland can be enjoyed year-round, as can hiking or more gentle touring in the Avenue of the Volcanoes. Similarly, the Amazon and the cloudforests delight visitors whatever the season.

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Month-by-month guide for traveling in Ecuador

Countryside around Otavalo, Ecuador

Visiting Ecuador in January - May

The coolest and wettest period to visit Ecuador is between January and May, but most of the time rainfall presents itself in afternoon showers. Many people still choose to travel to Ecuador at this time as the waters around the Galapagos Islands are at their warmest and calmest.

Events & Festivals

  • Semana Santa (the week before Easter): Semana Santa sees religious parades across Ecuador. A particular highlight being the Good Friday processions in Quito.
Birdlife in the Mindo cloudforest

Visiting Ecuador in June - September

Officially the driest and warmest months to visit the Ecuadorian mainland. Visitors can often enjoy clear blue Andean skies and warm sunshine. Fewer showers also make for more prolonged periods to enjoy birdwatching in the cloudforests. This is also the peak time to visit neighboring Peru, so early planning is advisable.

Events & Festivals

  • Corpus Christi (June): Corpus Christi, falling shortly after Trinity Sunday, is particularly celebrated around Cotopaxi and in the highlands. Many villages have their own traditional costumes, music and dance.
El Cajas National Park, Ecuador

Visiting Ecuador in October - December

Toward the end of the year, as the South American national holidays approach and the waters around the Galapagos become calmer again, this is a popular time to visit Ecuador, so early booking is again advisable.

Events & Festivals

  • Day of the Dead/All Souls' Day (November 2): Families commemorate lost loved ones with flowers and visits to cemeteries, and consume purple colada morada — a traditional drink made from black cornflower and fruits.
  • Independence Celebrations (9th October): Expect Street parties, fireworks, and an infectious lively atmosphere If you happen to be in the coastal city of Guayaquil.
  • The Foundation of Quito Festival (6th December): Street parties and parades take place on the cobbled streets of Ecuador’s capital city, Ecuador’s capital city, Quito.

Ecuador Climate Guide

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Cuenca 70°F 3" 70°F 3" 68°F 4" 68°F 5" 68°F 3" 66°F 1" 66°F 1" 66°F 1" 68°F 2" 70°F 3" 70°F 3" 70°F 3"
Guayaquil 88°F 7" 88°F 8" 88°F 9" 88°F 6" 88°F 2" 84°F 0" 84°F 0" 84°F 0" 86°F 0" 86°F 0" 86°F 0" 88°F 1"
Otavalo 70°F 3" 70°F 4" 70°F 5" 68°F 5" 70°F 4" 70°F 2" 70°F 1" 72°F 1" 72°F 2" 70°F 4" 70°F 5" 70°F 3"
Quito 66°F 5" 66°F 6" 66°F 7" 66°F 7" 66°F 5" 66°F 2" 68°F 1" 68°F 1" 68°F 3" 68°F 5" 66°F 5" 68°F 4"
The Amazon 84°F 8" 86°F 8" 84°F 10" 84°F 13" 84°F 13" 82°F 14" 82°F 11" 84°F 7" 86°F 10" 86°F 12" 86°F 12" 86°F 9"
The Galapagos Islands 86°F 3" 84°F 3" 86°F 3" 86°F 2" 82°F 1" 79°F 1" 75°F 1" 75°F 1" 75°F 1" 75°F 1" 77°F 1" 79°F 1"

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Travel advice

Practical tips for traveling to Ecuador, from social protocols to guidance on money matters, with a link to the latest US State Department travel advice.

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