One great thing about travelling the World? – it’s always warm somewhere!
If you are seriously looking at booking a dream holiday to Ecuador, there is something that you should know…
Psst, It’s on the Equator!
Yep, that means that depending on whereabouts in the country you choose to go, you can always find sunshine, warm waters and cool coconuts to sip while you contemplate the endless blue skies above you, from the comfort of your hammock.
If the heat really isn’t your thing of course, you could always stick to the mountains.
Quito, Otavallo, Cotopaxi, Baños and Cuenca, to name just a few of Ecuador’s fabulous highland destinations are simply bursting with culture, cuisine and exciting activities.
So without further ado, let’s have a brief look at the climate of its amazing regions, so you can give some serious thought about whether to pack your overcoat or your mankini, or maybe, like our friend in the picture above, you might think about going commando!
The Climate of Ecuador
As its name implies, Ecuador lies smack bang on the Equator, and as such, much of the country enjoys a tropical climate – but that’s not the whole story.
Ecuador is bisected from north to south by the spine of South America, the Andes, giving rise to three distinct regions, or biomes, on the mainland:
- The coast, or La Costa, that encompasses the area from the Pacific Ocean to the western foothills of the Andes.
- The Andes, or La Sierra as the Ecuadorians know them.
- The Rainforest, or to give its local moniker, el Oriente.
Ecuador enjoys a relatively stable climate throughout the year, with only modest variations in temperature between the wet and dry season, but it can vary a lot between its different regions. Due to their altitude, the Andean highlands of Otavalo, Quito, Cuenca and the Avenue of the Volcanoes experience a climate similar to our spring, all year round. They enjoy a lot of sunshine, especially during the June-September dry season, which is deceptively strong and can cause sunburn at relatively low temperatures for the unwary traveller. Rainfall comes usually in the afternoons and can be heavy with a sudden onset. February-April in particular are the wettest months, with July and August experiencing the driest days.
The cloud forests reserves of Mindo, Mashipi and Bellavista, shrouded in mist and with fewer hours of sunshine, have similar seasons to the highlands but with higher temperatures and longer periods of rain, usually starting in the afternoons. They are a bird watcher’s paradise and enjoy year-round tours.
The rainforests of the North West and the Amazon are hot and humid all year round, with a typical equatorial climate. Tropical showers occur regularly, even in January-February, and from July-September, which are typically the drier months.
The central and southern Pacific coast is hot and dry throughout the year. January to April is the wet season, but it is also the most popular time to visit the beaches. The sea is warm, the days are clear and hot with plenty of sunshine, broken by the occasional tropical showers in the afternoons. During the dry season, from May to December, there is little rain but the sea is cooler and the skies can be hazy and overcast. The whale watching season falls into this period, the best times to see them being between June and October.
The fourth region of Ecuador is the Galapagos Islands, where all year round, there is always something incredible to see. Pick any month, grab your survival kit, and get out there, there is so much happening in the water or on dry land there is no wrong time to go. If you are into snorkelling and expect to be spending a lot of time in the water you should know that the water is warmer and the seas calmer, during the wet season from December to May.
As soon as you leave Baltra airport bound for the Itabaca channel, you will find yourself travelling through a strange, almost alien landscape that will leave you in no doubt of the unique nature of the island paradise you have arrived to.
The trees in the image on the left might look dead, but within two short weeks of this photo being taken, they were covered in lush, green foliage.
Whether it be the courtship dance of the blue footed boobies, or the male frigate birds inflating their vivid red throat pouches to attract a mate, there is always something breeding, some new life bursting through the volcanic soil, or an inquisitive sea lion looking for someone to play with.
Throughout December-May the wet season brings very hot, sunny days and warm calm seas, while during the June-November dry season you can expect more comfortable, cooler days with colder seas but more marine life activity.