Best Time to Visit Ecuador

From coast to rainforest and the iconic Galapagos, discover the best time of year for an adventure in Ecuador.

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Best time to visit

Ecuador is beautiful all year round, but there are better times to go depending on where in the country you’re visiting and what you’d like to see. Its seasons are split into dry, June to September, and rainy, October to May. However, perhaps surprisingly, December to March are the best times to visit Ecuador despite the rain, which doesn’t fall for long. Temperature and climate change with the topography and altitude, so you’ll find very different weather in the Andes compared to the Amazon, while the Galapagos Islands have their own microclimate. Read on to find out more about when is the best time to visit Ecuador.

Our Experts Say...

"The Galapagos is a year-round destination, with incredible wildlife viewing opportunities every month. If you have a specific species on your wish list, I recommend discussing this with your travel specialist to ensure you travel at the best time. Whether it be the waved albatross on Española Island - seen between May and December - or the puffed-out chests of the frigate birds on Genovesa - seen only between April and June - we can plan around your desires to ensure that you are visiting at the perfect time.

"Otherwise, the Galapagos seasons are split into two: warm and wet (December - May) and cool and dry (June - November). The waters of the archipelago are roughest between August and October in case you're considering a cruise experience. The cooler months attract more marine life as food is in abundance, which make it great for snorkelling, although visibility can be a little better in the warmer months in case you're planning to dive."

Simon Hunt, Latin America Specialist

Monthly Climate Guide for Ecuador

, Ecuador

Average temperatures (Celsius) and rainfall (mm)

Jan
25°C 21mm
Feb
26°C 23mm
Mar
27°C 24mm
Apr
26°C 21mm
May
24°C 19mm
Jun
24°C 13mm
Jul
22°C 16mm
Aug
24°C 13mm
Sep
24°C 13mm
Oct
24°C 18mm
Nov
24°C 24mm
Dec
25°C 19mm
Jan
21°C 20mm
Feb
22°C 26mm
Mar
22°C 33mm
Apr
23°C 19mm
May
21°C 19mm
Jun
22°C 18mm
Jul
22°C 15mm
Aug
23°C 13mm
Sep
23°C 12mm
Oct
22°C 21mm
Nov
21°C 22mm
Dec
21°C 23mm
Jan
32°C 5mm
Feb
31°C 5mm
Mar
31°C 5mm
Apr
32°C 2mm
May
31°C 1mm
Jun
31°C 0mm
Jul
31°C 0mm
Aug
31°C 0mm
Sep
31°C 0mm
Oct
30°C 0mm
Nov
31°C 0mm
Dec
33°C 1mm
Jan
25°C 21mm
Feb
26°C 23mm
Mar
27°C 24mm
Apr
26°C 21mm
May
24°C 19mm
Jun
24°C 13mm
Jul
22°C 16mm
Aug
24°C 13mm
Sep
24°C 13mm
Oct
24°C 18mm
Nov
24°C 24mm
Dec
25°C 19mm
Jan
33°C 16mm
Feb
33°C 22mm
Mar
33°C 31mm
Apr
33°C 20mm
May
33°C 11mm
Jun
31°C 4mm
Jul
31°C 3mm
Aug
32°C 2mm
Sep
32°C 3mm
Oct
33°C 2mm
Nov
32°C 2mm
Dec
34°C 4mm

Ecuador’s climate changes slightly from month to month, but the biggest changes come between the regions, which each have their own weather patterns.

Quito and the Central Highlands experience consistently warm and mainly dry weather throughout the year due to the region’s position on the equator. However, because of the Andes’ altitude, the temperature changes dramatically between day and night. During the day, temperatures average 23-25˚ C, while at night it drops to around 10˚ C. In general, skies are clear in the morning but cloud over in the afternoon, with rain possible but not frequent. The wet season runs from October to May, with March and April seeing the heaviest rainfall. There is a brief dry patch in early December too. The best time to visit Ecuador’s central regions is from June to September.

Southern Ecuador sees the highest temperatures in the country, sitting in the 30s most of the year. Its rainy season is from January to April. The Amazon has no defined dry season and rain can be expected at any time of year, being a tropical rainforest, but you will usually find sun every day as well. The drier season runs from the end of May to the end of September.

The Galapagos are cool and dry from July to November, and warm and wet from December to June. The best time to visit Ecuador and the Galapagos is between December and June, as there’s more sun, the seas are calmer and underwater visibility is at its best. The average temperature ranges from a pleasant 20°C to 28°C, however being on the equator, the sun is very strong. The Galapagos can be great off-season if you wish to enjoy the national park without all the crowds, and the wildlife can be seen all year (although please speak to your travel specialist if there is a particular species you are interested in catching).

Seasonal Overview of Ecuador and the Galapagos

Whatever it is that calls you to Ecuador, from Amazonian adventure to Galapagos cruises, the weather will play a part in your plans. Although the country doesn’t display typical seasonal changes, the months bring with them different weather patterns and there’s a best time to visit Ecuador for all its thrilling experiences.

Exploring Ecuador’s Top Destinations

The Galapagos

The Galapagos Islands, a UNESCO World Heritage site, boast unparalleled biodiversity, with a huge array of endemic species, from the iconic Galapagos giant tortoises to marine iguanas and blue-footed boobies. It’s a year-round destination so you can go anytime and see incredible things, however, its peak seasons coincide with school holidays, making July/August and December/January the most popular times to visit.

While the Galapagos Islands’ seasons are split into rainy and dry, they don’t see huge amounts of rainfall even during the wetter months, and each season offers something unique. From January to May, the sea is warmer and calmer, which means it's the best time to visit Ecuador and the Galapagos if you get seasick and if you want to snorkel. Visibility can be affected by the rain, but it comes in short spells. June to November is the dry, cooler season, but temperatures don’t usually drop below 20℃.

If you want to see certain animals, you might be dictated by their seasonal habits. For example, the waved albatross relies on the wind to fly and so are only found on Española between April and December, before they fly away again. Many birds will nest their eggs between February and April, making the months on either side a good time to see mating calls (between June and August for the blue-footed booby) or new babies. Sea lions, marine iguanas and penguins tend to gather in groups for their mating and breeding season between June and December. You’ll see giant tortoises all year round, but their eggs begin to hatch in December and babies can be seen emerging until April. To find out the best time of year to visit the Galapagos for you, speak to our travel experts.

Highlight Destinations

For adventurers who want to delve deep into the Amazon Rainforest, the best time to visit Ecuador is from June to December. While you’re likely to get rainfall all year round, these months have the least, making it easier to navigate through the dense foliage and explore the jungle on hikes. Additionally, this drier season offers the best conditions for activities such as canoeing, and wildlife watching.

For those interested in Ecuador's rich history and culture, any time of the year is suitable for visiting the historic cities of Quito and Cuenca. These UNESCO World Heritage Sites boast stunning colonial architecture, vibrant markets, and fascinating museums that offer insight into Ecuador's past and present. And because of their position on the equator, they are sunny and dry most of the year.

If you're dreaming of relaxing on sun-kissed beaches, the best time to visit Ecuador's beaches is during the dry season from June to December. You can soak up the sun, swim in the warm Pacific waters, and enjoy water sports like surfing and snorkelling along the picturesque coastlines of destinations like Montañita, Mompiche and of course the Galapagos’ beaches.

Meet Our Ecuador Experts

Our team of specialists are waiting to help you book your next adventure. Contact us today to start planning your tailor-made trip.

Best Time to Visit Ecuador FAQs

  • How many days are enough for Ecuador and the Galapagos?

    Our tours to Ecuador and the Galapagos are between 10 days and 2 weeks but they can all be tailored to your requirements. Galapagos cruises are usually between 4 and 7 days, and we’d recommend a day or two on either side in Quito or alternative destinations to acclimatise and explore.

  • When is the best time to visit Ecuador for hiking?

    June to November are the best months to visit Ecuador for hiking. The dry weather means that trails are safe and not slippery, while the clear skies allow you to soak in the uninterrupted views.

  • When is the best time to visit Ecuador for birding?

    You can enjoy birdwatching in Ecuador all year round thanks to the many incredible habitats and locations that you’ll find them in. The Galapagos, the Amazon and the Andes are all home to their own species, some of which are unique to Ecuador. Speak to a travel expert to find out exactly where and when you should travel to see the birds that you’re most interested in.

  • What is the best time of year to go to Ecuador and Peru?

    The best time of year to visit Ecuador and Peru is between April and July. July to October is also a good time to travel there, but it’s likely the sea will be choppy around the Galapagos. Two combine two of the world’s most incredible sites, have a look at our 15-day Peru and Galapagos itinerary.

  • When is the best time to visit Ecuador for surfing?

    The best time to visit Ecuador for surfing is between December and April. Although this is during Ecuador’s rainy season, the weather is still generally sunny on the coast, and the ocean churns out consistent swells, providing ideal conditions for keen surfers.

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