Best time to visit Ecuador

We invite you to take an enchanting journey through Ecuador with our guide to the best times to visit this diverse and captivating country. Whether you're looking for vibrant festivals, lush rainforests, or coastal adventures, we'll recommend the best seasons to explore Ecuador's natural wonders and cultural treasures. Discover the perfect time to travel to Ecuador and immerse yourself in the abundance of experiences this South American gem has to offer. 

When is the best time to visit Ecuador and the Galápagos?

The best time to travel to Ecuador varies depending on which parts of the country you intend to visit. There’s no real summer and winter in Ecuador, and its weather generally varies by regional geography, with temperatures determined more by altitude than by season or latitude.

The warmest and driest months in the sierra are June to September, though this is complicated by various microclimates found in some areas. Outside these months, typical sierra weather offers sunny, clear mornings and cloudy, often wet, afternoons.

In the Oriente, you can expect it to be warm, humid and rainy throughout the year, though there are often short breaks from the daily rains from August to September and December to February.

In the lowlands it can get particularly hot on clear days, with temperatures easily topping 30°C. The coast has the most clearly defined wet and dry seasons, and the best time to visit is from December to April, when frequent showers alternate with clear blue skies and temperatures stay high.

From May to November it’s often overcast and relatively cool, especially in the south, with less chance of rainfall.

MonthJanFeb MarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg temp. (°C)222121212019192020212122
Avg rain (mm)300280250200150807080100120150200
best places to go with kids Marine iguana with blue footed boobies, booby, Sula nebouxii and Amblyrhynchus cristatus, on Isabela Island, Galapagos, Ecuador

Marine iguana with blue footed boobies on Isabela Island, Galapagos, Ecuador

Want to be prepared for your upcoming trip to Ecuador? Start by exploring our tips for traveling in Ecuador. You might also find it useful to read about what you need to know before traveling to Ecuador.

Best time to visit Ecuador month by month

Planning the perfect time to visit Ecuador? Below we break down the country's varied climatic conditions month by month to help you choose the right season and maximize your experience.

January: Best for experiencing the vibrant, rainy season glory

The weather in Ecuador in January is a mix of mild-to-warm temperatures with a likelihood of rain, requiring visitors to be prepared for both sunshine and showers.

In the highlands, including Quito, temperatures average around 15°C (59°F), while coastal areas like Guayaquil experience warmer weather, with averages near 26°C (79°F). In the Amazon region, expect even higher temperatures. 

Rainfall at this time is also varied. The highlands receive about 80 mm (3.1 inches), whereas the coast can expect heavier rains, averaging 200 mm (7.9 inches). The Amazon rainforest typically sees the most rainfall, with amounts exceeding these figures. 

February: Best for exploring the coastal regions and the Amazon rainforest

The weather in Ecuador in February varies significantly across its diverse regions. The coastal areas typically experience warm temperatures averaging around 26°C (79°F). 

Meanwhile, the highlands are cooler with averages of 15°C (59°F). At the same time, the Amazon region is warmer and more humid.

Rainfall in February can be quite pronounced, especially along the coast and in the Amazon. The coast sees around 200 mm (7.9 inches) of rain, while the highlands receive about 100 mm (3.9 inches). 

Looking for even more options for your winter getaway? Explore our guide to the best places for a February holiday.

March: Best for outdoor activities

March is a good time to explore Ecuador, with warmth and a variety of activities, from beach walks on the coast to cultural immersion in the highlands and adventures in the Amazon.

On the coast temperatures are warm, averaging around 27°C (81°F). The weather in this region is usually sunny, creating ideal conditions for beach vacations.

In the highlands, the dry season begins in March. Temperatures are moderate, averaging around 15°C (59°F), providing comfortable weather for outdoor walks and activities.

The Amazon region remains warm and humid in March, with temperatures ranging from 24°C to 32°C (75°F-90°F). It rains constantly in this part of the country, which contributes to the lush green landscapes characteristic of the rainforest.

Find even more options for your trip in our list of the best holiday destinations in March.

Interior of humid cloudforest with mist blowing through, on the coastal range in western Ecuador © Dr Morley Read/Shutterstock

Interior of humid cloudforest with mist blowing through, on the coastal range in western Ecuador © Dr Morley Read/Shutterstock

April: Best for visiting historical sites and engaging in cultural festivals

April is a transitional month — favorable for exploring cultural attractions in the highlands — periodic rain may limit beach excursions, and you may encounter some transportation problems in coastal areas.

The coast is warm, with temperatures here hovering around 27°C (81°F), while highland areas maintain mild temperatures around 15°C (59°F). At the same time, the Amazon is warm and humid.

In terms of precipitation, coastal areas may experience occasional rain, while the highlands tend to be drier. April marks the end of the rainy season in some regions — all the better for outdoor activities.

Looking for more options for your holiday in April? Find the perfect holiday destination with our top suggestions.

May: Best for wildlife watching in the Galapagos

May is a transitional period in Ecuador's weather patterns, marking the end of the rainy season in some regions. Coastal areas experience warm temperatures of around 26°C (79°F), creating pleasant conditions for beach holidays. 

Highland areas maintain a mild climate with temperatures averaging around 15°C (59°F). Meanwhile, the Amazon region remains warm and humid, with rainfall decreasing during this transitional period.

The Galapagos Islands also enjoy pleasant weather during this period, making it an ideal time for wildlife enthusiasts to explore unique ecosystems.

Besides all the other benefits, the Galapagos is also great for a family vacation. To prepare for such a trip, read our guide to Ecuador with kids.

June: Best for a beach holiday

June, with its comfortable temperatures and reduced rainfall, provides you with excellent opportunities to explore the country's rich landscapes.

In coastal areas temperatures are around 26°C (79°F), which favors a pleasant beach vacation. 

The highlands maintain a mild climate with temperatures averaging around 15°C (59°F). The Amazon region is warm and humid, creating lush rainforest landscapes.

June is generally considered part of the dry season, offering favorable weather for outdoor activities and exploring cultural attractions. Although coastal areas may experience light rainfall, it is generally a pleasant time to visit.

Amazon, Ecuador, Lumix, Oriente, Sunset River shots

Amazon, Ecuador, Lumix, Oriente, Sunset River shots

July: Best for sailing, fishing, and beach activities

July, part of the dry season, paints the perfect canvas for outdoor activities. While coastal areas may experience precipitation, it's generally pleasant weather for all kinds of outdoor activities. 

In coastal harbors mild temperatures of around 25°C (77°F) provide a comfortable backdrop for maritime adventures. To enjoy cultural excursions, head to the highlands where the temperature is around 15°C (59°F).

Meanwhile, the Amazon region maintains a warm, inviting embrace, beckoning nature lovers with lush rainforests.

Looking for even more ideas for your summer adventure? Explore our list of the best holiday destinations for July.

August: Best for relaxation, cultural immersion, and nature exploration

August in Ecuador is like a lively party thrown by nature in a variety of landscapes. The coast experiences mild temperatures of around 25°C (77°F), creating the perfect beach mood. 

Head to the highlands and feel the chill at around 15°C (59°F), setting the stage for a cultural vacation. The Amazon region, where temperatures range between 24°C and 30°C (75°F to 86°F), invites you to its lush rainforests.

And here's the kicker: August, at the height of the dry season, turns the entire country into an adventure playground. Although there may be occasional rainfall in coastal areas, it doesn't spoil the overall weather.

Still haven't decided where you're going this summer? Explore our list of the best August holiday destinations.

September: Best for a tropical adventure in the Amazon

The weather in Ecuador in September is a mixture of different conditions. On the coast, you'll find sunny days with temperatures of 24°C-32°C (75°F-90°F) - perfect beach weather and an invitation to enjoy the Ecuadorian sunshine.

Meanwhile, in the Amazon rainforest September begins with a symphony of showers and humidity, creating a green paradise for nature lovers. This weather practically begs you to grab your raincoat and embark on a tropical adventure.

As you climb to the top of the Andes September marks the end of the dry season. Daytime temperatures stand between 10°C and 21°C (50°F-70°F), and cool evenings whisper of the approaching change of seasons.


Cotopaxi, Ecuador @ Shutterstock

October: Best for a holiday in the Galapagos Islands

In October, Ecuador invites you to a weather wonderland where each region boasts its own unique atmosphere. On the coast temperatures range between 21°C and 32°C (70°F-90°F), creating ideal conditions for beach vacations.

Head up into the highlands of the Andes and you'll find Quito bidding farewell to the dry season, with temperatures ranging from 10°C to 21°C (50°F-70°F). 

Meanwhile, the Amazon rainforest, with its combination of rainfall and humidity reveals its lush, green charm.

The Galapagos Islands, that year-round stunning destination, turns hot in October, attracting wildlife lovers with a surge of warmer temperatures.

Looking for more options for an autumn holiday? Also check out our list of the best destinations for an unforgettable holiday in October.

November: Best for embracing the variety of climates and landscapes

The weather in Ecuador in November unfolds its charm and invites you to an exciting adventure. On the coast temperatures range between  24°C and 32°C (75°F-90°F), creating ideal conditions for enjoying beach vacations and water activities.

In the high Andean highlands nature has its own peculiarities, with cool temperatures ranging from 10°C to 21°C (50°F to 70°F) and the onset of the rainy season.

The Amazon rainforests experience periodic rains and humidity, which helps paint the scenery in vibrant green colors.

The Galapagos Islands being a year-round wonder in November beckons with comfortable temperatures, making it the best time to explore the unique wonders of the islands.

December: Best for refreshing breaks from the heat

The weather in Ecuador in December is a mix of different climatic conditions that will add a touch of variety to your trip. 

On the coast you'll bask in the delightful warmth of 25°C (77°F), but keep your umbrella close - the wet season is approaching and the sunny weather can be interrupted by occasional downpours.

Now let's head up to Quito, the realm of the Andes, where December reveals tantalizing secrets. Daytime highs around 19°C (66°F) beckon you to explore the historical wonders.

Take an adventure into the Amazon rainforest, where towns like Tena and Puyo promise temperatures around 25°C (77°F). The tropical forest comes alive, offering a lush, colorful spectacle as lively as the local fauna.

cloudforest, Ecuador

Cloudforest, Ecuador

When's the best time to visit the Galápagos Islands

The Galápagos climate sees hot, sunny days interspersed with the odd heavy shower from January to June, and dry and overcast weather for the rest of the year, when the garúa mists are prevalent. 

El Niño years can bring enormous fluctuations in weather patterns on the coast and at the Galápagos archipelago, when levels of rainfall can be many times the norm.

Looking for inspiration for your trip to the Galapagos Islands? You can explore our Galapagos itineraries and find the option that works best for you. Also, read about the best time to visit the Galapagos Islands to get the best travelling experience.

Festivals and Holidays in Ecuador

Ecuador's vibrant festivals blend ancient indigenous traditions with Catholic customs, reflecting a rich cultural syncretism. These celebrations, deeply embedded in Ecuador's history, showcase a mix of religious imagery and indigenous beliefs. National holidays often commemorate significant historical events and traditional Catholic observances. Ecuadorians, known for their love of festivities, spare no effort in creating spectacular events filled with food, drink, and community spirit, highlighting local and national identities.

Attending a fiesta is a must-do in Ecuador, offering a memorable glimpse into the country's culture and fun. Carnaval, one of the most lively national festivals, features exuberant water fights leading up to Lent. Local celebrations are frequent and varied, with towns and villages marking foundation days, patron saints' days, and other significant dates with music, dance, parades, and more. 

These gatherings range from grand public events to intimate community affairs in remote highlands, where outsiders are welcomed if they show respect and sensitivity. From gaudy parades to traditional markets, Ecuador's festivals are a testament to its communal spirit and cultural richness.

Woman dancing and wearing the traditional folk costume from Ecuador © Raquel Pedrosa/Shutterstock

Woman dancing and wearing the traditional folk costume from Ecuador © Raquel Pedrosa/Shutterstock

Public holidays and major festivals

On public holidays just about all shops and facilities are closed all day.


New Year’s Day (Año Nuevo), January 1. Public holiday.

Epiphany (Reyes Magos), January 6. Celebrated mainly in the central highlands, most notably at Píllaro in Tungurahua, but also in Montecristi on the coast.


Carnival (Carnaval). The week before Lent is marked by nationwide high jinks, partying and water-throwing. Beach resorts can get packed to the gills. In Ambato, it’s celebrated by the grand Fiesta de las Frutas y las Flores, with parades, dancing, bullfights and sporting events – water-throwing is banned here. Two days’ public holiday.


Holy Week (Semana Santa). Religious parades take place across the country during Holy Week, when many shops and services close and lots of people head to the beach. The big processions in Quito are on Good Friday. Public holidays for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.


Labour Day (Día del Trabajo), May 1. Public holiday.

Battle of Pichincha (La Batalla del Pinchincha), May 24. Public holiday commemorating a famous 1822 battle.


Shaman, Ecuador @ Shutterstock


Corpus Christi A moveable festival sometime in mid-June, on the first Thursday after Trinity Sunday. Celebrated in the central sierra, particularly Salasaca and Pujilí with danzates (masked dancers), wonderful costumes and, in the latter town, 5–10m poles people climb to get prizes at the top.

Festival of the Sun (Inti Raymi), June 21 and onwards. A pre-Conquest festival celebrated on the solstice at important ancient sites such as Cochasquí. Also subsumed into the Catholic festivals of San Juan, San Pedro and San Pablo, collectively known as “Los San Juanes” in the Otavalo and Cayambe regions.

San Juan June 24. John the Baptist’s saint day, celebrated particularly heartily in the Otavalo region, beginning with ritual bathing in Peguche and ending with tinku – ritual fighting – in San Juan on the outskirts of Otavalo (now discouraged). Outsiders should avoid these two activites, but there is plenty of music, drinking and dancing to take part in.

San Pedro and San Pablo June 29. Celebrated across the country, though particularly in Cayambe and the northern sierra.


Birthday of Simón Bolívar July 24. Countrywide celebration of the birth of El Libertador. Public holiday.

Foundation of Guayaquil July 25. The festivities here often blur with those of the previous day.


Independence Day (Día de la independencia) August 10. Public holiday commemorating the nation’s first independence (and thwarted) uprising in Quito in 1809.

Fetsival of the Virgin of El Cisne August 15. The effigy of the virgin is paraded 72km from El Cisne to Loja followed by thousands of pilgrims.

Things not to miss: Malecón 2000, waterfront, Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Malecón 2000, waterfront, Guayaquil, Ecuador


Yamor Festival A big shindig in Otavalo for the first two weeks of September.

Mama Negra de la Merced September 24. The religious one of two important fiestas in Latacunga, marked with processions and focusing on the Virgen de la Merced.


Independence of Guayaquil October 9. Big celebrations in Guayaquil. Public holiday.

Columbus Day (Día de la Raza), October 12. Marks the discovery of the New World. Rodeos held in Los Ríos, Guayas and Manabí provinces, an expression of muntuvio culture.


All Souls’ Day/Day of the Dead (Día de los Difuntos) November 2. Highland communities go to cemeteries to pay their respects with flowers, offerings of food and drink, and incantations. Colada morada, a sweet purple fruit drink, and guaguas de pan, bread figures, are eaten and drunk. Public holiday.

Independence of Cuenca November 3. The city’s largest celebration, which merges into the preceding holidays. Public holiday.

Mama Negra First Friday or Saturday of November. Famous fiesta in Latacunga with colourful parades and extravagant costumes, centred around the Mama Negra – a blacked-up man in woman’s clothing – thought to be related to the town’s first encounter with black slaves. Events continue up to November 11 celebrating the Independence of Latacunga.

Festival of the Virgin of El Quinche November 21. Pilgrims celebrate at the famous church outside Quito.


Foundation of Quito December 6. Festivities across the capital, with parades, dances, bullfights and sporting events. Public holiday.

Christmas Day (Navidad), December 25. Public holiday.

New Year’s Eve (Nochevieja), December 31. Años viejos, large effigies of topical figures representing the old years are burnt at midnight.

Ties Lagraauw

written by
Ties Lagraauw

updated 12.06.2024

Ties is a true world explorer - whether it be for work or leisure! As Content Manager at RoughGuides, and the owner of Dutch travel platform, Ties is constantly on the move, always looking for new destinations to discover.

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