If you’re wondering when the best to visit Ecuador is and what the weather is like a month to month we have you covered. Ecuador is a treasure trove of natural wonders and history. From ancient monuments and colonial buildings at Quito, to white-sand beaches and surfing at Montanita and Salinas. There’s also the Amazon rainforest, the Andes and, of course, the crowning jewel of the Galapagos.
But with Ecuador famously located on the Equator itself, it can be difficult to know when exactly the best time is to visit the country. You may even be wondering if it has seasons at all – surprisingly, it does.
And that’s where our best time to visit Ecuador guide comes into play, with a month-by-month account of the country’s weather, and even a rundown of Ecuador’s best festivals to help you plan your trip.
The Best Time to Visit Ecuador
Weather in Ecuador in January
When January comes around in Ecuador, it’s warm. In fact, this summery time of year marks one of the country’s warmest months, but temperatures are still pleasant enough for exploring.
For some prime beach time in January, head to the coastal city of Montanita. It’s a very warm 26°C on average here, and can even see highs of 29°C. Elsewhere along the coast, Guayaquil boasts average temperatures of 27°C.
In the high-altitude capital of Quito, the highs are around 18°C but the average daily temperature hovers at around 13°C. At night, temperatures can fall as low as 8°C.
Rain at this time of year can be expected across 9 days – that’s around 70 millimeters of rain on average across the country. So all in all it’s not a bad time to visit Ecuador.
Weather In Ecuador In February
February is cooler than January, and rain begins to appear across more days – especially in Quito (which sees around 13 days of rain) and throughout the highlands. Temperatures in the capital sit at around 13°C. Needless to say, it’s fairly chilly.
In the region of Oriente, you can expect dry weather, with bright, sunny days and warm temperatures hovering around the mid-20s.
Beach days are still viable on the coast. In Montanita, temperatures are still an average of 26°C (with highs of 28°C). Rain, however, is on the increase. It’s expected across seven days throughout February.
It’s a great time to go to Banos and the Mashpi Cloud Forest, especially for bird watchers as there is a strong presence of migratory birds.
Weather In Ecuador In March
March is one of the best times of year to visit Ecuador if you want to travel to Oriente and explore parts of the Amazon Rainforest. Temperatures are mild, and it’s one of the driest times of year to visit (exploring a jungle in the rain isn’t as fun).
Along the coast, there’s even more sunshine in March. However, storms can also be expected on Ecuador’s coastline at this time of year. The weather is generally hot and humid, with temperatures easily hitting around 29°C.
In Quito, March is still rainy (with around 90 millimeters falling over 18 days). Temperatures in the capital swing between 9°C and 17°C – expect much cloud coverage interspersed with sunshine. It’s very humid in Quito too, with 89% humidity.
Weather In Ecuador In April
Rainy season continues in the highlands in April, so a visit to this part of Ecuador means preparing for wet weather. Generally though, it’s a pattern of sunny mornings, with increased cloud cover and rainy downpours as the day goes on. Humidity is still very high (88%).
Montanita in April is still warm. The average daily temperature is 26°C and rainfall has decreased. It’s still a great time to visit Ecuador for beach days.
Guayaquil, the country’s largest city, sees highs of 32°C and lows of 24°C.
Weather In Ecuador In May
May marks the start of the dry season for the highlands. This means Quito is gradually getting drier (and less humid). In fact, rainfall decreases to 60 millimeters across the month. Meanwhile in Guayaquil, things are getting wetter and warmer. Temperatures easily rise into the early 30s, while downpours are still not uncommon.
If you’re planning a trip to Ecuador this time of year to visit the Galapagos Islands, you’re in luck – the days are pleasantly warm, with low humidity, but there are still afternoon downpours to contend with. Back on the mainland, Montanita is looking like a good choice for a vacation – average temperatures of 26°C, minimal rainfall (across just four days), and sunny skies.
Weather In Ecuador In June
June is peak travel season in Ecuador – it’s also the middle of the dry season in the highlands. Exploring Quito is perfect this time of year, but temperatures in the high-altitude city are still fairly chilly, with an average of 13°C seen daily. That being said some of the hikes in Ecuador are ideal right now.
Elsewhere, it’s now rainy in Oriente. The Galapagos, however, are still quite dry and sunny, so it’s a good time of year to visit Ecuador if you feel like checking out these amazing islands. The winds are low, the seas are calm, and wildlife spotting is at its prime.
Guayaquil’s average temperature in June hovers around the mid to late 20s, making it fairly pleasant to visit.
Weather In Ecuador In July
July is not a good time of year to visit Ecuador for Amazon explorations. The Oriente in July is wet. That said, rainfall does start to peter out towards the end of the month as the dry season appears on the horizon.
In the highlands, however, days are sunny. Quito sees clear skies, minimal cloud coverage, and pleasant days. Average temperatures are still fairly chilly though, with lows of 8°C and highs of 18°C. Layers are definitely needed!
Guayaquil’s weather in July is similar to that of June – warm, with highs of around 31°C. Sea temperatures are a refreshing 23°C.
Weather In Ecuador In August
Things start drying up in the Oriente region in August, marking a brief gap in the usually quite wet weather. The average high for Oriente this time of year hovers around 25°C and 28°C.
In Quito it’s the final month of the dry winter in this part of the country, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not a pleasant time to visit. Temperatures can reach a pleasant 19°C on some days, with eight hours of sunshine expected. Most of the month is clear and sunny for the capital.
At the coast, dolphins and whales can be spotted in August – Salinas is a recommended spot for this. The temperatures here in August sit between 21°C and 26°C, making it pretty nice (and with minimal rainfall, too).
Weather In Ecuador In September
Oriente is making its way into a dry season, making it a mixture of dry and wet days. It’s a popular time of year to visit Ecuador in general, so you can expect higher costs for travel and accommodation.
Spring has sprung in Guayaquil, but it’s still pretty hot. The average temperature hovers between lows of 20°C and highs of 32°C. Montantina in September is pretty pleasant (as it is most of the year), with a low chance of rain and daily averages of 24°C.
Weather In Ecuador In October
October brings low prices and fewer tourists to the country, making it a good time of year to visit Ecuador if you want to save some money. It’s not great weather in the Galapagos, though – winds can be high in October, and can cause the seas to be very rough and choppy.
On the coast, at Salinas, for example, average temperatures are around 24°C. It’s a similar story in Montanita. Up in the highlands, the average high in Quito is around 16°C, making days feel pleasant and spring-like.
Weather In Ecuador In November
If you’re thinking about visiting Ecuador in November, it could be a good idea – but it depends where you go. It really is a mixed bag. In Quito, for example, it’s wet – November is its rainiest month, with most days receiving some rainfall (it’s chilly too, with average temperatures of 13°C).
In Oriente, the rain is beginning to increase again, especially towards the end of the month. Many days, however, are still fairly dry. Back on the coast, November is still pretty nice. Only two days of rainfall are expected, and temperatures hover around the mid-20s on average.
Weather In Ecuador In December
The last month of the year in Ecuador is not so great in the highlands – temperatures are cool and there’s a lot of rain. Even so, Quito sees a lot of tourists during December, but that’s more to do with the holiday season than the weather, though.
December is Guayaquil’s first month of summer and it’s pretty hot, with highs of 32°C (and lows of 22°C). It’s also warm in the Galapagos Islands in December – around 31°C – and it’s also peak season for travelers to this unique part of the country.
Festivals to Note in Ecuador
Winter Festivals in Ecuador
From the end of November until December 6, it’s the weeklong Fiestas de Quito. This is the capital’s biggest festival – expect crowds, live music, bullfighting, flamenco dancing, and fireworks.
Later in December there’s the Fiesta de Baños. Taking place in Baños on December 16, this is one of the best festivals in Ecuador, with plenty of colorful parades and festive music. It commemorates the origin of Baños.
There’s Christmas, of course, which is more of a family event. But then New Year’s celebrations start early, usually on December 28. Think parades, fireworks, and life-size effigies being burned in the streets. It’s biggest (and best) in Quito and Guayaquil.
Carnaval in Ecuador is huge and one of the country’s best festivals. Be ready to get wet – it’s celebrated with water fights and no one escapes. It’s held on the last few days before Ash Wednesday. Guaranda is particularly famous for its Carnaval celebrations.
In Ambato, there’s the Fiesta de Frutas y Flores. Slightly different to Carnaval, water throwing is banned at this fruit and flower festival. But there’s still plenty of festivities in the way of bullfights, parades, and dancing.
Spring Festivals In Ecuador
Fiesta del Durazno falls on March 4. This annual harvest festival, taking place in the southern highlands, is best seen in the village of Gualaceo, where you can see an array of peaches that have been harvested, alongside flowers, local crafts, and live musical performances.
In late March or early April, it’s time for Semana Santa – or Holy Week. You’ll see processions around the country, but it’s particularly poignant in Quito.
For something less religious, there’s the anniversary of the founding of Cuenca. This goes on for several days around April 12. This amazing Ecuadorian festival is a huge event in the southern highlands, celebrated with floats, parades, bands and food stalls.
Summer Festivals In Ecuador
Either falling in late May or early June, it’s time for Corpus Christi. In Ecuador, this is a harvest festival that takes places in the highland regions of the country. Expect processions and feasting.
The ancient festival of Inti Raymi (literally “Festival of the Sun”) celebrates the summer solstice. It’s often merged with saint days if it falls around the same time, such as that of St John the Baptist (June 24) or St Peter (June 29). It marks the beginning of the new year for the indigenous highland communities of Ecuador.
On July 24, there’s a national holiday in celebration of Simón Bolívar’s birthday. The next day (25) commemorates the foundation of Guayaquil – with plenty of fireworks and dancing in the streets, of course.
In August there’s the Fiestas de San Lorenzo. Taking place on August 10 in the Afro-Ecuadorian region of San Lorenzo, it’s a music and dance extravaganza in honor of the city’s patron saint (Lorenzo). It goes on for around nine days!
The La Virgen del Cisne – “Virgin of the Swan” – is an eye-catching procession of pilgrims carrying a shrine dedicated to the Virgin of the Swan around 70 kilometers to Loja, in the highlands. Thousands take part when this event takes place (August 15).
Fall Festivals In Ecuador
Taking place around the Fall Equinox, the Fiesta del Yamor Imbabura celebrates both the equinox and a festival of the moon. Bullfights, cockfights, and plentiful cups of yamor (a non-alcoholic corn-based drink).
In the third week of September in Machala, it’s the Feria Mundial del Banano. This celebration of bananas actually culminates in a beauty pageant to find the Banana Queen. The winner is crowned the Reina del Banano.
Guayaquil’s independence day is a big festival for the city. Taking place on October 9, it celebrates the day in 1820 that the city declared its independence from Spain. It’s a huge celebration that sees streets filled with party-goers, fireworks, and parades.
For something less wild, but still a major event, there’s a Catholic holiday held every November 2, the day after All Saints Day. Dating back thousands of years, this is usually a family event. You’ll see families visiting graveyards and sharing meals beside graves to honor deceased relatives.
When is the best time to visit the Galapagos?
The Galapagos are beautiful all year round, but the most reliable time to visit them is between December and May. It is now that temperatures are between 70-80 degrees meaning pleasantness all around!
When is the best time to visit Ecuador rainforest?
Well you can always expect a bit of rain in the rainforest, but if you’re looking for the lowest chance of rain consider visiting in the dry season between December and March.
When is the best time to visit Quito, Ecuador?
Quitos dry season typically runs from June to September, making it one of the best times to visit. Though Quito is great year-round!
When is the Cheapest time to visit Ecuador?
October is a nice shoulder season month and is when prices will be their lowest. Though Ecuador is never that expensive of a destination and deals can be had year round.