Four regions, one country: when to see the best of Ecuador
Ecuador, which is Spanish for “equator,” lies on the western coast of South America and boasts mild temperatures all year long. Its geographical diversity makes it ideal for a scenic getaway no matter when you go. In addition to lying on the equator, Ecuador has interesting topographical changes, offering a city experience one day and a trip to the highlands another. Keep these tips in mind when planning your fun-in-the-sun vacay.
Avoid the crowds
One of the benefits of visiting Ecuador is that no matter which month you arrive, a hotel room will almost always be available at a reasonable price. However, for the best prices, avoid peak season and visit between early September and late December or from early January to mid-June.
Interestingly, the low seasons are not determined by the weather, but rather the general travel schedules of people from the United States and Europe, who typically travel during peak season. That means good weather can be expected no matter when.
Experience two seasons
Since the Ecuador climate is fairly mild, the only weather concerns you need to be concerned about are whether it’s the dry or rainy season, though these can vary a little depending on where you’re visiting. For example, if you’re in the capital city of Quito, which lies at 9,200 ft. in the highlands, then the dry season is from June through September. Throughout the country, the months of August and December through March see the least amount of rain. So, whether travelers are visiting for summer break or a warm Christmas, they’ll experience it in Ecuador.
The wet season extends from January to May and hits the area on the Pacific coast the hardest. In fact, it stays overcast here during the dry season as well.
Visit different climates
While the temperature is generally mild throughout the country, even the Ecuador tourism department admits that predicting the weather is nearly impossible since so many regions exist. In addition to the highlands and the coast, the Andes Mountains run through the country, and the Galapagos Islands sit off its shore. There’s an area of Amazon rain forest as well.
In the mountainous Andes, hikers can expect temps around 60 degrees F, while the coastal temperatures and in the Amazon and Galapagos are closer to 78 degrees F. However, visitors need to take into consideration whether it’s the wet or dry season and if they’ll be visiting an area known for humidity.
Enjoy the diversity
Since Ecuador offers such a wide variety of experiences, from the jungles to the mountains, it's an ideal vacation getaway. Additionally, since there are many things to do, it’s not likely that travelers will find cities and sights too crowded to enjoy.
Some highlights to check out might be the snowy Andean villages that dot the mountains, with a stop at Cotopaxi, an active volcano. Or, for a city experience, the Museo Nacional del Banco Central in Quito is the country’s most popular museum. The city’s botanical gardens also offer a bit of forest flavor if you don’t have enough time to make it to the Amazon region. But, for the ultimate in outdoor sights, visit El Cajas National Park to see giant hummingbirds buzzing around the lagoons and forests.