The best time to visit Ecuador depends on your priorities: places visited, weather, availability, preferred activities, local seasonality, local festivals and market days.
Ecuador is an all-year destination, but its variety of landscapes from coastal plain to high Andes and lowland Amazon jungle means that the weather may be optimum for a visit at different times in the various locations. There’s a rich indigenous and Spanish colonial heritage on show in a number of fiestas and markets and you may wish to factor them into the timing of your holiday in Ecuador.
- The mountainous region of the Andes, including Quito, Cuenca and the Avenue of the Volcanoes has a spring-like climate year round. It is at its best from May-Oct, when the sun shines with just a little rain. The region receives only a modest number of foreign tourists, often combining a visit with a Galápagos cruise: September is quiet, since many cruise vessels are in dry dock. The famous Otavalo market falls on a Saturday throughout the year.
- During the Amazon’s wet season (Dec-May) it’s easier to get round by boat and the cloud offers a protection from the strong sun. The somewhat hotter dry season (Jun-Nov) is sunnier and better for wildlife-spotting from jungle trails.
- The Andean cloudforest of the Mindo and eastern cordillera are cool and misty all year, it can rain at any time. Bird-watching is rewarding here at any time of the year.
- The Pacific coastal strip is typically hot and sunny (over 28°C) with heavy rain showers Jan-Apr, cooler and more overcast outside this period. Beaches can be crowded at local holiday times in Jan-Feb and Easter.