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Best time to visit Ecuador & the Galapagos

Weather and climate

Ecuador Galapagos landscape photo panorama

There are lots of things to consider when thinking about the best time to visit Ecuador. Firstly, there’s the weather. But if you want to avoid the crowds, you can also look at when to go based on the busiest tourist months. This can, of course, have a knock-on effect on cost and availability. It’s also worth thinking about where you’re going, as you’ll find variations in climate across each region. This might affect which activities you want to – or can – do.

Peak visitor seasons are June to September and December and JanuaryAlthough in the Galapagos, December – May is high season

Ecuador Average weather conditions chart
Average weather conditions
Ecuador Average temperatures chart
Average temperatures


In Ecuador, it’s more a case of wet and dry vs summer and winter. January – May are the warmest months, a bit wet but with the calmest seas and sunny days on the coast. May – December is dry but cool, but this season still includes the busy school summer holiday season. The Andes are damp all year around and have cold nights.

Ecuador accommodation exterior dining with cloud forest view
Ecuador Galapagos Island Beach

La Costa or the coast

This is the region that is probably affected the most during the wet vs dry seasons. December to April is dry (and high) season on the coast, so expect warm, but less humid, temperatures and maybe a few light showers.

As a result, there are hardly any biting bugs around. No clouds means very strong sun though, so slap that sunscreen on with a high SPF.

During the wet season, from May, mornings are usually humid but free of rain. The daily afternoon and evening rain showers can last for several hours and bring mosquitos, so bring that mozzie repellent.

La Sierra or the highlands

This region, which includes the capital city of Quito, has pleasant conditions most of the year. Temperatures average around 15-20 degrees Celsius during the day which drops to 5-10 degrees at night.  At the higher peaks though, it can also be much colder during the day and can even drop below freezing at night. Generally, it boasts sunny, clear days from June to SeptemberOctober and November see a mix of sun and showers. December to May is colder with more rain.

Ecuador Papallacta Landscape Mountains
Ecuador Amazon Trees

La Amazonia also know as the Oriente or the east

There’s a reason it’s called the rainforest. The Amazon region is hot, humid, and wet all year round. From March to June, heavy rains are frequent and so this is considered the low season. There is less rain from July to December. And December and January are the driest months when some rivers become low and impassable.

Galapagos Islands

December to May for enjoyable temperatures and sunny days – with some rain, because it’s equatorial. December and January and June, July and August are popular tourist times.

The best time to visit the Galápagos Islands is considered to be from December to May. Although beautiful year-round, this season offers temperatures ranging from 25-30 degrees Celsius – perfect for hiking and wildlife-spotting. These months experience bright sunshine on most days, alongside frequent, but short-lived showers.

June to December is low season in the Galápagos, with cooler, drier weather and rougher seas. Wildlife is visible and active throughout the year in the Galápagos, although certain species and activities are restricted to specific times.

Sea Lions Wildlife Galapagos