Climate of Ecuador
Where is the country of Ecuador located? Ecuador, officially the Republic of Ecuador, is a country in northwestern South America. The South American country of Ecuador has many different climates. The lower parts in the southwest have a subtropical climate, the northwest has a tropical climate. More inland there is a maritime climate with relatively dry winters (in the southern hemisphere they fall in the period June-August) and the highest areas have a high mountain climate.
If Ecuador had been completely flat, it would most likely have a tropical climate due to its location. However, the mountains mean that temperatures in much of the country are somewhat lower than what is usual in tropical conditions and that the sea has less influence on the weather.
In between these climates you have zones that often have a slightly different climate or form a combination of 2 different climate types.
Along the coastal areas there is a large variation in the amounts of measured precipitation. Almost the total amount of precipitation that falls on an annual basis is measured in the period February to May. After May it suddenly becomes a lot drier and there are places where there is not a drop of precipitation for weeks.
On the Galapagos Islands there is rain all year round and the total annual sum (about 1400 to 1600 millimeters) can be called high. Here too, there are clear differences in the amount of precipitation (and temperature) from location to location due to differences in height.
Most rain falls in the east (Amazon region) and the extreme northwest of Ecuador. The quantities here can rise to about 3000 or even more than 5000 mm per year.
Skiing and snow
Snow occurs on the higher parts of the Andes Mountains, which cross the country from north to south. The peak of Chimborazo is 6310 meters high and is covered with eternal snow. There are also winter sports options, but limited. Skiing is only possible on the following four mountains: Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, Cayambe and Antisana.
The climate, the location, the differences in height and the volcanic areas make Ecuador a unique and breathtaking country. Due to this unique composition, you will find landscapes, plants and animals here that you will not see elsewhere. Especially in the higher parts you will find beautiful phenomena that you have to see with your own eyes to experience how impressive they are.
The figures below are based on long-term average climate statistics. The temperatures are displayed in degrees Celsius (°C).
|Maximum temperature||Minimum temperature||Hours of sunshine per day||Days of rainfall per month|
Best time to visit Ecuador
Do you want to know when is the best time to travel to Ecuador? You can determine the best time to travel to a destination based on the weather and climate. In addition, there are other factors that are not directly related to the weather and that can influence the best travel periods for a travel destination. Think, for example, of holidays or festive periods, which makes traveling more interesting or not, because daily life comes to a standstill as a result. The name Ecuador is a direct reference to the location of this South American country: around the equator. Ecuador is the Spanish word for equator and it was the Spanish conquerors who gave this name to the country. The location around the equator and the presence of the Andes Mountains that cut through the country together provide a wide variety of climate types within Ecuador.
Geographical location and the height in relation to the sea level play a major role in the weather as it can be experienced in various places within Ecuador. It is therefore quite difficult to designate one period as the general best time to travel to Ecuador. Based on temperatures and precipitation, we would prefer the months of July, August and to a lesser extent September for a holiday in Ecuador.
There are two areas that have a tropical rainforest climate. it concerns the extreme northwest of Ecuador and the eastern half, which is separated from the rest of Ecuador by the Andes. This is the westernmost part of the vast Amazon region that cuts across South America. Within the tropical rainforests there is a lot of rain all year round and the annual precipitation sum is high. Think of three thousand to five thousand millimeters on an annual basis. In most locations there are a few months when there is less rain, but the total amount is still quite significant. There is no month to indicate as the best travel time for these regions.
Within the Andes you will see a mix of temperate climates with a tundra climate or even a high mountain climate at higher altitudes. The Andes are drier and cooler than the rainforest areas. The capital Quito, which lies at an altitude of about 2850 meters above sea level, registers about 1200-1300 millimeters of precipitation per calendar year and has a fairly constant maximum temperature that is around 17 to 22 degrees all year round. As you go higher into the mountains, the temperature drops and it gets drier. The best months to visit the Andes are June through September.
The western part of Ecuador consists of lowlands where you will find a mix of tropical and arid climates. The northern coastal region is wetter than the southern coastal regions. The coastal strip, in turn, is sunnier than the areas adjacent to the Andes, where prolonged cloud cover is no exception. In the northern coastal areas there is rainfall every month, with the period from July to December being the drier period. The temperatures here are continuously tropical.
The more southern coastal areas are drier, somewhat sunnier and have a period when temperatures are more moderate. In Manta, which is about halfway along the coast, the temperatures are still tropical and the annual rainfall drops to 200 to 300 millimeters. In Salinas, which is a bit more southerly, there is only 100 to 150 millimeters on an annual basis and it is almost completely dry from May to December with maximum temperatures between 23 and 28 degrees Celsius. This is also the best time to travel to the southern coastal areas.
The Galapagos Islands belong to Ecuador, but are located about a thousand kilometers west of the mainland. The archipelago is best known for Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, which is partly based on research on the Galapagos Islands. As a holiday destination, these islands are especially popular among nature lovers. The period from July to November is the most suitable for that purpose. It is then quite dry and the temperatures are moderate: think about 22 to 28 degrees during the day and just below twenty degrees as a minimum temperature.