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Ecuador is a treasure trove of safari destinations, from the Andean Highlands covering the central regions to the Amazon Forest along its Peruvian border. Its diverse topography includes some of the highest volcanoes, sparkling crater lakes, soggy mangroves, lush forests, and warm beaches. The climate of Ecuador, therefore, varies based on its regions. In general, when the El Niño and La Niña aren’t interfering with Ecuador’s climates, it has steady climate patterns throughout the country.

Seasons in Ecuador

This table shows generalised data of climate throughout Ecuador.

SeasonMonthsMax Average TemperatureMin Average Temperature
Summer- Dry SeasonJune to September22°C (72°F)7°C (45°F)
Winter- Warm-Wet Season October to May22°C (72°F)8°C (46°F)
Spring MonthsMarch to April21°C (70°F)9°C (48°F)

El Niño and La Niña

Ecuador’s climate is affected by El Niño and La Niña. These two are the climate patterns in the Pacific Ocean known to affect weather patterns throughout the world. In Ecuador, during the year of El Niño, water and air temperatures rise by a few degrees. The coastal regions experience heavy rainfall between December to May. The rains may also result in floods. Furthermore, the sea level rises by 1 inch, increasing the risk of flooding.

In contrast to El Niño, during the years of La Niña, the air and water temperature cools, and rainfall decreases. These patterns occur at irregular intervals of two to seven years, lasting for nine months to two years.

Climate in Ecuador by Regions

Northwest Ecuador and The Amazon Forest

Ecuador’s northern coast has mangroves and forests. Similarly, the regions bordering Peru are mostly Amazon Forest. These forests experience persistent rainfall with a hot and humid climate throughout the year. The rainfalls usually occur in the afternoons, in the form of either heavy showers or thunderstorms. This equatorial climate is shared by both the northwest region and the Amazon Forest. The northwest experiences a decreasing rainfall from August to November, whereas for the Amazon, it is from November to March.

Ecuador Plains

The temperature west of the Andes, in the equatorial plains, is tropical. In the northern plains, the dry season occurs from July to November.  In the southern plains, it lies between May and December. The areas at the foothill of the Andes are much drier compared to other parts of the plains. The northern plains experience more rainfall than the southern region.

In Santa Elena on the southern coast, the rainfall lasts from January to April. The weather is much warmer, so visitors prefer to frequent beaches during these months. And the months of June to November have colder temperatures.

The weather on the north coast is hot throughout the year. It also experiences rainfall and thunderstorms all year round. January to June are the wettest months for the north coast regions such as Esmeraldas.

The central coast also experiences heat throughout the year, but the severity lessens in winter and spring. It doesn’t have much rainfall, but the sky is often cloudy, even when it isn’t raining.

Andean Highlands

The central region of Ecuador is covered by the Andes, which is the longest continental mountain range in the world. It forms a continuous highland on the western edge of South America. The Andes in Ecuador is divided into two mountain ranges – Cordillera Occidental and the Cordillera Real. These mountain ranges have several volcanoes such as Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, and Cayambe.

Quito, the capital of Ecuador, experiences mild temperatures throughout the year. Quito also experiences heavy rainfall from October to May. However, July to August has low rainfall, making it an ideal time to visit the city.

The temperatures fall with increasing altitude. The regions with higher altitudes experience freezing temperatures and lower rainfalls. The western slopes of the Andes rarely see sunshine, even between July to December, which is the driest season.

Galápagos Islands

Located in the Pacific Ocean, west of Ecuador, the Galápagos Islands experience a semi-arid and tropical climate. The monsoon falls between January and May and it’s hot. The rainy season sees more sunshine than the dry season. It is also ideal for swimming as the sea temperatures are pleasantly warm.

In contrast, July to November experience cool, dry, and misty seasons with overcast skies. The cool season is also known as Garúa.

The largest islands in the highlands experience plenty of rainfall. Despite its proximity to the Equator, Galápagos has surprisingly cooler temperatures brought about by the Humboldt Current.