Ecuador – Weather
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Ecuador is in a unique position being directly on the equator, making travel comfortable throughout the year. Ecuador has a surprising variety of climates and because of its unique geography, the weather can be very localized. The weather also has a tendency to change quickly. Although impossible to predict the weather due to the dramatically differing geographical boundaries, there are some generalizations that can be made:
There are only two seasons: winter (rainy season) and summer (dry season).
As a general rule it is far cooler in the sierra highlands and more tropical with humid, wetter climates in the Oriente, Amazon and Coastal areas.
Though on the equator, temperatures in the Andes are cooler than most people would expect. The temperature and weather always depend on the altitude and the time of year. The rainy season of the Andes takes place usually from December to May and the rest of the year is relatively sunny, though still highly unpredictable. Warm sunny morning can often lead to bone-chilling, rainy afternoons, hence the Sierra’s adage ‘four seasons in one day’. In Quito the temperature won’t get lower than 42ºF at night, and about 88ºF during the day.
The Galapagos Islands
There is a rainy season, a dry season and a transition season. The months of June to December tend to be characterized by cool garúa (mist) and temperatures averaging 72F.
From January to May, the climate is more typically tropical: hot air temperatures, wide stretches of blue sky, and occasional, but brief, downpours in the afternoons. Because many of the islands are covered in black lava rock, you may feel the heat radiating and a bit of a baking sensation when on these islands.
In the transition months, you will most likely experience climatic characteristics from the two extremes: from November to January, air temperature will start to rise while water temperatures remain cool, and from April to June, fresh breezes and cooling water temperature will offset the heat.
Put all together, one can make the generalizations of: June to December cool, cloudy and dry season, December to June, warm, sunny and wet season. All of this is can be completely thrown off by the infamous El Niño phenomenon when the currents warm and generally raise the air temperature and the precipitation in the Islands.
The Amazon (Oriente)
The region normally has a warm, humid and rainy climate. It rains most days in this area, but the wettest months are April to September. May of the lodges in the Oriente are reached by canoe. During the dry months, especially December to February, many of the subsidiary rivers completely dry up and lodges are reached by foot instead of canoe.
Temperatures vary by region but tend to average between 72F and 80F.
Current temperatures and weather around Ecuador: