Like Peru, Ecuador has three principal climatic zones: coast, Andean sierra, and the region of Amazonian rainforest Ecuadorians call el Oriente. Given such geographic diversity, weather patterns are understandably varied, so it pays to do a little homework when planning out your trip.
The coastal region, including towns like Guayaquil, is warm and humid year round, with a wet and a dry season. The former lasts from December through May and is characterized by morning sun, followed by sudden showers in the late afternoon. The latter runs from June to September and features overcast skies and slightly cooler temperatures—but only slightly.
By contrast, the weather in the sierra is very pleasant throughout the year, with bright, sunny days and cool nights. Sudden afternoon downpours are common, especially during the highlands’ rainy season (November through March), but the storms pass quickly and are soon replaced by the luminous Andean sun. At higher altitudes, be sure to bring a warm jacket, as nighttime temperatures can sometimes dip below freezing.
In the Oriente region, you’ll encounter the fierce heat and humidity characteristic of tropical rainforests, with rain pretty much every day. The rains intensify, however, from April to July.
Average monthly temperatures (°F) and rainfall (inches) for select locations in Ecuador are shown below.