Come rain or shine (and there will be plenty of both this month in Ecuador) the country appeals to everyone whichever part of it you are in through December. Despite some dreary weather, the Highlands explode with some of the year's best festivities, while it's dry in the jungle and positively radiant on the coast and in the Galapagos.
Ecuador Travel Insights
Cooler weather is coming to the Highlands, where November is a so-so month with spells of sun and, increasingly, rain. By Oriente standards, it's another dry month in the jungle, while on the coast and in the Galapagos the weather and, as a result, the visitor numbers, start to pick up again towards the end of November.
Visitors are decreasing in the Highlands as temperatures go down and rainfall goes up. In the Oriente, the comparatively drier weather remains, while on the coast, temperatures are pushing back up towards the levels of the high season. The Galapagos, however, remains very much in low season: one of the best months to get a deal on the usually expensive cruises.
It is still prime time for visiting Ecuador's Highlands, and a great opportunity to explore the country's jungles by foot because of the drier weather in those regions. Low season continues on the coast while there is cooler weather on the Galapagos but also great diving to be had. Add on some great festivals in the Highlands and on the coast and you have a very interesting month for visiting.
The weather stays almost bone-dry in the Highlands whilst temperatures are at their highest averages of the year: time to get out and enjoy Ecuador's mountainous outdoors. Likewise in the Oriente the heavy rains are gone for a-while, so walking into the jungle to see the wildlife that lives in and on the trees becomes more of an option. Meanwhile it's bad weather and low season on the coast, although cool murky weather doesn't stop the Galapagos from getting high visitor numbers this month.
During this 14-day trip, you will not only explore the remarkably beautiful landscapes and the friendly indigenous people of the Andean highlands, but there will also be plenty of beach-time on the Pacific coast.
It is exceptional weather for outdoor activities like trekking in the Highlands this month. Nor is it bad for trekking in the jungle, where jungle paths are beginning to get drier. The weather is cloudier, cooler and drier on the coast and out on the Galapagos Islands, although in all regions travelers are visiting in greater numbers as Ecuador segues into peak season.
High season finally reaches the Ecuadorian Highlands in June, along with cooler, drier, sunnier weather that's perfect for hiking. On the now overcast coast, it's whale-watching season, while cooler, clear weather on the Galapagos is preferred by divers, those who want to hike and boat tours. Over in the jungle, it's still very wet: a good month for seeing birds, monkeys, sloths and sometimes pink river dolphins.
It's all change in Ecuador this month, as the coast becomes grayer and colder and the mountains brighter. It could be time to switch from sun-bathing to trekking. Meanwhile, high water levels in the Amazon mean more great white-water rafting and possibilities to explore wildlife-rich Amazon tributaries by canoe.
It's the end of high season on the coast, but low season in the Highlands and jungle. Despite continued heavy rain in these latter two regions, the sun still does come out and crowds are low. The Highlands have wet weather activities from Unesco-listed colonial churches to superb handicrafts markets, and the jungle's rivers are good for exploring now that they have swollen. April sees a dramatic increase in interesting festivals across Ecuador, too.
Easter-related events enliven Ecuador this month, especially welcome in the Highlands to take away from the wet, albeit warm, weather. The coast and the Galapagos remain the most appealing destinations in March due to their favorable weather (hot and sunny, for the most part). Meanwhile, in the jungle at Parque Nacional Yasuni, the rainfall increases rapidly: good for watching animals but bad for road travel, which starts to get very muddy.
Carnaval season brings its share of partiers in to places across Ecuador this month. The coast remains the prime destination because of the lovely sunny weather, although the Galapagos warm season continues without the Christmas/New Year rush: a perfect time to visit the islands. Damp Highland weather encourages indoor activities or perhaps a session in the thermal baths, while for water-based activities like white-water rafting the Oriente is brilliant right now.
It might be cool and wet when you arrive in Quito this month, but in Ecuador's varied climate several zones are still ideal for visiting. On the desert coastal strip, high season is beginning, with plenty of warmth and sun. Warm weather and gentler water makes for a good Galapagos voyage, while warm dry weather in the Amazon means great opportunities to venture into the depths of the jungle on foot.
This short but extensive itinerary brings you into the very heart of the Ecuadorian capital and its surroundings. You will tour Quito's beautifully preserved historic center to see fine examples of colonial architecture, learn about history and culture at the Ethnographic Museum, and enjoy the best panoramic view of the city. The adventure continues north of Quito in Otavalo and Cotacachi, renowned for their local crafts. Finally, take a day-trip to Cotopaxi National Park—its namesake volcano is one of Ecuador's most famous natural landmarks.
On this Ecuadorian journey, start out in beautiful Quito, touring the capital and its surrounding region to experience local history and culture. You'll see colonial architecture, visit an indigenous market, and try traditional cuisine. Then, go on a true adventure of a lifetime in the Galapagos Islands. These famed islands provided Charles Darwin with the research and inspiration for his Theory of Evolution, and boast endemic species such as the blue-footed booby, marine iguanas, and giant tortoises.
Go deep into one of the most biodiverse spots on earth, the Yasuní National Park. Located in the heart of the Amazon, you'll explore pristine forests, rivers and lagoons while keeping an eye out for different species of monkeys and birds, as well as endemic insects and plants. You'll also have the opportunity get to do a cultural exchange with the native Kichua people to learn about their history and culture.
This weeklong itinerary is perfect for travelers who are interested in seeing the astoundingly beautiful landscapes of Ecuador. Travel along the Andean highlands to see ancient volcanoes, sacred waterfalls, and lagoons before ending your trip in the lush coastal lowlands. At the end of each adventurous day, you will be able to relax at beautifully restored haciendas that will allow you to step back in time.
This short itinerary is perfect for travelers who want a mix of cosmopolitan fun in Quito and adventure in the nearby cloud forests. Start with a walking tour of Quito's most striking historical sites and neighborhoods before taking a short drive to the cloud forest of Mindo where you can visit a butterfly farm, see how chocolate is made at a cacao hacienda. Then, explore the charming town of Otavalo and see the Peguche waterfall where ancient rituals still take place.
Visit the cities and volcanoes of beautiful Ecuador on this 12-day adventure. Start in the nation's capital, exploring its well-preserved colonial center and other cultural highlights. Then, head out on a busy tour through small towns like Cotacachi, enjoying several indigenous markets and villages along the way. You will also check off wondrous volcanoes like Pasachoa and Cotopaxi, as well as the unique paramo ecosystem of Chimborazo. The final leg of the trip takes you to Ecuador's lovely third city, Cuenca, before going full circle and ending in Quito again.
On this 10-day journey through Ecuador, you will experience culture and extraordinary wildlife. It is the perfect trip for the curious traveler who wants to see the magic of the Amazonian jungle, learn about indigenous communities, and experience history in the UNESCO-listed city of Quito. Zipline between trees through the rainforest, drink Wayusa with the Kichwa locals and shop for local crafts at the Otavalo Market.
There is something for everybody in Quito, and a hotel for every taste and sensibility. Top neighborhoods include the historic center and hip La Floresta. English is largely spoken at these hotels, with an attuned staff that understands the unique needs and expectations of foreign tourists. Street noise can be a challenge in some places. If you’re a light sleeper, request an interior room and ear plugs are always a good idea. WiFi and breakfasts are pretty much standard.
In the central highlands south of Quito, Cotopaxi province boasts some of Ecuador’s most popular attractions. As well as the eponymous volcano, there are charming market towns, shimmering lakes, evocative festivals, nature reserves and much more to explore.
By South American standards, Ecuador is a fairly small country. Most major destinations — with the exception of the Galápagos Islands — are within a day's drive of each other. Follow these suggestions for how to structure your visit and make the most of your time in this geographically diverse nation.
Ecuador has plenty of great hotels. But staying in alternative accommodations, from hip hostels in colonial cities to romantic haciendas in the highlands and dreamy cloud forest lodges, often adds something special to the trip. Read on for unique suggestions for where to stay in Ecuador.
Have just five days in Ecuador? No problem: it's one of the smallest countries in South America, so it's possible to move around to more than one place in less than a week. Read on for our top suggestions for a quick visit to this gorgeous and geographically diverse destination.
Even if you have just 24 hours to spend, your time in the Ecuadorian capital will be special. On this thrilling one-day itinerary, you'll take a trip on one of the most magical cable cars on the planet, wander through some of South America's best museums, and indulge in Ecuador's famous coffee and chocolate.
Ecuador's colonial towns and cities are undeniably alluring, but the countryside is worth planning a whole trip around. Breathtakingly diverse, it encompasses 11 national parks, beaches, cloud forest, and active volcanoes. Discover a variety of landscapes with this handy guide to the best of the Ecuadorian countryside.
From glacial climbing on snow-capped Chimborazo to an easy hike up Rucu Pichincha, Ecuador offers a tantalizing range of peaks to conquer. There are mountains and volcanoes to suit all levels for climbers and trekkers alike, and Ecuador's lakes, foothills, and extinct craters offer up endless variety.
Sip coca tea, chat with vendors in colorful markets, and stay in a historic hacienda: from souvenirs to countryside cuisine, here are some ideas for experiencing authentic Ecuador.
Trek in the Ecuadorian Andes and discover a magical world of stunning landscapes, hidden rural villages, and local communities on the famous Avenue of the Volcanoes. Follow narrow mountain trails deep into the heart of Andean culture as you explore the Quilotoa and Chimborazo volcanoes. Swim in the icy waters of the Quilotoa Crater Lake and relax in the spring waters of Baños.
This challenging, magical tour of the Ecuadorian mainland was tailor-made for you. Explore the largest biodiversity on earth along the Equator, bike down the slopes of the Andes, climb through rainforest to hidden waterfalls, trek to the shores of Cuicocha Crater Lake, and soak in Papallacta’s volcanic waters.
Mainland Ecuador is famous for its volcanic peaks, highland markets, and jungle wildlife, but the Pacific coast has its own range of attractions that make it worthy of a visit. Explore the regenerated waterfront of the nation's biggest city, surf and sunbathe at a beach resort, or visit the largest petrified forest in South America: whatever you choose to do, Ecuador's vibrant coastline won't disappoint.
Easily one of the most beautiful cities in Ecuador, compact Cuenca is criss-crossed by rivers and surrounded by Andean slopes. Crammed with gorgeous colonial cathedrals, a relatively cosmopolitan variety of eateries, and lovely boutique accommodations for all budgets, the city makes an appealing place to linger for a few days.
Even as tourism boom in Ecuador, there are still plenty of enticing destinations that remain under the radar, offering travelers the chance to explore architectural gems, surf off gorgeous beaches, visit wildlife-rich reserves and much more. Here are a few suggestions for escaping the crowds.
Ecuador is a country that packs enormous diversity into a small area so it's ideal to visit for a short trip. You can spend a long weekend exploring Quito and the mountains, stay for a week venturing into the Amazon jungle or cruising the Galapagos, or spend two weeks climbing volcanoes, exploring cloud forest and enjoying adventure sports before relaxing on the Pacific beaches. Whatever your preference, use this guide to help you make the most of your visit.
This action-packed 7-day tour of Ecuador is perfect for travelers searching for adventure, culture and spectacular scenery all within a few hours' drive from the capital Quito. The trip begins with a thrilling bike ride down an active volcano and continues with hikes in the cloud forest, a climb up a waterfall and visits to an indigenous community. There will be plenty of opportunities to unwind too, with stops at hot springs and a quiet, mountainside hacienda.
Stretching from the Amazon to the Andes and straddling the southern and northern hemispheres, Ecuador boasts a remarkable range of landscapes, cultures and ecosystems. From raucous festivals to wildlife encounters, historic cities to Inca ruins, colorful markets to dramatic train journeys, it has something for everyone. This article picks out ten of the country’s most memorable activities.
There are not many countries this small that can boast four such starkly contrasting topographical regions. In an area roughly the size of Britain, Ecuador combines coast, rugged mountains, jungle, and the Galapagos. Sun-bathe on Pacific-facing beaches, climb volcanoes or hike around Andean lakes, go zip-lining in cloud forest or canoe up an Amazon tributary, or wildlife-watch in the Galapagos: these 7-day itineraries are full of astonishing variety.
Ecuador is one of the world’s most biodiverse countries: in this small but breathtakingly varied nation, you can visit tropical beaches, volcanoes, cloud forest and jungle all on the same day. Ecuador is also steeped in culture, with colonial Spanish churches, pre-Columbine archaeology, and bustling indigenous markets. The icing on the cake is the incredible Galapagos archipelago which belongs to Ecuador. From the Andes to Amazon, here are our main highlights.
If you love horses and want to experience Ecuador in a unique way, consider this five-day journey to volcano country. On this trip, multiple days are spent in the saddle as you traverse the high plains, stopping off to take in the views or walk amid stands of native trees. Magical nights are spent in the Andes at haciendas, where you'll eat hearty meals and rest up for the next days' journey.
This 6-Day trekkers delight crosses stunning grasslands dotted with volcanoes in the highlands of Ecuador. Each day will be spent trekking in the open high altitude plains until the final ascent up Cotopaxi volcano. Along the way, we'll spot wildlife, meet Andean cowboys, sleep in tents and overnight in comfortable haciendas.
This multi-activity 3-day trip in the Ecuador Highlands offers adventure by day and high comfort by night. During this trip, you'll hike up a volcano, do a high ropes course, go horseback riding and enjoy a cooking class. Nights will be spent at a cozy and historic hacienda, a short drive from the capital Quito.
Ecuador makes for a superb honeymoon destination that combines romance and adventure: canoe in Amazon jungle and then enjoy a spa treatment, go wildlife watching and then stargaze in the Galapagos, climb a volcano and then dip in thermal baths. Use this guide to kick off your marriage in a country of astounding biodiversity, diverse landscapes and unique culture.
Eco-lodges in the Ecuadorian rainforest offer excellent bird watching and wildlife spotting opportunities, guided tours, eco-adventures and surprising luxury. From exclusive boutiques to functional huts deep in the jungle, this article breaks down the best lodges in the Ecuadorian Amazon.
With 14 days in Ecuador, the hard part is narrowing down where to go. Many visitors come for the Galápagos, but the mainland swells with natural beauty, colonial architecture in walkable towns and diverse indigenous cultures still practicing traditional arts and lifestyles. The gorgeous landscapes range from beaches to snow-covered equatorial volcanoes and finally humid jungles feeding into the Amazon.
Ecuador is a fascinating, diverse country for families to explore. Whether you and your children would like to hike in the Andes, discover indigenous and colonial cultures, go bird-watching in the cloud forest, discover the wildlife of the Galapagos Islands, or swim and snorkel on Pacific beaches, you can have an unforgettable family holiday. Careful planning is essential though and this guide will tell you all you need to know.
Local people are fond of saying that Ecuador is four countries in one: coast, highlands, jungle, and the Galapagos. Whether you want to relax on the beach, climb volcanoes, hike around Andean lakes, go zip-lining in the cloud forest, canoe up an Amazon tributary or cruise the Galapagos, there is a perfect itinerary for everyone.
On the northwestern side of South America, straddling the equator, Ecuador contains a remarkably diverse range of landscapes, altitudes, and climates. Despite their great variations, the country’s highlands, rainforests, beaches and far-flung islands are all rewarding places to visit throughout the year.
Leave the cold climes of Quito and descend to the sinuous rivers and sticky jungle of the Ecuadorian Amazon, one of the most bio-diverse places on Earth. On this 7-day itinerary, you will wildlife-spot along mighty waterways, climb into rainforest canopies, brave some of South America’s best white-water rapids and bathe in beautiful thermal pools. If you are set on exploring the Amazon, Ecuador is one of the best places to do it.
Traverse the very best of the Ecuadorian highlands on this 7-day itinerary. Starting and finishing in the capital, Quito, you will encounter bustling markets, awe-inspiring volcanoes, centuries-old colonial towns and Inca ruins. There's great hiking along the way in terrain ranging from glaciers and high-level plateau through to forests and waterfalls.