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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.