Feed on

Weather in Ecuador

I just thought I’d add a few words on this subject as its of so much interest to visitors, especially those who’ve never been before.

First, there are 4 main geographical regions in Ecuador; the mountains, the Amazon basin to the east, the coastal plain to the west, and then the galapagos islands some 6oo miles further west off the Pacific coast.

I’ve spent my entire 5 years living in the Sierra – the mountains. So I don’t really feel qualified to talk much about the other areas except some generalities.

I taught English to guides from the Galapagos and they told me that they have two distinct seasons, one that is cloudy and humid and another that is sunny and slightly cooler – both are controlled by the currents arriving at the islands shores. By all accounts, you want to be there when it is cloudier because that is when you see more wildlife!

In the Amazon you have to remember its a RAINforest – but places like Tena and Misahualli are at a slightly higher elevation and quite pleasantly tropical – same can be said for Macas and Puyo too – but when it rains you had better be prepared! Places like Coca and Lago Agrio can be stultifyingly hot – they are lower and really in the true Amazon basin – think 45 degrees celsius at times.

The coast is similar to the Galapagos but there are parts, especialy manabi which have a semi-arid climate. There is a cloudy season and then a sunnier season. The temperature is surprisingly (given the closeness to the equator) never much above 32 degrees cels. meaning that many places in the Caribbean are hotter and more humid.

The Sierra, from what I have experienced has 2 dry seasons and two wetter seasons – i hesitate to call them wet seasons because that conjures up visions of monsoon-type rains, which wouldn’t be right. Typically the wetter seasons see sunshine in the morning and showers or thunder storms in the aftternoons, but some days of the year (count on one hand) it can rain all day.

The temperatures on and around the sierra vary dramatically according to the altitude. here in Cotacachi we’re warmer than Otavalo 5 miles away but Ibarra, just 15 miles down the road is warmer still. The seasons in Cotacachi tend to coincide with the solstices and equinoxes (more or less) – so June 21st; start dry sunny season, September 21st, starts to cloud over leading to rainier months in Novenber and early December; Dec 21st start of mini dry season. march 21st – start of rainier period.

That said, the global climate changes are having an effect down here too plus we can always count on fun and games when El Niño or La Niña come to the fore.

Temperature in Cotacachi range from 70-80 F when it is sunny, to 55F – 70F when it is cloudy.

Year round!!