What is the best season to visit Ecuador?
Ecuador has a tropical climate that varies according to altitude and region. The weather can vary greatly in one day but is usually very pleasant with a perpetual spring feeling. There are two main seasons, though with climate change they are proving less and less obvious:
- Rainy season: from December to May, when climate is hot and humid.
- Dry season from June to November, climate is dry with cooler temperatures. Furthermore, Ecuador has very different microclimates depending on the four main areas that form it:
The Galapagos Islands
They have an unusual microclimate due to several marine currents’ confluence, with two seasons:
- Dry season or garúa season: it extends from late May to late December. The air temperature may vary from 68 to 80°F (20 to 26ºC), and water temperature, lower than in the rainy season, ranges from 63 to 68°F (17 to 20ºC). There is little rainfall but quite a bit of garúa, a kind of fog covering the top of the islands;
- Hot season: it extends from November to May with frequent rains. However, the air temperature rises from 72 to 86°F (22 to 30ºC), with high humidity. Water temperature is very agreeable and varies from island to island from 75 to 86°F (24 to 30ºC).
The Pacific Coast
Rainy season runs from December to August, but swimming is pleasant. In July-August, clouds or garúa (wet mist) are often present. The northern Pacific coast has an average annual temperature of 77 to 88°F (25 to 31ºC) (hot weather from December to February), while the south is milder because of cold ocean currents.
The Sierra (Andes)
The rainy season is between November and May, but there is a high cloudiness throughout the year. The Sierra is cooler during the day, especially at high altitude (59 to 68°F; 15 to 20ºC) and cold at night.
The Oriente (the Amazon)
You will find a warm and humid climate with abundant rainfall throughout the year, except between December and February, the driest season. Average temperature goes from 77 to 88°F (25 to 31ºC).
Ecuador is in the time -5h UTC (-6h for the Galapagos).
Entry: valid passport with expiration date at least six months after your return. No visa is required for most countries. Inquire before departure at the Ecuadorian consulate located in your country to make sure.
Insurance: If you pay for your flight with Visa, Mastercard or American Express (to be confirmed by your bank), your coverage includes repatriation insurance for the duration of your stay. We can offer you cancellation and repatriation insurance if needed.
If you transit through the United States: You must be in possession of an electronic or machine-readable passport. Indeed, most citizens entering the US (in transit or stay) must have an electronic passport. In case of a machine-readable passport obtained after October 26th 2005, you will need a visa. Please note that it may take a while to obtain a visa at the US Embassy, sometimes it can be very long; please inquire beforehand. The indicative cost of the visa is about 85 euros.
ALL CHILDREN, regardless of age, must have a machine-readable passport to enter the United States under the Visa Waiver Program. Children registered on their parents’ passport (even on machine-readable passports) must obtain a visa.
ALSO, as of January 12th, 2009, all passengers visiting or transiting the United States of America must have previously completed and submitted the questionnaire on the ESTA website: https: //esta.cbp.dhs. gov / following instructions to answer the questions. Do not hesitate to contact us.
Money exchange, banks
In Ecuador, the official currency is now the United States dollar. Most credit cards are accepted at department stores and it is possible to make withdrawals by credit card or change money (avoid large bills) in main cities.
In terms of luggage, we advise you to bring soft luggage bags rather than hard suitcases. Depending on your itinerary, please contact us for the authorized weight for domestic flights.
It is customary in Ecuador to tip the guide and driver who accompanied you during your trip.
At the end of your stay, do not forget to tip for the work of those who “spoiled you” throughout your journey by making you discover their country with passion. We remind you that guides’ and drivers’ tips are not included because they cannot be on the bill. We can explain this further if you have any questions on the subject.
No vaccine is mandatory in Ecuador but we recommend, nevertheless, that you be up to date on ” traveler’s typical vaccines ” as DT Polio, Hepatitis A and B. Yellow fever vaccine and malaria treatment are highly recommended for any trip to the Amazon.
US standard plug (2 flat plugs, 110V, 60 Hz). Make sure you have a USA universal or specific adapter.
Hotels are indicative, subject to availability when booking the circuit. If unavailable, a same type hotel will be given to you. As a warning, hotel services’ quality can be very uneven from one region to another, regardless of their category. Moreover, South American hotels’ quality may turn out to be lower than their equivalent in Europe or North America.
Usually, check-in starts at 2pm on the day of arrival and checkout is at noon. You can always book a room outside these hours, please contact us.
The minimum age to rent a car is often 25 years. You must present an identity card and a valid driver’s license from your country to rent the vehicle and at each police check. Road conditions in Ecuador are generally good though road signs are not always waiting for you … We recommend extreme caution while driving and check all insurance coverage limits.
In case of emergency
In case of urgency during your journey (strikes, delays, road accidents, etc.) an emergency telephone number is available to our customers 24/7 to contact a member of our team. It will be provided to you a few days before your arrival.
We suggest you get repatriation insurance if not covered by your credit card. We do not attempt to deny there are a few risks in this area; however, Ecuador is a relatively safe country. It is not dangerous to travelers who take minimum precautions and use common sense.
- We specifically recommend:
- To hide any obvious signs of wealth,
- Travel “compact”,
- Do not leave your bags and cameras unattended
- To use safes in hotels if available,
- To carry a photocopy of your documents (passport, driving license…) with you
Your safety is our priority. Some activities (rafting, hiking, zip lining, rappelling, cycling) may present risks that each participant must be aware of. Before engaging in any activity, you will receive safety instructions. You will also count on quality and complete equipment.