Avenue of Volcanoes

Dec 3rd, 2016, 09:42 AM
  #1  
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Avenue of Volcanoes

I'm currently planning a trip to South America that will include Ecuador, and was hoping for some clear, cloud-free days to get good views of the peaks in the Avenue of Volcanoes.

Would January be a better time for this, or April-May? I've read mixed reports about this - on the one hand, January is in the middle of the rainy season, but, on the other hand, rainfall in Quito is much higher in April-May than in January. What would be the best time to go?
xiao83 is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2016, 09:54 AM
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The rainy season is in June-August. So January is better time to go. Usually it is better change for sunny days in December-January when it is dry season in Andes of Ecuador.

In Andes of Peru the dry is May-August, but it is different in Ecuador.
JamesDCook is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2016, 11:23 AM
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I don't believe James D Cook is correct on rainy season in the Ecuadorean Andes. Look for a better source.
mlgb is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2016, 06:12 PM
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That's the problem - I can't seem to find an accurate source.

Credible sources all say the rainy season is December-April. But other credible sources (sometimes the same ones) also say that January or February are the driest months and April the rainiest. Go figure...
xiao83 is offline  
Dec 4th, 2016, 05:06 AM
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There are variations by location within Ecuador also.
mlgb is offline  
Dec 4th, 2016, 05:14 AM
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Here's an example for Ambato http://es.climate-data.org/location/2957/
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Dec 4th, 2016, 08:45 AM
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Here is an extract from my Rough Guide :

"There’s no real summer and winter in Ecuador, and its weather generally varies by regional geography, with temperatures determined more by altitude than by season or latitude. The warmest and driest months in the sierra are June to September, though this is complicated by various microclimates found in some areas. Outside these months, typical sierra weather offers sunny, clear mornings and cloudy, often wet, afternoons. In the Oriente, you can expect it to be warm, humid and rainy throughout the year, though there are often short breaks from the daily rains from August to September and December to February. In the lowlands it can get particularly hot on clear days, with temperatures easily topping 30°C. The coast has the most clearly defined wet and dry seasons, and the best time to visit is from December to April, when frequent showers alternate with clear blue skies and temperatures stay high. From May to November it’s often overcast and relatively cool, especially in the south, with less chance of rainfall. The Galápagos climate sees hot, sunny days interspersed with the odd heavy shower from January to June, and dry and overcast weather for the rest of the year, when the garúa mists are prevalent. El Niño years can bring enormous fluctuations in weather patterns on the coast and at the Galápagos archipelago, when levels of rainfall can be many times the norm.”

All the guides seem a little vague, I suspect because there is so much variation from day to day. Twice we have visited the area over extended periods in May and June when it was supposed to be the "dry"season. The only times we seemed to get clear skies were in the mornings especially around Cotopaxi and Quilatoa. At the latter, the clouds seem to roll in like clockwork at 1.00pm. In Cotopaxi , we left Latacunga at 10.00am in clear blue skies and by the time we reached Cotopaxi park we had thunderstorms - see our blog @

https://accidentalnomads.com/2016/05...s-iconic-peak/

Ecuador always seems much more unsettled than other parts of the Andes (e.g. The Sacred Valley in Peru), I think it because of the topography of the area with two ranges of volcanoes for the clouds to navigate. Colombia is similar where the Andes splits into three ranges.

I really think getting blue skies is down to a combination of time spent and luck.
crellston is offline  
Dec 5th, 2016, 12:28 AM
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I have lived two years in Ecuador near Ambato so I know something about the weather there. The weather at mountains is very different from the weather in the coast or rainforest of Ecuador.

According to my experience you have better change for good weather between September-March than between April-August.

And every year is different. In 2012-2013 it was sunny almost every day and it rained only night time. But in 2014 it was more cloudy and rainy.

And as crellston said because of the topography of the area the weather varies a lot from area to area. So you need good luck, too.
JamesDCook is offline  
Dec 5th, 2016, 01:05 AM
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If you compare rainfall of Ambato
http://es.climate-data.org/location/2957/
to Banos
http://es.climate-data.org/location/...#climate-graph
it is very different. And it is only 40 km or 25 miles from Ambato to Banos. But the altitude of Ambato is much higher.

And look Riobamba, which is near Chimborazo
http://es.climate-data.org/location/2957/

In December and Janyary the weather is good in all these places.
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Dec 5th, 2016, 02:56 AM
  #10  
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Thanks.

Looks like I'll have to make a choice then - Ecuador better in January, but Peru (specifically the Huayhuash Circuit and Machu Picchu) much better in May, while Bolivia could go either way (you either get a stunning mirror on the Uyuni in the wet season, or an overcast day unsuited to photography).
xiao83 is offline  
Dec 6th, 2016, 11:48 AM
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I'm surprised you found research that the desert around Uyuni has foggy overcast days, I would think it's too dry. If you could get an overcast you probably have better midday photography without the strong overhead light. At least that's true in the deserts in California.
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