When to Go

Other than in the Galápagos, Ecuador's tourism industry does not observe high and low seasons per se. Hotel rooms become scarce and prices jump noticeably during Christmas and Easter weeks, or when a local community observes an annual celebration. Otherwise, rates remain constant throughout the year.


Ecuador's climate is remarkably varied, influenced by ocean currents, trade winds, and seasonal changes. The rainy season lasts from December to May and occasionally causes landslides and power outages. Weather in Quito is fairly constant, with warm sunny days giving way to very cool evenings. Guayaquil is muggy during the rainy season, but the rest of the year it is much cooler and drier than you might expect for an area so close to the equator. In the Galápagos Islands the weather is generally hot and humid January to April, with frequent afternoon showers. Cooler temperatures prevail the rest of the year, causing garua, the fine mist that envelops the islands. The seas are roughest in September and October, but cruise ships ply the waters year-round.


Ecuador observes many legal holidays. Expect little to be open and many people to be traveling to visit family and friends.

New Year's Day; Holy Thursday through Easter (Mar. or Apr.); Labor Day (May 1); Battle of Pichincha (May 24); Simón Bolívar's birthday (July 24); Independence Day (Aug. 10); Guayaquil Independence Day (Oct. 9; Guayaquil only); Columbus Day (Oct. 12); All Souls' Day (Nov. 2); Independence of Cuenca (Nov. 3; Cuenca only); Founding of Quito (Dec. 6; Quito only); Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8); Christmas.

Festivals & Seasonal Events

Ecuador's soul lies in its small-town celebrations, usually religious in origin. The countrywide pre-Lenten Carnaval is most exuberant in Cotopaxi Province—local dances and fairs are held in Saquisilí, Pujilí, Latacunga, and Salcedo. Corpus Christi is observed in many mountain towns with fireworks displays. The Fiesta de San Juan enlivens highland towns, especially around Otavalo, on June 24. Otavalo also comes to life during La Fiesta de Yamor, a harvest festival held the first two weeks in September. In Latacunga, September 24 is the Fiesta de la Mamá Negra, which honors Our Lady of Mercy with lively processions featuring costumed dancers. More historic than religious, the Fiestas de Quito, during the first week of December, bring art exhibitions and outdoor concerts. Guayaquil holds similar festivities in early October, Cuenca in early November.

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