What is Ecuador's Climate?
When considering a move or a visit to another country one often wonders what the climate will be like. Even though Ecuador’s geographical size is similar to the state of Wyoming in the United States, there isn’t one straightforward answer to the question, “What’s the climate like in Ecuador?” Because Ecuador has so many different terrains (volcanoes, beaches, islands, highlands, rain forests, cloud forests), you will find many micro-climates within this country.
Most locations in Ecuador experience two seasons during the year, depending on the specific location. The rainy season which goes from around November to May has warmer temperatures. Contrary to what one might expect, it does not rain incessantly in every part of Ecuador during this season.
The dry season is typically from June through October. During this season, the temperatures are cooler and most areas experience more wind. Due to this change in temperature, the plants dry out and the landscapes turn brown. Some of us expats call this the “brown season.” When the rains begin come November, the landscapes start to green up yet again.
Ecuador has so many micro-climates since the terrain varies so much, therefore, the temperature of each area is usually dependent on altitude. For example, areas with a lower altitude the temperatures tend to be hotter, while areas with higher altitudes tend to have cooler temperatures.
Because of the varying terrain within small geographical locations in Ecuador, the climate can be dramatically different even across valleys in the same town. In fact, in some areas, the weather can change enormously within an hour. For example, you can be enjoying beautiful blue skies on a hot day and then a quick rain storm can quickly blow in. Altitude, micro-climate, region and other factors are all components that affect temperature, humidity, cloud cover, and rainfall within an area.
“La Costa,” “La Sierra,” and “El Oriente” are words you might frequently hear in Spanish that describe the different climate regions in Ecuador. In English these words would be, Coastal, Mountain or Highlands, and Amazon, respectively. We recommend that you research the climate of each of these areas before deciding on a location to check out or move to. Better yet, you can visit these areas in person to see whether or not the climate is a fit for you. In the Oriente (Amazon), there is quite a bit of humidity and warmer temperatures so if you don’t like humidity, this probably isn’t the area for you. If you enjoy rainier weather, then places like Loja and Cuenca might be ideal for you. If you like cooler weather every once in a while, don’t despair, there are locations in Ecuador that experience cooler temperatures. These areas that experience colder temperatures during the cooler season, especially at night, are usually around the elevation of 6,500 feet (or 1,900 meters). Some compare this weather to early fall in the northern United States.
In conclusion, because Ecuador has such diverse terrain, there are so many different micro-climates to be enjoyed in this spectacular country. If you are considering a move to Ecuador, have fun researching the different areas or try connecting with Expats who have already made the move to Ecuador.