The Amazon rainforest is ridiculously massive spanning over 2.5 million miles across 9 countries – Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela, Guyana, and Suriname—and French Guiana, an overseas territory of France. Mind-boggling, right?
It would seem that many people don’t know that the Amazon is in Ecuador. After all, Ecuador is a small country. But the portion of the Amazon in Ecuador has over 1,400 different animal species including some 600 bird species, 200 mammals, and about 121 reptiles. This doesn’t take into account the 1,000 tree species and about 70,000 different types of insects.
The Amazon rainforest is one of the major attractions in Ecuador as travelers want to experience the obscene amount of diversity it offers while connecting with those most connected to the rainforest – the villagers living in and around the Amazon.
In this article, I’ll be focusing on the best time to visit the Ecuadorian Amazon forest. But before that, let’s take a look at the different regions in Ecuador.
The Regions of Ecuador
Ecuador is divided into the following regions:
La Costa (The Coast)
Ecuador’s Pacific Coast is made of crystal clear waters, idyllic beaches with dazzling white sands, jungles, beautiful mangrove forests, and several tiny fishing villages. La Costa is an important part of the country’s economy as it produces several tons of seafood daily. Travelers also flock to the Pacific Coast for a nice time when exploring the country.
Of all the regions in Ecuador, the coast has the most defined dry and wet seasons. The best time to visit the region is between December to April. During this period, temperatures are high and the frequent rain is alternated with clear blue skies. It may seem odd to visit the coast during the wet season but the rain doesn’t last long and the sun always comes back out.
La Sierra (The Highlands)
The highlands of Ecuador is a hub of recreational activities such as hiking, kayaking, skiing, mountain biking, and swimming. This region is also one of the most visited regions in Ecuador.
Typical sierra weather includes clear and sunny mornings alternated with cloudy, and often wet seasons. However, the best time to visit the highlands is between June and September as most parts of the region are warm and dry during this time.
El Oriente (The Amazon)
Ecuadorian’s Amazon forest is a year-round destination. There’s a slight variation in monthly temperature and rainfall throughout the year. However, some months see more rain than others.
There are benefits to visiting the Ecuadorian Amazon in both the ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ seasons. The Rainier months are from December to June while the drier season is from July to November.
The Galapagos Islands
The Galapagos Islands is a magical place consisting of beautiful beaches and animal species like sea lions, penguins, iguanas, giant tortoises, and so on. Diving and snorkeling is a popular activity thanks to the beauty of the underwater world.
Galapagos Islands typically has hot, sunny days which sometimes alternate with heavy showers from January to June. The best time to visit the Galapagos Islands is between December and May as the weather is warm and ocean conditions are clear.
Seasons In The Ecuadorian Amazon
Ecuador’s Amazon has two seasons and these are the dry and rainy season. Temperatures do not vary much throughout the year with the hottest month recording temperatures as high as 35°C while the coolest month are usually within the 25°C range.
Being a rainforest, rain falls throughout the year. However, there’s less rain during the dry season which is usually between July and November. The rainy season runs from December to June.
Traveling to the Ecuadorian Amazon In The Dry Season
As previously mentioned, Ecuadorian Amazon is a year round destination. Visiting the rainforest during the drier months means less chance of being caught in a rain. Rain can still fall in the dry season, you are going to a rainforest after all, but this happens less frequently in the dry season. So, if you don’t fancy getting wet, the dry season is a good time to visit.
The trails are also in better condition in the dry season. There is better chances of sighting wildlife during this time due to the lower water levels. Mosquitoes and other insects are less rampant during this period.
However, there a few drawbacks from visiting during this period. There’s lower level of flowering in the dry season and it’s difficult to see wildlife that rely on the wet for survival.
- Less rain.
- General prevalence of wildlife.
- Trails are in better condition.
- Malaria and other insects are less rampant.
- Certain wildlife may not be sighted.
- Lower level of flowering.
Traveling to the Ecuadorian Amazon In The Rainy Season
As you already, intermittent rains are frequent during this period. Sometimes, the rain get very heavy, especially in the wettest months. During this time, you’ll see the flora in all its glory. Flowers bloom and the forest is lush and green. Birds and primates are easier to sight during this period as they come out to eat fruits that are abundant during this period.
Mosquitoes and other insects are rampant during this period so make sure to wear protective clothing and use insect repellant. It’s also advisable to pack a rain jacket.
Some trails become impassable in the wet months necessitating the need for alternative routes. Usually, this isn’t a big deal as guides know their way around the forest and may even take you through alternative trails with incredible scenery. However, trails are usually muddy at this time and may not be in top condition.
- Flowers are blooming and the flora is at its full glory.
- Some birds and primates are easy to spot.
- Trails are not in top condition.
- Mosquitoes and other insects are prevalent.
- Rain is more frequent.
Conclusion: Best Time to visit the Ecuadorian Amazon
From what we’ve discussed above, it’s clear that you can do similar activities in both the wet and dry seasons. So, the best time to visit the Ecuadorian Amazon is largely due to personal preferences. If you aren’t keen on getting wet, the dry season is the best time to visit as it rains less frequently during that time. The dry season is also the best time to see wildlife as most animals seek shelter from the rain during the wet season.
If you want to beat the crowd or get amazing deals, the wet season is your best bet. You’ll have to pack rain gear in preparation for the regular showers of the wet season. As long as you don’t mind being caught in the rain, you’ll have no problem visiting the Ecuadorian Amazon in the wet season. You’ll need to wear appropriate protective clothing mosquitoes and other insects are rampant during this period.