Though Ecuador is named for being on the equator it encompasses the snow-capped mountains of the Andes, the tropical rainforests of the Amazon and the pleasant marine climate found in the Galápagos making for a wide range of temperatures and climates. Quito can be surprisingly cool and misty with temperatures ranging from 55° to 75° Fahrenheit, but in general the highlands are usually sunny and quite hot by midday. For the extended weather forecast from the weather channel for Quito on the web, go to http://www.weather.com/weather/local/ECXX0008
Its hot, humid and rains frequently, but the rain can cool things off and clear to produce some glorious skies. April thru September tends to be wet, but the jungle is a rain making machine that can produce heavy showers by mid afternoon at other times of the years. The average year round temperature is 80° F.
Temperatures in the Andean mountains range from 50° F to 70° F at elevations between 9,000 to 10,000 feet where you will find Quito. Generally speaking, the higher the elevation the cooler the temperature. It tends to be drier from June to September and wet from January to May.
The Galápagos Islands have a subtropical climate regulated by the cold Humboldt Current and the warm El Niño Current. December through May is the warmest time of year, with highs in the upper 80s (31 degrees Celsius). Although the islands receive slightly more rainfall during this time, the lower elevations of the islands where you will spend almost your entire trip typically offer blue skies and sunshine with occasional haze. The sea is at its warmest and is usually calmer at this time of year.
The drier garua season lasts from June through November. The garua is a mist that forms in the highlands of the islands. Ironically, the garua season provides more moisture at the upper elevations of the islands than the so-called wet season. There is plenty of sunshine during the day, but it is less intense, with cloudier skies. Air temperature is lower, with highs in the upper 70s or mid-80s (25-30 degrees Celsius). The strong Antarctic Humboldt Current, coming from the south, affects the climate at this time of year. The water temperature, therefore, is at its coolest, about 68 degrees Fahrenheit, 20 degrees Celsius. During some years the infrequent El Niño current may cause a much greater flow of warm waters, making the surface warmer and rainfall increase.
Sea breezes in the Galápagos make for a marvelous climate, but dont be fooled into lying out in the sun without full protection. What you can easily get away with in the southern United Sates you will pay for on the equator in the form of painful sunburn. Always wear sun protection including a hat to shield the top of your head and face as well as sunglasses and light loose clothing. Use waterproof sunscreens with a SPF rating of at least 15, higher if you burn easily. Bring a full bottle and remember to apply it everywhere including less obvious places like the tops of your feet and ears. We also suggest bringing a bottle of high quality aloe vera gel. All these recommendations apply to the Ecuadorian mainland including the Amazon. Being at altitude can also contribute to terrible sunburn so please bring plenty of sunscreen.
Very similar to the Galápagos. From December to May temperatures range from the low 70°s F to low 90°s F. From June to November temperatures cool to the mid 60°s F to the high 70°s F.