Ecuador & Galapagos Islands Pacific coast
The northern Pacific lowlands of Ecuador have a gentle landscape of tropical agriculture, forest and warm-water bays.
The northern Pacific lowlands of Ecuador have a gentle landscape of tropical agriculture, forest and warm-water bays. The developing tourist infrastructure is yielding a wide range of things to do, from whale watching to exploring pre-Columbian ruins, and diving and snorkelling at the coral reef around Isla de la Plata where the bird and animal life ― which includes colonies of waved albatrosses, frigate birds, boobies and sea-lions ― is not afraid of human proximity. Los Frailes beach is one of the loveliest on the coast.
Nearby is Machalilla National Park, which embraces and protects the tropical dry forest.
Where to go when - our guide to Pacific coast
The weather in Pacific coast is wide and varied
Whilst Ecuador’s Pacific coast is hot all year round, with little significant change in temperature, there are nevertheless two distinct seasons, the wet and the dry season. The central and southern coastal strip is the most visited and appealing stretch, boasting some lovely palm-fringed beaches and friendly fishing villages. It’s an arid region with rains usually only falling in the January-April wet season but, even then, mostly only as short sharp downpours. Paradoxically, whether learning to surf or simply wanting to sunbathe and relax on the beautiful beaches, these months are the best time to visit. You can expect warm waters, clear skies, average highs of around 30°C and almost permanent sunshine. The arrival of the cold ocean currents in May sees the transition to the ‘cooler’ dry season, which lasts until December. During these months average temperatures are still a high 28°C but the days are often hazy and overcast and the sea notably colder. However, this is the ideal time for nature lovers as humpback whales arrive to breed in June and can be seen just off the coast through to October. The seasonal differentials are less notable in the little visited far north, which has a hotter and distinctly equatorial tropical climate with rain to be expected every month.View our Pacific coast weather guide
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