Generally speaking, Ecuador has two seasons, wet and dry, but local weather patterns vary greatly depending on geography.

In the highlands, the dry season is between June and September and around Christmas, but even the wet season isn't particularly rainy.

The central valley is spring-like all year, with temperatures no higher than 24°C.

The Oriente experiences rain year-round; July and August are the wettest months, September through December the driest. Canoe travel is best in the wet season, when streams are high, while trekking is best done in the dry.

On the coast, the wet season (roughly January to May) sees sunny days with daily afternoon downpours, but it's the best beach weather. June through August sees gringo vacationers descend. The mainland coastal areas and the Galápagos Islands are sweltering and wet between January and April. Despite the rain, this season has the most sun and is when Ecuadorians flock to the beach. In the Galápagos, the wildlife frolics year-round but you'll find January to April the best time for snorkeling.

If you're prone to seasickness, avoid the rough-sea months between July and October. The high seasons are mid-December to January and June to August - accommodation rates are highest during these months, and reservations are advised.