There is a saying in other parts of the world – ‘If you don’t like the weather, wait an hour,’ that certainly applies to Quito weather. There is a Chop Suey mix of conditions in the capital that makes the climate unpredictable, literally four seasons in one day! Keep reading for what to expect when visiting the city.
Quito weather: The big surprise
Given Quito’s proximity to the equator, many visitors are surprised to find that temperatures are in fact cool due to the city’s high altitude (2800m or 9252ft). At Quito airport, it is not uncommon to see new arrivals wearing shorts and sandals, desperately digging warmer clothes out of their suitcase.
Quito sits in a valley in the Andes, meaning that it can be sunny in the morning and storms can blow in during the afternoon and hover for hours.
While there are a few general rules of thumb to follow, the weather doesn’t adhere to a strict set of standards – it is similar to spring weather in the northern hemisphere. The main thing to remember is that the temperatures remain relatively consistent, it is normally warm in the day and can be a bit chilly after the sunsets.
Quito -The Seasons
Being right on the equator, Quito does not experience the 4 seasons that travelers might be used to elsewhere.
There is a wet and a dry season in Quito. The dry season falls between June and September, and the wet season lasts from October and May. In practical terms, this means that during the wet season it can rain daily-but storms are usually mild and only last for a few hours. It also can rain during the dry season but isn’t a daily occurrence.
Quito: What to Bring
It is best to bring clothes that take into account a variety of conditions. Layers, a light rain jacket, and an umbrella work, as does having a hat and sunscreen for the Andean sun at the equator.
Quito Weather: Average Temperatures & rainfall
The temperatures in Quito range from 50-70 degrees F or 10-21 degrees Celsius most of the year.
The rainfall is the heaviest in March, April, and May, while August and September have the least amount of precipitation.
Also, keep in mind that there is an average of 12 hours of sunlight a day. This is true every month of the year due to our proximity to the equator line.
- The best time to explore the capital based on Quito weather is in the morning. Taking a tour that explores the historic center or goes up the Teleferico in the hours before lunch means pleasant temperatures and sometimes stunning views of volcanoes in the distance.
- Rainy days don’t mean plans are put on a standstill. Discovering the city’s museums and markets are some options to consider during storms.
- Things can change quickly and often at a moment’s notice. If taking a Quito day tour, guides are adept at changing plans when the weather comes in. If exploring on your own, have a few different options in mind instead of a setlist.
- Another thing to remember is that each region of the country has its own distinct seasons. On the coast & at Galapagos, the wet and warm season starts in December and runs through to May. The jungle’s rainy season, while being a constant, is lightest between November and March.
While Quito weather is often at the top of the list when it comes to making plans for exploring the city, it should not be a big worry for visitors. There can be exceptions to this statement, but the city’s year-round pleasant temperatures make it a fun place to explore during both seasons.