Ecuador is among the famous travel destinations due to its unique geographical location, lying along the equatorial line. It’s best for family trips with its undeniable charm and extremely diverse adventures. If you’re looking forward to your trip to this beautiful country, here’s a short guide that could help you find the best time to travel to Ecuador without missing out on the place’s highlights.
Best Time to Travel to Ecuador
The country doesn’t really have the usual four seasons of winter, spring, summer, and fall. Instead, it only has a few weather variations throughout the year, making it a perfect getaway vacation for families all year round.
The best time to travel to Ecuador greatly varies depending on your preferences, itineraries, and activities. So, it’s important to know how you want your travel to go and which places you want to explore with your kids. But to give you a rough idea as to when to visit, we’ve listed the place’s three seasonal variations along with the recommended places to go and activities to engage in during each season.
Peak Season (October – January)
This is usually the busiest time in Ecuador. Tourists surge during this period to experience famous festivals like the Independence Celebrations in October and the Day of the Dead in December. Families also tend to visit specifically to celebrate Christmas and New Year in the area. During this peak season, you can go on Galapagos cruises for some amazing island adventures and see the giant tortoises lay eggs (October) or even catch a glimpse of some hatchlings as they make their way to the beach (December). In November, sea lions are also known to mate. And if you’re considering cruising through the remote stretches of Amazon Basin, this would be among the perfect times to do so. For those who are planning to visit the Andes, note that the weather during this time is highly changeable. So, be sure to pack accordingly.
Wet Season (February – May)
Aside from Easter, this is usually the most relaxed and quiet time to visit the area due to the increased rainfall. The wet season peaks in March and April. But don’t let that get in the way of your fun Ecuador adventure with your family! While this may be a cool season, you will be greeted by the warm and calm waters of the Galapagos Islands. This would also be an optimal time to go wildlife spotting or see the beauty of different cities like Guayaquil. Don’t miss out on taking a walk on its famous Malecón 2000! Some may say that May is the perfect time to travel to Ecuador as the weather starts to become warmer, allowing you to fully enjoy the place without the tourist rush.
Dry Season (June – September)
Imagine basking under the warmth of the sunlight while enjoying the cool temperature of the place. The dry season simply brings out the best of both worlds in Ecuador! During these months, you’ll get to experience the best weather conditions in the area. This is especially perfect for those who love hiking and exploring the highlands including the Avenue of the Volcanoes and the Andes. For those who are traveling with little kids, you can also opt to enjoy their unique historic train ride. Due to the extremely great weather, July and August are also among the most visited times of the year. So, it’s best to book in advance.
Where to Stay in Ecuador with Kids
Now that you know when is the best time to travel to Ecuador based on your goal, we can move on to the perfect places to stay with your family.
Hotel Galapagos Suites
Hotel Galapagos Suites is among the most popular first-class lodging places in Ecuador. Just a few steps away from the waterfront, this hotel provides access for you and your family to experience the local bustling culture of the country. The place includes a private bathroom with hot water and even has a balcony area for each room.
Napo Wildlife Center Ecolodge
There’s no way you can miss out on the lush jungle and diverse wildlife of Ecuador with the Napo Wildlife Center Ecolodge. Their jungle tower full of different animals like monkeys, eagles, and macaws will sure keep your children entertained. And, if you’re lucky, you may even see jungle cats or an elephant-muzzled tapir!
Samari Spa Resort
Looking for a luxurious place that offers some uninterrupted peace and quiet? Samari Spa Resort can provide an oasis that will surely leave you invigorated. Located at the heart of the vibrant Banos, Ecuador, the place boasts exceptional care to its guests. So, if you are looking for a place to relax, you might want to consider this place.
Hotel La Casa de Marita
For yet another cozy place that offers an exceptional view, consider going to Hotel La Casa de Marita. The natural charms of the Galapagos Islands, add it up with the hotel’s warm and comfortable room, your family will surely have the vacation of a lifetime that will not drain you out. What is there not to like?
Hotel Solymar is among the oldest hotels in Ecuador. Built during the 1960s, the place started with eight humble rooms and is now a first-class hotel complete with a jacuzzi pool and bar! Owned and run by a native Galapagueño, you’re sure that they can provide the best assistance for you as they know the place by heart. This is perfect for families who need some tips and tricks on how to fully enjoy their stay.
How to get around Ecuador with Kids
For some efficient travel with your kids, it’s best to know the perfect means of transportation for your travels. This includes the following:
This is the most common public transportation in Ecuador. There are routes for every major city and it’s really easily accessible all over the country. With that, it might get crowded. Not to mention that drivers are notorious for their fast driving. It’s perfect for adventurous travelers but is not very recommended for families with kids.
This is a very convenient way to travel. However, always take the registered taxis only to ensure your safety. You can identify them with their orange license plates and yellow body. They must also have their taxi number and company name displayed. It is required for every driver to have a running meter, two operating cameras, and even a “panic” button in case of emergency.
This is usually preferred over taxis as they are considered a much safer option for tourists. You can ask your hotel to arrange a ride and even negotiate your fare. It’s also a good rule of thumb to check their license and look for their driving record.
This is among the cheapest options but it also comes with a price. Ecuador’s road conditions can be unpredictable as the country has poor signage.
Believe it or not, flying by air is also an affordable option in Ecuador. This modern form of travel is also probably the safest. Not to mention it saves time. For intercity travels, we believe this is the most ideal transportation for your family.
This is a bit more expensive option than flying but is among the necessary means of transportation in Ecuador. This is especially true when you want to explore the stunning Galápagos Islands.
How Much Time to Stay in Ecuador with Kids
Ecuador is a relatively small place that you can enjoy exploring even on a short trip. Here’s a quick guide for your recommended itineraries to maximize your family getaway:
Staying for 3-4 days
For a short visit, you can never go wrong with the historic town of Quito and the Mitad del Mundo. Explore these places with your family and those with older children can even go zip-lining.
Staying for 5-7 days
A week’s stay in Ecuador will allow you to cover a specific region. And, of course, it’s highly recommended to choose between the famous Galapagos Islands or the Amazon jungle. This is especially perfect for nature lovers.
Staying for 9-12 days
This provides plenty of time for your family to explore the islands or jungle and even mix it up with a good trip on the highlands.
Staying for 14 days
Now, this is a perfect itinerary where you and your kids can truly experience the immense diversity of this lovely country. You can go on the islands, explore the jungle, and visit the highlands! All the while being able to roam around the cities for fun.
Things To Do in Ecuador With Kids
Explore The Galapagos islands
This untouched island chain is teeming with wildlife that will surely put you and your children in awe. Get your family closer to nature as you bond in this salty paradise. You can observe sea lions, iguanas, penguins, and flamingos to name some, or enjoy the ocean and do snorkeling with your kids.
Enjoy The Scenic Rail Journey
If you’re looking for a much-relaxed exploration in the area, you can go on rail trips with your family. At an affordable price, this journey will take you on an unforgettable roundtrip to some scenic views. The most famous route is called Nariz del Diablo, or Devil’s Nose. And, mind you, it’s not for the weakest hearts!
Visit the Ancient Inca Ruins
Bring your children to a blast from the past with the Inca Ruins. The place is free to the public and can be easily accessible. Not to mention it may help your kids appreciate the history of Ecuador better. While it is great for tours and trekking, such activity may not be recommended to parents especially those with little children.
Have Fun Around the Equator Line
Being in such a unique location, “Ecuador” actually directly translates to the “equator”. With that, it would be a disservice to the place not to visit at least once the famous equator line. Have your kids play around the area and even take a few snaps for remembrance. This opportunity doesn’t happen twice so be sure to make the most of it!
Soak in the Volcano Thermal Pools
When visiting the Andes, be sure to allocate time for some relaxing hot spring dips. Just around the town of Baños lies many different thermal pools and spas to choose from. This’ll surely leave everyone revitalized and happy as the natural warmth of the water soothes your body.
Things to Eat in Ecuador
Be sure not to get your mouth burned as you try these fried cheese stuffed potatoes omelets. These bombs are fried to a crisp on a hot griddle before being topped off with meat, fried egg, and avocado, drizzled with peanut sauce. This popular food is Ecuador’s national dish.
Looking for a hearty meal that will surely fill you up? Let the flavor dance inside your mouth and try on the churrasco. It’s a combination of grilled steak, thinly sliced, and some rice, chips, plantains, avocado, salad, and fried egg. What makes this dish come together is the special spicy garlic aji sauce! It has everything you need for a great, healthy meal.
Now for the meat lovers, you should definitely try their hornado. Famous around the Quito and Otavalo area, you can visit their market to see a whole pig roasted to perfection with tomato in its mouth. We know it didn’t sound as appetizing but trust us, you wouldn’t want to miss out on this! It is usually paired with dried maize and veggies.
You may have already tried Mexican quesadillas. This melted cheese tortilla has been known around the world! But Ecuadorian quesadillas pack a different approach on this dish. Their version is shaped like a pentagon and is filled with a mixture of sweet and savory flavors. It is usually eaten for breakfast and can be enjoyed with hot chocolate and mozzarella on the side.
Exotic tropical fruits
Ecuador’s lush forest offers more than its lovely wildlife. It also has some of the most bizarre and surprisingly good fruits you should try at least once. This includes pitahayas, naranjillas, tree tomato, uvilla, granadillas, taxo, and maracuyá to name some.
As you can see, there’s no such thing as the best time to travel to Ecuador. Anytime is the best time! So, go ahead and get your family ready for your epic adventure in the country. We hope this guide has helped you plan your trip and has inspired you to explore this stunning place.