Weather in Quito: All you need to know
If you’re planning a trip to Quito—the capital city of Ecuador and home to the best-preserved Historic Center in South America—you’re in for a treat! The city bustles with life, history, culture, gastronomy, and much more. However, before embarking on the great adventures that await here, it’s important to learn about the weather in Quito, Ecuador and what to expect.
Keep in mind that many factors influence the climate in Quito, Ecuador, including the city’s high altitude, equatorial position, and surrounding mountain ranges. These unique Andean conditions make the weather in Quito somewhat unpredictable. Consequently, it’s not uncommon for the city to experience “four seasons in a single day,” which can affect your plans if you’re not prepared for it.
The best advice we can give you is to dress for all seasons in Ecuador and carry anything you may need, regardless of how the day looks in the first hours of the morning.
Curious about what it’s like to stay in Quito?
Seasons in Ecuador
Due to its unique position so close to the equator, Ecuador’s seasons aren’t actually the usual four, but only two: a rainy one and a dry one. Specifically, the temperatures and weather in Quito, Ecuador display the following patterns:
- Dry Season (June to September): Daytime temperature averages a comfortable 70 °F (21 °C), generally falling to around 50 °F (10 °C) at night.
- Rainy Season (October to May): Temperatures remain steadier throughout the day, hovering around 59 °F (15 °C). March and April are typically the wettest months, with clear skies in the mornings and showers in the afternoon, interspersed with bursts of sunshine.
The altitude in Quito averages 9,350 ft (2,850 m), which means that the sun’s rays beat down more directly than in most other cities around the world.
Consequently, being out and about under direct sunlight, particularly noon, can make some feel as though they’re melting into the pavement! This is why it’s important always to apply (and reapply every couple of hours!) sunscreen throughout the day. Stay hydrated by always carrying a full water bottle with you, and always wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses with UV protection.
Some popular visitor points, such as El TelefériQo, take you even higher up into the mountains. Remember that at higher altitudes, temperatures can drop dramatically. Always wear warm, long-sleeve clothes and carry a warm jacket on any of these excursions.
The Climate in Quito and its Mountains
This city lies between the volcanoes of the soaring Andes mountain range, therefore the weather in Quito, Ecuador can be a little “temperamental.” After all, mountains attract clouds. This often translates into surprise thunderstorms and even hail. Although the temperature doesn’t fluctuate much, the weather throughout the day can change without warning. It’s quite common to find yourself under scorching hot sunlight one minute and thunderstorms the next, causing torrents of water to run down the streets.
But don’t let that scare you! Quito mostly has an extremely comfortable climate that is perfect for exploring and sightseeing. The main thing is always to be prepared and carry everything you may need on every day excursion you go on.
Packing Tips for the Weather in Quito
So how do you plan around this unpredictable weather? When traveling throughout Quito, it’s always a good idea to wear layers. Put on a breathable T-shirt, then a light sweater, and then a rain jacket on top. Of course, this means that you should always carry a small backpack (daypack) to place any unwanted layers inside of, should you get too hot. The daypack should also include:
- Water bottle
- Spare sweater
- Large ziploc bag to place any electronic items inside of, in case it starts raining
A trip to Quito is spectacular any time of year. The stable temperatures and weather in Quito, Ecuador mean you won’t experience snow or desert-like heat any month of the year. However, you should be prepared for sudden changes in the weather on your day excursions, and take any local weather forecast with a grain of salt.