Cotopaxi Volcano with snow in Ecuador

Does It Snow In Ecuador? (Weather, Destinations, + More!)

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Does it snow in Ecuador? Many people might be tempted to answer “no” right away, because they tend to think of this beautiful South American country as a warm beach destination. 

We asked our friend Giorgy from G-Extreme Travel to weigh in on this one. She’s here to shed some light on the diverse weather patterns across this country’s distinct regions.

Does It Snow In Ecuador?

The truth is that while year-round average temperatures are quite high and snow is almost unheard of across much of Ecuador, travelers can look forward to a delightful surprise atop the peaks of Ecuador’s highest mountains – a chance to enjoy the snow!

In fact, it may just be the perfect opportunity to break out those mittens and give your ears some furry protection. So don’t let anyone tell you that this country is all sunshine and no snowflakes…you can have both if you travel high enough! 

Does it snow in Ecuador? Absolutely! Now let’s get packing for some real winter fun.

Does it snow in Ecuador? Snow atop this mountain proves it does.

What’s The Weather Like In Ecuador?

Oh, the weather in Ecuador! It’s full of surprises and delights, just like its people. Whether you’re looking for hours of sunshine or a sprinkling of snow, there’s something here to suit any mood-even, if it is a bit unconventional.

So grab your sunscreen or winter gear – we’re off on an adventure!

Ecuador In Winter

Does it snow in Ecuador? Does the white winter of our dreams exist? Does it get cozy and chilly like back home?

Well, while I can’t promise you a white winter wonderland, I can tell you what to expect in Ecuador in winter!

The winter months in Ecuador run from December until February and offer mild temperatures from +8 °C / 46 °F to +21 °C / 70 °F.

During this time, the weather forecasts are quite dry. Evenings may bring some showers, but nothing too crazy. January usually offers pleasant weather conditions, while February marks the beginning of the rainy season.

Let’s just say that if you plan to visit Ecuador (especially in the highlands) in February, make sure to pack your rain jacket!

Tropical waterfall in Ecuador proves it doesn't often snow in Ecuador.

When it comes to Galapagos Islands, however, wintertime is a totally different story! The weather here is sunny with high temperatures and calm winds – making it the perfect winter getaway.

It’s worth noting that the rainy season on the Galapagos Islands will last until May, but typically the rains don’t last long and aren’t too disruptive either. Humidity can be quite high, though!

Unless you go high up nearby Cotopaxi’s or Chimborazo’s volcanic peaks, you won’t find any snow in Ecuador during winter. But, you’ll still have plenty of opportunities to enjoy pleasant weather and explore the beautiful country!

Who said winter had to be cold anyways? Let’s embrace the warm days and sunshine of Ecuador this winter!  🤗

Ecuador In Spring

Starting from March until May, the months of change in Ecuador, with the start of spring is celebrated by colorful parades and festivals. Temperature climates in Ecuador’s capital, Quito, remain 22 °C / 71 °F and 18 °C / 64 °F.

Festive streets in Ecuador in Spring

The days get longer and nights shorter, making it the best time to explore Ecuador’s many attractions.

Andean slopes become greener but cooler and damper, and the heavy rains stop in May. In the mountain ranges, the temperatures are likely to reach +8° / 46 °F. In the coastal regions, you can expect to be a bit drier, but at the same temperatures as in Quito.

Ecuador In Summer

Ah, summertime in Ecuador! Sun, sand and does it snow?! No way! But what weather patterns does this time of year bring? Let’s take a look at all the fun things that happen when you experience summer in Ecuador.

June to August marks the summer weather in Ecuador, with decreased precipitation and stronger winds (+7°C / 44°F to +23°C / 73°F).

June and July on the Galapagos Islands are foggy and damp due to temperature inversion effects – so it’s not all sunshine! However, by August things get better.

If you’re in the Amazon Basin, things get relatively dry in July and August – which is perfect for exploration! You can trek volcanoes, go mountain biking, or even take a dip in some of Ecuador’s natural hot springs.

August is an exciting time as the wind speeds have calmed down enough to enjoy the sunny days and clear skies.

View of a volcano's lake during the summer in Ecuador.

So does it snow in summer? No way! But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a blast during your summertime adventures in this amazing country. So grab your sombrero and get ready for fun times even though the wind might blow it away!

Ecuador In Fall

Ah, fall in Ecuador! Who said a season of change had to be gloomy? This wonderful country has so much to offer during autumn, from vibrant festivals and parades to breathtaking natural scenery. And does it snow? Not at all!

September marks the start of Ecuador’s dry season, so you can expect plenty of sunshine and pleasant temperatures. Usually, the days are warm with blue skies, but light showers can pop up in the evening on occasional rainy days.

And if you’re looking for adventure, there’s plenty to explore!

Sunny weather marks the fall in Ecuador

October brings a bit more precipitation so it might be wise to avoid the mountains and head to some of Ecuador’s major cities or beaches instead. Plus, October marks the end of the annoying midge season, so you can enjoy some peace and quiet!

November is considered the one of the driest months in Ecuador’s tropical rainforest, although mountains will receive more precipitation. It’s also a great time to explore the Galapagos Islands as they are quite warm with slight cloud coverage during autumn.

Hope you have an amazing time exploring all that Ecuador has to offer during the autumn months!

Where To Find Snow In Ecuador

Although it doesn’t snow much in Ecuador, there are still places at high altitudes where you can find snow! Strap yourself in because I am about to show you the few places offering snow and stunning views.

1. Chimborazo [6,263 meters / 20,547 feet]

Chimborazo is the 39th highest peak in the Andes, with a towering height of 6,263 meters / 20,547 feet. It’s located along the planet’s equatorial bulge, meaning that its summit is actually farthest from Earth’s center.

Does it snow in Ecuador? Yes, Chimborazo is one of the best places to find snow.

Although it isn’t taller than Mount Everest, Chimbarazo’s unique location does make its summit the furthest point from Earth’s center. Snow and ice blanket this mountain permanently.

2. Cayambe [5,790 meters / 18,996 feet]

The most incredible volcanic mountain is Cayambe in Ecuador and it deserves the majority of this story’s attention.

Cayambe is a small, unassuming town on the equator. However, it has a few remarkable claims to fame.

For starters, it’s one of the only locations in the world with a permanent snow cap! Additionally, its south slope is the highest point on Earth crossed by the Equator.

Cayambe is one of the best places to find snow in Ecuador.

So if you’re ever looking for an exciting and unique place to visit where you can find snow, be sure to add Cayambe to your list! (Just be sure to pack those long pants and at least a light sweater!)

3. Cotopaxi [5,897 metres / 19,347 feet]

The Cotopaxi National Park is a massive protected area of forest that extends to parts of Cotopaxi, Pichincha, and Napo provinces. This national park is known for its active, snow-covered Cotopaxi volcano and Laguna de Limpiopungo (Limpiopungo Lake). 

Cotopaxi volcano and the surrounding towns in Ecuador. This area is known for having snow-capped mountains.

During the wet season, snow does often fall in the area surrounding the Cotopaxi volcano.

So there you have it! Ecuador may not be renowned for its snowy weather but with a bit of exploration, you can find places with snow-capped peaks and stunning views.

With this knowledge, you can now create your winter wonderland getaway in Ecuador! Enjoy your stay and have fun!

Where Does It Snow In Ecuador? FAQs

Now that you know whether it snows in Ecuador and where to find the snow, let’s move on to questions that might be helpful. 

Does it snow in Quito, Ecuador?

Ahoy snow lovers! Do you love winter but hate the cold? Then Quito’s climate is for you! This capital city of Ecuador can get pretty chilly, but does it ever snow in Quito?

Streets of Quito, Ecuador, where it does not often snow.

Well, let’s just say that this city has a way of surprising its citizens with the odd incident of unpredictable weather.

Back in November 2018, downtown Quito was covered in white, transforming the colonial houses into snow-filled wonderlands. Everyone was taken aback by this rare occurrence and even though it didn’t stick around for long, it definitely made an impression!

But does such a thing happen often? Sadly not. While Quito weather can get quite cold, especially compared to other cities in Ecuador, snow does not fall often here.

The year-round average temperature is actually 64 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius), making it hard for the snow to stick around for a long.

So if you’re looking for a wintery, snow-filled paradise in Ecuador, then Quito may not be the place for you.

Does it snow in Guayaquil?

Does it snow in Guayaquil, Ecuador? Well, the answer is – does an elephant fly? Of course not, but does it snow here occasionally? No, it doesn’t!

As part of the coastal lowlands along the Pacific Ocean, the humid climate of Guayaquil is almost always warm and muggy, with February being the month with the greatest chance of rain.

While temperatures around the Gulf of Guayaquil stay relatively consistent year-round and there is no annual accumulation of snow, the city does get surprise spurts of wintery fun.

What is the coldest it gets in Ecuador?

Do you ever wonder what is the coldest it gets in Ecuador? Well if you do, you’re not alone! It’s actually quite interesting to learn about the different temperature zones that exist across this amazing country.

During the coolest months, the average minimum temperature that reaches the whole country is +7°C / 44°F.

BUT, we have to keep in mind a basic important fact: with higher elevations, temperatures drop steadily at a rate of about 9 to 11 °F (5 to 6 °C) for every 3,300 feet (1,000 meters) that you climb.

Mountain village in the Andes in Ecuador experiences colder temperatures due to elevation.

That means the lower elevations closer to sea level have much higher temperatures than the higher ones.

At an elevation of 2,600 to 6,600 feet (800 to 2,000 meters), Ecuador is blessed with amazingly pleasant climates. But as you go higher, watch out! Frost is a definite possibility.

So if you want to stay frost-free, stick to the lower altitudes and try not to venture above 11,800 to 12,500 feet (3,600 to 3,800 meters) where the temperatures reach 32 °F (0 °C).

And does it snow in Ecuador? You bet it does! Once you reach an elevation of 16,400 feet (5,000 meters), you’ll start to see some snow-capped peaks and even more frosty fun. And here the temperature is around 17-32 °F (-7 – 0 °C).

So if you’re looking for a wintertime experience, Ecuador can surprisingly be a great destination to go to!

Can it really snow near the equator?

Can it really snow near the equator? This a question that has been on many people’s minds ever since they heard of the existence of the equator and its tropical climate. Well, believe it or not, this is actually possible!

The only snowy point situated directly atop the equator is its highest point, Cayambe, a volcano in Ecuador with a permanent snow cap. This is an amazing exception to the usually humid equatorial climate and adds an element of surprise to this mysterious area of the world.

Snow-covered mountains in Ecuador
People walking on snowy mountains in Ecuador

You can even catch a glimpse of the snow from many touristy mountain towns like Otavalo, where Cotocachi, Fuya Fuya and other towering volcanoes show off their snow-capped peaks.

So does it really snow near the equator? You betcha! Although it doesn’t happen often when it does you can be sure that it’s a magical sight to behold. So if you’re ever in the vicinity of this special area, keep your eyes peeled for some wintery fun!

Clearly, Ecuador does have snow – but does it stick around for long? That’s another story…

How much snowfall does Ecuador see each year?

When you hear the words “Ecuador” and “snow” in the same sentence, does your mind immediately jump to visions of snow-covered peaks and winter wonderlands?

Well, if it does, you might be disappointed when I tell you that snow rarely falls in this part of the world.

View of volcanic mountains in Ecuador

Yes, it does snow in Ecuador – but don’t expect to see any snowy slopes unless you head up the mountain.

This South American country sees snow, but only an average of only 0.6 inches of snow (1.5 cm) a year, which is about as much as you’d find inside your freezer on a hot summer day!

But does this mean that Ecuadorians never get to experience snowfalls? Of course not! Every once in a while, the area is blessed with an abundance of white – usually around the higher altitudes of the Andes Mountains.

Are there ski resorts in Ecuador?

Have you ever been dreaming of a ski vacation in Ecuador? Did you think it was impossible? Well, if you did – prepare to be surprised!

Yes, there are ski resorts in Ecuador – uhm… sorta. You won’t find any lifts or fancy ski lodges here, but if you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-track skiing experience, then this is definitely the place for you.

Cayambe proves that it does snow in Ecuador.

The country does not have any ski lifts due to its high elevation and permanent snow caps on some of the highest peaks in the Andes Mountains.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t go skiing here! In fact, some of the most spectacular skiing opportunities await those who are ready to hike up thousands of meters and enjoy the beauty of nature.

You can experience this at the best-known “ski mountain” in the Pichincha region: Cayambe (5,790 meters / 18,996 feet).

So if you’re looking for a unique ski experience, look no further than Ecuador! It does not have any fancy ski resorts, but its snow-capped peaks can be just as fun – and a whole lot more adventurous. So put on your skis and get ready for a wild ride!

Group hiked a snowy mountain in Ecuador

The Wrap-Up: Does It Snow In Ecuador

That’s all! I hope you enjoyed this deep dive into the snowy hidden side of Ecuador.

So does it snow in Ecuador? The good news is yes, but only in certain areas such as the Cotopaxi National Park and some of its higher-altitude regions. If you’re looking for a winter wonderland experience, then head to one of the country’s snowy peaks and enjoy the breathtaking views.

No matter what your preference is, you can be sure that Ecuador will provide you with a unique winter experience – one that you won’t soon forget! So don’t hesitate – to book yourself a trip to Ecuador and explore this awesome corner of the world! You won’t be sorry.