The streets are alive in Ecuador in February, as the carnival festivities begin. Join the locals in one of their biggest celebrations of the year. Exploring Ecuador’s coast is the thing to do this month. Crowds flock to the beaches to surf and soak up the sun. Nature and wildlife lovers, meanwhile, can head to the Ecuadorian cloud forests and the Galapagos Islands. To escape tourist crowds, visit the highlands, where fewer travelers venture on the account of rainy weather. Places like the indigenous city of Otavalo are less crowded with tourists this time of year.
The weather in Ecuador in February differs across several climate zones, with an average temperature of 17°C. In the Amazon, dry conditions cause the water levels to lower to the point where exploring is much easier. The weather in the Amazon region is fairly hot around this time. Maximum temperature in places like Puyo averages 28°C. The coastal region of Ecuador is mostly sunny in February. Expect the temperature to hit the high of 28°C in places like Mompiche, with a smattering of afternoon rain showers.
The Ecuadorian highlands sees cold and wet conditions in February. Quito is particularly colder and wetter than other parts. The maximum temperature here barely crosses the 16°C mark. This is an ideal time for exploring some of the museums and old town architecture.
Check out our guide on the best time to go to Ecuador for a seasonal overview.
Weather in Ecuador in February - Rainfall and Temperatures
|Avg Daily (°C)||18||17||17||17||17||18||18||19||19||18||18||18|
|Avg Nightly (°C)||8||8||9||9||9||8||8||8||8||8||8||8|
|Avg Daily (°F)||64.4||62.6||62.6||62.6||62.6||64.4||64.4||66.2||66.2||64.4||64.4||64.4|
|Avg Nightly (°F)||46.4||46.4||48.2||48.2||48.2||46.4||46.4||46.4||46.4||46.4||46.4||46.4|
|Avg Rainfall (mm)||70||100||90||70||60||40||20||40||70||80||60||50|
Here are some reasons why you should plan a trip to Ecuador in February:
- Carnival: Ecuador’s carnival occurs over the two days prior to Lent. Dancing and gamboling crowds in bright colorful costumes fill the streets of Ecuador during the carnival. Guaranda is a must-visit town for the carnival, as the indigenous population put a unique spin on the traditional festivities.
- Sunny outdoors: Although February is considered a part of the wet season in Ecuador, rainfall is usually contained to short afternoon bursts, leaving clearer skies during the day, making it ideal for exploring the outdoors and hitting the beaches.
- Nesting time on Galapagos: February sees greater flamingos nesting on Floreana Island, while Galapagos Doves nest across the archipelago. This is a great time to go see the flipper paths of green sea turtles who come ashore to nest at night, and penguins returning to the waters around Isabela and Fernandina Islands.
- Amazon trekking: Ecuador’s Amazon sees less rainfall in February, which means the jungle walking trails are still accessible.
- Lower cost: Low season in the Andes means discounted accommodation and tours, while costs in other parts of Ecuador return to normal after the New Year tourist rush.
Warm, sunny days by the beach await you in Ecuador in February. The best beach towns include Mompiche and Montanita for their consistently good surf conditions. Head to Canoa for its quiet beaches and Salinas for a bit of everything including family-friendly beaches, party beaches, and water sports. Machalilla is the place where you will find some of the most beautiful beaches in Ecuador.
Cuyabeno National Park is one of the best spots in the Amazon to experience the amazing biodiversity of Ecuador. Exploring the reserve by canoe offers a chance to see pink river dolphins, caimans, manatees, and monkeys.You can also meet with a local indigenous tribe and learn about Shamanism and medicinal plants.
February is also a great time to explore the colonial mountain city of Cuenca. With the January crowds long gone, visitors will find the city’s attractions, like the Inca ruins in Pumapungo Archaeological Park less crowded. This is also a perfect time to visit Banos to enjoy its warm spring waters and mud baths.
Otavalo is a must-visit place when traveling to Ecuador. Located less than two hours from Quito, the place is popular for its traditional market. The city is largely populated by indigenous people, making it an ideal place to experience the local culture and traditions. Check out the San Francisco Church and the Living Otavalo Museum while in the city. And if the weather is permitting, make the most of the flowing waters at Peguche Waterfall.
Looking for more ideas on what to do in Ecuador? Check out our guide on how many days to spend in Ecuador for inspiration on what to see and how to plan your trip.
With sunny days on the coast and carnival celebrations happening across the country, February is one of the best times to visit Ecuador. Whether you are planning to birdwatch in Mindo Cloud Forest, surf the waves in Mompiche or explore the historical sights in Otavalo, there are many places to see and things to do in Ecuador in February. Contact our local travel experts to create a customized tour of Ecuador to suit your needs.