Ecuador in March: Weather Tips and Wildlife Viewing
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The start of the Amazon rainy season offers fantastic opportunities to spot wildlife that are more elusive in the dry season, as abundant food supply draws them into the forest canopy. Hot, sunny days on the coast are perfect for beach lovers, while surfers make the most of the epic waves while traveling in Ecuador in March. This is also the best time of year for snorkeling and scuba diving around the Galapagos Islands, not only because of the pleasant warm waters but also for a chance to spot manta rays.
Ecuador Weather in March
While Ecuador is a year-round travel destination, the country’s weather in March differs across several regions. So it is important to know what to expect in each place you visit. The average temperature in Ecuador in March is 17°C.
Although it is technically the rainy season in Ecuador, the coastline and Galapagos Islands are sunny during the day, with a few afternoon showers and maximum temperatures of 28°C in Mompiche. Calm sea conditions make this a perfect time for swimming and boat trips.
The Highlands are rainy and cooler than other parts of Ecuador, with Quito weather averaging a maximum of 16°C, calling for days spent exploring the rich colonial heritage of the country’s capital.
Check out our guide on the best time to visit Ecuador for a seasonal overview.
Weather in Ecuador in March - 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|
Why Visit Ecuador in March
Whether you are after crazy wildlife encounters or want to make the most of fewer crowds in the streets of Quito, here are some reasons why you should visit Ecuador in March.
- Andean New Year: Mushuk Nina is the celebration of the Andean New Year, which is held at archaeological sites around the country. These gatherings are mostly attended by local communities, providing a culturally rich experience of dancing, music, and traditional dishes.
- Better wildlife viewing: Rainfall in the Amazon means plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife among the treetops as they escape rising water levels and munch on newly grown fruits. Higher water levels also bring your canoe up closer to the canopy, allowing for easier spotting of birds and monkeys.
- Beach days: March is a perfect time for spending your days by the coast, as warm weather and mostly clear skies continue into the month. This is also the last month for great surfing conditions. Check out our beach tours in Ecuador.
- Warm waters: March is one of the warmest months on the Galapagos Islands, making it perfect for snorkeling and diving in comfortable temperatures, and swimming with penguins near Isabela Island.
- Discounted prices: March is the low season in the Ecuadorian highlands, so expect savings on accommodation and tour prices this month.
Where to go and what to do
Rainy days are the perfect excuse to explore Quito’s cultural and historical attractions. Marvel at the Gothic architecture of the Basilica del Voto Nacional, visit the Intinan Museum, or take a trip to Otavalo to learn traditional weaving practices. If you do get lucky with a sunny day, take the Teleferico cable car ride up the Pichincha Volcano for incredible views over the city.
Make the most of the flowing Amazonian water this month by kayaking or canoeing along the Napo River for closer views of pink river dolphins and giant otters, or get adventurous with a day of white-water rafting. Photographers and birders should visit the Napo Canopy Tower, which is one of the best vantage points for spotting birds and other wildlife like toucans and parrots as they move through the jungle.
While the Galapagos Islands are hugely popular, travelers short on time or money should visit Isla de la Plata, also known as the Poor Man’s Galapagos. The island is covered in green foliage this season and shares a lot of the same wildlife such as red and blue-footed boobies, magnificent frigate birds, manta rays, turtles, and dolphins.
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 the rains bringing abundant food and wildlife to the Amazon, and conditions on the coast being perfect for all manner of water activities, March is a great time to visit Ecuador. From exploring Andean culture in Quito to birdwatching over the Napo River and kayaking with dolphins, there are so many reasons why you should travel to Ecuador in March. Still unsure where to go in Ecuador? Contact our local travel experts who can create a customized tour of Ecuador to match your needs.
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Ecuador in February
Ecuador in April