Ecuador in May: Green Landscapes and Changing Weather


Seasons are changing in Ecuador in May, with crowds set to roll in from next month, meaning you can still enjoy low season prices without the queues. With luscious green landscapes and a chance to see blue-footed boobies displaying their famous mating dance, May is a fantastic time to visit the Galapagos Islands. Mountain trekking also returns in May, but as the rest of the country heads into dry season, the rainy Amazon in May is perfect for adventurous rafters and kayakers. Read on to find out what your Ecuadorian holiday this month can look like.

Ecuador Weather in May

Go on an early morning boat ride during decent weather in Galapagos Islands
Pleasant weather condition in the Galapagos Islands means it is an ideal time for a boat ride.

For most of the country, the weather in Ecuador in May is transitioning into the dry season, with temperatures averaging 17°C. Expect mild weather in Quito averaging 16°C and drier days in the highlands around the Andes mountains, perfect for exploring the country’s national parks by foot.

The Galapagos Islands are cooling down to a pleasant 25°C during the day. May is the last month for calm boat trips and good visibility before the wind picks up next month.

Unlike the rest of Ecuador this month, the Amazon remains wet and warm, with humid weather in Coca and daily highs of 28°C. The rainfall continues to give life to the jungle and keeps smaller rivers open for exploration by boat.

Check out our guide on the best time to visit Ecuador for a seasonal overview.

Weather in Ecuador in May - Rainfall and Temperatures

Avg Daily (°C)181717171718181919181818
Avg Nightly (°C)889998888888
Avg Daily (°F)64.462.662.662.662.664.464.466.266.264.464.464.4
Avg Nightly (°F)46.446.448.
Avg Rainfall (mm)7010090706040204070806050

Why Visit Ecuador in May

Albatross pair after their wedding dance in Ecuador in May.
Spot albatross birds in Espanola Island as it is their season to lay eggs.
Marine iguanas can be found laying on rocks in Ecuador.
Head to Santa Cruz and see marine iguanas.

Whether you’re trying to sneak in a trip to the Galapagos Islands before the peak season crowds, or you want to raft your way through the Ecuadorian jungle, there are plenty of reasons why you should visit Ecuador in May.

  • Local festivals: Ecuadorians celebrate the Battle of Pichincha in May and related cultural events and street parades can be found across the country. Puna Island comes alive with its annual Custard Apple Festival where locals share traditional seafood dishes and perform indigenous songs and dances.
  • Wildlife viewing: The Galapagos Islands is one of the best places to visit in Ecuador as they are full of wildlife viewing opportunities this month, with marine iguana eggs hatching on Santa Cruz, blue-footed boobies beginning their elaborate mating dance, and the waved albatross laying eggs on Espanola Island. Meanwhile, rain in the Amazon brings lush vegetation, attracting plenty of birds and primates into the open for easy viewing due to the higher water levels.
  • Discounted prices: May is just before the highlands and the Galapagos Islands head into peak season, so this is a great time to look for pre-peak season prices or discounts on tours and accommodation.
  • Less crowds: Most people plan their trip around the summer holidays from June to September so you can enjoy all the sights of Ecuador without the crowds.

Where to go and what to do

Zip through forest canopies in Banos.
Join adventure seekers and go ziplining in Banos.

As skies clear, this is a wonderful time to explore Banos, the adventure capital of Ecuador. Fly through the forest canopy on a zipline, and travel the Ruta de las Cascadas to see seven amazing waterfalls, including the mighty Devils Cauldron complete with its very own suspension bridge.

Whether transiting onwards to the Galapagos Islands for some snorkeling and volcano hiking or looking for a warm place on the coast with a big city feel, Guayaquil has a lot to offer travelers. Explore the historic charm in the streets of one of the oldest cities in Ecuador, and watch the unique wildlife displays at Parque Historico.

Tena is a great base to explore the Amazon, where you can make the most of the wet May days on a kayaking or rafting tour through the jungle, spotting it's wonderful creatures as you power through its waterways. Those curious about the native culture can join a shaman ceremony, where you’ll also have a chance to relax in the mud baths and hidden waterfalls.

Looking for more inspiration for your next trip to Ecuador? Check out our guide on how many days to spend in Ecuador for ideas on things to see and how to plan your trip.

May is a great time to visit Ecuador to see new life hatching on the Galapagos Islands or explore the charm of Guayaquil, especially before the crowds roll in next month. The country is thriving from months of rain so you can expect lively green landscapes and plenty of amazing wildlife encounters when you travel to Ecuador in May. Still unsure where to go in Ecuador? Contact our travel experts who can create a customized tour of Ecuador to perfectly match your dream trip.

Other related articles:
Ecuador in April
Ecuador in June

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  • Marion Passier
    Marion Passier
    Travel Expert in Ecuador
  • Lucía Cazar
    Lucía Cazar
    Travel Expert in Ecuador & Peru
  • Elisabeth Gschösser
    Elisabeth Gschösser
    Travel Expert in Ecuador
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