When visitors to Ecuador are pondering a trip to the Ecuadorian Amazon they often find it difficult to know when to go. We often get asked about Amazon rainforest seasons. There are two Amazon rainforest seasons which are the wet season and the dry season. Many Ecuador visitors seem excited about dry season Amazon rainforest visits and think that this will be a good time to go because they will not get so wet. But the “rainforest” is named thus for a reason. It does rain there, and very regularly. This rain is important as it supports the vast diversity of life that resides in the Amazon rainforest. Therefore, even if you visit the Ecuadorian rainforest in the dry season you can expect that you will likely be rained on at some point. The difference is that you just probably won’t get rained on quite so much.
The dry season of the Ecuador Amazon rainforest starts around the end of July and runs through pretty much to the end of the February (the rainy season runs from the end of February to the end of July). You can expect the driest weather in the Ecuadorian Amazon in the months of December and January, but you will certainly still experience some rain!
In terms of temperatures, at the driest stage of the dry season the temperature will at its highest by around 95 degrees Fahrenheit, or 35 degrees Celsius – so it is hot! This contrasts with rainy season temperatures of 75 degrees Fahrenheit or 24 degrees Celsius. As you can see, in either case, the weather will be hot – it is just that it will be quite a lot hotter in the dry season in the Amazon rainforest. It will rarely feel chilly at any point in the year – though sometimes it might – but feeling chilly is very uncommon in the dry season.
We are very often asked about whether it is better to visit the Ecuadorian Amazon in the dry season or in the wet season. There is certainly quite a lot less rain in the dry season. During the dry season in the Ecuadorian Amazon you can expect around 200mm of rain per month, but in the wet season this rises to 350mm – in the wettest month of June. It will also feel hot and humid whenever you visit, but especially in the dry season due to the very high temperatures that can be experienced.
Of course, visiting the Amazon rainforest in the dry season is advantageous in the sense that you might get rained on less. The rainy season brings with it more mosquitoes, and so if you are the type of person that attracts these pests you might prefer to go to the Ecuadorian Amazon in the dry season. That said, mosquitoes are present all year around, and you’ll still need to be prepared by covering up and using insect repellant on exposed areas.
A slight disadvantage of visiting the Amazon rainforest in the dry season is the fact that while it will still be lush and green, there is a low level of flowering, and as such a lower level of some types birds and creatures – particularly those that rely on the wet for survival. That said, overall the months where you will be most likely to see the most wildlife are November, December, January, February and March – it is worth noting that most of these months are in the dry season! It just might be harder to see some creatures in the dry season, but this is offset by the general prevalence of wildlife there at this time.
Whether you visit the Ecuadorian Amazon in the dry season or in the wet season you’ll find it doesn’t really impact the activities you do all that much. It is worth noting that some rivers do dry out in the dry season, so this might impact the routes you take along the different waterways in the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest. Some of the lakes can also dry up somewhat, and in a few cases they might completely dry out. This can create some navigational challenges for your guide.
In terms of the walking routes that you take in the dry season in the Amazon rainforest, most of the trails are likely to be easier to pass in the dry season than in the wet season. However, this is rarely a big deal in the wet season – routes are simply diverted, or there are just as interesting other routes to be taken.
What to bring to the Ecuadorian Amazon in the dry season varies little from what you would need in the wet season, since it will be hot and wet whenever you come. You’ll certainly want a lightweight rain jacket. Some bring hiking boots, but usually, your lodge will have you wear rubber boots for any walks you go on. These are good because they are better suited to the very wet environment there. In terms of clothing, you’ll want to cover up, to avoid bug bites, but remember – it will be hot. Therefore loose fitting light clothing is best suited to trips to the Amazon It is difficult to get anything dry due to the humidity, so materials that dry fast are best. Don’t forget to bring both sunscreen and insect repellant. A hat is also a must.
To summarize, the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador can be visited whether it is the dry season or the wet season. You’ll still get to do most of the same activities. Some of the wildlife may differ depending on the season, but not much. You can expect rain whenever you go, but if you really detest getting wet, the dry season may just be best for you. Contact us and check availability for the season of your preference!