Ecuador & Galapagos – Location, Geography & Climate
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Ecuador is located on the northwestern coast of South America, between Peru to the south and east and Colombia to the north. The famous Galápagos Islands belong to Ecuador, and are located approximately 1,000 kilometers off the coast. Ecuador covers 256,370 square kilometers of land and is the smallest country in South America after Uruguay and the Guianas.
Ecuador boasts unmatched geographic diversity.
Despite Ecuador’s diminutive size – about equal to the North American state of Colorado – it is one of the most geographically diverse countries in the world. Ecuador is comprised of four distinct geographical regions: el Oriente (Amazon jungle) in the east, la Sierra (Andes Mountains) in the center, la Costa (the Pacific coastal lowlands) in the west, and the majestic Galápagos Islands off the coast.
Due to Ecuador’s varied regions and because of is located on the equator, it is an excellent travel destination year-round. Rather than rotating through four seasons, most of Ecuador experiences oscillating wet and dry periods.
The general weather trends for each region are as follows:
El Oriente (Amazon region) normally has a warm, humid and rainy climate. The average temperature varies from 23º to 26ºC (72º to 80º F). The drier season is generally November to February but varies by region.
La Sierra (Andean highlands), though on the equator, is generally cooler than most people would expect. The climate in the Andes varies according to the altitude and the time of the year. In Quito the temperature ranges from 7º C (55º F) at night, to 26º C (78º F) at noon, averaging 15º C (64º F).
La Costa’s (Pacific lowlands) climate is usually very warm with temperatures averaging 25º C (76º F) to 31º C (90º F) during the year. The rainy season (December to May) is warm and very humid. The dry season is less humid but still a little muggy.
- The Galápagos Islands enjoy warm and dry weather year-round, with an average temperature of 28º C (85º F).