Ecuador Holidays, Events, Climate and Sightseeing

Ecuador: holidays, events, climate

Public holidays

Date Holiday
January 1 New Year
February 7th – 8 carnival
25th March Good Friday
May 1 Labor Day
May 24 Day of the Battle of Pinchincha
August 10 independence Day
October 09 Guayaquil Independence Day
November 02 All Souls
December 6 Quito Founding Day
24./25. December Christmas
December 31 New Year’s Eve

Source: Countryaah – Ecuador Holidays

Carnival, the day of the founding of Quito and New Year’s Eve are not public holidays but are usually observed. There are other public holidays in the regions.

Cultural events

Date Event
in the middle of February carnival
March 4th – 10 Peach Festival
April 17-21 Riobamba (craft fair)
May 13 Day of the founding of the republic
June 24 Fiesta de Juan in Tabacundo among others
June 24 Fiesta de Nacimiento de Simon Bolívar (birthday party)
August 3rd – 5 Fiestas de Esmeraldas (Independence)
September 2nd – 5 Thanksgiving
September 23-24 Fiesta de la Mama Negra (celebration of the fusion of Catholic and Indian elements)
October 12-13 Rodeo Montubios in the provinces of Guayas and Los Rios
21st November Pilgrimage to the Reina del Quinche
December 31 New Year’s Eve (burning of the cardboard figures “Monigotes”, which are supposed to represent unpopular personalities or the mother-in-law.


The Ecuadorians are usually very peace-loving people, unfortunately there is still a lot of crime at the moment.

False police officers or conspicuous behavior by passers-by in back streets can be harbingers of a robbery.

Ecuador: climate

Travel times

The climate in Ecuador is tropical to subtropical, although it should be noted that there are great differences between the Andean highlands and the coastal region. There can be significant temperature fluctuations in the Andean valleys. By the way, Ecuador has been suffering from the “El Niño” climate phenomenon for several years.

The temperature is largely stable over the year. For people who like to enjoy a lot of sun and for whom higher temperatures do not cause any problems, the months of December to May are particularly suitable for a stay in the country. Then there is the best bathing weather. It is hot and humid in the Amazon basin and on the coast. In the Galapagos Islands it is very sunny in the first half of the year and hazy in the second.

Climate table

The following table shows a range of climate data for the country. It should be noted, however, that the climatic conditions in different regions of the country can differ considerably from one another and thus also from the values shown. The table therefore only provides a general overview of the values in Quito.

Month Average number of rainy days Mean maximum temperatures in (°C) Mean minimum temperatures in (°C)
January 16 26 12
February 17 25 13
March 20 25 14
April 22 25 14
May 21 26 14
June 12 26 12
July 07 26 13
August 09 26 13
September 14 28 12
October 18 27 13
November 14 26 13
December 16 27 13


UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Qhapaq Ñan

The approximately 6,000 km long Andean road Qhapaq Ñan connected the city of Quito in the north of the Inca Empire in today’s Ecuador with the city of Santiago in today’s Chile in the south.

The road almost always runs at an altitude of around 3.5 km. Along the road the Inca set up checkpoints, set up storage facilities and there were hostels for travelers to stay overnight.

The Inca built suspension bridges to cross ravines and rivers and cut steps in the rocks when it was necessary to get ahead. The Andean Strait goes through six different countries, these are:

Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile and Peru.

The road touches the dry Maranon forest, runs through the rainforest of Chile and crosses valleys that connect the highlands of the 4,000 m high Andes and the tropical Amazon rainforest.

However, the road is threatened with disintegration, so only small parts are currently to be walked on. This includes the Sacred Valley from Cusco to Machu Picchu. In Ecuador there is the Ingapirca, an important Inca site.

It is about 50 km from the city of Azogues, and in Bolivia is Tiahuanaco – a pre-Inca ruin near the city of Tiawanacu.

The Inca-Andean Road is transnational and was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites for the countries concerned in 2014

National Park and Marine Protected Area of the Galapagos Islands

The Galápagos Islands are part of Ecuador and are an archipelago (a marine region rich in islands) in the eastern Pacific Ocean, around 1,000 km west of South America.

The archipelago consists of 14 larger islands and over 100 smaller and smaller islands. The Galapagos Islands are rich in species, but more than half of the endemic (only living here) animal species and many plant species are threatened and need to be protected. Endemic mammals are for example the Galapagos sea lions or the maned seals. Endemic birds include the Great Galapagos Yellowbill, the Galapagos Pigeon, the Galapagos Mud Tread, the Galapagos Penguin and many more. Endemic reptiles are the Galapagos giant tortoise, marine iguanas, geckos and others. On the islands there are wooden bees, which dig themselves in the wood tunnels and build their nests there.

Many of the islands are unforested.

The national park was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1978 and expanded in 2001.

Old Quito

Quito is the oldest and also the city where the Spanish culture has most likely been preserved.

The city has over 100 churches and 55 monasteries and a number of well-preserved town houses from the colonial era.

The Franciscans were the first Christian order to settle in Quito and immediately build a monastery there. Soon the Augustinians, Dominicans and Jesuits also settled in the city.

The church “La Compania” was built under the Jesuits and is richly decorated with its golden main altar. The monasteries and churches are a mixture of European and Moorish architecture. The old town of Quito was included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1978 recorded.

Sangay National Park

The Sangay National Park is located on the eastern Andes of the country – at an altitude of 900 m to 5,320 m, and its area is around 5,500 km².

There are three volcanoes in the park, two still active – the Sangay and the Tungurahua, and the extinct El Altar, the highest point in the park.

There are three different vegetation zones in the park: humid grasslands (Páramo areas), tropical lowland rainforests and mountain rainforests.

The park is home to many rare animals – such as mountain tapirs, spectacled bears, pumas, Andean jackals, giant otters, jaguars, ocelots, the particularly rare Andean condors, red mazamas (spit deer), long-tailed cats and many more. There are also over 350 different species of birds.

This national park was added to the list of UNESCO World Natural Heritage in 1983.

Historic center of Santa Ana de los Rios de Cuenca

Cuenca is located south of Quito in the Andes at an altitude of about 2,500 m.

In 1557, Cuenca was founded as Santa Ana de los Cuatro Ríos de Cuenca at the place where the Cañari Indians had been subjugated by the Incas. The city became the religious and cultural center of the Spaniards.

At the “Plaza Abdón Calderón” square is the “La Catedral Vieja” cathedral, which houses the oldest organ in the country, and the new cathedral, which is not yet finished due to constant earthquakes.

In 1925 the architect Uhle found the foundation walls of the Inca palace Pumapungo and the Viracocha temple. The historic center was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1999.

Major cities in the country


Quito is the capital and the second largest city in the country. It lies at the foot of the Pinchincha volcano at an altitude of 2,850 meters. Your entire old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Quito stands on the ruins of the imperial capital, once built by the Cara tribe, which was conquered by the Incas in 1487 and by the Spanish in 1534. The colonial ensemble of the old town is considered to be the best preserved in Latin America.

In the time of the Spaniards, the city expanded around today’s Plaza de la Independencia. In the immediate vicinity of the square are the bishop’s palace, the town hall, the cathedral, the government palace, the church “El Sagrario” and the monastery “La Concepcipon”.

Since Quito is in a valley, it can only expand north or south. The city therefore measures over 30 km in length but only 4 km in width.


Cuenca attracts visitors with colonial architecture, magnificent, churches, cobblestone streets, small shops and museums.

The city lies in a valley at an altitude of almost 2600 m. The Rei Tomebamba flows through the middle of the city.


Guayaquil is the most populous city in Ecuador and at the same time a center for industry and trade. It is located on the Rio Guayas. Ü

over the river spans km above the fourth the largest bridge in the country. There are no historical sights in Guayadquil, as half the city burned down in 1896.

The center of the city is La Rotonda.


Ingapirca was a base of the Incas in the north of their empire. The further purpose of the city complex remains a mystery.

The archaeologists argue whether it was a fortress or a temple. The name means in the Indian language Quechua: “Stone wall of the Inca”.


Museo Municipal Mena Caamaño

The Museo Municipal Mena Caamaño in Quito houses temporary exhibitions on modern Ecuadorian art.

Museo Nacional de Banco Central del Ecuador

The Museo Nacional de Banco Central del Ecuador shows the art and cultural history from the time of the indigenous people to the present.

Museo Guaysasamín

The Museo Guaysasamín, also the private home of the famous artist, shows his own works as well as a large collection of pre-Columbian and colonial art.


Bolivar Theater

This theater is located in Quito.


Theater This theater is located in Quito.

Teatro Sucre

This theater is located in Quito.

Patio de Comedias

This theater is located in Quito. Prometeo Theater This theater is located in Quito.


Malayerba Theater

This theater is located in Quito.

Churches and monasteries

Cathedral in Quito

The cathedral in Quito has been rebuilt several times after various earthquakes. Plaques set into the wall commemorate the city’s founders and the discoverer of the Amazon, Francisco Orellana.

The largest renovations took place in 1755. A vestibule was built, which also gave Indians who were not baptized the opportunity to attend mass. A Gothic choir aisle was added, which is not found anywhere else in the baroque Latin American churches.

Inside the church are the sacrophages of the Ecuadorian national hero Sucre and the country’s first president, Flores.

La Compañía

The Jesuit church La Compañía in Quito was not completed until 1770 after more than 150 years of construction. It is one of the most beautiful churches in South America. The facade made of inconspicuous gray volcanic stone is a masterpiece of baroque church architecture.

La Merced Church The La Merced

Church in Quito is the youngest colonial church in the city. It was completed in 1734. The interior of the church is decorated with numerous baroque altars.

In the center of the main altar is the city’s oldest saint, the “Virgen de la Merced”. It was created around 1575 and is made of black lava stone.

San Fransico

Monastery The San Fransico Monastery in Quito has been the home of the Franciscan Order since 1535. Even the sight of the monastery church is impressive. The church stands on a pedestal. It has two large, white towers. The interior of the church is also impressive. It was the first church in South America whose walls were covered with gilded woodcuts.

Old Cathedral

The Old Cathedral in Cuenca (construction started in the mid-16th century).

New Cathedral

The New Cathedral in Cuenca was built before the turn of the century.


Mercado Artesanal

In Otavalo.

Mercado de Animales

In Otavalo.

Flower Market

In Guayaquil.


Universidad Central del Ecuador

This university was founded in 1826 and currently has around 42,000 students. The university offers the following courses:

  • architecture
  • Agronomy
  • Economics
  • medicine
  • psychology
  • chemistry
  • Communication science
  • Jurisprudence
  • Political science
  • Social sciences
  • Veterinary medicine
  • philosophy
  • earth sciences
  • Engineering
  • Dentistry

Universidad Internacional del Ecuador

This university was founded in 1992 and currently has around 3,200 students.

Universidad Catolica de Santiago de Guayaquil

This university was founded in 1962 and currently has around 10,000 students.

Universidad Tecnológica Equinoccial

This university was founded in 1986 and offers the following courses, among others:

  • architecture
  • Economics
  • Engineering
  • medicine
  • Social and communication sciences
  • tourism

Natural beauties

Galapagos Islands National Park

The archipelago consists of 13 large and around 50 small islands and is located around 1,050 km west of the coast

Galapagos Islands

General information

Location, administration

The Galapagos archipelago or the Galapagos archipelago is located around 1,050 km west of Ecuador – north and south of the equator.

It extends over a geographical latitude between 0 ° 34` North and 1 ° 27` South and over a geographical longitude between 89 ° 11` West and 92 ° 38` West.

The archipelago consists of 13 islands with an area of more than around 15 km² and over 100 smaller to very small islands – including the islands of Darwin and Wolf to the north-west.

The five islands of Santa Cruz, San Cristóbal, Isabela, Floreana and Baltra are populated.

On the south coast of Santa Cruz is Puerto Ayora, the largest city of all the Galápagos Islands with around 15,000 residents.

The island group forms the province of Galápagos with the capital “Puerto Baquerizo Moreno” with around 4,800 residents on the island of San Cristóbal.


The islands were discovered by the Spaniards in 1535 by Tomás de Berlanga, the Bishop of Panama, who went off course on his trip to Peru and was stranded here.

The islands were not inhabited until the end of the 19th century. With one exception: in the 17th century, the islands were hiding places and places of refuge for pirates who attacked the Spanish gold ships from Mexico from here. Baltra


is located about 1 km off the north coast of Santa Cruz, the second largest island in the archipelago. The island is home to Seymour Airport, the most commercially used airport in the archipelago, so many Galápagos tourists arrive here first.

On the island there is also a military base of the Ecuadorian army and facilities of the coast guard with the associated barracks.

Another airfield is located in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on the island of San Cristóbal.

UNESCO World Natural Heritage

In 1978 the “Galapagos Islands National Park and Marine Protected Area” were added to the list of UNESCO natural world heritage sites and expanded in 2001.

About 97% of the area of the islands and 99% of the surrounding waters are under nature protection and are protected and managed by the national park administration in Puerto Ayora on the island of Santa Cruz.

Tabular overview of the islands of the archipelago with an area of more than around 15 km² – arranged according to the size of the area:

Name of the island Area in km² Mountains or elevations
Isabela 4,588 Wolf with a height of 1,707 m
Santa Cruz 986 Cerro Crocker with a height of 864 m
Fernandina 643 La Cumbre with a height of 1,476 m
San Salvador 585 Cerro Pelado with a height of 907 m
San Cristobal 558 Cerro San Joaquín with an altitude of 730 m
Floreana 173 Cerro Pajas with a height of 640 m
Marchena 130 the highest point is 343 m high
Española 61 the highest point is 206 m high
Pinta 59 the highest point is 777 m high
Baltra 26 no special surveys
Santa Fe 24 no special surveys
Pinzón 18 with a height of 458 m
Genovesa 14 with a height of 64 m

The wildlife there

The Galapagos Islands form a fascinating natural landscape and are also a paradise for numerous – often unique – animals. A selection:


– Galapagos fur seal

– Galapagos sea lion

– Galapagos rice rats

– Hair -tailed bats

– Maned seal


– Galápagos land iguanas, three species

– Galápagos giant tortoises

– Galápagos tortoises, with a number of subspecies

– geckos, six species

– lava lizards, seven species

– marine iguanas

– slender snakes, two species


Around 150 different bird species live on the islands – a selection:

– American ringed plover

– Blue-footed booby

– Brown-mantled oystercatcher

– Brown pelicans

– Darwin’s finches

– Ospreys

– Frigate birds

– fork-tailed gulls

– Galapagos buzzards

– Galápagos penguins, the only wild penguins

– on the northern hemisphere Galápagos barn


– Galápagos eared owls – Galápagos pigeons

– Galapagos albatrosses

– Galapagos wave walkers

– Galapagos mockingbirds, four species

– golden-billed moorhens

– great blue herons

– lapwing plover

– Small Yellowlegs

– Small Mangrovekuckucke

– Cattle Egret

– crowned night herons

– Hawaii Petrels

– lava herons

– scarlet macaw

– gulls, various types

– Nazca boobies

– Odinshühnchen

– frigate

– Pink Flamingos

– red-footed boobies

– Swallows, various species

– egrets

– Moorhen

– phalarope

– Meadow beach runners

– Wilson’s phalarope

– Peregrine

– Wandering water strider


On the one hand tourism is an important source of income, but on the other hand the tourists threaten the ecosystem and the local fauna. This has to be brought into an acceptable balance.

The INGALA transit control card (Spanish: Tarjeta de Control de Transito TCT) – a type of electronic visa that the visitor must acquire before visiting the islands – is used for this purpose.

Most tourists come to the archipelago by plane via the airports in Baltra and San Cristóbal.

Cruise ships call at Baltra, Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz and Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristóbal.

In 2014 the Galapagos Islands were visited by around 165,000 tourists.

Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882) developed his then sensational and hotly contested evolution theory from his observations on the islands. Here on the islands he was able to prove that the endemic (only occurring here) species had developed with the local remote environmental conditions.

According to Darwin’s theory, the animal species evolved from a few specimens of an animal species that reached the islands by air or water. After that, animals began to specialize in this area due to their adaptation to the new living conditions.

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