Ecuador Surf Seasons & Weather

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Because Ecuador is directly on the equator, and because weather and surfing conditions are dramatically affected by two ocean currents – El Nino and the Peruvian/Humboldt - where most places have four seasons, Ecuador has two.
From December to May, the warm El Nino current dominates the colder Peruvian/Humboldt current. With the temperature differential equalized between land and sea, winds are favorable at this time with off-shore mornings turning to light and variable glassy afternoons.

From June through November, the Humboldt Current circulates chilled water up from the coast of Peru. At this time of year, the coast of Ecuador has colder water flowing along a warm mainland, and that creates overcast skies and onshore conditions.

The rainy season months of January through May have both warmer air and water temperatures and generally sunny skies.  The rain that falls during these months comes down in heavy downpours in the late afternoons, evening and night, with sunny skies in the mornings and afternoons.  It may be difficult to believe that the weather is better during the rainy season, but this is the situation in Ecuador.

North swell dominates December to March.  South swell activity is present year round, but more dominant and consistent March through September.

December to May is prime time for Ecuador, with light crowds, warm water, favorable winds, no currents and surf that ranges from seriously fun to serious.  Water temperatures are generally in the mid 70° range, although as you move south, you begin to feel the effect of the Humboldt Current, sometimes requiring spring-suit.  Air temps will range from low 70’s to mid 80’s.

The Galápagos Islands have two main surf seasons. November through April is the north swell season typified by strong morning off-shores and glassy light & variable winds in the afternoon. These swells are the same north swells that hit Hawaii but they arrive three to five days later. During this season the water is also warmer, around 75 degrees, but it can get a little colder on occasion because of the effects of the Humboldt Current and upwelling from the off-shore winds.   We recommend bringing a spring suit to be safe as you will be spending a lot of time in the water both surfing and snorkeling.

May through October sees groundswells from the Southern Ocean, and while there are spots in the Galapagos that pick up south swells, the conditions are often unfavorable due to the a southerly flow of wind.

Although Ecuador & Galapagos receive surf year round, Waterways’ surf packages focus on the western coastal and Galapagos regions during the wet season months of December through May which receive a combination of both north and south swells with favorable wind conditions.