What to wear in Ecuador?

Ericka & Stefano

If you plan to visit Ecuador, it is essential to consider the season in which you’ll be traveling in order to be prepared with the appropriate clothing.

Different regions of the country require varying clothing choices, ranging from lightweight and breathable outfits for the lowlands to warm layers for high-altitude areas.

Furthermore, protecting your skin from the intense equatorial sun is of utmost importance!

In this guide, we’ll tell you what to wear in Ecuador and give you a list of choices to choose from.

Always check the specific regional weather forecasts before your trip.

See also:

Dressing for different regions

Depending on which region of Ecuador you intend to visit, you will need to pack various types of clothing.

Here are some recommendations:

Coast Region and the Galapagos Islands

In the hot and humid coastal region, as well as the unique Galapagos Islands, it is recommended to wear lightweight and breathable clothing.

Opt for thin shirts, shorts, and light trousers to keep cool in the tropical climate. If you don’t want to get sunburned, long-sleeved cotton shirts are ideal.

In addition, you should be prepared for the presence of various insects, particularly mosquitoes. Bring insect repellent and avoid venturing outdoors between 5 and 7 p.m., when these insects are most prevalent.

Remember that mosquitoes in this country transmit various diseases, including dengue and malaria.

Packing clothing list:

  • Thin shirts
  • Shorts or skirts
  • Light trousers
  • Bathing suit
  • Hat
  • Sneakers and hiking shoes (Galapagos)
  • Sandals
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Light long-sleeved T-shirt (if you don’t want to get burned)
Ecuador 608 - Galapagos - Isla Isabela - Volcan Sierra Negra

Amazon region

Lightweight pants and long-sleeved cotton shirts are optimal.

Also, waterproof apparel, rain ponchos and rubber boots are needed. However, if you are more comfortable wearing short sleeves, you may need to apply insect repellent to any exposed skin.

Bring insect repellent, as in coastal regions, to prevent being bothered by insects.

Packing clothing list:

  • Lightweight pants
  • Long-sleeved cotton shirts
  • Rain ponchos
  • Rubber boots
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
Ecuadorian Amazonia

Central Andes Valley and Andes Flanks

When exploring the central Andes valley and the flanks of the Andes, be prepared for varying temperatures. It is wise to carry a light sweater or consider purchasing one locally, as the evenings can become chilly.

Layering your clothing will allow you to adjust to changing weather conditions. Consider getting waterproof garments and footwear, as it is more likely to rain (even if the weather forecast says no rain).

Don’t forget to bring lip balm to prevent your lips from chapping, and a scarf to cover your mouth as the highland climate tends to dry out the throat.

Packing clothing list:

  • Light jacket
  • Ultra-down jacket for nights
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Boots
  • Limp balm
  • Scarf
  • Thermal clothing
Cuenca, Ecuador

High Altitude Areas

If you plan to venture into the highlands above 3000 meters or more, it is essential to pack adequately warm clothing.

Depending on the elevation, temperatures can become wintery cold.

Dressing in layers enables you to adapt your attire to shifting weather conditions and your level of activity.

To retain body heat, cover up your ears with a warm hat or beanie. Consider wearing a balaclava or neck gaiter to protect your face and neck from cold winds.

You can also get padded gloves or mittens of good quality to keep your hands warm. And do not forget wearing thick socks that keep your feet dry and waterproof boots that keep your feet warm and support your ankles.

Packing clothing list:

  • Clothes for layering
  • Long sleeve pants (avoid jeans)
  • Ponchos
  • Thermal clothing
  • Waterproof garments and footwear
  • Hiking shoes
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Warm hat or beanie
  • Gloves
  • Thick socks
  • Limp balm
  • Scarf

Protection against intense UV Radiation

Ecuador’s location on the equator exposes travelers to extremely high levels of UV radiation, especially in the Sierra region.

That’s why it’s typical to see people from the highlands of Ecuador with red or burned cheeks.

In fact, even though we live near the coast, we burn our skin much more when we go to the mountains than when we go to the beach.

It is crucial to take precautions to protect yourself from the harmful effects of the sun, regardless of the region you visit.

Here are some tips to help you stay safe:

  1. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen: Always wear a wide-brimmed hat that provides shade to your face, neck, and ears. Baseball caps may not offer sufficient protection. Additionally, apply a high-grade sunscreen with a broad spectrum and a high sun protection factor (SPF). Don’t forget to cover the edges of your ears, as they are often overlooked.
  2. Avoid sandals and bare feet: When traveling in Ecuador, it is advisable to avoid wearing sandals or going barefoot, especially if you’re coming from abroad. Exposing your feet to the intense sunlight can lead to painful sunburns. Wear closed-toe shoes or lightweight, breathable footwear that covers your feet adequately.
  3. Use UV-Protective clothing and accessories: Consider investing in UV-protective clothing that offers additional defense against harmful rays. Look for clothing with a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating for optimal sun protection. Don’t forget to protect your eyes with sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays.
  4. Be aware of overcast days: Even on cloudy or overcast days, UV radiation can still be intense. It’s essential to apply sunscreen and take necessary precautions regardless of the weather conditions. Remember, UV rays can penetrate clouds and cause sunburns.
  5. Acclimate your skin to the sun: If you have sensitive skin or are not accustomed to intense sunlight, gradually expose your skin to the sun. Start with short durations of sun exposure, no more than an hour on the first day, and increase the duration gradually. This helps minimize the risk of sunburn and allows your skin to adjust to the strong UV radiation.

Read also: Do people in Ecuador speak English?

About the author

Hey there! We are Ericka and Stefano. As longtime citizens of this amazing country, we are honored to serve as your tour guides and offer our firsthand experiences, insider advice, and must-see attractions in Ecuador. So be prepare for an exciting journey through Ecuador’s unique treasures.

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