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Climate in the Amazon Rainforest of Ecuador


Ecuador's Amazon rainforest region covers around 40% of the country, and plays an important role in the country's economy, although only 3% of the population lives there. This is mainly due to the oil wells in the North of the region, which the Ecuadorians call the "Oriente", meaning "East". While seemingly less important is the small-scale ecotourism from lodges, but as they complete Ecuador's tourism product, they in fact are far more important than most Ecuadorians realize. The climate is humid with a very high rainfall, which close to the Andes, in Puyo and Tena, may be as high as 4400 mm of rainfall per year.



Climate data at Tena


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The climate in the Amazon of Ecuador, is characterized by an average of about 3500 - 3200 mm of rainfall per year and an average temperature of 23 - 25 C. However, these values are very coarse and temperatures are lower in the foothills of the Andes. For instance the temperature runs up to 27 C in Leticia, in the eastern Colombian Amazon. Average Amazon rainfall shows a west-east gradient, with average values decreasing towards the east. So, Lago Agrio receives 3500 mm, Tarapoa near the Cuyabeno Lakes receives about 3300 mm of rainfall per year, while we estimate 3200mm for the Lagartacoche part of the reserve on the border with Peru, to receives less than 3200mm.


There is a distinct seasonal variety in the Amazon of Ecuador varying in wet and dry seasons. In fact, as you can see from the rainfall graphs, there are 2 dryer seasons in the Amazon of Ecuador: August - September and December - February. Not that it is not raining in the "dry" seasons; it just rains less during that time. The Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve is located right on the Equator. Consequently, while in the "dry seasons" less rain falls than during the rest of the year, even then, rain showers occur and it the forests never dry out. In fact during the dry seasons, rainfall still exceeds 200m per month while during the statistically wettest month - June - the average rainfall is around 350mm, not even double the precipitation during the dry season. This year-around rainfall favors the moist-dependent tropical species of plants and animals, and as a result more species can live in the Amazon jungle of Ecuador than most other places on earth.


Climate data Lagoagrio

CLIMATE IN THE AMAZON RAINFOREST OF ECUADOR: Tarapoa airport maximum and minimui temperatures in celciusCLIMATE IN THE AMAZON RAINFOREST OF ECUADOR: Tarapoa Airport rainfall data.

CLIMATE IN THE AMAZON RAINFOREST OF ECUADOR: Tarapoa Airport 2016 temperature data.CLIMATE IN THE AMAZON RAINFOREST OF ECUADOR: Tarapoa 2016 rainfall data.

Climate data Tarapoa.

Precipitation in Lagoagrio (Above) is the lowest in December, with an average of about 200 mm. Most rainfall falls in June, with an average of 345 mm. In Tarapoa, 10km away from the Puente Park entrance, data are very similar (middle and below. Average annual rainfall in Lagoagrio is 3500 mm; for Tarapoa 3300mm, demonstrating how rainfall decreases, further away from the Andes.

At an average temperature of 25.7 °C in Lagoagrio, November is somewhat warmer, while the average temperatures in July are a bit lower at 24.1 °C. It is the lowest average temperature of the whole year.


Below, the rainfall data for Tarapoa in 2016.


Climate Data Puyo, elevation 925m
  January February March April May June July August September October November December
Avg.  (°C) 21.4 21.5 21.5 21.6 21.3 20.6 20.4 21 21.4 21.5 21.9 21.8
Min.  (°C) 16.9 17 17 17 16.9 16.1 16 16 16.2 16.3 16.9 17
Max.  (°C) 25.9 26.1 26.1 26.2 25.8 25.2 24.9 26 26.7 26.8 26.9 26.6
Avg.  (°F) 70.5 70.7 70.7 70.9 70.3 69.1 68.7 69.8 70.5 70.7 71.4 71.2
Min.  (°F) 62.4 62.6 62.6 62.6 62.4 61.0 60.8 60.8 61.2 61.3 62.4 62.6
Max.  (°F) 78.6 79.0 79.0 79.2 78.4 77.4 76.8 78.8 80.1 80.2 80.4 79.9
Rainfall (mm) 296 298 420 455 401 440 370 312 344 361 357 349

Puyo is located on the lower Andes flanks, where the clouds are driven up and cause enormous rainfall. Precipitation varies by 159 mm between the driest month and the wettest month. During the year average temperatures vary by 1.5 ° C.


Amazon Lowlands at Lagoagrio and Coca.

Climate Data Lagoagrio, elevation 300m
  January February March April May June July August September October November December
Avg.  (°C) 24.8 24.8 24.6 24.5 24.2 24.1 24 24.3 24.9 25.2 25.3 25.1
Min.  (°C) 19.7 19.9 19.9 19.9 19.7 19.7 19.5 19.3 19.8 20 20.2 20
Max.  (°C) 29.9 29.7 29.4 29.1 28.8 28.6 28.5 29.3 30 30.4 30.4 30.3
Avg.  (°F) 76.6 76.6 76.3 76.1 75.6 75.4 75.2 75.7 76.8 77.4 77.5 77.2
Min.  (°F) 67.5 67.8 67.8 67.8 67.5 67.5 67.1 66.7 67.6 68.0 68.4 68.0
Max.  (°F) 85.8 85.5 84.9 84.4 83.8 83.5 83.3 84.7 86.0 86.7 86.7 86.5
Rainfall (mm) 215 228 308 381 360 342 302 223 264 309 299 246

The precipitation varies 166 mm between the driest month and the wettest month. The average temperatures vary during the year by 1.3 °C.


Tarapoa is typical for Lake Cuyabeno.

  January February March April May June July August September October November December
Avg.  (°C) 25.3 25.4 25.2 25.1 24.9 24.7 24.1 24.7 25.2 25.5 25.7 25.6
Min.  (°C) 20.3 20.5 20.6 20.7 20.4 20.4 19.9 19.9 20.2 20.3 20.6 20.5
Max.  (°C) 30.4 30.3 29.9 29.6 29.4 29 28.4 29.5 30.3 30.7 30.9 30.8
Avg.  (°F) 77.5 77.7 77.4 77.2 76.8 76.5 75.4 76.5 77.4 77.9 78.3 78.1
Min.  (°F) 68.5 68.9 69.1 69.3 68.7 68.7 67.8 67.8 68.4 68.5 69.1 68.9
Max.  (°F) 86.7 86.5 85.8 85.3 84.9 84.2 83.1 85.1 86.5 87.3 87.6 87.4
Rainfall (mm) 223 214 305 342 321 345 314 236 251 296 282 202


Climate data of Nuevo Rocafuerte at the border with Peru reflect the conditions at Lagarto Cocha.

Climate data of  Nuevo Nuevo Rocafuerte, elevation 180m















Precipitación (mm)














Días con lluvia*















Climatological Information for Iquitos, Peru
Location of weather station : 3.7 S, 73.2 W, altitude : 126 m
  Period Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Mean Max (°C) 1961-1990 32 31.7 31.9 31.0 30.6 30.4 30.9 31.6 32.1 31.9 31.9 31.7
Mean Min(°C) 1961-1990 22 22.0 22.1 22.1 21.9 21.3 20.8 21.1 21.4 21.8 22.1 23.2
Rainfall (mm) 1961-1990 279 227 279 310 274 190 182 165 189 242 260 282


For transport to the Cuyabeno, rainfall is very important. During the peak of the dry seasons, some of the lakes may occasionally fall dry. That in itself is very interesting, because aquatic animals such as the Caiman are forced together in the remaining water. But transportation may be a problem in the upper watershed, because the water in the river is very low. This never is the case at the Agua Rico River, although the Zabalo River may become temporarily inaccessible.


Cuyabeno pendat le saison secLe Lac Cuyabeno pendant le saison sec

The Macrolobium swamps surrounding the Cuyabeno Lake at times may fall totally dry for a few days during days with little or no rainfall.


How reliable are these indications? These indications are just general climate characterizations, and yearly fluctuations from the averages are commonplace. In fact any time of the year, it may there may be excessive rain showers. No matter what you may read on the internet, the weather in the Amazon tropical rainforest is surprisingly variable! First of all, over 24 hours the temperatures usually varies a lot. When the sun is shining around noon, temperatures will easily shoot up to 30 - 35 C, with the higher temperatures during the dry season. But when it rains, it temperatures are much lower. In the evenings, the temperatures fall rapidly and become very pleasant. At night, temperatures are so low that you need a light blanket, and in the mornings, it usually does not get hot before 10 o'clock. So, most of the time, the weather in Cuyabeno is extremely pleasant and you don't need air-conditioning.


High Rainfall in the Amazon of Ecuador

So it rains in the tropical rainforest? Yes it does! But in the tropical rainforest you go out watching wildlife under any weather condition, rain or shine. Now, it is not true that it rains all the time. In fact, in the course of a day, most of the time it does not rain, even though on most days there is at least one shower. For the unlucky ones, occasionally, there are days that it hardly ever stops raining, but that does not happen too often. If you are prepared for the worst, then every hour of sunshine will be a joy, and most of you are likely to have many hours of joy.


What we do recommend is that you bring one of those waterproof  roof prism binoculars.

Why you need binoculars you ask?

The Tropical rainforest is all about the small wildlife and birds that move about the trees. You can't even half appreciate your stay at Cuyabeno if you don't have a pair of binoculars around your neck all the time. You cant see the beautiful colors of the orchids and the hummingbirds, you miss the baby monkey on the back of his mom, you just sit there while you friends are awestruck when a King Vulture soars by.


Well, you will share binox with a friend, you think. Great, so when s/he first spots a bird, you still sit there waiting anxiously until s/he is finished looking. And your friend does not feel relaxed, knowing that you are waiting to get a peak as well! Finally s/he turns over the binox to you. Ahhhh, what a pity, the bird has just flown away.


So do yourself and your friends a favor, bring a pair of binoculars and more than double your jungle experience.

Binoculars for all conditions of the climate in the Amazon Rainforest of Ecuador

At the lodge we have ponchos and rubber boots to make sure you always can enjoy the jungle when you are our guest. Having said that, it does not happen all that often that it rains all day. Usually rain comes in showers and after a while it dries up again.



Much of Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve is located on a gently sloping plain towards the South East with very little accidentation. The area of the lakes where the Cuyabeno Lodge is located, is a giant saucer with a relatively narrow outlet towards the south. So when it rains, the saucer fills up with water, causing the lakes and swamps to fill up with water. The amount of rainfall varies greatly over the year. There are burst of rainfall that can quickly fill up the "saucer" and the water table may easily rise 5 meters above the normal level. During such high waters, which can last for up to several months, the Cuyabeno and Aguarico Rivers rises above its river bed and large areas of forests become flooded. During such periods the fishes enter the forest for feeding and spawning and are followed by the Amazon dolphins. Once a large group of King Vultures directed us to a dead dolphin deep inside the forest. It had gotten trapped when the water had retreated. During such high waters, most lodges around the Cuyabeno Lake are flooded, with exception of 2 lodges, of which one the Cuyabeno Lodge, which lies on a 15 m high hill, overlooking the lake.


CLIMATE IN THE AMAZON RAINFOREST OF ECUADOR: Clouds over Lake Cuyabeno.Climate in the Amazon Rainforest of Ecuador: Rainbow over rainshower Aguarico River.

A typical overcast sky which later produced a light sprinkle but no real shower.

Other times rain showers may really pour down.



Climate in the Amazon Rainforest of Ecuador: night excursion in Cuyabeno.Climate in the Amazon Rainforest of Ecuador: Sunsets are often dramatically beautiful.

Going out on an excursion in the dark; at this hour the temperature is very comfortable. As the evening progresses, one may even need a light sweater sometimes.

Dramatic sunsets often occur in Cuyabeno, but contrary to the common believe, they won't tell you what the weather is going to be like a few hours later.


Climate in the Amazon Rainforest of Ecuador. Sunset at Cuyabeno Lake.Climate in the Amazon Rainforest of Ecuador: Early morning sun over Cuyabeno.

A beautiful sunrise in Cuyabeno.

An early morning excursion in an early morning sun is very comfortable at probably 23 degrees Celsius.


Whatever the weather, we organize the Cuyabeno Loop throughout the year. For when it rains or for when the sun shines, our roofed canoe protects your adequately on the journey between our Cofan village of Zabalo and the Cuyabeno Lakes.


Visiting the Amazon in Ecuador: Port of Entry for a visit of the Amazon in Ecuador at CuyabenoVisiting the Amazon in Ecuador: Relaxing on the Cuyabeno Lodge deck during your Amazon visit in Ecuador

Our roofed canoe protects you from excessive sun shine and rain.

Our Cofan Lodge in our Cofan village of Zabalo.


The Concept of the Climate in Tropical South America

It is interesting to see that in the tropics very few Latin Americans distinguish between climate and weather and they use the two words for both meanings. Contributing to the confusion is that the Spanish world "tiempo" refers both to the English meaning of time as well as to momentary the atmospheric condition (weather).


Just for our Latin American friends: climate means the generally prevailing weather, such as temperature, air pressure, humidity, precipitation, sunshine, cloudiness, and winds, throughout the year, averaged over a series of years, while weather represents the atmospheric conditions at a specific moment at a specific place. The area may be large (the Amazon) or small, like the slope of a mountain, in which case, one speaks of a microclimate.


Also, the seasons are interpreted differently. The dry season is called verano (summer) and the wet season invierno (winter); these indications are completely unrelated to summer and winter on either the northern or southern hemispheres. Seasons may be named accordingly,  whenever a dry/wet period occurs. In fact, a very common expression is "hace verano/invierno" ("it's summer/winter") to indicate that the sun is shining or that it is raining. So, in Ecuador and the Amazon, the climate changes by the hour . This inconsistent language use is universal, as even most highly learned scientists, totally mix the words for weather, season and climate.


The COFAN LODGE and PARKS & TRIBES have their sales office in:

Calle Mariano Cardenal N74-153 y Joaquín Mancheno; Carcelen Alto District (Barrio)

Download:Cofan Lodge brochure.


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