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In Ecuador, the word “climate” takes on a whole new meaning. With its position on the equator and its steep terrain, the country presents a variety of climates which change over short distances depending on the altitude. Basically, the year is divided into two seasons. Winter, which is hot and humid, extends from December to May, while summer, much cooler, extends from June to November. Nevertheless, depending on their geographical location on the equator, the northern regions of the Costa see average temperatures around 27°C (81°F). The southern Costa is crossed by the cold Humboldt Current which leads to cooler temperatures. Heading east, the hot, humid and rainy climate of the Oriente causes average temperatures between 24°C (75°F) and 28°C (82°F). The temperature in the Sierra is much lower due to the higher altitude; on average it fluctuates between 14°C (57°F) and 18°C (64°F). Finally, the Galápagos Islands enjoy a dry and temperate climate throughout the year.

Thus, what type of clothing you bring depends entirely on which region you will be visiting. Generally speaking, however, loose-fitting cotton clothing is best. Wear shoes rather than sandals when exploring the Sierra, as they will protect you from cuts that could get infected. If you plan on doing any hiking in the mountains, be sure to bring along proper hiking boots and warmer clothes. For cooler evenings, a long-sleeved shirt or jacket will come in handy. A small umbrella or raincoat will protect you from showers. In fact, clouds routinely take over clear blue skies causing surprise rainstorms. Women in miniskirts are frowned upon, except on the beaches of the Costa. Bring a few fancier items for nights out as many places have dress codes. The Amazon region is characterized by its hot, humid and rainy climate. Bring casual, comfortable clothes that dry quickly if you are heading to this part of the country.

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