The dry season is supposed to be July through December, but here in the highlands of the Andes it can and will rain at any given moment and without a lot of warning. This is why having an umbrella handy is a prudent thing to have with you.
After you have lived here for awhile and experienced a few seasons you’ll come to realize in Cuenca you never know what to expect. It may rain very heavily, or it may just sprinkle, just be prepared for three seasons in one day. We usually wear a t-shirt or short-sleeve blouse under a sweater or heavier long sleeve shirt, plus we keep a light rain jacket in our backpacks with an umbrella just in case.
When is the best time to visit Cuenca? In our experience the best weather we have seen for two years in a row is in the winter-time here, which is the North Countries summer-time. However, even when it rains here, it usually does not last but maybe a half hour and then it stops and the sun usually comes shining through the clouds and warms everything back up again.
The weather in Cuenca is similar to Hawaii but not as warm and tropical. Every single day when we were in Hawaii we woke up to beautiful clear skies, by afternoon it would pour for about 20 minutes then stop and the sun would come out…this is what it does here (it doesn't rain every day) and it doesn't fully clear back to blue skies…it stays partially cloudy. And the temperatures stay under a threshold, not quite tropical.
There is not a lot of temperature change throughout the year. The days are 65 to 70’s and the night times temperatures are 40’s, 50’s. And about 359 days out of the year Cuenca is partially cloudy.
We’re now going into winter (it’s May) and it is starting to be sunnier and less cloudy each week. Starting in June it will be drier and more sunshine throughout the day. Maybe!
Cuenca days will have some clouds but it won’t be so overcast so that it seems like it’s going to rain at any moment. Winter afternoons can paradoxically feel rather hot under the Ecuador sun and you’ll want to be prepared and dress in layers for this. You’ll want to have a sunhat to shade the bridge of your nose and forehead or use sunscreen on the sensitive areas of your face and on the nape of your neck, or you will burn!
BTW, sunscreen is VERY expensive here, compared to the states, so you will want to bring some with you in your checked luggage. Do not bring sunscreen in your carry-on because the airport personnel might just take it from you.
Things to Bring with You to Cuenca
- Sunhat or ball cap
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Long sleeves and or sweaters for evenings
- Light sweater/jacket/parka
- Fold up umbrella
- Laptop or favorite handheld electronic
- Backpack for carrying your water bottle, umbrella, and sweater
- If staying downtown in a hostel or hotel you might consider earplugs
- Warm P.Js in case it gets below 40’s during the night
- Any medications you might need
- If you have the DIY Cuenca Landing Guide, Print out the maps and information that is essential to your trip- or buy the print book. :-)
- Sign up to Skype before you leave to call home or have a magic jack number
- Small Bills (100’s are difficult to cash here)
- Have pertinent/personal information in the cloud just in case something happens (lost or stolen, blows-up) to your computer
Read more about Cuenca Ecuador Weather here.