GringosAbroad Ecuador

GringosAbroad helps expats and travelers navigate Ecuador. When you use our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Cuenca’s “Spring-Like” Climate: What it Really Means

Posted in: Cuenca Ecuador, Ecuador Facts, Ecuador Weather, Living in Ecuador

Cuenca Ecuador is famous for it’s “spring-like” climate. Warm days and cool nights. But what does it really mean? What can you expect on your trip?

Cuenca's Springlike Climate

What is a “Spring-Like” Climate in Cuenca?

In our news series: What’s Your Question About Cuenca, Ecuador? Lionel Riley asks:

We all hear about Cuenca’s spring-like weather and houses with no ac/heating. I’ve been looking at the nighttime temperatures and they seem to average in the mid-forties. I live in the San Francisco Bay area and temperatures in the mid-forties at night is cold. How does one call this spring-like weather?

A few months ago, we discussed What is a “Spring-Like” Climate? but we will try to clarify it somewhat.

“Spring-like” According to What Standard?

Lionel makes a good point. Spring in the San Francisco Bay area is a little different than a New York spring and even more different than a Northern Ontario (Canada) spring. The term is very subjective.

When we refer to “spring-like” here in Cuenca, we are talking from our perspective. We are Canadians and spring in our home province of Nova Scotia is a perfect time of year. Its warm in the day (t-shirt weather – yet another subjective term) and cool (sweater weather) in the evenings.

Cuenca is like this. The sun is hot in the day and it cools off significantly at night. It rains a fair amount – often without much warning.

If you are from Southern California you might find the evenings cooler than you are used to. The sun is different than the southern States. Although it doesn’t get that “hot” it feels very hot because of the strength of the sun here on the equator.

So if you are coming to visit, you’ll want more than sandals and shorts. A long sleeve t-shirt and rain jacket are also in order. Oh – and shorts aren’t a very common sight here. Light pants might help you fit in a bit better.

Curious about the spring-like climate in Cuenca? I’ll do my best to explain it.

There seems to be some confusion online about what the expression “spring-like” actually means. Is it icy cold? Or is it beach weather? Just what does spring-like mean?


Does Cuenca Really Have a “Spring-Like” Climate?

Imagine the Northern US / Southern Canada in the months of May/June. But for 12 months of the year.

In the months of May and June, you’ll see lots of rain, lots of sun. Evenings are cool, days are pleasant and occasionally hot. On overcast days, you’ll need a sweater or a shell jacket.

What it doesn’t mean:

  • Snow, ice and frostbite
  • Heatstroke and 40 degrees (Celsius) or 100 degrees (Fahrenheit)
  • Air conditioners or furnaces

What it does mean:

  • It will rain
  • It will be sunny and warm
  • Some days it will be hot
  • The evenings can get cool – especially on clear nights.

If you are thinking about visiting the Andes, and specifically the city of Cuenca, you might wonder what you’ll need.

Check out the annual weather chart for Cuenca Ecuador.

First, here’s what you won’t need on your trip to Cuenca:

  • A snow shovel
  • Skis or crampons
  • Igloo architectural plans
  • Short shorts (yeah, they can stay at home, even if you’re going to the coast. No one likes those . . .)

What you will need:

  • sunscreen and hat (the sun is strong here)
  • raincoat and sweaters
  • warm jammies – (I’m told)
  • portable umbrella

The cool rainy season is May to August. It is warm and dry the rest of the year. Of course, it can be rainy any time of year. It just rains more in the rainy season – imagine that!

Learn more about Cuenca, Ecuador.

Storm Clouds of Cuenca, Ecuador

This shot was taken with our daughters little point-and-shoot camera. We were just heading into the downtown when storm clouds formed overhead. The sun was still shining on the white of the church making a pretty outstanding contrast.

Rain storms can roll in pretty quick in Cuenca. For this reason, most people carry an umbrella.


Interested to learn more about the weather across the country? Check out our Guide to Ecuador Weather: Climate Charts for all 4 Regions

You might also enjoy:

Check out our guides:

Meet the Author

Bryan Haines is co-editor of GringosAbroad - Ecuador's largest blog for expats and travelers. He is a travel blogger and content marketer. He is also co-founder of ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorial blog) and Storyteller Media (content marketing for travel brands). Work with GringosAbroad.

13 comments… add one
  • greg harris Mar 11, 2017, 12:19 pm

    If you want to see what the annual weather for Cuenca is, then google “annual weather chart for Cuenca Ecuador“. This gives you the full range of temperature in both Fahrenheit and Centigrade and indicative rainfall over the whole year

  • James Jan 2, 2014, 8:52 pm

    Do you ever get tired of the rain? The past few weeks, every time I’ve checked the weather forecast for Cuenca it says “Rain 90-100% chance” for the *whole week!* Does it rain all day or just intermittently?

    • Jim Jan 3, 2014, 1:26 pm

      We lived in Cuenca for 1 year and don’t recall much rain. When it did rain it seemed to be isolated showers or rain for a few hours at the very most. I enjoyed the sunshine but found it too cool for my liking.

  • maria Jun 30, 2013, 12:23 pm

    How cold does it get there I heard people having portable heaters in the morning because it is so cold we plan to take two small portable heater that we already have we have packed our warm robes and slippers,boots,turtle necks and cords…one person said she was freezing??

    • Bryan Haines Jul 4, 2013, 9:52 am

      At night, it can get cold – especially in some houses. If it is drafty then it can be uncomfortably cold in the evenings and early mornings. In the first place we rented we used the oven to take the chill off. I don’t know the temperature, our thermometer stopped working…

    • Jim Jul 4, 2013, 9:58 am

      You have to remember that all houses Ecuador are concrete so they will hold the heat or cold. I was cold all the time when I lived in Cuenca, but I work from home and spent many hours at the computer and I refused to buy a heater. I think one can be quite comfy in their home in Cuenca if they have a heater to take the chill off.

  • Reba May 14, 2013, 8:34 am

    I have been trying to ascertain what the heat index or “feels like” variables are in Ecuador. Having live in the south and Pacific Northwest, I find I like the drier feeling air. The southern states are so sticky feeling and Washington state feels humid also but almost always feels cold to me while Northern California feels good in the spring months then hot in the summer months. Where does Ecuador fall given these parameters?

  • Don Jan 1, 2013, 3:28 pm

    I would like to know what the weather is like in the month of June and also September. Thanks for your attention to this request.

  • David Akins Oct 9, 2011, 9:56 am

    Yes, if you are from ‘up North’ (NYC, Nova Scotia, etc.), it probably is ‘spring like’ weather. If you from Georgia or Florida, it gets pretty darn cold!

    David Akins
    Jacksonville, Florida/Rome, Georgia/Cuenca, Ecuador

  • Jim Cohoon Sep 18, 2011, 11:22 am

    We’re cold much of the time but we live a little higher than the city at about 9400 feet. We are planning to move down in a few months which we are certain will solve our discomfort problem as the city almost always seems 5 or more degrees warmer. I think there is room to design homes much better here. The house we are renting has a lot of ceiling height glass and no real passive solar opportunities for the size of the house. Spring like in Nova Scotia? Definately. But it covers early spring and late spring. And when the sun comes out, it is very intense. Some people wear a lot of sun screen which I really don’t care for, but a hat with a wide brim is a must.

  • Cy Sep 18, 2011, 7:30 am

    This is something that has confused me for awhile. I’ve been “eying” Cuenca and Cotacachi as possible places to relocate to. As such, I’ve been monitoring the weather there periodically for more than a year. I’ve noticed many days where the high temperature for the day is no more than 50 – 55F. To me, this is quite cold.


  • M Sep 18, 2011, 7:16 am

    I’m always wondering about the rain. Does it rain pretty much everyday year round? Does it ever rain all day? Or for days on end? Thanks~

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.