Home Galápagos Islands Why Summer is a Great Time to Study Abroad in Ecuador

Why Summer is a Great Time to Study Abroad in Ecuador

by AIFS Abroad
Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

Many sleep on Ecuador as a summer destination, but they forget that it’s home to history’s most famous study abroad experience — Charles Darwin’s trip to the Galápagos Islands, where he famously was inspired to form his theory of evolution. Because of the relatively small differences in weather across its seasons, Ecuador and the Galápagos are wonderful year-round, but summer is low key a great time to go. 

If you’re looking to study abroad in the summer, here are a few reasons why you should Galápa-go to Ecuador. 

Less Rain, More Exploration

As we said before, Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands have little differences in the seasons, and therefore are year-round destinations. Fun fact: most Ecuadorians don’t even have central heating in their homes. But, if you’re not a fan of getting wet, great news: June through November is the country’s cool season and its dry season, meaning there will be fewer rainy days. Did we mention there is little variation in daylight hours over the year? You can expect sunrise at 6:00 AM and sunset at 6:00 PM like clockwork. 

AIFS Abroad student in Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

Wildlife Galore 

Darwin was drawn to Ecuador, particularly the Galápagos Islands, due to its large number of endemic species. While on your summer study abroad program there, you can meet Galápagos penguins, whales, sea lions, marine iguanas and, of course, (the GOAT) the Galápagos tortoise. During the summer, the Humboldt Current blows into the islands, resulting in cooler, more nutrient-rich water. Because of this, there tends to be more marine life in the waters, so it’s the perfect time to snorkel! If you love wildlife, this is a great study abroad destination for you.

Best Ways to Discover the Galápagos Islands’ Unrivaled Wildlife | AIFS Study Abroad | AIFS in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
AIFS Abroad students with a Galápagos Tortoise in Ecuador

Visit the Cultural Center at the Center of the World 

Ecuador’s capital is Quito, which is not only the second highest capital in the world in terms of elevation, but also sits directly on the center of the Earth’s Equator (hence the name “Ecuador”). You can stand at the Equator’s exact location at the Monument to it, just north of the city center. While you’re there, take in the unique patchwork of cultures of Ecuador, from the Andes-inspired Museo Templo del Sol Pintor Oretega Maila or the baroque masterpiece that is Fundación Iglesia de la Compañía, a Jesuit church with a distinctly Quiteno vibe. Because summer is technically the off-season, all these attractions will have fewer crowds, which means more Quito for you as you study abroad in Ecuador. 

Volcanoes and Jungles 

Ecuador is a paradise for hikers and outdoor explorers pretty much any time a year, but in summer the trails are less crowded and it’s less likely your plans will get rained out. To the El Oriente (the east) you have the Amazon jungle, where over one million acres of largely undisturbed rainforest sits, hiding gargantuan waterfalls beneath lush ancient canopies. Or venture to La Sierra (the highlands) and hike the Avenue of the Volcanoes, which consists of volcanoes that can be trekked by variety any skill-level, whether you’re looking for just a day trip or full-on climbing experience. 

aifs abroad students in the galápagos islands, ecuador
AIFS Abroad students at the Charles Darwin Research Station in the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

Ecological Empowerment 

The changing climate has taken its toll on most countries, but due to its important biodiversity, the stakes are particularly high for Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands. In the last 40 years, the country has seen its seven glaciers lose over 50% of their surface. If you’re concerned about our changing climate, as we are, visit Ecuador during summer when its natural beauty is at its peak to really get a sense of what could be lost.

If the climate crisis is a critical issue for you, AIFS Abroad offers a study abroad program in the Galápagos Islands, which has a focus on ecology and environmental science at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito.

Summer in Ecuador means natural beauty mixed with adventure and discovery when you study abroad.

From high adrenaline activities to chilling with the tortoises, Ecuador has it all, especially during the summer. If that all sounds good to you, consider studying abroad there with AIFS Abroad. 

Pin Image: Oceanscape in Galápagos Islands with text overlay "Why Summer is a Great Time to Study Abroad in Ecuador - AIFS Abroad"
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