Choosing the Galapagos Islands as your next destination is a decision you will never regret. You’ll experience a new culture, make friends with an incredible community, enjoy the most amazing food, and see sights and animals you couldn’t even imagine in your wildest dreams.
Without a doubt, visiting the Galapagos Islands is the trip of a lifetime no matter when you go, but it’s important to understand what each time of year brings so you know what to expect.
This guide will help you determine the best time to visit the Galapagos Islands.
Climate and Weather
Galapagos consists of 13 large islands located near the equator in the Pacific Ocean; This is good news for travelers as the air and water temperatures stay pretty much the same throughout the year. Even the rich diversity of animal life in the Galapagos—the Galapagos penguin, flightless cormorant, marine iguana, land iguana, blue-footed booby, Galapagos falcon, and furry sea lion—coincidentally (swims or burrows) so they don’t migrate. like other species.
However, there are still “seasons”, albeit slight ones, to consider when planning your dream trip.
From June to December and from January to May, you will see slightly different climates and temperatures in the archipelago. Both have their advantages; This means that the best time to visit the Galapagos Islands depends on the creatures, landscapes and climates you are most excited to see and experience.
Lighter, Dry Season
Also known as the “Garua” season, it lasts from June to December. If you want to avoid the direct equatorial sun, mornings are the ideal time to go as a low cloud settles over the larger islands and slowly dissipates throughout the afternoon.
A light jacket or sweater may be required for walking on the beach in the early morning. Temperatures peak around 80°F this season and drop into the mid-60s. Yet do not underestimate the sun; remember that you will still need protection.
The water will also be a little cooler, although it only changes 5 degrees from season to season, with August seeing the lowest temperatures. This is one reason why marine life is so active at this time of year; You can expect exciting encounters with sea turtles, sea lions, Galapagos penguins and even wild dolphins.
Hot, Wet Season
The Garua season ends when the trade winds drop from the equator and shift south towards the Galapagos; Warmer water is drawn from the Panama Current. The fluctuation of warm air only leads to frequent afternoon showers at higher altitudes; March and April see the hottest and wettest days of the year.
El Niño and La Niña phenomena are also more common during this season and can result in more intense precipitation. Don’t worry: experts are keeping a close eye on conditions.
From late December to June, the sky is visibly clearer, the water is at its warmest, and the air reaches its highest temperature of around 90°F. The lower elevations receive limited rain, so this is a great time to explore.
Activities by Month
There’s no bad time or “off season” to visit the Galapagos – it’s a year-round destination that offers different activities and experiences depending on when you go.
If it’s wildlife that excites you most, the Galapagos should already be at the top of your to-do list. Thanks to the islands’ mild weather conditions, Red-Footed Mammals and Masked Mammals breed and nest throughout the year, along with the Great and Great Frigate Birds. You’ll also see Flightless Cormorants, Penguins, and Greater Flamingos breeding and nesting year-round. But this is just the beginning.
Here we break down the best activities based on when you embark on this extraordinary adventure.
January and February are two of the most popular months to visit the Galapagos. Garua is over, the sky is crystal clear and the underwater visibility and water temperature is divine. Many take the opportunity to snorkel and catch some unique sights – don’t be surprised if you find a small company!
The world’s rarest penguin species, Galapagos Penguins average 19 inches tall and 5 lbs. Second, for the smallest Penguin, scientists believe their ancestors came from Antarctica and were caught in the Humboldt Current that took them to the Galapagos. These little guys are in dire danger, only a few thousand left. But don’t worry Galapagos Conservation Area It works hard to protect them and other species on the island by building habitats and sustainable communities.
A good place to look for famous penguins is the cliffs that run along the coast. They usually lay eggs in December or January, and one parent guards the egg while the other forages.
If you’re hoping to make special memories by swimming with Galapagos Penguins, you have to be patient. They are fast little creatures and do not respond well if you approach them too hot. Instead, consider swimming calmly in their territory. Let them wonder and examine you. If you’re really lucky, they’ll follow you as you explore.
- Visitor Volume– The Galapagos is in peak season for visitors in January, but averages out in February and March.
- Precipitation Expectation– These are by far the best months for clear skies. Guests can expect 6-7.5 hours of crystal blue skies.
- Underwater Visibility– By March you will enjoy more than 100 feet of visibility. This gives you the opportunity to observe Galapagos penguins and other marine life.
April sees the warmest climate in the Galapagos, but soon the Garua season takes hold – the weather becomes cool and dry, making it very comfortable for visitors to explore the islands, bask in the sun and encounter wildlife. In June, the Humboldt Current strengthens, leading to very active marine life, making it the best opportunity for a snorkeling adventure.
The precipitation is accelerating, but mostly in the highlands. Depending on the food source, Flightless Cormorants begin nesting.
A Dance Ritual
Most animals on the islands mate at this time of year, including Blue-Footed Mammals. As if the name wasn’t catchy enough, these charming birds with bright blue feet will dance with each other before mating. The male impresses the female by bowing his head first, showing off his majestic feet (the brighter the blue, the healthier the bird) and if that doesn’t work, his wings will go up!
What sets the Blue-Footed Boobie apart from other birds is that they continue to court each other after nesting. And they flirt with their neighbors when one is fed outside. This real-life soap opera is a sight to behold.
- Visitor Volume – While visitors are average in April, the warm waters, comfortable climate and summer holidays of the northern hemisphere attract more visitors from May to July.
- Precipitation Expectation– As we approach a cooler and rainy season, the sky will be clear for 4-5 hours a day. Guests will still enjoy the great weather and the warmest water.
- Underwater Visibility– Towards the end of April, the current changes and the sea water becomes less clear and provides 30-70ft visibility. Still, the marine life is more active, which makes direct encounters more likely.
August to December is an exciting time of year in the Galapagos. Whale and dolphin sightings are most common, the climate is great for hiking, and new life is emerging. You’ll likely see sea lion cubs, egg-laying Galapagos giant tortoises, and, if you’re really lucky, wavy albatross chicks.
When the weather is cool and dry, it’s perfect for hiking and exploring the islands. The beauty of the volcanoes will take your breath away.
The Galapagos islands formed from volcanoes millions of years ago, and as time passes, these giants continue to slide eastward, giving rise to new islands. It is the world’s most active hotspot, with 13 of the 21 “living” volcanoes that set the stage for some of the most beautiful and fascinating places on the planet, such as massive, smoldering calderas, black lava flows and lunar landscapes.
Consider hiking to Los Gemelos or the Twin Craters, a pair of collapsed lava pits. Or light a torch and enter the ancient lava tunnels that can be found on the islands.
If you’re lucky, you might even see a volcanic eruption. Regardless, you’ll no doubt feel like your eyes are deceiving you as you capture the awe-inspiring scenery. Take pictures, but know they won’t do it justice.
- Visitor Volume – You can expect a large number of visitors until mid-August, then the quiet season begins. This is a unique time for explorers to explore the islands without the crowds.
- Precipitation Expectation– You will only have 3-4 hours of clear skies. The cold weather makes this a great time to explore a lava cave or hike in the woods.
- Underwater Visibility– While your underwater visibility will be limited to 30-70 ft, your chances of encountering large marine life are also much higher – whale and dolphin watching is at its peak.
Best Time To Visit The Galapagos Islands
The answer is simple. Anytime.
The mild climate and subtle difference in water temperature make the Galapagos Islands a fantastic all-season destination, whether you intend to snorkel early in the year, explore mid-year wildlife, or venture to ancient volcanoes near the end of the year. gurau
The best way to make your experience truly unforgettable, luxury Galapagos cruise. This gives you a unique opportunity to visit each island with expert guidance to help you navigate this legendary place. At the end of each adventure you will enjoy a sumptuous and inviting stay. Explore by day, be happy at night.
No matter when you choose to visit the Galapagos Islands, one thing is certain: creatures, landscapes and people come together in harmony to create once-in-a-lifetime memories. And that’s a word.