When to visit the Galapagos Islands
When to visit the Galapagos Islands
Our Guide on When to Visit the Galapagos Islands
The Galapagos Islands can be visited year-round as the majority of the wildlife is not migratory. What is important to consider is what behaviours you would like to see as the wildlife changes through the year.
In January the green turtles lay their eggs and in February the Marine Iguanas start to nest. March is the mating season for Frigate birds and in April the sea turtles start to nest. As the dry season starts in May the blue footed boobies start doing their courtship rituals, as June comes the whales and sharks are more visible. In July the sea lions start to breed and give birth in August. In September the penguins start their courtship rituals and the lion pups start to play in the waters. In October the fur sea lions start to mate and the blue footed booby chicks can be spotted. As you come into November the green sea turtles start their mating season and in December the Giant tortoise eggs start to hatch. There is always an amazing wildlife experience to witness when visiting the Galapagos Islands.
There is not a ‘right’ time to visit the islands, it is a personal choice about which conditions and wildlife activities suit you best. Many experts say the change over between seasons in May is the best month to visit. In May the rain is easing but the water remains warm so you can comfortably snorkel and swim. The temperature is also starting to cool from the scorching heat of the rainy season.
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My love for South America started when I was living in Lima, Peru, and family and friends came to visit. That year I went to Machu Picchu 5 times! I do not have one drop of Latin blood in me, which is painfully obvious if you see me dance, and yet without realizing it for the past 15 years South America has been my home.
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Best time to go to the Galapagos Islands
Weather patterns do vary, this is just a guide based on historical patterns and data.
Warm Rainy Season
December – May
Many people would assume the rainy season is not a great time to go but the sea is calmer at this time of year with decent diving and snorkelling. At this time of year, underwater visibility is 20 – 25 meters (60-80ft). The Panama Current brings warmth to the islands, temperatures peak at around 30c and the heat is great for the beach and all the water activities. The rain tends to come as a light shower, there is the occasional tropical downpour though! Towards the end of the rainy season, the turtle and iguanas are hatching and the young animals are very playful. Christmas is a very busy time of year and we strongly recommend you book well in advance.
Cool Dry Season
June – November
In June the sea current changes bringing cooler conditions to the islands. Daily temperatures will be 23c (72F) and the sea will be rougher at this time of year, we recommend larger vessels during this season for a more stable voyage. In July and August, the birds start to mate and you can watch this fascinating ritual. The wind tends to be strongest in August and as September arrives the Galapagos are entering their quiet time and some boats are taken out of service to be refurbished.
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