While there is never a bad time to visit the Galapagos Islands, there are certain differences per month. Galapagos is a year-round destination due to its location at the Equator, therefore the differences lay mostly in the animals that can be spotted and their behavior. The climate does not vary significantly, there are minor changes that are caused by the ocean currents. While some months may be very hot and perfect for relaxing at the beach among sea lions, other’s are perfect for Sport tours.
This month is part of the warm or wet season, expect to have sunny blue skies in the mornings with rising temperatures during the afternoon. At the end of the day it usually rains, a good way to cool down!
- In January, land birds start nesting.
- On Española Island, the adult marine Iguanas change their colour. They become very bright coloured, ranging from red, orange to even green and purple!
- Green Sea turtles beach to lay their eggs.
- On Isabela Island, the land iguanas begin their courtship.
Whereas January was a warm month, February is even hotter. This month is along with March one of the rainiest months of the year. Don’t let this hold you back, as after the rain usually the sun starts to shine again.
There is plenty of sun and the sea temperature is starting to rise, making it comfortable for aquatic activities. February is the month which generally has the best underwater visibility, so you will be able to observe many animals.
- Marine Iguanas begin nesting on Santa Cruz.
- The Greater Flamingos on Floreana Island start nesting.
- The Galapagos Dove nesting season is at its peak while the Nazca Boobies on Española are ending their nesting season.
- White-Cheeked Pintails start their breeding season.
A sunny month with warm waters, the sun will reach it strongest intensity so make sure you are prepared by packing sun block with a high factor of protection.
- Iguanas nest on North Seymour and Fernandina.
- It is the perfect time for snorkelling.
- The Frigatebird mating season begins on San Cristobal and Genovesa Islands.
- Waved Albatrosses arrive at Española Island.
The peak of the wet season is over, and the islands turn green and full of (new-born) life. April and May are considered the best months to visit Galapagos however, this is purely subjective.
- The First sea lion pups are born.
- Frigatebird chicks begin to hatch.
- Galapagos hawk begin their courting on different islands.
- Giant tortoises get back to the highlands of Santa Cruz.
- Marine Iguana eggs start hatching.
- The baby sea turtles begin to hatch in Puerto Egas and Gardner Bay on Santiago and Española.
- Waved albatrosses on Española lay their eggs.
- Blue-footed boobies begin their courtship ritual.
This month the cold and dry season has officially started. There is significantly less rain, but it is also a bit chillier. The cool currents bring a lot of nutrients with them, making a good source of food for the animals living at the Islands.
- Humpback whales can be seen passing through.
- The giant tortoise nesting season starts, they move to the low lands to find a good nesting place.
- Birds will start migrating north.
The nights are significantly cooler than this month, so make sure to pack a jacket for when it gets a bit colder. In July there is again not much rain and with it’s clear and sunny skies it is ideal to visit.
- During this month sea bird communities start nesting.
- The sea lion breeding season has kicked off.
- It is more likely to spot whales and dolphins, especially off the coast of Isla Isabela.
- The mating ritual of Lava Lizards has begun!
The garua or misty season that starts in June and lasts until November, is getting stronger. This mean that every morning the day breaks in to a thin layer of mist across the highlands. This occurrence are one of the reasons that the Islands are called the ”enchanted Islands”
- Frigate bird chicks are hatching.
- The first sea lion pups are born.
- Galapagos Giant tortoises return to the Santa Cruz highlands.
- On Española and Santiago, the Galapagos Hawks start their courting.
In September the Galapagos Islands reach their lowest yearly temperatures. Don’t worry, these temperatures are actually very comfortable. A wet suit is however is recommended for aquatic activities like swimming and diving.
- This is an excellent month if you wish to see or swim with penguins.
- Baby sea lions are very playful and active, an amazing sight.
- The Galapagos fur seal start mating.
Due to the cold Humboldt currents, the ocean is full of tropical fish. Ideal for snorkeling or diving, and perfect for the birds that hunt these fishes. The birds can be spotted actively hunting for food.
- Boobies on Isabela Island raise their newly born chicks.
- Lava Herons begin nesting
- Spot whale sharks at the north-western Islands.
- Brand-rumped storm petrels are starting their second period of nesting.
- Brown Nody breeding season begins
- Giant tortoises begin to hatch.
- Birds start migrating to the south.
- The first Waved Albatross chicks start to show up.
- Green sea turtles start to mate.
More information about the Galapagos Islands? Read our complete guide and get to know everything that you need to!0