Galapagos Tortoise, Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Islands

One of the many fabulous aspects of the Galapagos is that it is a great place to visit all year, but the best time to visit will depend partly on the activities you want to do. Although there are a few species that do migrate, most are discoverable throughout the year. There are two seasons: January to June is warmer and wetter and July to December marks the cooler dry season.

Information & Highlights

Hammerhead sharks, Galapagos Islands

Best time to go diving in the Galapagos Islands

There is no dive season in the Galapagos – it is possible to dive year-round in the archipelago. Most divers choose to explore this underwater world between June and September during the cool and dry season, but there are advantages of the warm and wet season too. The “best time” to dive here really depends on your tolerance for the water temperatures and what you want to see most.

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Explore the best time to visit

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec

Visiting Galapagos Islands in January

high season

The holiday crowds start to thin out as the rainy season begins and the air and water temperatures start rising. The Galapagos becomes green as the dry zones start to flourish. This is an ideal time to visit for snorkelers as the water gets warmer, as well as bird watchers, with Darwin finches and yellow warblers starting their mating rituals.

Green sea turtles

Marine iguanas

Visiting Galapagos Islands in February

medium season

A great time of year if you are into scuba diving; the waters are clear and the days are warm and humid. The consistent calm waters make it perfect for putting on a pair of fins or taking a trip on a glass-bottomed boat to see what wildlife you can underwater. On land, marine iguanas start to nest on Santa Cruz and there are less penguin sightings on Bartolome Island with many having followed the cooler, western waters.

Greater flamingos

Nazca boobies

Visiting Galapagos Islands in March

medium season

On the Galapagos Islands during March you can expect the highest temperatures and also higher periods of precipitation. Periods of rain can be expected on most days, but also hot temperatures making it feel tropical. The warmer waters mean that sessions in the water can last longer.

Disembarking at certain areas like Puerto Egas, Gardner Bay and Bartolome can be challenging.

Galapagos albatross

Penguins

Visiting Galapagos Islands in April

medium season

The rainy season begins to come to an end in April and the wildlife is busy feasting on an abundance of fruit and seeds making it a popular time for tourists.

Giant tortoises

Land iguanas

Visiting Galapagos Islands in May

medium season

May is a shoulder season for the Galapagos with the cooler period ahead; it is a great time to visit before the summer travellers arrive. Marine iguana eggs are busy hatching on Santa Cruz and you can see small iguana hatchlings strolling along the shores.

Blue-footed boobies

Penguins

Visiting Galapagos Islands in June

high season

Marking the beginning of the Garua season you can expect more mist and fog at either end of the day. However, there will still be plenty of sunshine around during the day for you to enjoy your visit. Cooler southern currents are driving the fall in temperatures and south east trade winds can make the sea less settled and pods of humpback whales start to arrive in the Galapagos.

Magnificent frigate birds

Giant tortoises

Visiting Galapagos Islands in July

high season

Throughout July, the islands are cool and occasionally drizzly while still holding on to the sunshine and clearer skies of the warm and wet season – however it is also one of the windiest months. In the cool and dry season, the sun is less intense, light tropical rains can fall and the increase in wind brings choppier seas.

Lava lizards begin to initiate mating rituals, which continue through to November and this is the ideal time to witness the four nesting stages of blue-footed and Nazca boobies, from eggs and chicks to juveniles and sub-adults.

Flightless Cormorants

Whales and Dolphins

Visiting Galapagos Islands in August

high season

Throughout August, strong currents mean waters become increasingly choppy and surges can be expected on southern and western shores.

Galapagos hawks

Sea lion pups

Visiting Galapagos Islands in September

high season

Throughout September, the peak of the cool and dry season hits the Galapagos Islands and the summer crowds start to filter out. While it is the coldest month in the archipelago, the days are still pleasant and the nutrient-rich waters make for remarkable underwater sightings – just be sure to wear a warm wetsuit! Around the north-western islands, whale sharks and humpback whales can be seen migrating.

Penguins

Sea lions

Visiting Galapagos Islands in October

medium season

Throughout October, it is possible to witness some of the archipelago’s most stunning sunrises from the western islands and volcanic summits are clear even though low-lying fog covers the shorelines. This moist and cold fog is present on all islands in the archipelago, but in the western islands this mist tends to burn off and result in brighter days.

Blue footed boobies

Herons

Visiting Galapagos Islands in November

medium season

Throughout November, which lies at the very end of the cool and dry season (just before the warm and wet season begins), the high amounts of plankton in the Humboldt Current means visibility is not at its peak, but it also means that the marine life are at their most active and snorkelling can bring memorable encounters. Whale sharks can be seen in the far northwest of the islands.

Sea lions

Green sea turtles

Visiting Galapagos Islands in December

high season

Throughout December, which lies at the very start of the warm and wet season, the western islands remain dry and sea temperatures begin to gradually rise.

Giant tortoises

Albatross

Galapagos Islands climate guide

Drag the slider to see monthly temperature and rainfall.

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sept
Oct
Nov
Dec
Maximum Temperature (°C) Monthly Rainfall (mm)
Fernandina
Santa Cruz
Isabela
Floreana

Explore Galapagos Islands

  • Isabela Island
  • Santiago Island
  • Santa Cruz Island
  • Floreana Island
  • Española Island
  • San Cristóbal Island

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