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When to visit Galapagos Islands: weather and wildlife

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Galapagos Islands, Blue-footed Boobies

 

There is no real ‘best’ time to visit Galapagos on holiday as there is always wonderful wildlife and weather to enjoy.

Most animals – tortoises, sharks, sea lions and boobies – are found year round and many of the species here are non-migratory.

The Galapagos Islands are located right on the equator so air and water temperatures do not vary by much.

Having said that, there are two recognised seasons, and each months brings natural marvels for the visitor to enjoy.

Below is our quick guide to the weather and wildlife you can find on the Galapagos Islands.

 

Galapagos sea and air temperatures and rainfall month by month

 General weather information

 

The warm season (Jan-Jun)

  • Calm, clear warm waters, great for snorkelling, often without a wetsuit.
  • Great weather, with February and March being the hottest and sunniest months with blue skies and sunshine.
  • Occasional heavy bursts of rain in the afternoons.

Sea temperatures:  22-25°C / 72-77°F

Land temperatures:  21-32°C / 72-90°F

 

Fun in kayaks Galapagos

Fun in Kayaks

 

The dry ‘garua’ season (Jun-Dec)

  • It’s a great time for marine life in the cooler seas. Snorkellers may want a wetsuit.
  • August and September the coolest when you may need a jacket in the evenings and the sea can be choppy.
  • There can be mist on the islands in the mornings (garua) which usually burns off by midday leaving overcast skies or a sunny afternoon.

Sea temperatures:  15-22°C / 60-72°F

Land temperatures:  18-24°C / 65-75°F

 

 

Bartholomew view point Galapagos

Bartholomew view point

 

Galapagos wildlife – some highlights

Baby sea lions: Mainly born in August. If you want to snorkel with these adorable animals, then November onwards is when the pups first start swimming and playing in the waves.

Albatross courtship: The mass landings of these seabirds start in April, and their mating courtship starts immediately and lasts until early December

Whales: The humpback migrates past Galapagos from June-September, and some whale sharks may be spotted at this time, too.

Green turtles: Mating is from Dec-Feb, and eggs are laid on beaches Jan-March. They hatch two months later.

Giant tortoises: These big hulks never leave their various islands! You can see their babies hatching Dec-March.

Blue-footed boobies: Courtships start in May, as they hop from foot to foot to attract a mate.

Galapagos Islands, Blue-footed Boobies

Blue-footed Boobies

 

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