With the passing of the New Year, the animals of the Galapagos start to nest, lay eggs and preform their mating rituals.  Use our guide of the natural calendar in the islands over the winter holidays to see the animals of the archipelago during their prime

 Giant Tortoises and Green Sea Turtles

Galapagos Tortoises start to lay their eggs in December, retreating to lowland havens that can’t easily be accessed and are often off limits to those visiting the mainland.  The eggs keep hatching until April and the breeding centers on different islands are full of excitement as the young hatch-lings find their legs.

Green Sea Turtles start their mating rituals in January and bury their eggs on the beaches and bays of the islands.  The turtles travel far between their feeding and nesting grounds, making as many as eight trips each way over the course of the breeding season.

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Mockingbird and finch mating rituals start in the New Year and provide an amusing and interesting look at the bird’s life and reproductive cycles. Birds seen on rocky shores and plush highlands of the Galapagos start to nest in December and their eggs hatch in January. Others enact their fascinating mating rituals until the end of the season in May.

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The Galapagos penguin tends to stay put but migrates to the cooler waters off of Isabela and Fernandina Island during January and February.  The penguins of the Galapagos don’t have a specific mating season and can reproduce a few times each year.


During the month of January, marine and land iguanas start their mating season.  On Española Island marine iguanas turn bright red, green and black.   Land iguanas start to breed on Isabela Island and can be seen along the beaches and outcrops of the shore.

Marine Life

The warm season brings hammerhead sharks, mantas and a marked increase of the different species of fish just below the surface.

Starting in December and continuing until the begin of the dry season in May, the warm season is a natural celebration of renewed beginnings for the creatures of the Galapagos.  Every day is a new dawn with newborn giants finding their legs and dozens of eggs hatching in the breeding centers and along the beaches, coves and shores that dot the regions map.

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