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When to go to the Galapagos Islands

There is no “wrong” time to visit Galapagos: different times of the year have different things to see and do. The birds, tortoises and dazzling marine life are always there, waiting for their photos to be taken.

Its geographical location, right on the equator, makes the temperature variation minimum through the year. Rains will be present from July to November, nevertheless, these are not strong enough to be a limitation for an excursion.

The amount of rain and little temperature variations mark the seasons in Galapagos.

In each season, diving conditions or the animal behavior will vary from month to month; for example, in August the Galapagos penguins migrate to the central islands because of cold temperatures. As the penguins, many other animal behaviors will depend on the month of the year. The Galapagos is a pulsating archipelago offering a diverse environment for animal mating and reproduction cycles, migration habits, as well as hatching conditions.

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The Best Time to Buy Your Galapagos Tour

So you figured out when you want to travel, but when is the best time to buy you Galapagos Islands tour? Well, we have the answers for you right here so you can learn more about the best time for you to buy!

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Children: ages 6 to 11

Wet Season (December to June)

The wet season is characterized by daily rains and cloudier skies,

Warmer temperatures on land and in the sea,

Perfect season for snorkeling or diving.

December: The complete life adventure, both in land and sea

Galapapagos in December

Weather

  • End of dry season
  • Low rainfall
  • Land temperatures around 75°F/24°C
  • Water temperatures around 73°F/23°C

Birds

  • Waved albatross chicks are big enough to fly
  • Albatrosses leave Española until March
  • Boobies are busy fishing, uncommon sightings

Other Animals

  • Giant tortoise eggs begin to hatch. This will last until April.
  • Green sea turtles often mating in shallow waters

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January: Nature finds the ways of love

Galapapagos in January

Weather

  • Wet season begins
  • Moderate to high rainfall
  • Land temperature: 80°F/26°C
  • Water temperature: 75°F/24°C

Birds

  • Land birds, such as finches and warblers, begin to nest
  • Mockingbird and finch mating rituals season
  • Hawks feast on young marine iguanas on Fernandina Island

Other Animals

  • Española marine iguanas are still in their bright colors
  • Green sea turtles lay eggs; it may be possible to see some on shore
  • Isabela land iguanas begin breeding season

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February: The adventure of earth life

Galapapagos in February

Weather

  • Waters begin to cool, despite the wet season
  • High rainfall
  • Land temperature: 80°F/26°C
  • Water temperature: 79°F/26°C

Birds

  • Flamingos begin nesting
  • Penguins return to the cooler waters of Isabela and Fernandina
  • Pintail ducks begin breeding season
  • Nazca booby nesting season ends
  • Galapagos doves nest

Other Animals

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March: The charm of the frigates

Galapapagos in March

Weather

  • Wet season in full swing: one of the hottest months in the Galapagos
  • High rainfall
  • Land temperature: 80°F/26°C
  • Water temperature: 79°F/26°C

Birds

  • On San Cristobal and Genovesa, frigate birds begin their mating season
  • Male Frigates inflate their dazzling red throat sacs
  • Waved albatrosses begin returning to Española for the mating season
  • Penguins common on Isabela and Fernandina
  • Most migratory shorebirds have gone by the end of the month
  • Sometimes hawk chicks are visible in nests.

Other Animals

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April: The time of the Blue Footed Boobies and the rise of the tortoises

Galapapagos in April

Weather

  • Wet season in full swing: one of the hottest months in Galapagos, although water cools drastically
  • High rainfall
  • Land temperature: 80°F/26°C
  • Water temperature: 79°F/26°C

Birds

  • Waved albatrosses perform courtship dances on Española
  • Blue-footed boobies courtship dances
  • Frigatebird mating season in full swing
  • Frigatebird pouches visible on Genovesa.

Other Animals

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May: The green sea turtles' month

Galapapagos in May

Weather

  • Transition from warm to dry season.
  • Waters begin to warm up again
  • Moderate rainfall
  • Land temperature: 78°F/25°C
  • Water temperature: 77°F/25°C

Birds

  • Waved albatrosses begin laying eggs
  • Storm-petrels begin the nesting season.
  • Booby mating season continues
  • Frigate birds begin laying eggs

Other Animals

  • Green sea turtles hatch on Punta Cormorant, Puerto Egas, and Gardner Bay
  • Santa Cruz Marine Iguanas hatch

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June: Time of the whales

Galapapagos in June

Weather

  • End of dry season
  • Low rainfall
  • Land temperature: 75°F/24°C
  • Water temperature: 73°F/23°C

Birds

  • Migrating birds visit the Galapagos
  • Short-eared owls on Genovesa begin nesting season
  • Boobies nest and lay eggs
  • A good month to see Frigatebird pouches on North Seymour

Other Animals

  • Santa Cruz giant tortoises migrate down from the highlands to the lowlands to begin mating season.
  • Humpback whales migrate through the Galapagos
  • Good time to see whale sharks off of Darwin and Wolf until November or so

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Dry Season (July to November)

Daily blue skies, almost no wind

Perfect time for landscaping

Water temperatures tend to get cooler because of the Humboldt current crossing the North of the Galapagos.

Air and sea temperature difference creates a layer of mist in the Archipelago sky.

July: The little birds born and the dolphins arrive

Galapapagos in July

Weather

  • Warm Season
  • Low rainfall
  • Land temperature: 71°F/21°C
  • Water temperature: 72°F/22°C

Birds

  • Flightless cormorants court and nest on Fernandina
  • American oystercatchers nest on Santiago
  • Booby and frigate bird eggs begin hatching
  • Good time to see migratory birds

Other Animals

  • Lava lizards begin mating behavior which includes “push-ups”. Will continue into November
  • Whales and dolphins common, especially in the waters between Isabela and Fernandina

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August: It’s the time of the Flamingos

Galapapagos in August

Weather

  • Dry season, one of the coolest months in the Galapagos
  • Low rainfall
  • Land temperature: 70°F/22°C
  • Water temperature: 70°F/21°C

Birds

  • Flamingos begin mating rituals
  • Frigatebird and booby eggs continue to hatch on North Seymour
  • Migratory shorebirds common
  • Nazca booby birds nest
  • Galapagos hawks begin courtship
  • Galapagos penguins start moving to central Islands
  • Swallow-tailed gulls nest on Genovesa
  • A good month to see red-footed boobies on Genovesa

Other Animals

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September: The penguin’s time

Galapapagos in September

Weather

  • Dry season, one of the coolest months in the Galapagos
  • Low rainfall
  • Land temperature: 70°F/21°C
  • Daily water temperatures around 70°F/21°C

Birds

Other Animals

  • Sea lions very active, the breeding season kicks off.
  • Males often fight on land and in the water to defend their harems.

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October: The Blue Footed Boobies are everywhere

Galapapagos in October

Weather

  • Dry season
  • Low rainfall
  • Land temperature: 71°F/22°C
  • Water temperatures around 72°F/22°C

Birds

  • Blue-footed booby chicks common
  • Lava herons start nesting

Other Animals

  • Galapagos fur sea lion mating season begins

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November: The sea lion babies

Galapapagos in November

Weather

  • Dry season
  • Low rainfall
  • Land temperature: 73°F/22°C
  • Water temperature: 72°F/24°C

Birds

  • Brown noddies are breeding
  • Storm-petrels nest for the second time
  • Nazca booby chicks are common

Other Animals

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Every month is a good month. Every day is a Good Day in Galapagos.


Final Considerations

Prices: There is not really a low or high season in Galapagos, it all depends on what you are more interested in seeing. Nevertheless, some hotel and cruises may have a price difference between some times of the year. Still, Galapagos Travel Center, along with its team of Ecuador & Galapagos experts will always look for the best deal on any boat or hotel-based tour category.

Never crowded: The Galapagos Islands as a protected National Park has very strict regulations about the number of tourists and schedules for being on a visitor site; these regulations besides from preventing the animals from being overstressed, allow tourist to have a more relaxed and personal sight at each visitor site.

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