Best time to visit Galapagos Islands

   Galapagos Archipelago can be visited throughout the year, but depending on the month and season, each island has its own specific. We chose April because it is considered one of the best periods for biodiversity, nice weather, and the temperature of the ocean perfect for snorkeling. We stayed on Santa Cruz Island and visited North Seymour, Santa Fe, and Bartolome Islands by day trips and Floreana Island on our own.

   On Santa Cruz Island we discovered many tourist attractions, restaurants with delicious food, beach areas, natural reserves, lagoons, and many beautiful ways to spend time. On North Seymour Island we saw beautiful frigate birds, both chicks and adults during their courtship period, blue-footed boobies who carefully nested, and we swam with sea lion pups. The warm and clear ocean was perfect for a day tour around Santa Fe Island, snorkeling among tropical fish, sea lions, and rays. We saw for the first time a colony of penguins on Bartolome Island where we ventured into the ocean among starfish and sharks. Inhabited by around 100 people, Floreana Island fascinated us with its charming sea lions and marine iguanas that greeted us as soon as we landed on the island.

As in any other tropical area, biodiversity in Galapagos Islands is influenced by two seasons:

Rainy season

     The weather from December to May is influenced by the warm currents of Panama and the winds from the north-east. Despite heavy rains, the volcanic soil absorbs water quickly, resulting warmer air temperatures. Because of this, the ocean temperature reaches up to 27C, which makes the rainy season excellent for swimming and snorkeling.

sea turtles arrive at beaches to lay eggs
most birds start nesting
mating season for land iguanas
marine iguanas get shades of red and green on Espanola Island

January

February

the water temperature reaches 25C and remains constant until April
flamingos start nesting on Floreana Island
marine iguanas nest on Santa Cruz Island
the first colony of penguins appear on Bartolome Island
peak of the rainy season
characterized by high humidity, high temperatures and sporadic rains
on Fernandina Island marine iguanas start to nest
on Espanola Island arrive the waved albatross
active time for penguins and tropical fish
warm ocean perfect for snorkeling

March

April

clear water for snorkeling
on Espanola Island waved albatross begin their courtship
eggs of sea turtles begin to hatch
eggs of land iguanas start to hatch on Isabela Island
sea turtle eggs are still hatching
marine iguanas eggs hatch on Santa Cruz Islands
waved albatross start laying eggs on Espanola Island
on North Seymour Island blue-footed boobies begin their courtship

May

Dry season

     From June to November the currents bring cold air to the islands, called garua. The dry season is characterized by light and often rains especially in the highlands. The temperature of the ocean does not reach more than 22C.

June

birds are migrating from south to the north; their route is followed by whales and dolphins
strong currents in the ocean
giant tortoises on Santa Cruz Island migrate to the lowlands for nesting
on North Seymour Island frigate birds begin their courtship
cold water for snorkeling, temperature of the ocean does not reach more than 21C
on Espanola Island blue-footed boobies begins their courship
beginning of the mating season for lava lizard (continue until November)
whales and dolphins are more likely be observed especially on the western coast of Isabela Island

July

August

temperature of the ocean drops to 18C
strong currents in the ocean
the migrating birds start to arrive and stay in the Archipelago until March
giant tortoises return to the highlands after laying their eggs
during this time many sea lions are being born
Galapagos hawk court on Espanola and Santiago Islands
month with the lowest air temperature – 19C
Galapagos Penguins on Bartolome Island are very active
sea lions can be seen everywhere in Galapagos
most birds are still laying eggs

September

October

air temperature is still low compared to other months
giant tortoises are still laying eggs
many blue-footed boobies chicks can be seen on Espanola and Isabela islands
Pupping of sea lions continue
the temperature begins to rise
the currents are no longer strong and the – water begins to warm
good water visibility for snorkeling
good time to see sea lion pups
many jellyfish drift in the ocean, most of them end up on Floreana Island

November

December

the rainy season begins
most giant tortoise eggs start hatching until April
beginning of mating season for sea turtles
first waved albatross chicks start to migrate

Budget Travel Guide | Visiting Galapagos Islands

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