Although the climate of the Galapagos Islands can be roughly divided into two seasons, it is a year-round destination with superb wildlife spotting on offer whenever you choose to travel. We would only recommend specific months to visit if you have a particular interest in seeing the waved albatross, as these can only be observed between April and November. August and September see coolest temperatures and choppiest conditions in the Galapagos, but many cruises still operate at this time and our specialists will select a larger vessel with increased stability if you have concerns about motion sickness.
Start planning your tailor-made trip by calling one of our Galapagos Islands specialists at 1-855-838-8636
Month-by-month guide to traveling in the Galapagos Islands
- January - February Jan - Feb
- March - May Mar - May
- June Jun
- July Jul
- August Aug
- September Sep
- October - November Oct - Nov
- December Dec
Visiting the Galapagos Islands in January - February
The land and sea temperatures in the Galapagos are warming. Despite this being the wet season, the months from January to May are also the sunniest, with the rain usually only manifesting itself in short periods of drizzle. Land birds begin unusual courtship rituals that are fascinating to watch, sea turtles are nesting and marine iguanas become brightly colored.
Visiting the Galapagos Islands in March - May
As the rains begin to cease, flowers begin to blossom on the islands, making for some colorful landscapes. Visibility for snorkeling is good and the warm water temperatures allow you to stay in the water for long periods. Sea turtles and land iguanas are hatching, and playful young sea lions are easy to spot on the beaches.
Visiting the Galapagos Islands in June
June marks the beginning of the seasonal change in the Galapagos, with the Humboldt Current bringing cooler conditions. In reality, heavy rain is rare - the main difference as the season progresses will be cloudier skies, more wind and cooler waters with more waves. The wildlife remains prolific, with sea birds becoming particularly active and penguins enjoying the cool waters and plentiful fish.
Visiting the Galapagos Islands in July
A great month to witness the fascinating mating ritual of the blue-footed booby. The sea bird activity does not end here however; the bright red pouches of frigatebird can be seen on North Seymour, flightless cormorants perform mating and nesting rituals on Fernandina and waved albatross are already arriving on Española.
Visiting the Galapagos Islands in August
The winds are beginning to reach their strongest and the waters are almost at their coolest, but European and North American school vacations still bring plenty of visitors to the islands. Giant tortoises begin returning to the highlands after their migration to the lowlands in June, and sea lion pupping season has begun in earnest, so look out for their playful offspring.
Visiting the Galapagos Islands in September
September is the quietest month to visit Galapagos, and some cruise operators take advantage of this to prepare their vessels in dry dock for the next season. Those who do visit at this time can observe particularly active sea lions in the western and central islands, as well as plenty of activity at seabird nesting sites.
Visiting the Galapagos Islands in October - November
The winds gradually begin to calm and the sea temperatures begin warming once more. Blue footed boobies are raising their chicks on Española and Isabela, and playful sea lion pups circle around snorkelers.
Visiting the Galapagos Islands in December
The warmer weather begins in earnest, wildlife is abundant and the islands are becoming green. South American vacation season begins and as Christmas approaches, booking early is absolutely essential if you wish to travel at this time.
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Trip ideas and travel guides to exploring the Galapagos Islands
Anna, Latin America Specialist
Although I have traveled to the Galapagos Islands at various times of year and each has its own attractions, I particularly enjoy visiting in April. I love snorkeling in the Galapagos because of the astonishing marine life, and in April the visibility is excellent and the water temperatures mean you can remain in the sea for long periods.