BEST TIME TO SEE WILDLIFE IN GALÁPAGOS

Unlike most other wildlife destinations, the animals here can be seen year round, with few migratory species and no need to wander off in search of waterholes or food.
Their behaviour of wildlife on Galápagos does vary, so you may want to take this into consideration – whether you want to play with penguins, swim with baby sea lions, see tortoises hatching or watch sea turtles laying their eggs – there are wildlife spectacles year-round in the archipelago. Seasons are split into cool and dry (Jun-Nov) and warm and wet (Dec-May), with the warmer season being the best time to visit Galápagos for calmer seas and good underwater visibility. Rain showers tend to be short, so you can make the most of the heat on the beach or the deck of your boat.

Galapagos Weather Chart

 
MIN °C
MAX °C
RAIN (mm)
JAN
22
30
50
FEB
24
30
65
MAR
24
31
85
APR
24
31
35
MAY
22
26
16
JUN
21
26
2
JUL
19
26
4
AUG
19
26
5
SEP
19
26
7
OCT
20
27
7
NOV
21
28
5
DEC
22
29
7

Galapagos, month by month

New Year in the Galápagos brings sunshine as well as rain, and although you'll only find a slight daily drizzle it's pretty much a permanent fixture from January through to May. The start of the year is when green turtles lay their eggs and considered one of the best times to visit the Galápagos Islands. Warmer weather signals l'amour and many of the land birds, sea lions, turtles and tortoises that you'll find on the Galápagos use February, March and April as their breeding or nesting season amongst a blanket of blossoming spring flowers. By May, blue-footed boobies are doing their courtship dance in North Seymour. This is also a great time of year for beach lovers as, although there's every chance of a daily shower, sea and land temperatures are at a high. The colder climes of June through to November send an abundance of plankton and nutrients to the rougher seas off the coast of the Galápagos which provides sea birds, such as albatross and penguins, with food as well as an underwater treat for divers braving the cooler temperatures. Although sunshine is not exactly at a premium during July this is the mating season for blue-footed boobies (particularly on Isla Española) and short-eared owls, with Genovesa Island providing the perfect place to observe rituals from a respectful distance. August and September are still dry but relatively cool. Temperatures start to rise again in October, and December kicks off the start of hatching season for giant tortoises.

Our top Galapagos wildlife Holiday

Galapagos cruises

Galapagos cruises

Cruise the Galapagos Islands on sailing boats and yachts

From £1995 8 days ex flights
Tailor made:
Daily departures throughout the year.
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Galapagos wildlife or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.

RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL RECOMMENDS

Andrés Salazar from our tour supplier Rebecca Adventure Travel:
"Some of the wildlife moments that I'll cherish for life include swimming and snorkelling with the ever playful sea lions, getting a front seat view of the courtship rituals of albatross and boobies, and watching the marine iguanas take a leap of faith as they go for a dive. For me, the best time to watch wildlife underwater is during September, October and November whereas on land, the best time to see animals in action is April and May.”

WILDLIFE EVENTS IN GALÁPAGOS

One of the archipelago’s few migratory species is the humpback whale. These can be seen in the surrounding ocean from June to September.
Baby sea lions are the most awesomely adorable creatures on earth. To see really tiny ones, visit in August, when they are born. Fancy swimming with them? Then dive into the sea in November, when the playful pups are getting their sea legs.
If reptiles are more your thing, the best time to visit Galápagos is at the beginning of the year to see huge green turtles laying their eggs on the beaches. They’ll hatch around two months after being laid, with tiny babies less than 5cm long. In December to March, you can see baby giant tortoises hatching.
Written by Chris Owen
Photo credits: [Page banner: pantxorama] [Swimming turtle: Lucy Richards] [Sealion: Paul Krawczuk] [Humpback whale: Green Fire Productions]
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