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The Galapagos… Through the seasons

| 30 Mar 2017

The Galapagos Islands are truly a year-round destination, however they offer visitors distinctly different experiences through the seasons. If you’d like to know when the temperatures are warmer, or the best times for spotting particular wildlife, here is a brief guide to the weather and wildlife cycles on the archipelago throughout the year.

Male frigate bird

January – March

Days have plenty of sunshine and there are heavy but sporadic tropical showers. Green sea turtles arrive to lay their eggs and Española Island’s marine iguanas change colour to display bright red and blue hues. Greater flamingoes, Galapagos doves and Nazca boobies are nesting and waved albatrosses begin to arrive. During this time the seas are calmer and clearer, meaning visibility for snorkelling is best. 

Sea turtle

April – June

The islands are very lush and green, waved albatrosses and blue-footed boobies are courting, sea turtle and marine iguana eggs begin to hatch, giant tortoises migrate to the lowlands of Santa Cruz, and humpback whales and magnificent frigate birds can be spotted. By June, the misty garua (dry) season begins.

Giant tortoises

July – September

July is a great time of year for birdwatching. Blue-footed boobies and flightless cormorants are breeding and nesting and Galapagos hawks begin to court. September is the best month to see sea lion pups and fighting among rival adult males. Galapagos penguins are also courting and active, often swimming with snorkellers.

Blue-footed booby

October – December

Lava herons begin to nest and blue-footed boobies raise their chicks. Giant tortoises are still laying eggs, while Galapagos fur seals start to mate. In November, water temperatures start to rise and it is possible to snorkel close to curious young sea lions. By December, warm temperatures mix with tropical showers.

Sea lions

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2 Responses

  1. Diane farrow says:

    The link to this page said you could find out when the water is calmer but this page does not mention it.

    • Compass Online says:

      Hi Diane,

      Thank you for picking up on this and letting us know. We have now amended the text. For your information, generally the seas are calmer from January to March.

      Kind regards,
      Compass Online

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