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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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