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Galapagos Wildlife Calendar

A month by month wildlife calendar for the Galapagos Islands

You are guaranteed wonderful experiences no matter what time of year you travel to the Galapagos. Generally, however, December until May is the warmest time of year, but this period also receives slightly more rain. June until November is slightly cooler, but drier. July to September the seas can be a bit choppier than the rest of the year. Below is a more detailed month by month guide to key wildlife events in the Galapagos calendar so you can plan your trip accordingly.

marine iguana galapagos

January

  • Start of the rainy season.
  • Giant Tortoise eggs being to hatch.
  • The Marine Iguanas on Española Island change colour.
  • Pacific green sea turtles arrive to lay their eggs. Land birds begin to nest.
  • January is a particularly good time for snorkerling.
galapagos flamingos

February

  • Flamingos are breeding on Floreana Island.
  • Black tailed Pintails begin breeding.
  • Water temperatures are at their highest (around 25 degrees celcius) and remain so until about April.
  • Marine Iguanas nest on Santa Cruz island
  • Giant Tortoise eggs are still hatching.
Galapagos frigatebird

March

  • March is usually the wettest month, characterised by frequent downpours.
  • It can get up to 30 degrees celsius in March.
  • Marine iguanas nest on Fernandina and North Seymour islands.
  • Frigatebirds show their red throats as part of their mating ritual on San Cristobal and Genovesa Island.
  • The summer equinox brings the Waved Albatros to Española island.
waved albatros española island galapagos mating ritual

April

  • Good water visibility for snorkeling in April.
  • Rains have ended, the islands remain green.
  • Waved Albatros begin their remarkable courtship ritual on Española.
  • Blue footed boobies mating dance on North Seymour.
  • Land iguana and green sea turtle eggs hatch.
blue footed boobie mating dance

May

  • Green sea turtle eggs hatching at Punta Cormorant, Gardner Bay & Puerto Egas
  • Waved Albatros lay their eggs on Española
  • Blue footed boobies continue their mating dances
  • Marine Iguana eggs start to hatch on Santa Cruz
  • Storm petrels begin the first of their two nesting periods
giant tortoise santa cruz galapagos

June

  • It starts to get colder and the Garua (mist) arrives
  • South easterly winds make currents stronger and the seas slightly choppier
  • Giant tortoises migrate to the lowlands on Santa Cruz
  • June is a good month for spotting migratory birds and humpback whales
  • The short eared owl begins mating on Genovesa
flightless cormorant galapagos

July

  • Sea temperatures drop to about 21 degrees celsius
  • Whales and dolphins can be spotted off the west coast of Isabela
  • Blue footed boobie chicks can be seen – great for photos!
  • Flightless cormorants perform mating rituals on Fernandina
  • Seabird colonies all over the islands are extremely active
swallow tailed gull galapagos

August

  • Water temperatures continue to drop to about 18 degrees celsius
  • Sea lions give birth to their pups all over the Western and Central islands
  • Galapagos hawks start their courtship on Santiago and Española
  • A good time to see Nazca boobies and swallow tailed gulls on Genovesa
  • Giant Tortoises return to the highlands on Santa Cruz
Galapagos penguins

September

  • Generally the coldest time of year with air temperatures dropping as low as 19 degrees celsius
  • A good time to see Galapagos Penguins on Isabela, Bartolome and Fernandina
  • Male sea lions begin fighting over females
  • Whale sharks and humpbacks can be seen in the north west of the islands
  • Sea birds are still active with rearing and making nests
fur seal galapagos

October

  • Galapagos fur seals begin their mating season
  • Lava herons start nesting and continue until March
  • The Garua period is ending but days can still start misty before turning sunny
  • Blue footed boobies are raising chicks on Isabela and Española
  • Whale sharks can still be seen around Darwin and Wolf islands
galapagos sea lions

November

  • The best time to see Galapagos sea lions who continue to pup
  • Storm Petrels begin their second nesting season
  • Excellent visibility for snorkelers, good weather and calm seas
  • Brown noddies and green sea turtle breeding season begins
  • Several species of jelly fish can be spotted
green sea turtle in the galapagos

December

  • Waved Albatros chicks fledge then their parents leave the Galapagos, only returning in March
  • The rains begin and plants start to produce leaves
  • Giant tortoise eggs hatch lasting until April
  • Green sea turtles begin mating
  • Fur seals are still breeding and producing pups

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE GALAPAGOS

Click the links below to continue to explore the Galapagos with our collection of hotels, lodges, cruises, yachts and detailed information on each island.

PLAN YOUR GALAPAGOS TRIP

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