The Latin America Travel Company

What Is The Best Time To Go To Galapagos?

Galapagos is a destinations that can be visited all year round. This is because most of the animals do not migrate, so they can be seen at any time of year. The archipelago has a sub-tropical and semi-arid, subtropical climate that is cooled by the Humboldt current. There are, however, many different things to consider when deciding what time of year to travel.

December until May is the warmest time of year and also when the water is at its warmest. Although there is also slightly more rainfall over these months, it is considered the better half of the year to visit for our Galapagos small ship cruises. April and May are particularly good months to travel in.

From June to November it is a few degrees cooler and the water temperature is also at its coolest. However, these months make up the drier season, and the cooler temperatures are an advantage for some travellers.

If you are visiting the Galapagos on a cruise then you should be aware that the seas are slightly choppier from July until September which is also the windiest time of year. Outside of these months the seas are generally quite calm.
ecuador galapagos climate chart

The Best Time To Visit Galapagos For Wildlife

The most important thing to mention about the Galapagos is that the majority of the wildlife here is not migratory, which means you will be able to see all the most iconic animals at any time of year.

Having said this, there are many different wildlife events throughout the year that you may want to keep in mind when planning your trip. Generally speaking, February until May is a great time to go as many different species use these months as their mating or nesting season.

Another memorable wildlife event is the courtship dance of the Waved Albatross. Nearly the entire world population of these seabirds congregate on Española island between April and December.

Click here to view our Galapagos Wildlife Calendar to learn more about the the wildlife events you can witness each month.

If you are diving in the Galapagos then the best time to go is the first half of the year (December until May) when the seas are at their calmest, it is warmer and the water visibility is best.

Month by Month Wildlife Calendar for the Galapagos Islands

You are guaranteed wonderful wildlife experiences no matter what time of year you travel to the Galapagos. This is because the most iconic species do not migrate, so they can be seen year round. Below is a more detailed month by month guide to key wildlife events in the Galapagos calendar so you can plan your trip accordingly. If you have a specific animal you want to see, ask one of our knowledgeable specialists for their advice on when and where to go to give you the best chance of seeing it. You can also click here to read more detailed information on when is the best time to visit the Galapagos.
galapagos wildlife calendar 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 eggs.
● Land birds begin to nest.
● January is a good time for snorkelling.
galapagos wildlife calendar february


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


● 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.
galapagos wildlife calendar 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.
galapagos wildlife calendar march


● 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.
galapagos wildlife calendar 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.
galapagos wildlife calendar 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.
galapagos wildlife calendar 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 wildlife calendar 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.
galapagos wildlife calendar 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 wildlife calendar 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.
galapagos wildlife calendar 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.

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