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by on February 23, 2020

Galapagos Weather by Month – An In-Depth Guide📙

The Galapagos weather shifts from month to month, and with these changes bring dramatic variations to ocean temperature, the Island vegetation, animal activity, and even Galapagos pricing. While many guides discuss the weather overall, we wanted to do something special and go into detail about each month and what is going on in the islands during that time.  Check out below our Galapagos weather by month guide to see which month is the most appealing for you!

January – Galapagos Weather by Month

January is considered the start of the warm and rainy season. Temperatures in January range from 70 – 84 degrees F (21 – 29 C ). The skies are clear for approximately 5 hours per day

January Swimming Conditions

The average sea temperature is 76°F (24°C) which on the verge of warm for most, although those sensitive to the cold may consider it slightly chilly and desire a wetsuit.

January Wildlife Report

Galapagos-Weather-by-Month-Guide-Iguana

Bright pigmentation to attract the pretty Iguana Females

January has a high activity of land birds, with possibilities to witness several unique mating rituals. These include flightless cormorants, the Galapagos penguins, both red-footed and Nazca boobies, and frigate birds. There is also a chance to see the Galapagos flamingos.

The Galapagos Giant Tortoise begins laying eggs from November to April, putting January halfway through hatching season.

Additionally, this is the second month of the Galapagos green sea turtle nesting period, where they may be spotted on the beaches.

The mating season of the land Iguana and marine Iguana adults begins lasting until March. During this phase, the pigmentation of adult males transforms into beautifully vivid colors of red, green, and black in order to attract females.

The males will compete and fight fiercely against other rival males for dominance of the female harems. The Waved albatross is frequently absent during this month.

Cost and Demand

For the first half of January, prices continue to be higher at the end of the December holiday season. International airline tickets drop significantly in the second half of the month, and as well as with prices on the Islands.

February – Galapagos Weather by Month

Temperatures range from 75 °F degrees (24°C ) to 86 degrees °F (30°C ) Sea temperatures are at 77°F (25°C), which is similar to the pleasant pool water you would find at an indoor gym.

Wildlife Activity

This is the third month of the nesting season of the green sea turtle, in which they will visit the Galapagos beaches to lay eggs. February is also the second month of the Land and Marine Iguana reproductive season.

Pigmentation of adult males continues to be unique with mating season. This is considered the beginning of the peak mating season of the Galapagos Tortoise.

Males will be on the hunt for females and fighting other males. Greater flamingos commence nesting on Floreana Island.

Galapagos - animals-green-turtle

While snorkeling, enjoy watching these guys floating along lazily

Cost and Demand

February in Galapagos is outside of the high season, and demand is typically lower. Better prices from the reduced demand along with a significant drop in international flight cost.

March – Galapagos Weather by Month

Temperatures range from 75 °F degrees to 88 degrees °F (24- 31°C ) This is considered the perfect temperatures for those that like the heat and aquatic activities, with hot sunny temperatures during the day and temperatures dropping pleasantly during the evening.

Swimming Conditions

Sea temperatures are at 77°F (25°C), which is a very pleasant temperature for most swimmers. Snorkelers generally do not need a wetsuit.

Wildlife Activity

This month provides a high opportunity of seeing Galapagos Penguins while snorkeling. This is the final month of the Iguana reproductive season, where vivid colors will begin dwindling. Additionally, March falls within the peak mating season of Galapagos Tortoise. This is typically the last month of the hatching season of the Galapagos Green sea turtle where you can find them laying on the beaches. March is also the starting point of the Waved Albatross migration back to the Galapagos Islands (Floreana) Nesting begins with the Magnificent Frigatebirds which can be typically viewed on Genovesa Island. Other birds nesting include Galapagos penguins, flightless cormorants, and greater flamingos.

“Mom! This mouth isn’t going to feed itself!”

Cost and Demand

March is still considered the low season with good deals. However, Easter may fall during this month spiking the prices slightly. Nevertheless, the demand will be much less than busier holidays such as Christmas.

April – Galapagos Weather by Month

Temperatures range from 73 °F degrees to 85 degrees °F (22- 29.5°C ) The weather is similar to Match, albeit slightly cooler overall. The forecast continues to be overall sunny.

Swimming Conditions

Water temperatures continue to be fantastic with an average temperature of 77 F (25 C). Snorkelers generally will not need a wetsuit.

Wildlife Activity

With the end of the Green sea turtle reproductive season, tiny turtle hatchlings travel from nest to the sea. Additionally, land Iguana eggs begin hatching. This period is still the peak mating season of the Galapagos Tortoise. Waved albatross continue to return to Islands and commence the exciting courtship ritual, in which the Albatross “sword fighting” with their long beaks.

 

Cost and Demand

This period in the Galapagos continues to be the low season, meaning lower prices for cruises, land-based options, and international flights.

May – Galapagos Weather by Month

Temperatures continue to decrease slightly, ranging from 72 to 82 degrees °F (22- 27.5°C ). This is the goldilocks zone of weather in the Goldilocks, with temperatures not too hot nor too cold. This is also the final month of the sunny hot season.

Swimming Conditions 

The sea temperature begins to drop, with temperature averages around 72 Fahrenheit ( 25 C). Snorkelers may begin wanting to wear a wet suit when they hop in the water.

Wildlife Activity

Galapagos Blue footed booby

Who couldn’t resist these vibrant blue feet?

Green sea turtle continues to hatch, slowly waddling their way toward the great oceans typically during the night time. Although you won’t see the babies crawling toward the ocean, you’ll see the mothers on the beaches!

Simultaneously, Iguana eggs are continually hatching.

May falls within the Galapagos Giant Tortoise peak mating season. Enjoy a fascinating show: The Blue-footed booby courtship dance.

Witness the male presenting his lovely bright blue feet and doing a little jig to impress the females.

Another exciting event is that the waved albatross begins laying eggs, affording wonderful opportunities for pictures. Galapagos land iguanas tend to hatch in May on Santa Cruz Island. Additionally, Galapagos penguins are nesting on Fernandina Island.

Cost and Demand

Early in May, there is considerably less demand than other months. After the first two weeks, some universities begin releasing students causing an increase in family visits to the park.

June – Galapagos Weather by Month

June marks the Garua season, where overcast skies and short drizzles are more common. This lasts until November. Temperatures continue to decrease slightly compared to May, ranging from 70 to 79 degrees °F (21- 26°C ). The outdoor weather is pleasant and comfortable.

Swimming Conditions 

The sea temperature begins to drop as the nutrient-rich antarctic Humbolt current begins to arrives, with temperature averages in the low 70s Fahrenheit ( 25 C). Snorkelers may want a wet suit when they hop in the water.

Wildlife Activity

Tortoise extending his neck

When your neck is this long, you have to stretch it

In this month, the Magnificent frigate bird begins to inflate its red gular pouch like a balloon, attracting the local females. Humpback whale sitings are sporadically witnessed, as they often migrate toward the Ecuador coast and Galapagos during June.

This is the last month of peak breeding for the Galapagos Tortoise, although the season extends until August. Green sea turtle hatchlings continue to make their move to the ocean. Flightless cormorants are nesting on Fernandina Island, and Galapagos penguins are also nesting.

The greater flamingo, believed to be monogamous, begins the breeding season in June. Additionally, the male magnificent frigate bird, begins to display his bright red pouch.

Giant tortoises that are usually found in the highlands will begin moving towards the lowlands. Humpback whales may sometimes be observed, as they often get to the Ecuador coast and Galapagos during June. This is considered the peak mating season of the Galapagos Tortoise.

Cost and Demand

June is considered the high season, as many students are out for summer break. Demand is high, and prices are higher for hotels, cruises, and flights. Best to book these dates far in advance.

July – Galapagos Weather by Month

Temperatures continue to decrease compared to June, ranging from 72 to 77 degrees °F (- 26°C ). Weather is pleasant, but temperatures are noticeably cooler compared to preceding months. Seas become rougher during this period, which can exacerbate seasickness symptoms.

Swimming Conditions 

Average sea temperatures come in at 72 degrees, fairly chilly for most swimmers. You will likely want a wet suit for snorkeling excursions, and definitely for scuba diving.

Wildlife Activity

The nutrient-rich Humboldt sea current allows for exceptional opportunities to see humpback whales. The sea lion breeding season begins, where you can witness males fighting for the prize harem of females. The Flightless cormorant displays an elaborate courtship ritual to dazzle the females. Blue-footed boobies are in the peak mating and nesting season, as eggs are typically laid 45 days after mating.

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“Honey, you’ve got some food stuck in your beak. “

The red-footed booby and masked booby are also breeding and nesting. Furthermore, the impressive waved albatross is nesting along with cormorants, Galapagos penguins, and greater flamingoes. July is typically the first month of the nesting season of Galapagos tortoise.

Prices and Demand

Typically one of the most hectic months in the Galapagos Islands. Schools and universities are out for summer break, allowing families to visit. Book very early for the best deals on flights, hotels, and cruises.

August – Galapagos Weather by Month

This is the “coldest” month of the year, with temperatures continuing to decreased compared to Proceeding months. Temperatures range from 66 to 75 degrees °F (19-24°C ). Weather is pleasant, but temperatures are noticeably cooler compared to preceding months. Winds increase, causing rougher seas which can exacerbate seasickness symptoms.

Swimming Conditions

The average sea temperature is 71 degrees F (21), which is relatively chilly for most people. When booking, make sure wet suits are included on tours and cruises. Although the cold might be a con for some, the animals absolutely love it. There is an explosion throughout the food chain attracting wildlife, as the cold nutrient-rich Humbolt current passing through during this time.

Wildlife Activity

This is the peak season for seeing humpback whales and dolphins due to the Humbolt current. Moreover, when you come during August you will see many cute baby sea lions, as mothers begin birthing and nursing sea lion pups.

This period also coincides with the Galapagos fur seals birthing phase. As you visit the various beaches through the archipelago, you will see these guys nursing from there mothers’ mere feet away.

Additionally, waved albatross are nesting during this month, affording guests views of sightings of newly born chicks.

Blue-footed booby hatchlings have arrived in the world, appearing as large puffballs of feathers that appear like cotton.

/galapagos-weather-by-month-guide-infant-blue-footed-booby

These booby chicks curiously observe as you walk through their territory

Cost and Demand

The Galapagos Archipelago remains fairly busy during this month, as schools are out and summer is one of the most popular vacation holidays. Book in advance for the best pricing on cruise tickets, international flights, and hotels.

September – Galapagos Weather by Month

Temperatures range from 64 to 75 degrees °F (19-24°C ). Weather is pleasant, but temperatures are noticeably cooler compared to preceding months. Be sure to pack a jacket in your luggage for evenings and when sailing between islands.

Swimming conditions

Water increases slightly from august, with temperatures at 72 degrees F (22 C) This is still considered chilly for most guests, so make sure a wet suit is available for tours and cruises.

Wildlife Activity

Another peak month for witnessing large pods of dolphins and giant whales around the islands. Moreover, September is one of the great chances of the year to see whales before they migrate to colder areas. Additionally, September is the month where you will most likely see the Galapagos penguin darting around underwater while snorkeling.

Sea lions breeding continues into September, leading to fighting and competition between the males on the beach. You may get to see pups of both Sea lions and fur seals.

Planning-an-Alya-Cruise-in-2019-Dolphins-jumping

Flight of the Dolphin

Cost and Demand

With summer ending and peak vacation season over, the prices begin dropping in September for cruises, international flights, and hotels. This is a great month for finding deals and getting a cheaper vacation.

October – Galapagos Weather by Month

Temperatures range from 66 to 77 degrees °F (19-25°C ). The Galapagos weather is starting to pick back up heat, but evenings can still be chilly. The days are typically either slightly overcast or sunny.

Swimming Conditions

In the sea, the temperature you may expect is 73 degrees Fahrenheit ( 22 C). The water is chilly for most guests, requiring a wetsuit for snorkeling and Scuba diving adventures. This time has great snorkeling activity with the Humbolt current.

Wildlife Activity

Sea lion pups are highly active and curious, often frolicking around with snorkelers. Galapagos fur sea lions also continue to mate throughout October. Bigger males are often more aggressive and will defend their territory and the females during this time.

October is also a great month for both dolphin and whale sitings, especially around Isabela Island.

The Blue-footed booby chicks continue to hatch or are very young, adorable puffballs of feathers. Additionally, Lava herons sightings are common, where you may spot them constructing nests for their chicks. Lastly, Green sea turtles are often more visible during October.

Fur seal

Baby fur seals are always looking to play!

Cost and Demand

A low season month in the Galapagos. Expect good deals for hotels and cruises, along with cheaper airline tickets.

November – Galapagos Weather by Month

November is the final month of the dryer, colder season in the Galapagos. Temperatures range from 70 to 79 degrees °F (19-25°C ). The Galapagos weather is coming moving back toward that goldilocks zone of perfect weather. The days are typically either overcast or sunny.

Swimming Report

The sea temperature average sits around 73 degrees Fahrenheit

(23 C) which is still fairly chilly for most guests while not a bother for others.

Wildlife Activity

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The Greater Galapagos Flamingo

In this time, sea lion pups are at their most active in the water, as most are old enough to begin exploring and playing in the ocean.

November is also the start of the green sea turtle breeding cycle where you will see pairs beginning to mate.  They typically begin moving toward the shallow waters, which gives a higher opportunity of seeing many of these unique and docile creatures

Dolphin and whale spotting is very common in various places. You will typically see dolphins in large pods, and they enjoy following the cruise ships exploring the islands.

Various birds are nesting, including the brown noddy terns, storm petrels, blue-footed booby, red-footed booby, Nazca booby, Magnificent frigatebirds, and the Greater flamingo.

When these birds are nesting, you are affording wonderful opportunities to snap perfect pictures, as they are unafraid of humans and will not leave the nest.

Cost and Demand

Demand is typically lower during this month, driving prices lower. The Galapagos picks up during thanksgiving, but nowhere near as much as during December and summer months. Be on the lookout for better deals, but slightly higher than the offseason. I still highly recommended booking in advance for this month.

December – Galapagos Weather by Month

December is the first month of the warm, sunny season. Temperatures range from 70 to 81 degrees °F (21-27°C ). The days are becoming sunnier, and short drizzles are common. Vegetation is becoming lush and vibrant green, while flowers are blooming as in the spring.

Swimming Conditions

The sea temperature averages at 73 degrees Fahrenheit or 23 degrees Celsius. The water is fairly chilly for many, and a wetsuit is recommended for snorkeling.

Wildlife Activity

Green Sea Turtle looking for a mate!

December marks the early stages of the Galapagos tortoise hatching season. You may be able to see these little hatchlings, an unforgettable experience. Both sea lions and fur seals are matings, as well as both Iguana. This means aggressive and territorial behavior from both.

For snorkelers, you will be lucky as Galapagos green turtles begin gathering in the shallow waters to find mates. They are in the highest numbers during this month, allowing for a great opportunity to float with these tranquil creatures.

The waved albatross chicks are developing the flight feathers so they are large enough for flight, a very unique event to witness.

The Magnificent Frigate birds mating during this month, affording great opportunity to snap a shot of that enlarged red chest sac.

Cost and Demand 

December becomes one of the busiest times of the years as Christmas approaches, and prices do not typically fall until midway through June. Prices are inflated during this period, with fewer deals and extra surcharges. If you want to spend your time in Galapagos during this period, book many months in advance.

 


About Keenan Ennis

Keenan Ennis studied Conservation and wildlife biology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. This eventually lead him to a program in Ecuador studying hummingbirds and their keystone nutritional species in the Jama-Coaque Ecological Reserve. Since, he has worked with the critically endangered Bandurria Andina, or black-faced Ibis of the Andean Páramo. Through his ecological background, he provides an in depth insight into the conservation processes of the Galapagos Islands.

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