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When to visit the Galapagos Islands

The best time to go to the Galapagos Islands is between December and June.

The archipelago does not experience any particularly drastic changes in climate throughout the year due to it straddling the equator; however, there are two distinct seasons, although the differences between them are less pronounced than in many other places.

There are great whale shark sightings to be had at Darwin and Wolf Islands from June to November. Whales and dolphins are commonly seen between Isabela and Fernandina Islands from July to November when the Humboldt Current is more prominent and supplies more nutrient-rich waters to the archipelago.

Pexels Riccardo Parretti
Galapagos Islands Ecoventura By Nicholas Gill

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The best time to go to the Galapagos Islands

  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

The wet season is in full swing in January, bringing a slight daily drizzle but also high temperatures and nesting sea turtles, making this one of the best months in which to visit the Galapagos. Despite the rain, this is one of the sunniest months of the year in the Galapagos, making it popular with travellers.

Vegetation is at its most lush during the rainy season, a boon for photographers and those interested in land-based excursions. Galapagos sea lions are at the end of their mating season and nesting birds are a common sight. Giant tortoises (or, more accurately, miniature giant tortoises) can be seen hatching from their eggs at the beginning of the year.

December to May

The warmest weather in these incredible islands occurs between December and May, when the average maximum temperature is a warm 30 ºC and the water temperature will usually be a welcoming 25 ºC. Heavy showers are common during these months, but are usually brief and can be quite refreshing.

June to November

A cooler weather period runs from June to November, and whilst there is little rain it can often be foggy or overcast. The sea temperature will be slightly cooler at this time of year, at around 22 ºC. June to August is also the highest international tourist season, so if you're planning to travel during this time, be prepared to book well in advance and prepare for busy attractions and higher prices. It is also worth considering that the seas are roughest between July and October, so this might be a good time to avoid for those who suffer from seasickness.

Things to do in the Galapagos Islands

Turtles & Tortoise Encounters

Green Sea Turtles breed all year round, although are the most active during the hotter months between December and May, which is also when you are more likely to have the best chances to see nesting turtles. On Isabela Island, visit the Galapagos Tortoise Breeding Center to learn about the conservation efforts to protect the endangered tortoises.

Snorkel with Sea Lions

The Galapagos sea lion breeding season occurs mainly from July to December, but varies between islands. Swimming with them is best between the months of December to June when the seas are warmer and calmer, improving the visibility underwater. Interact with playful sea lions while snorkeling or swimming near the shore. They are curious and often join snorkelers in the water.

Island Hopping

Visit different islands to witness unique species and ecosystems; each island has its own distinct wildlife, from giant tortoises on Santa Cruz to blue-footed boobies on North Seymour. Explore the coastline by sea kayak to get close to wildlife, including marine iguanas, penguins, and sea lions, or explore the underwater world of the Galapagos to see a variety of marine life, including sea turtles, colorful fish, sharks, rays, and sea lions.


The Galapagos Islands are a paradise for birdwatchers. Spot endemic and rare species like the Galapagos penguin, waved albatross, frigatebirds, and Darwin's finches. Migratory seabirds, such as the waved albatross, arrive in the Galapagos in April and depart in December. Here they perform their famous mating ritual and rear their chicks whilst on the islands. Similarly, the blue-footed boobies perform their mating rituals around the islands between May and July, and are a comical sight to see.