Galapagos Islands in January

January is part of the wetter season in the Galapagos, but has great underwater visibility, and some amazing wildlife.

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Information to Help You Plan Your Safari

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.

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At a Glance

Overview

  • Rainfall levels begin to increase in December and will continue to do so through January, although you will usually have to contend only with short periods of drizzle.
  • 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.
  • If you’re looking to take a dip in the ocean, January is a good bet as the ocean is calmer and water temperatures are rising.
  • January also offers perhaps the best water visibility of the year, which is great for divers and snorkellers, although there are not as many fish present as in other months.

 

Where to Go and What to See

  • Espanola Island (also known as Hood Island) is a great place for reptile fans to visit in January, as it coincides with the mating season of the resident marine iguanas, who will become bright in colour as a result.
  • Galapagos sea lions are at the end of their mating season – keep an eye on the beaches for courtship behaviour.
  • Since the first explorers set foot on the Galapagos, it has been known that the start of the year heralds the arrival of green sea turtles, who lay their eggs on beaches in the Galapagos at this time.
  • Nesting birds are another common sight in January, and you may be lucky enough to spot the unusual mating rituals of species like the Nazca booby or magnificent frigatebird.
  • Giant tortoises (or, more accurately, miniature giant tortoises) can be seen hatching from their eggs at the beginning of the year.

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