(916) 342-5496

≡ Menu

When to go to the Galapagos Islands for Birding and Other Wildlife

How are the Galapagos in…

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

There is no “wrong” time to visit Galapagos: different times of the year have different things to see and do.

The birds, tortoises and dazzling marine life are always there, waiting for their photos to be taken.

Its geographical location, right on the equator, makes the temperature variation minimum through the year. Rains will be present from July to November, nevertheless, these are not strong enough to be a limitation for an excursion.

Galapagos World Map

 

The amount of rain and little temperature variations mark the seasons in Galapagos.

In each season, diving conditions or the animal behavior will vary from month to month; for example, in August the Galapagos penguins migrate to the central islands because of cold temperatures. As the penguins, many other animal behaviors will depend on the month of the year. The Galapagos is a pulsating archipelago offering a diverse environment for animal mating and reproduction cycles, migration habits, as well as hatching conditions.

Wet Season (December to June)
  • The wet season is characterized by daily rains and cloudier skies,
  • Warmer temperatures on land and in the sea,
  • Perfect season for snorkeling or diving.

 

December: The complete life adventure, both in land and sea

Galapapagos in December

Weather

  • End of dry season
  • Low rainfall
  • Land temperatures around 75°F/24°C
  • Water temperatures around 73°F/23°C

Birds

  • Waved albatross chicks are big enough to fly
  • Albatrosses leave Española until March
  • Boobies are busy fishing, uncommon sightings

Other Animals

  • Giant tortoise eggs begin to hatch. This will last until April.
  • Green sea turtles often mating in shallow waters

January: Nature finds the ways of love

Galapapagos in January

Weather

  • Wet season begins
  • Moderate to high rainfall
  • Land temperature: 80°F/26°C
  • Water temperature: 75°F/24°C

Birds

  • Land birds, such as finches and warblers, begin to nest
  • Mockingbird and finch mating rituals season
  • Hawks feast on young marine iguanas on Fernandina Island

Other Animals

  • Española marine iguanas are still in their bright colors
  • Green sea turtles lay eggs; it may be possible to see some on shore
  • Isabela land iguanas begin breeding season

February: The adventure of earth life

Galapapagos in February

Weather

  • Waters begin to cool, despite the wet season
  • High rainfall
  • Land temperature: 80°F/26°C
  • Water temperature: 79°F/26°C

Birds

  • Flamingos begin nesting
  • Penguins return to the cooler waters of Isabela and Fernandina
  • Pintail ducks begin breeding season
  • Nazca booby nesting season ends
  • Galapagos doves nest

Other Animals

  • Santa Cruz marine iguanas begin nesting

 

March: The charm of the frigates

Galapapagos in March

Weather

  • Wet season in full swing: one of the hottest months in the Galapagos
  • High rainfall
  • Land temperature: 80°F/26°C
  • Water temperature: 79°F/26°C

Birds

  • On San Cristobal and Genovesa, frigate birds begin their mating season
  • Male Frigates inflate their dazzling red throat sacs
  • Waved albatrosses begin returning to Española for the mating season
  • Penguins common on Isabela and Fernandina
  • Most migratory shorebirds have gone by the end of the month
  • Sometimes hawk chicks are visible in nests.

Other Animals

  • Fernandina and North Seymour marine iguanas nest

April: The time of the Blue Footed Boobies and the rise of the tortoises

Galapapagos in April

Weather

  • Wet season in full swing: one of the hottest months in Galapagos, although water cools drastically
  • High rainfall
  • Land temperature: 80°F/26°C
  • Water temperature: 79°F/26°C

Birds

  • Waved albatrosses perform courtship dances on Española
  • Blue-footed boobies courtship dances
  • Frigatebird mating season in full swing
  • Frigatebird pouches visible on Genovesa.

Other Animals

  • Giant tortoise hatching season ends
  • Sea turtle eggs begin to hatch
  • Isabela land iguana eggs hatch

May: The green sea turtles’ month

Galapapagos in May

Weather

  • Transition from warm to dry season.
  • Waters begin to warm up again
  • Moderate rainfall
  • Land temperature: 78°F/25°C
  • Water temperature: 77°F/25°C

Birds

  • Waved albatrosses begin laying eggs
  • Storm-petrels begin the nesting season.
  • Booby mating season continues
  • Frigate birds begin laying eggs

Other Animals

  • Green sea turtles hatch on Punta Cormorant, Puerto Egas, and Gardner Bay
  • Santa Cruz Marine Iguanas hatch

 

June: Time of the whales

Galapapagos in June

Weather

  • End of dry season
  • Low rainfall
  • Land temperature: 75°F/24°C
  • Water temperature: 73°F/23°C

Birds

  • Migrating birds visit the Galapagos
  • Short-eared owls on Genovesa begin nesting season
  • Boobies nest and lay eggs
  • A good month to see Frigatebird pouches on North Seymour

Other Animals

  • Santa Cruz giant tortoises migrate down from the highlands to the lowlands to begin mating season.
  • Humpback whales migrate through the Galapagos
  • Good time to see whale sharks off of Darwin and Wolf until November or so

Dry Season (July to November)

  • Daily blue skies, almost no wind
  • Perfect time for landscaping
  • Water temperatures tend to get cooler because of the Humboldt current crossing the North of the Galapagos.
  • Air and sea temperature difference creates a layer of mist in the Archipelago sky.

July: The little birds born and the dolphins arrive

Galapapagos in July

Weather

  • Warm Season
  • Low rainfall
  • Land temperature: 71°F/21°C
  • Water temperature: 72°F/22°C

Birds

  • Flightless cormorants court and nest on Fernandina
  • American oystercatchers nest on Santiago
  • Booby and frigate bird eggs begin hatching
  • Good time to see migratory birds

Other Animals

  • Lava lizards begin mating behavior which includes “push-ups”. Will continue into November
  • Whales and dolphins common, especially in the waters between Isabela and Fernandina

» Back to top

August: It’s the time of the Flamingos

Galapapagos in August

Weather

  • Dry season, one of the coolest months in the Galapagos
  • Low rainfall
  • Land temperature: 70°F/22°C
  • Water temperature: 70°F/21°C

Birds

  • Flamingos begin mating rituals
  • Frigatebird and booby eggs continue to hatch on North Seymour
  • Migratory shorebirds common
  • Nazca booby birds nest
  • Galapagos hawks begin courtship
  • Galapagos penguins start moving to central Islands
  • Swallow-tailed gulls nest on Genovesa
  • A good month to see red-footed boobies on Genovesa

Other Animals

  • Giant tortoises on Santa Cruz migrate back to the highlands
  • Meet the pups: Galapagos sea lions give birth. Abundant pups population.

 

September: The penguin’s time

Galapapagos in September

Weather

  • Dry season, one of the coolest months in the Galapagos
  • Low rainfall
  • Land temperature: 70°F/21°C
  • Daily water temperatures around 70°F/21°C

Birds

  • Galapagos penguins begin mating on the central islands
  • Most seabirds nest. Good time to see them

Other Animals

  • Sea lions very active, the breeding season kicks off.
  • Males often fight on land and in the water to defend their harems.

» Back to top

October: The Blue Footed Boobies are everywhere

Galapapagos in October

Weather

  • Dry season
  • Low rainfall
  • Land temperature: 71°F/22°C
  • Water temperatures around 72°F/22°C

Birds

  • Blue-footed booby chicks common
  • Lava herons start nesting

Other Animals

  • Galapagos fur sea lion mating season begins

November: The sea lion babies

Galapapagos in November

Weather

  • Dry season
  • Low rainfall
  • Land temperature: 73°F/22°C
  • Water temperature: 72°F/24°C

Birds

  • Brown noddies are breeding
  • Storm-petrels nest for the second time
  • Nazca booby chicks are common

Other Animals

  • Good time to see sea lion pups inshore nurseries
{ 0 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment

Connect With Us

What People are Saying

Traveled to Japan ~ East and Southeast Asia

We had a fabulous time. The hotels were great as were the tours. We enjoyed the private guides best. Every one of our private guides was fantastic and made sure that we got to do what we (Andy!) wanted to do. Our guide in Arashiyama changed things around so that Andy could go to the Monkey Park, which was not on our original itinerary, but something he decided he wanted to do. She even climbed the mountain with him after settling me in a coffee shop with a cup of coffee!! Summer, our guide in Shanghai, was fantastic, and even helped get us checked in at the airport when we left. The tours themselves were wonderful and we got a good taste of the cities we visited. Both of us are planning on returning to Japan and China again sometime in the future and I will certainly keep you in mind when the time comes. By the way, the tip that we probably appreciated the most was to fly premium economy. I don't know if we would have survived that trip if we hadn't!!

Thanks for your help!!
Kristi


Loved this vacation with my family.

Excellent experience, the trip was fantastic, we didn’t have to worry about anything.

Reviewed By Suzy - Fair Oaks, CA | Traveled to Washington D.C. ~ District of Columbia ~ USA

I would recommend this agent to my family and friends

LET’S GET ACQUAINTED!

Schedule your
complimentary getting
acquainted session using my
convenient online scheduler.

start