Gonzalo Endara Crow y Leonardo Tejada

Quito - Ecuador

travel@smartgalapagos.com

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SMARTGALAPAGOS© 2019

A Sustainable Destination Management Company

Best time to travel to Galapagos

The Galapagos Islands are part of Ecuador and are situated in the Pacific Ocean about 600 miles off (1000 kilometers) the west coast of Ecuador, South America.

The archipelago was formed by volcanic activity and consist of 19 medium and big islands plus many more islets.

Many things make the Islands unique, one of them is that there are no land predators. This unique environment has evolved so the wildlife in the Galapagos has no fear of humans, making it one of the most magical places for animal lovers to visit. 

 

January in the Galapagos Islands

From December through May, the winds are weak and the waters are warm. During this period, water visibility is great, making it one of the best times for snorkeling and seeing marine wildlife.

January usually marks the start of the rainy season (typically limited to drizzle) and the coastal areas remain arid and covered with dessert-like plants. January is also one of the sunniest months.

Due to the arrival of the first rains, January is an amazing month. Many of the land fauna (finches, mockingbirds, land iguanas, lava lizards, etc) start courtship and raising their offspring thanks to the abundance of food.

Marine turtles also begin arriving to lay eggs on the beaches in Galapagos. Marine Iguanas on Española Island begin their breeding season and become brightly colored (green, black and red).

Weather:

  • Air temperature daily: High: 29 °C (85°F). Low: 22 °C (71.6°F)

  • Average Rainfall: 60 - 69 mm (Approx. 2.4-2.7 inches) (mainly in the highlands)

  • Average Water Temperature: 24 °C (75.2°F)

Wildlife:

  • Marine & Land Iguanas start mating

  • Green Sea Turtles arrive to start laying eggs on beaches.

  • Land birds such as finches begin to nest & Migrant birds arrive.

  • Mockingbird and Finchs courtship displays

  • Sharks, Dolphins and Whales are present throughout the year.

  • Red-footed Boobies and Nazca Boobies breeding and nesting year-round

  • Magnificent Frigatebirds breeding (year-round on North Seymour Island)

  • Flightless Cormorants, Greater Flamingos and Galapagos Penguins breeding and nesting.

February in the Galapagos Islands

February sees the warmest waters in the Galapagos, with great visibility making it one of the best months for snorkeling.

The first rains in Galapagos normally arrive in January or February, and are typically limited to the lush highlands, whilst the coastal areas remain arid. With the rains, flowers blossom, leaves are sprouting and insects are emerging after many months of dormancy.

This abundance provides food for the chicks of many species of land birds such as finches and mockingbirds. You can also sees hundreds of female Green Sea Turtles, come ashore to lay their eggs in Galapagos after having travelled for hundreds (even thousands) of miles. Galapagos is considered one of the last safe breeding places for sea turtles in the Eastern Pacific.

Weather:

  • Air temperature daily: High: 29 °C (85°F). Low: 24 °C (76°F)

  • Average Rainfall: 91.4 - 117 mm (3.6 -4.6 inches) (mainly in the highlands)

  • Average Water Temperature: 25 °C (77°F)

Wildlife:

  • Giant Galapagos Tortoises laying their eggs in the wild

  • Land birds such as Finches nesting & you can see migrant birds.

  • Green Sea Turtles Laying eggs

  • Mockingbird and finch courtship displays

  • Marine & Land Iguanas nesting

  • Sharks, Dolphins and Whales present throughout the year.

  • Red-footed Boobies and Nazca Boobies breeding and nesting year-round

  • Magnificent Frigate birds breeding (year-round on North Seymour Island)

  • Flightless Cormorants, Greater Flamingos and Galapagos Penguins year-round, maybe see them nesting and breeding.

 
 

March in the Galapagos Islands

The rainy season is reaching its peak in the highlands, making them green and filled with life. Conditions in the coastal areas can vary greatly from island to island, and from year to year, sometimes they are green and lush, other times they remain arid with dessert-like plants.

March is also one of the sunniest months. At the very end of March, the Waved Albatross will start to arrive back to Española Island. In Fernandina and Isabela, Marine Iguanas will normally start nesting. 

Weather:

  • Air temperature daily: High: 31 °C (87°F). Low: 24 °C (76°F)

  • Average Rainfall: 94 - 100 mm (3.7 - 4.0 inches) (mainly in the highlands)

  • Average Water Temperature: 25 °C (77°F)

Wildlife:

  • Nesting Land & Marine Iguanas.

  • Islands are at their most green and lush state.

  • Giant Tortoises laying their eggs in the wild.

  • Green Sea Turtles nesting

  • Dolphins and whales present throughout the year in the waters around Galapagos.

  • At the end of the month – Waved Albatross will start returning to Española

  • Sharks, Dolphins and Whales present throughout the year.

  • Red-footed Boobies and Nazca Boobies breeding and nesting year-round

  • Magnificent Frigate birds breeding (year-round on North Seymour Island)

  • Flightless Cormorants, Greater Flamingos and Galapagos Penguins year-round, maybe see them nesting and breeding.

 

April in the Galapagos Islands

In April starts a gradual cooling of air and water temperatures compared to previous months, which mark the end of the ‘rainy’ season in Galapagos. The Islands are still green and the water is still warm with an average of 25°C .

If you have the pleasure to go to Española Island on this month, you will see the beginning of the courtship of the Waved Albatross who have returned after spending the previous months out at sea feeding.

These birds mate for life, and can live for up to 50-55 years and their courtship displays are amazing to see. The courtship of the Great Frigate birds on Genovesa Island also begins with their red gullet sacks puffed out making it a spectacular sight. We also start to see the hatching season for both the Green Sea Turtles and the Galapagos Land Iguanas.

Weather:

  • Air temperature daily: High: 31 °C (87 °F). Low: 24 °C (76 °F)

  • Average Rainfall: 71 - 73 mm (2.8 - 3 inches) (mainly in the highlands)

  • Average Water Temperature: 24 °C (75.2 °F)

Wildlife:

  • Waved Albatross begin mating and nesting on Espanola Island.

  • Great Frigate Birds mating and nesting on Genovesa Island.

  • Nesting Green Sea Turtles, Marine & Land Iguanas.

  • Boobies breeding and nesting year-round.

  • Magnificent Frigate birds breeding (year-round on North Seymour Island)

  • Flightless Cormorants, Greater Flamingos and Galapagos Penguins year-round.

  • Sharks, Dolphins and Whales present throughout the year.

  • Magnificent Frigate birds breeding (year-round on North Seymour Island)

  • Flightless Cormorants, Greater Flamingos and Galapagos Penguins year-round, maybe see them nesting and breeding.

 

May in the Galapagos Islands

Galapagos in May is ideal. Temperature is cooling compared to previous months, with many days of blue skies and very pleasant climate. 

Smartest tour: Cruise to Española and Genovesa Islands to see the Waved Albatross and Great Frigate Birds in full courtship mode.

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Waved Albatross birds mate for life, and can live for up to 50-55 years and their courtship displays are amazing to see. The courtship of the Great Frigate birds on Genovesa Island with their red gullet sacks puffed out is also a spectacular sight. It is also the hatching season for both the Green Sea Turtles and the Galapagos Land Iguanas.. Blue-footed Boobies also join the party, and begin their courtship rituals too, which again is quite something to see!

Weather:

  • Air temperature daily: High: 27 °C (81°F). Low: 22 °C (71.6°F)

  • Average Rainfall: 15 - 33 mm (0.6 - 1.3 inches) (mainly in the highlands)

  • Average Water Temperature: 23 - 24 °C (75.2°F)

Wildlife:

  • Blue-footed boobies begin mating.

  • Waved Albatross mating and nesting on Espanola (Hood)

  • Great Frigate Birds mating and nesting on Genovesa (Tower)

  • Nesting Marine & Land Iguanas.

  • Giant Tortoises laying eggs in the wild.

  • Boobies breeding and nesting year-round.

  • Magnificent Frigate birds breeding (year-round on North Seymour Island)

  • Flightless Cormorants, Greater Flamingos and Galapagos Penguins year-round.

  • Sharks, Dolphins and Whales present throughout the year.

  • Magnificent Frigate birds breeding (year-round on North Seymour Island)

  • Flightless Cormorants, Greater Flamingos and Galapagos Penguins year-round, maybe see them nesting and breeding.

 

June in the Galapagos Islands

June in Galapagos has the ideal climate. Temperature is cooling but still has many days of blue skies and a very pleasant climate. 

Smartest tour: Cruise to Española and Genovesa Islands to see the Waved Albatross and Great Frigate Birds in full courtship mode.

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June is at the start of the cool, dry season in Galapagos called 'Garua'

Waved Albatross on Espanola are still in full courtship mode. These birds mate for life, and can live for up to 50-55 years and their courtship displays are really quite something to see.

Great Frigate birds on Genovesa Island are also in courtship mode as males puff out their impressive red gullet sacks puffed out. The cooling waters trigger the breeding season for several of the most spectacular sea birds of the Galapagos; Galapagos Penguins, Blue-footed Boobies, Tropic-birds and Cormorants, all get ready to take advantage of the improving feeding conditions and begin their courtships. Also Sea lions start delivering pups.

Weather:

  • Air temperature daily: High: 26 °C (79°F). Low: 21 °C (69.8°F)

  • Average Rainfall: 5 - 22 mm (0.20 - 0.90 inches) (mainly in the highlands)

  • Average Water Temperature: 22°C-23 °C (73.4°F)

Wildlife:

  • Baby Sea Turtles.

  • Female Sea Lions begin delivering pups.

  • You can still see some courtship still from boobies, Waved-Albatross and Frigate Birds

  • Some chicks starting to appear in the nests

  • Giant Tortoises on Santa Cruz Island begin to migrate from the highlands to the lowlands to begin their mating season.

  • Some groups of migrating Humpback whales can be seen along the coast of Ecuador and Galapagos.

  • Dolphins and whales present throughout the year in Galapagos.

  • Red-footed Boobies and Nazca Boobies breeding and nesting year-round

  • Magnificent Frigate birds breeding (year-round on North Seymour Island)

  • Flightless Cormorants, Greater Flamingos and Galapagos Penguins year-round.