Galapagos Islands Travel Guide

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Best Times to Visit Galapagos Islands

The best time to visit the Galápagos Islands is from December to May. Though the Galápagos is beautiful year-round, these months offer temperatures ranging from the low 70s to mid-80s, making pleasant conditions for hiking and wildlife-spotting. And though this season experiences frequent (but short) showers, the sun shines brightly on most days. Between June and November, the Humboldt Current, a current that runs north-westward along South America's west coast, ushers in cooler temperatures and nutrient-rich water that attracts rare fish and birds. Albatrosses and penguins are just some of the species you'll spot this time of year. Longer rain showers, however, occur during these months, and winds tend to be stronger, resulting in rougher seas. No matter when you visit, keep in mind that the government limits the number of travelers permitted on the islands at any given time, so you'll need to book several months in advance to secure a spot.

Weather in Galapagos Islands

Switch to Celsius/MM
Average Temperature (°F)
84.6
73.2
86.5
73.6
86.9
73.2
86.4
73
84.6
72.9
81.7
71.1
79.5
69.3
78.1
67.6
78.3
67.6
78.8
68
80.6
69.6
82
71.1
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Average Precipitation (in)
3.28
4.23
4.19
3.74
1.65
1.28
0.74
0.39
0.3
0.43
0.5
2.03
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center


December-May

Though brief showers are common this time of year, plenty of sunshine and temperatures in the 70s and 80s make this an ideal time for observing the Galápagos' famous wildlife. Birds regularly mate during these months, and from March to May, you may even spot baby sea lions or sea turtles crowding the shores. This season also sees ample springtime blooms that drape the islands in radiant colors and features calmer waves for those who suffer from seasickness. Because mid-December to mid-January is a popular time to visit, you'll need to secure flights, cruises and accommodations several months in advance.

June-November

With the Humboldt Current's cooler temperatures (which average in the high 60s to low 80s) comes a myriad of underwater species attracted to rich oceanic nutrients, making this season the best time to go snorkeling and scuba diving. These months are also when wildlife-enthusiasts can crowd sandy shores to watch blue-footed boobies perform their mating dances. However, tourists flock to the islands from mid-June to early September, so finalize reservations in advance to ensure availability. Also, remember to bring an umbrella; longer rain showers (known locally as garua) are more prevalent this time of year. You may want to pack medicine for seasickness as well, even if you don't typically suffer from the illness since seas are roughest between June and November.

Popular Times to Visit Galapagos Islands

Average Tourist Volumes

Tourism volume is estimated based on in-market destination search query interest from Google and on travel.usnews.com in 2015-2016. Hotel prices are sourced from a sample of U.S. News Best Hotels rates through 2015-2016.

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