The Galapagos Islands are a year-round tourism and cruise destination accessible in any month. Each month’s incentives are different (learn more below). Our experts generally concur that December through May is the ideal time to visit the Galapagos Islands.
Why? These months fall within the warm season, and the ocean is clear and warm, making them ideal for diving and snorkeling. Bright sunny days are broken up by brief tropical showers that keep the foliage green and the fauna busy.
In contrast, cooler, nutrient-rich ocean currents produce arid maritime influences from June to November. In the cold season, tropical showers are replaced by fog, and trade winds can generate turbulent seas, but this is a good time for hiking and watching active marine life.
Galapagos Weather & Climate Overview
Ocean currents have a significant role in the pleasant year-round climate of the Galapagos Islands. As the islands are near the equator, there are seasonal fluctuations in the weather, but overall, there are not many. The temperature in the Galapagos Islands ranges from lows of 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees Celsius) to highs of 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius). Seasonal precipitation, fog, and wind all impact the state of the water. See the climate and water temperature table for the Galapagos Islands below to learn more about the region’s environment.
Galapagos Island Seasons in Detail
There are two distinct seasons on the Galapagos Islands, with the “warm” season lasting from December through May and the “cold” season lasting from June through November. As temperatures are always relatively warm, warm and cool are relative terms.
No actual high or low season exists because the islands are accessible year-round. Due to the absence of storms in the Galapagos Islands, there is no hurricane season.
The islands have no high or low season, making them accessible year-round. Your schedule, interests, and budget will determine which season is perfect for you.
Best Time to Avoid the Crowds in Galapagos
The busiest times for visits are the holidays like Christmas, Easter, Spring Break, and the summer months when children are off from school. During this time, Galapagos trips and small ship excursions must be reserved in advance because prices are at their highest. Early December, right before the holiday; early January, right after the holiday; and September, after the summer, are the best times to visit Galapagos to avoid crowds and get a reasonable rate.
Galapagos Warm Season (Rainy Season Galapagos)
The Galapagos warm season sometimes called the wet or green season, lasts from December to May. Galapagos temperatures during this time of year range from the 70s to the upper 80s Fahrenheit (21-27 Celsius).
Northern Panama current raises the water’s temperature to the mid-70s Fahrenheit during the summer (21 Celsius). This results in occasionally hot, sunny days and showers. Rain usually starts in the late afternoon and ends by dusk. When it rains in Galapagos, the barren landscape comes to life with lush green leaves that abound with food for land creatures.
The calmer ocean conditions during the summer season make for fantastic snorkeling on Galapagos trips and superb underwater visibility. For snorkeling, the finest months are December through May. If you are worried about getting seasick, consider the warm season.
Galapagos Cool Season (Galapagos Dry Season)
The chilly season in the Galapagos sometimes called the dry or Garua season, lasts from June to November. Galapagos’ average temperatures at this time of year range from the low 60s to the mid-70s Fahrenheit (21 to 21 Celsius) (16 Celsius).
The southern Humboldt and Peru currents reduce the water’s temperature to as low as 66 degrees Fahrenheit during the chilly season (19 Celsius). This results in shorter days and the Garua, a constant misty fog, especially in the highlands. In the excellent season, it rarely rains.
Tradewinds intensify during the chilly season, making the ocean choppier. Although the underwater visibility has deteriorated, snorkeling is still excellent. Activities that take place underwater might call for a wetsuit. The tradewinds and cold currents mingle the oceans, causing a bloom of life that causes marine life to explode. This is the most fantastic time of year for viewing penguins, dolphins, whales, and other
huge marine mammals.
Galapagos Shoulder Seasons
The best of both worlds can be experienced by traveling to Galapagos between May and November when the warm and cool seasons converge. Great weather, superb ocean conditions, and very few people can all occur during shoulder seasons. Animals’ food supplies change due to the fluctuating currents, which can lead to exciting wildlife encounters. The shoulder months of May and November are ideal for visiting the Galapagos.
Galapagos Water Temperature
Is the water in the Galapagos Islands warm? The Galapagos Islands’ water is between 66 and 76 degrees Fahrenheit (19-24 degrees Celsius). December through May have the hottest water temperatures in the Galapagos. The water temperature in the Galapagos is colder from June to November. Seasonal ocean currents have a significant impact on the
e temperature of the water in the Galapagos.
Galapagos Snorkeling Seasons
In the Galapagos, snorkeling is highly popular. We advise all visitors to go diving to see the fauna. If you stay on land, you should take advantage of a significant aspect of the Galapagos experience.
Significant and unusual marine life can be seen while snorkeling at the Galapagos Islands. That is what we refer to as “charismatic megafauna.” There are schools of vibrant tropical fish, starfish, sea cucumbers, and other ordinary marine life. Yet, the Galapagos Islands’ enormous wildlife—including sea lions, sea turtles, spotted eagle rays, reef sharks, marine iguanas, and even penguins—make snorkeling there memorable.
As mentioned above, snorkeling in the Galapagos is fantastic all year long. Ocean currents have a significant impact on water temperatures and clarity. There are two distinct snorkeling seasons in the Galapagos: warm and cool.
So, when is the Best Time to Visit the Galapagos Islands?
The most often asked questions are “When is the ideal month for a Galapagos cruise?” and “When is the greatest time to visit the Galapagos Islands?” Every season is a great time to visit the Galapagos Islands. Given the factors above, our experts concur that December through May is the ideal season to visit Galapagos. What time of year is suitable for viewing animals in the Galapagos? Your hopes for a particular species will determine the answer. Study this information, think about where the animals in the Galapagos Islands are located, then contact our experts to focus on certain animals.
Whether you want to travel over the holidays or in the summer, make your reservations early and prepare ahead. See How to Choose the Best Galapagos Cruise or find out more about what’s new and notable for Galapagos 2023 and 2024 cruises for more helpful facts about the Galapagos to guide your selection.
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