What is the best season to visit the Galapagos?

The best time to go to the Galapagos Islands is between December and May. During this period, temperatures are warmer and there is less rainfall, making conditions ideal for exploring the islands and observing wildlife.

However, if you want to avoid the crowds of tourists, you can also visit the Galapagos between June and November, although the temperatures are a bit cooler and it is windier.

Seasons in the Galapagos

The climate in the Galapagos is an equatorial climate almost arid, indeed the Humboldt current, passes to the west of the Galapagos archipelago bringing, a certain aridity uncommon at this equatorial latitude.

There is an unusual microclimate due to several marine currents’ confluence, with two seasons:

The hot and humid season from January to May, with sometimes violent but brief rains, is generally sunny and hot (average temperature of 25°C).

The cool and dry season, often called garúa, from the name of the rainy mists that settle on the mountain slopes, lasts from June to December.

Temperatures and climate in the Galapagos

Water temperature

Water temperatures around the Galapagos archipelago vary depending on the time of the year. From May to December, the waters are cool, with temperatures below 20°C. On the other hand, during warmer periods, the water temperature can reach up to 28°C, with an average of 22°C.

However, it is important to note that these high temperatures are rare.

In 1983, the archipelago experienced an anomalous warming event known as “Nirïo”, which resulted in nine months of rain and ocean water temperatures reaching about 30°C. This increase in temperature caused a major imbalance in the flora and fauna of the Galapagos, resulting in the disappearance of 80% of the green algae and 60% of the marine iguanas, which no longer had anything to eat.

Land temperature

Temperatures on the islands are between 18 and 30ºC. Depending on the altitude (from 500m), the southern trade winds have a definite influx of rain and drizzle on the highlands.

Rainfall, averaging 1,250 mm per year, is predominant during the hot or rainy season, from December to May.

Winds in the archipelago

The trade winds and the geological topography of the islands generate a certain influence: thus the white sand beaches are cooler than the black lava fields where the temperature can reach 50° and, even in altitude, the lava fields are a real furnace.

Currents and microclimates

The currents and temperatures at the surface of the ocean generate micro climates throughout the Galapagos Islands. These particularities influence the type of fauna and flora on the different islands of the archipelago.

Here below, according to the months of the year, is an overview of what you can observe in the Galapagos.

Time Zone

The Galapagos is in the time -6h UTC.

Book your trip to the Galapagos no matter the season!

Our travel agency specializes in Galapagos and will build you a customized itinerary, adapted to the season you want to go.