Home » The best (and worst) times to visit the Galapagos Islands

The best (and worst) times to visit the Galapagos Islands

written by Intrepid Travel May 6, 2015

The Galapagos Islands are easily one of the most incredible island archipelagos in the world. You know that, we know that, and the giant tortoise most certainly knows that.

But lesser-known are the best times to visit the Galapagos Islands.

Are the Galapagos hot in June? When can I see sea turtles nesting? When can I see blue-footed boobies on Isabela and Espanola islands? How many whales does it take to screw in a lightbulb? All of these are questions anyone who’s planning a Galapagos trip has likely asked themselves.

Feeling inspired?

To help combat ‘when should I travel to the Galapagos Islands?’-related stress, we put together this super useful infographic. Tell your friends!

Best times to visit the Galapagos Islands infographicOnce you’ve seen the delights of the Galapagos it’s time to discover Ecuador. Check out these 5 must-visit places and then this super useful Quito city guide.

Explore all of Intrepid’s itineraries in the Galapagos Islands.

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Edward Warren April 1, 2019 - 4:26 am

Intrepid Travel: You don’t ride elephants but you invade the space of baby sea lions? If thousands of tourists that invade the Galapagos each year do this …….. Stay away from the Galapagos and other wild places and do the wildlife there a favor. Watch some high quality videos at home instead. The only thing you will miss is the smell.

Amanda Bradley October 17, 2018 - 3:57 am

Is there a reason that you don’t list temperatures in Fahrenheit ?

Intrepid Travel August 20, 2020 - 5:13 pm

Hi Amanda, while we are a global company, we are Australian-owned, so consequently, we mostly use Celsius in our writing or sometimes both! However, we have offices all around the world so if you have specific questions, please feel free to contact us and our team in your local area will be happy to help out. Thanks for reading. https://www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us

Michelle here July 1, 2018 - 5:56 pm

I would like to see the green turtles hatching. Is that January or February?

Fiona April 26, 2018 - 3:23 am

Hi,I would love to visit the wonderful looking Galápagos Islands.I have never been snorkelling but want to try.Iam interested in the fabulous wildlife especially the blue footed booboos.My husband and I enjoy activities such as walking,kayaking,cycling and don’t fancy luxury cruising!….Next spring we have a couple of weeks holiday and would love some suggestions for a Galapagos trip + or – matchu pitchy

Claire April 12, 2018 - 8:01 am

Great info to help Galapagos trip planning! FYI, we went in December and there were (still) sea lions pups everywhere.

mara March 28, 2018 - 1:00 pm

I am prone to seasickness and looking to travel in March/April 2019. I am looking to stay at Finch bay hotel and it has been suggested we visit South Plaza and North Seymour. Will we see enough animals?

Dan March 5, 2018 - 2:42 pm

When’s the best time to get up close and snorkel with the sea lions?

Rebecca Shapiro March 13, 2018 - 1:01 am

Hi Dan! Great question. There’s a good few months where you’d be able to snorkel with sea lions but our suggestion is November. This is because baby sea lions are particularly active, and so this is the best time to interact with them in the water. (Sea lion birthing season is August.) If you have any other questions then please feel free to reach out directly to me at rebecca.shapiro@intrepidtravel.com

Melody Kenoyer July 16, 2019 - 3:07 am

Hi Dan,
We just went in May and snorkeled with sea lions and with penguins. The water was warm and clear and it was sunny. I think we lucked out!

cyclegirlblogger November 5, 2017 - 3:28 am

fabulous, so glad I stumbled upon this as i’m headed for Galapagos end of Feb and wasn’t really quite sure if this was a good time (but the only time I could get holidays).

Jennifer Yan August 15, 2016 - 1:22 am

1. Which is the best month to go?
2. I want to see more birds, snorkelling and some hiking.
3. Which islands I should choose if I can go for 3 islands only?
looking forward for your early reply, thanks.

Norman February 3, 2016 - 8:42 am

That’s one neat info-graphic!
i love the way the galapagos are…no matter when you go, you will have a fun time. But each time you go, you get to see another amazing aspects of the islands!

warren vedder January 23, 2016 - 2:01 pm

please give me good idea for best months to see the islands, i’m a first time visitor, and want to see the big turtles

James Shackell January 28, 2016 - 9:44 am

Hi Warren,

All wildlife viewing in Galapagos depends on which island and time of the year you are there, add to that seasonality around different breeding cycles and it becomes a little tricky to give you a definitive answer. Generally to see the big land tortoises, July to December is a good time, particularly in the highlands of Santa Cruz. On all our land-based tours you’ll have a chance to see the land tortoises at most times of the year though. I’d recommend heading to our home page and calling up our adventure specialists – they’ll be able to tailor an itinerary to suit your needs.


Dana Eng January 13, 2016 - 1:29 pm

interested in 8-10 day Galapagos trip for 2 people in September 2016.
1. Islands we want to see include: Espanola, Bartolome, Santa Cruz, Fernandina and San Cristobal.
2. First Class Ship
3. Scuba dive 1-day.

James Shackell January 14, 2016 - 2:30 pm

Hi Dana,

Sounds like something we could definitely help with. The best place to start is to check out range of Galapagos tours, then give one of our specialists a call. They can walk you through the differences between each itinerary and help you find which one’s right for you.

All the best,

Jordan August 26, 2015 - 1:36 am

Great infographic here. Because the Galapagos are so diverse, when you go will really affect what you see and what you can do. This is great for people to figure out when their ideal trip should be!


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