While the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador are an all-year-round destination, the best time to visit is between November and June when the skies are clearer, the seas are calmer and the winds aren’t trying to knock you off balance. The Islands’ climate is subtropical meaning it never gets too cold, even from July to October. However, November and December are the warmest months and March and April experience less rainfall, so each month promises something a little different weather-wise.

But, we've put together this month-by-month guide to help combat the ‘when should I travel to the Galapagos Islands’- related stress. 

January 

A flock of birds flying over the water in the Galapagos Islands

Best for: sunbaking, green sea turtles laying their eggs and birdwatching

The temperature in January averages around 86°F, so it’s perfect for laying out on one of the Galapagos Islands’ many beaches and going for a swim in its turquoise waters (water temperatures are around 73°F). While the humidity levels might be high because of the somewhat frequent rainfall, it’s still a spectacular time to cruise the islands and watch out for green sea turtles as they lay their eggs. 

February

Best for: penguin migration, marine iguana nesting and snorkeling. 

Get out your snorkels, ladies and gentlemen, because February is one of the best months to explore the Galapagos Islands’ underwater world with clear and calm conditions and high visibility. The water temperature also sits at a nice 77°F so you know, that helps. However, there’s a chance you might see some rainfall during your trip, so pack your umbrella! 

March

Best for: sea bird mating season, marine iguana nesting and hiking

Temperatures heat up a little in March (88°F) but the water temperature remains steady at 77°F so you don’t have to put away your snorkels and scuba gear just yet. Water visibility remains high, especially around the western islands, but March also sees the start of bird mating season (like waved albatross and frigate birds), so it’s also a great time to get your head out of the water and look up.

March is considered to be one of the rainiest seasons in the Galapagos, and with rain comes humidity. This means the air can often feel quite stifling, but this should lessen as the month goes on. 

April

A lone traveller looking out over the ocean scenery on the Galapagos Islands

Best for: waved albatross migration, sea turtles & marine iguana nesting and island hopping

April signals the start of the dry season and while there might be an odd shower here and there, they don’t last for long, so you’ll be back enjoying the nice 88°F weather in no time. Waved albatross have also completed their migration during this time, so bird-watching is a popular activity in April.

If you want to maximize your wildlife spotting, try hopping between the islands as sea turtles and marine iguanas are starting to nest and lay their eggs. If you’re interested, stick around the beaches to watch a small part of nature unfold.

May

Best for: blue-footed booby mating season, waved albatross nesting and mountain biking

Temperatures start to come down in May with averages around 80°F. Some travelers might even find this preferable to the warmer months at the start of the year, as the humidity is also extremely low due to zero rainfall. However, with low air temperatures comes low water temperatures, so the water in May is at its coldest (73°F).

If that doesn’t deter you, water visibility is still high, making snorkeling a popular activity - especially since it’s the low season and you won’t have to share the water with crowds of marine-loving travelers. Other popular activities include diving, hiking and mountain biking. 

June

Best for: humpback whale spotting, whale shark diving and kayaking

The islands’ whale species finally come out to play in June with the opportunity to spot humpback whales and whale sharks, particularly around Isabela and Fernandina Islands. Temperatures lower again for an average of 79°F but this means it’s perfect weather for spending a long period of time outside on (and in) the water – think kayaking, snorkeling, diving, dolphin watching and boat touring. 

July

A brightly coloured crab scuttling across a black rock

Best for: blue-footed booby nesting, sea lion breeding and marine life spotting

For the next three months, the weather on the Galapagos Islands isn’t the best, with July experiencing average temperatures of 76°F, infrequent rainfall and strong winds. But, since temperatures aren’t that high, it’s one of the best months to explore the great outdoors with hiking, wildlife watching and other sightseeing activities on the agenda.

The animals of the Galapagos are out in full force, with sea lions in the middle of their mating season and blue-footed booby’s starting to nest. Plenty of marine life can be spotted around dock areas, such as sea turtles, white-tip reef sharks, penguins and tropical fish, so keep your camera out. However, you might want to avoid going in the water as temperatures dip to a chilly 71°F and conditions are a bit rough. 

August

Best for: giant tortoise migration, whale spotting and bird watching

August brings with it pretty miserable weather with average air temperatures of 78°F (and sea temperatures of 68°F) and frequent thunderstorms, so it’s best to pack your warmer clothing. It’s not all doom and gloom, though as whales are at their liveliest, meaning you’ll probably see plenty of humpback, sperm, minke and maybe even sei whales.

There are a few hikes worth doing while the weather isn’t too hot on San Cristobal Island, especially bird cliff where, you guessed it, you can spot a huge array of feathered wildlife. These include swallowtail gulls, frigate birds and blue-footed boobies. 

September

Best for: penguin courtships, sea lion pup spotting and cave exploring 

September is the wettest month in the Galapagos, but don’t let that stop you from traveling. Average air temperatures are still a moderate 78°F, so when it’s not raining or blowing a gale, it’s warm enough to enjoy being outside. Penguin courtship season begins in September on Bartolome Island, so if you’re a bit of a softie, there’s nothing more romantic than watching two animals fall in love.

You can then see the result of that love when sea lion pups emerge and start frolicking on the beaches. But animal cuteness doesn’t stop there. Penguins like to play along the shoreline and flamingoes are out in abundance on most islands (Isabela Island, Santa Cruz, Florena Island and Santiago Island). 

October

A few lazy seals lounging on the sand on one of the Galapagos Islands' many beaches

Best for: blue-footed booby chick spotting, fur sea lion mating season and stargazing 

The weather finally starts to clear up a bit in October and water temperatures slowly increase as the month wears on (average of 70°F). Sunny skies during the day mean cloudless skies at night, making stargazing one of the most popular activities to do on the islands in October. In fact, looking at the sky in general promises to be one of the best things you do as both sunrises and sunsets promise breathtaking views. 

November

Best for: green sea turtle mating season, whale shake spotting and hiking

Average temperatures remain steady for the month of November, but water temperatures are getting warmer, so fit your snorkel around your head and get back in the water. Flamingo Lagoon (on Isabela Island) is worth a visit, as well as shark alley (don’t worry, there are no sharks in sight).

Hiking is also popular as low humidity levels make spending hours in the sunshine more enjoyable. The Sierra Negra Volcano hike on Isabela Island is well worth the 5-6 hour time frame, but the Tortuga Bay walk on Santa Cruz is also great if you’re after something a little less strenuous.   

December

Best for: giant tortoise breeding center visits, sea lion mating and sunset viewing

Weather conditions are back to their sunny best in December, with average temperatures climbing to 80°F (75°F water temperatures) and clear skies for as far as the eye can see. Clear days make way for clear nights and excellent visibility means to-die-for sunsets and subsequent stargazing, so opt out of the late afternoon siesta and head outside when the sun starts to set. 

Click to return to Galapagos FAQs

Our tours in the Galapagos Islands

10 Days From 6572

Travel to the Galapagos Islands and sail around the central eastern islands, witnessing...

10 Days From 3478

Discover amazing wildlife and natural beauty in the Galapagos Islands.

8 Days From 2338

Explore the Galapagos Islands on this island-hopping tour that begins in Quito and...

24 Days From 7278

Visit South America and travel to the Galapagos Islands, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia....

9 Days From 2330

See the Galapagos Islands on an eight-day adventure including Isla Isabela, Isla Santa...

Tailor-Made trips

Take four or more on an exclusive trip and tailor your itinerary

10 Days From 6664

Sail the aquamarine waters of the Galapagos’s central southern islands taking in...

10 Days From 6184

Spend 10 unforgettable days on board the Grand Daphne, discovering the central islands...

7 Days From 1306

As far as face-to-face wildlife encounters go, the Galapagos wildlife experience rivals...

17 Days From 5886

Focus on two of South America's heaviest hitters on this 17-day tour through both the...

10 Days From 6184

Take an active 10-day adventure cruise though the Galapagos Islands, from Isla Santa...

10 Days From 6452

Travel to the Galapagos Islands from Quito and embark on a sailing adventure around...

10 Days From 7440

Explore the best of the otherworldly Galapagos Islands on this 10-day tour that takes...

13 Days From 10043

Embark on an immersive Adventure Cruise through the Galapagos Islands and experience...

7 Days From 3992

Discover the treasures of the northern Galapagos Islands on this cruise, including Isla...

7 Days From 4184

Take to the water and explore the beautiful Galapagos Islands. See huge populations of...

7 Days From 3284

Explore the beautiful Galapagos Islands. See huge populations of animals and experience...

6 Days From 3284

Explore the Islands of the Galapagos on this startling adventure that highlights the...

6 Days From 3284

Explore the central islands of the Galapagos on this startling adventure that...

17 Days From 14340

This Galapagos adventure cruise is the perfect way to explore the islands of Isabella,...

14 Days From 8922

Travel to Ecuador and join a 13-day Intrepid journey in the Galapagos’. Visit Isla...

8 Days From 5764

Hop aboard the M/Y Grand Queen Beatriz for a wildlife-filled 8-day adventure around the...

9 Days From 2248

Get the best of the Galapagos on a 9-day tour from Quito to Isla San Cristobal, Isla...

8 Days From 984

Explore the Amazon Jungle, Cotopaxi National Park, and Pailon del Diablo waterfall on...

6 Days From 2854

See the best of the Galapagos Islands on this action-packed adventure cruise, touring...

7 Days From 1140

Get the best of the Galapagos on a 7-day tour for 18 to 29 year olds that visits Isla...

30 Days From 7918

Experience the highlights of Peru and the Galapagos Islands on this 30-day tour,...

18 Days From 6298

Visit South America and travel to Peru. Visit Lima, Cusco and Lake Titicaca, tour the...

8 Days From 3035

Take your family on a holiday with a difference to the Galapagos Islands. Snorkel with...

17 Days From 11544

Discover the bizarre and the beautiful on this 17-day cruising tour of the Galapagos...

8 Days From 5440

Come face-to-face with the extraordinary central islands of the Galapagos on an 8-day...

4 Days From 1358

Embark on an unforgettable journey into Ecuador's Amazon Jungle. Search for local...

17 Days From 4068

Discover the Ecuador highlights, the Andes mountains, the Amazon rainforest and the...

24 Days From 6700

Focus on South America's heaviest hitters on this 24-day tour through the wildlife-rich...

4 Days From 2483

Journey deep into the Amazon and spend three days in the jungle searching for wildlife,...

Read more about the Galapagos Islands