People often ask me, “What’s the best time to visit the Galápagos Islands?” The answer of course, in truth, is anytime. Thanks to its location on the equator, air and water temperature don’t vary much, meaning this vibrant archipelago has much to offer year round. I just suggest planning an adventure there around whatever it is you want to do and see.
A juvenile Sea Lion on the beaches of Floreana.
December through May is the warm season, making it a great time for snorkelling and swimming. These are typically the best months for underwater visibility and offer the highest water temperatures of 25ºC (77ºF). Being summer here of course, the sun can be intense at this time, so be sure to take a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses.
The Galápagos has some incredible wildlife to see. It’s everywhere here and at this time of year, lucky travellers can spot lots of it. Some of my favourite creatures are the baby sea lions you see hanging out with their parents in the shallow lagoons surrounding the islands, or lounging on the park benches in town. Other animals to look for at this time are green sea turtles nesting, flightless cormorants, boobies and greater flamingos breeding and nesting. Be on the lookout also for marine iguanas looking for partners and the special waved albatross nesting.
Top all of this off with the occasional short rain shower to cool you down and the warm season is an ideal time to visit.
Blue Footed boobies on Isabella island.
Galápagos flamingo on Santa Cruz Island.
And yet June through November is the cool season in the Galápagos, when the Humboldt Current travels up the coast of South America and brings with it milder weather. The abundance of fish from the south signals the arrival of the albatrosses to Espanola in June. The elusive penguin is also easier to spot at this time and who doesn’t want the opportunity to see penguins?
Galápagos Mocking bird on San Cristobal.
There are benefits to going to the Galápagos at any time of year. (At the end of the day, year-round temperatures average 25ºC (81ºF) here.) Whenever you decide to undertake the journey however, make sure it’s right for you. Any adventure to this part of the world will pay off no matter when you go.