south america | Galapagos Islands

Galapagos is the ideal winter vacation from the northern hemisphere…

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Marine iguana in the Galapagos sunset

While it’s true, there isn’t a ‘bad’ time to visit the Galapagos who wouldn’t want to escape to perfect, tropical spring and summer weather just as winter is hitting the US, Canada and Europe? If you’ve been waiting for the best time to travel to this unique island destination, here’s why traveling to Galapagos in January is the ideal winter vacation from the northern hemisphere.

1. Tropical Weather Without the Storms

Galapagos in January brings daily highs of 85°F (30°C) but doesn’t get the tropical storms. In fact, it hardly ever rains in the Galapagos towards the beginning of the year, so every day is perfect for those wanting to relax on the beach, take a dip in warm, clear waters or sail between idyllic islands.

Sunset at Galapagos Islands

Temperatures for Galapagos Islands in January:

Average Low: Average High: Water Temperature: Average Rainfall:
70°F 85°F 74°F 2.0 inches

2. Best Underwater Visibility

The Galapagos’ turquoise waters are possibly at their best during January when no rain means clear and calm conditions that offer incredible visibility. Jump on in to 74°F (24.5°C) water with friendly sea turtles, penguins, iguanas and even dolphins. Don’t forget the GoPro & waterproof cameras because you’ll more than likely be able to grab some great underwater shots too!

Snorkeling in Galapagos with Green Sea Turtle
Snorkeling with Galapagos penguins

3. You’ll See Sea Lions

You know who else loves perfect beach weather? Sea lions! Some of the world’s most untouched, white sand beaches await you in the Galapagos in January, and you’ll be fortunate enough to be able to share them with lazing sea lions. Get up close to these inquisitive creatures or hop in the water with them as the cubs gently nip at and play with your snorkeling fins.

Galapagos Sea lion pup
Snorkeling with Galapagos Sea Lions

4. Green Sea Turtles Begin Laying Eggs

The Galapagos is a nature destination so what better time to visit than when the ever-popular green sea turtles start laying their eggs on the beaches? That’s right! While you’re sunbathing in the Galapagos in January, watch as sea turtles scramble out of the sea to lay their eggs.

Galapagos Green Sea Turtle crawling on beach to lay eggs
Galapagos Green Sea Turtle nesting
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5. Best Time for Bird life

Marking the start of mating season for many birds in the Galapagos, January is one of the best months to visit if you’re interested in witnessing these interesting and unusual birds up close. You’re likely to see red-footed, blue-footed and masked boobies, magnificent and great frigate, flightless cormorants and even flamingos throughout the islands.

Blue-footed Booby
Magnificent Frigatebird
Galapagos Flamingo
Flightless Cormorant

6. Experience ‘Christmas' Marine Iguanas

Marine iguana on Espanola Island

While January is mating season for Marine Iguanas, on Espanola Island, the females of this unique breed change colors to be bright red and green in order to attract mates. It’s an impressive sight to see but you’ll also most likely be able to see male iguanas fighting over females on Isabela Island too.

Christmas Marine Iguana
Female marine iguana changing colors

7. Enjoy Nature Without the Crowds

The holiday period is without a doubt, the busiest time in the Galapagos. So, when January rolls around and the kids tend to be back at school, you’re far more likely to have the islands to yourself for a more relaxing and authentic experience with lots more wildlife.

Galapagos Giant Tortoise

8. Save Money

Because most of the visitors have gone home come January, traveling to the Galapagos in January is generally less expensive. Tour companies, hotels and restaurants usually drop their peak surcharges, so your money will take you further. Better weather, fewer crowds and the opportunity to save money! If the Galapagos is your January vacation destination, visit our Galapagos cruise page for more information about our yacht trips or contact us using the form below.

Paul Schicke
Manager E-Commerce & Direct Sales at Quasar Expeditions

Hello! My name is Paul. I am a photographer, traveler, teacher and writer. I have extensive experience in travel to Galapagos, Peru, Patagonia and the western seaboard of South America specializing in ways travelers can experience these once-in-a-life destinations like locals on the road. Lover of wine, chocolate, travel, coffee, and helping others plan vacations of a lifetime!




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