The Galapagos is a true year round destination. There is really no better or worse time to go. In part this is because the Galapagos are right on the equator so that air and water temperatures change very little over the course of a year. In addition, almost all of the animal species you will see arrived in the Galapagos because they floated in or were blown in and do not migrate. This means species like the Galapagos penguin, flightless cormorant, marine iguana, land iguana, blue footed boobie, Galapagos hawk, fur sea lion, California sea lion and other species spend the entire year in the Galapagos. The waved albatross is one of the few species that migrates and is best seen in spring and summer.
Sign-up to get the latest stories on the most amazing destinations and travel experiences from Quasar Expeditions.
Keep in mind the Galapagos were never settled until recent times mainly due to lack of water, so the Galapagos is a marine desert climate, though lush and wet in the highlands of the larger islands. For a climate / temperature chart and more information, go to: www.quasarex.com/galapagos/climate-and-weather.
There are basically two seasons in the Galapagos. The garua season starts in June and usually lasts through the fall and sometimes into December. The garua is characterized by a low laying cloud layer that forms over the larger islands in the morning, which typically burns off in the afternoon. The garua is a good time to visit the Galapagos if you want to avoid the strong equatorial sun.
The temperatures are warm enough for you to walk around in shorts and t-shirt most of the time but the cloud cover cuts down somewhat on the intensity of the sun (but you still must wear sun protection). Mornings can be a bit chillier, sometimes calling for a sweatshirt or light fleece jacket. Water temperatures get somewhat colder this time of year, but the average water temperature in the Galapagos only varies by 5 degrees year round. We provide the use of wetsuits which makes being in the water comfortable. Sea life tends to be a bit more active during this time offering lots of encounters with sea lions, sea turtles and even Galapagos penguins waiting for you underwater.
In December or prior, the garua ends and the skies clear as the new season begins. Water temperatures get progressively warmer as a result. In late April and early May it can get warm enough to feel muggy with occasional brief showers. The water is the warmest at this time of year, as the seasons once again turn back toward the garua in June.
One of the questions we get asked the most at Quasar is this -
What's the best time of year to travel to Galapagos Islands?