There are three things to consider when choosing your ideal month to visit the Galapagos Islands: Weather, crowds and the wildlife.
As opposed to many wildlife sanctuaries around the world that are found at the extremes of our planet, the Galapagos Islands are conveniently located right at the center of our globe, on the equator. Areas near or at the equator receive high amounts of sunlight due to the inclination of the earth. Because more amount of sunlight is received in these areas, there are only two seasons in this part of the world as a result, and the Galapagos Islands enjoy very stable air and water temperatures year-round. This makes them a great year-round destination for travelers from all over the globe and there really is no “better” or “worse” time to travel to the Islands as it refers to the weather. In all our years offering Galapagos luxury cruises, we have never had a Guest return home saying they wished they would have visited the Islands during a different month than the one they did. You can visit our Galapagos climate and weather page for a detailed table on air and water temperatures for every month of the year.
The high season for tourism tends to be from mid-December to January and from June to August, which coincides with the general holidays and vacation months of the Northern Hemisphere. If you are planning your Galapagos cruise during the "popular" holiday months, we recommend you book your trip at least 6 months prior to your desired travel date and when possible, even sooner. If you are looking to travel during Christmas or New Year’s weeks, you will want to book at least a year in advance, if not two. For those who are flexible with their travel schedules, we highly recommend traveling during the months of January, February, September and October. These months fall right after the “popular” holiday months, meaning you will see less visitors around the National Park but still enjoy amazing weather and spectacular wildlife encounters.
Regarding the wildlife of the Galapagos, there is also no “better” or “worse” time to go to see the animals that are considered “the main attraction” of the Islands. Because almost all of the animal species you will see on the Islands arrived because they floated there on logs or beds of plants, or they were blown in, they made the islands their permanent home and they do not migrate. This means that iconic ‘must-see’ species like the Galapagos penguin, flightless cormorant, marine iguana, land iguana, blue footed booby, Galapagos hawk, fur sea lion, California sea lion and many others spend the entire year in the Galapagos and can be seen regardless of the time of year you go. A few species in the Galapagos are migratory, meaning that they are not present in the Islands year-round. These include whales, the waved albatross and some petrels and tattlers. To see these species we recommend you travel between the months of August – October. You can continue reading our page on ‘when to visit Galapagos’ for a detailed month by month weather and wildlife breakdown.