Best Time to Visit Galapagos Islands

Galápagos panorama (Paul Krawczuk)  [flickr.com]  CC BY 
License Information available under 'Proof of Image Sources'
On this page, you will find information about the climate and the best time to visit Galapagos Islands. We created climate tables and charts for the location of San Cristobal. These contain details about temperatures, precipitation and more.

Furthermore, we analyzed all climate data and provide a recommendation about which months are best to visit Galapagos Islands for your holiday.

Climate Overview

Thermometer Symbol 19 °C to 30 °C
Waves Symbol 22 °C to 27 °C
Rainy Cloud Symbol 0.124.53 in
Show temperatures in degree

General & Geography

The Islas Galápagos are a group of islands in the eastern Pacific Ocean in the west of the mainland of Ecuador. Because of their breathtaking flora and fauna, the Galapagos Islands have been declared a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site, and around 98% of the entire island area is now under nature conservation.

Of the more than 100 islands and islets, only five are permanently inhabited. Most important for tourism is the Isla Santa Cruz with the capital Puerto Ayora, which is also the largest of the Galapagos Islands.

The isolated location of the Galapagos Islands has led to the emergence of numerous endemic species that make the hearts of animal and nature lovers from all over the world beat faster. The local finches were the cornerstone of Charles Darwin’s book “The Origin of Species”.

Whether giant turtles, boobies, sea bears and sea lions, large sea lizards or land iguanas – new discoveries await behind every stone. With 149 species of birds, the Galapagos Islands are also a paradise for ornithologists.

The journey to Galápagos is mostly via Quito or Guayaquil on the mainland of Ecuador. There are usually at least three daily flights to the islands, whose main airports are located on the islands of San Cristobal and Baltra.

From Baltra a bridge leads directly to Puerto Ayora, the tourist centre and starting point of many Galapagos trips. Many cruises, the most frequent type of travel on the islands, also start their tours from here.

Climate on the Galápagos Islands (Ecuador)


Marine iguana (Brian Gratwicke)  [flickr.com]  CC BY 
License Information available under 'Proof of Image Sources' The Galapagos Islands in Ecuador are located at equatorial altitude, yet have rather moderate climatic conditions due to the refreshing effect of the eastern Pacific. In general, only two seasons can be distinguished on the Galápagos Islands:

At the beginning of December, air temperatures rise significantly, causing greater evaporation of seawater and creating cloud formations that create a rather humid, subtropical climate on the islands by January at the latest.

This wetter season (not a classic rainy season despite increased rainfall) from December to May is ideal for wildlife watching, as reptiles as well as mammals and birds are now giving birth to their offspring.

In addition, the temperatures are pleasantly warm and there are also more sunny days than in the dry season. Snorkellers and divers also find ideal conditions at this time. During the month of May the temperatures cool down noticeably and start the dry season.

The dry season brings more frequent clouds and colder temperatures, so that a wetsuit or neoprene suit is necessary especially for snorkeling. Especially between September and November the sea is often rough and high waves make the boat trips sometimes very demanding.

Best Time to Visit Galapagos Islands: Overview

JanuaryJan
Best time to traveltime
a little wet, but warm but perfect for wildlife observation & diving
FebruaryFeb
Best time to traveltime
a little wet, but warm but perfect for wildlife observation & diving
MarchMar
Best time to traveltime
a little wet, but warm but perfect for wildlife observation & diving
AprilApr
Best time to traveltime
a little wet, but warm but perfect for wildlife observation & diving
MayMay
Best time to traveltime
perfect for wildlife observation & diving
JuneJun
Good time to traveltime
getting cooler, but very dry
JulyJul
Good time to traveltime
chilly, but dry
AugustAug
Suitable time to traveltime
chilly, but dry
SeptemberSep
Low Season
chilly, bigger waves possible
OctoberOct
Low Season
chilly, bigger waves possible
NovemberNov
Low Season
temperatures rising
DecemberDec
Best time to traveltime
getting warmer, perfect for wildlife observation & diving

When is the best time to travel on Galápagos?


The Galapagos Islands are always worth a visit all year round. The supposed rainy season from January to the end of May is very temperate and offers pleasantly warm temperatures as well as much sun, which is why it is considered the best travel season on Galápagos.

While June is still a very good month of transition, the school holidays in the USA in July and August make it very crowded on the islands. From September until the end of November the colder low season runs, which can be unpleasant for divers and snorkelers.

Also the higher swell makes the necessary boat tours for sensitive stomachs now clearly more difficult, on the other hand comparatively very favorable prices lure. We therefore recommend mid-December to mid-June as the best time to visit the Galapagos Islands.

Climate Chart Galapagos Islands

San Cristobal

Climate Chart San Cristobal
Show temperatures in degree

Source of Data: German Weather Service (Offenbach) and Wikipedia

Climate Table Galapagos Islands

In the following, you will find the climate table for Galapagos Islands, containing information about Temperatures, Precipitation, Water Temperatures, and Hours of Sunshine.

Temperatures, Precipitation, Sunshine in San Cristobal (Galapagos Islands)

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Day Temperature29°30°30°30°29°27°26°25°25°26°26°27°
Night Temperature23°23°22°22°22°21°20°19°19°19°20°21°
Water Temperature25°26°27°26°25°24°23°22°22°22°23°24°
Precipitation (inch)1.894.533.463.270.910.120.350.240.240.280.240.47
Hours of Sunshine687888765556
Show temperatures in degree
Temperatures
The annual average temperature in San Cristobal is 23.9 °C.

For comparison: London 11 °C, NYC 12 °C, LA 17.9 °C

Warmest month: March (26.1 °C)
Coldest month: September (21.4 °C)

The maximum water temperature in San Cristobal is 27 °C. You can take a bath at these temperatures.

Months with water temperature of at least 21 °C (adequate for beach vacation):
all months

Precipitation
Overall annual precipitation: 15.98 inch

For comparison: London 24.06 in, NYC 41.57 in, LA 12.01 in

There is no rainy season (months with more than 6.9 in of precipitation).

You cannot expect snow in any month in San Cristobal.

Sunshine
As our climate table shows, February is the sunniest month with an average of 8.3 hours of sunshine per day. Over the year, there are 6.6 hours of sunshine per day on average. For comparison: London has 4.1, NYC has 7 and LA has 8.9 hours of sunshine per day on average.

Popular Activities

Current Weather and Forecast

Current Weather in San Cristobal (Station El Progreso)
few clouds     few clouds, 28 °C
Clouds: 20 %       Wind: 11 mph SO
Air Pressure: 1005 hPa       Humidity: 78 %
Last updated: 26th Mar 2019, 01:00 am
The next days …
25th Mar 201926th Mar 201927th Mar 201928th Mar 201929th Mar 201930th Mar 2019
sky is clear26 °C to 27 °Csky is clear26 °C to 26 °Csky is clear26 °C to 26 °Csky is clear25 °C to 27 °Clight rain25 °C to 27 °Clight rain26 °C to 27 °C
26 °C to 27 °C26 °C to 26 °C26 °C to 26 °C25 °C to 27 °C25 °C to 27 °C26 °C to 27 °C
Clouds: 0 %Clouds: 0 %Clouds: 0 %Clouds: 0 %Clouds: 13 %Clouds: 50 %
No PrecipitationNo PrecipitationNo PrecipitationNo Precipitation0.11 in of rain0.01 in of rain
Weather information provided by OpenWeatherMap. (CC BY-SA)
Show temperatures in degree

Ecuador: Regions

Galapagos Islands is part of the holiday destination Ecuador. We analyzed the climate for additional regions, in order to provide you with information about the best time to visit and the expected holiday weather:

Galapagos Islands: Experiences of our Visitors

There are 2 reviews for Galapagos Islands holiday already. Average rating is 3 of 5 stars.
  1. Avatar Preview
    Andrea, 55 years old was there in November

    It was dry, the temperatures were pleasantly warm. We were on a diving safari and had very calm sea. Water temperatures between 15 and 24 degrees

    Weather Rating: 5 stars – Excellent

  2. Avatar Preview
    Margit, 34 years old was there in October

    Always cloudy but pleasantly warm. Rainy 2 days in the morning.

    Weather Rating: 1 stars – Mostly bad

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Ship aground on the beach of of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos Islands (John Solaro (sooolaro))  [flickr.com]  CC BY-ND 
License Information available under 'Proof of Image Sources'
Blue-footed booby courtship dance on North Seymour Island (John Solaro (sooolaro))  [flickr.com]  CC BY-ND 
License Information available under 'Proof of Image Sources'
Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) (Gregory "Slobirdr" Smith)  [flickr.com]  CC BY-SA 
License Information available under 'Proof of Image Sources'

Tour of the Galapagos Islands

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