July is the middle of the high season in the Galápagos, with many international and Ecuadorian families traveling to the islands during this time. Visitors during this month will enjoy colder waters, abundant marine life, and incredible birdwatching. It is the perfect time to travel with family, enjoy hiking, dive with sharks and whales, and go snorkeling among crustaceans and mollusks. Lazy sea lions and their pups will welcome you around the islands, and you will see blue-footed boobies go about their days. Keep reading for travel advice for visiting the Galápagos in July.

Weather

In July, the weather is pleasant with colder waters and a small drop in air temperature. It is the second month of the Galápagos Islands' dry season, also known as the garúa. It is one of the "coldest" months on the islands and makes the perfect time for sightseeing with hiking and wildlife observation on land. However, the water is also still pleasant enough for swimming and snorkeling.

Expect daily temperatures around 68 °F and water temperatures around 72 °F. You will rarely experience rain during this period, and currents, as well as cloudier skies, are more common. It is the ideal time to travel if you want to be active while avoiding a hot and humid climate.

The sea is a bit rougher in July, so keep that in mind if you plan on taking a boat tour since there will be a lot more motion. You might experience stronger winds in July, but they are still mild compared to other destinations like the Caribbean. It is a good idea to bring some warmer clothing with you, as it gets colder during the evening and night time. A wind jacket is a good idea, especially for the boat rides.

Crowds & Costs

July is one of the busiest months with travelers from every world corner coming to the Galápagos Islands. It is a popular time for families since many children are free from school. The marine life is at its best during which attracts adventurous travelers and those who enjoy water-based activities such as surfing and diving. Island cruises fill up quickly, especially those that include activities such as snorkeling and diving.

It is a good idea to book boat tours in advance, preferably weeks or even a few months before. Costs go up during July, both on activities and flights. You can still find, however, good deals on hotels if you plan well and book early. Land-based tours are a bit easier to book on the spot, but it is still a good idea to book in advance. Overall it is one of the most enjoyable and active months to visit the Galápagos Islands, with a lot to experience. 

Where to Go

The Galápagos Islands in July are teeming with wildlife, with many of the bird species breeding and nesting. The wildlife is abundant, and different species are active both under and above the water. Head to the coasts of Wolf and Darwin Island to see whale sharks and cruise to the south and west of Isabela Island, where the dolphin and whale sightings are some of the best.

Flightless cormorants have their courtship and nesting season on Fernandina Island, while Española Island becomes filled with the unique blue-footed boobies in their courting rituals. You will see booby eggs, juveniles, and young adults throughout the entire island. There is also excellent snorkeling on the two islands, with a lot of crustaceans and mollusks feasting on the nutrient-rich waters. 

Galápagos penguins and greater flamingos are breeding and nesting during this time, and you will mainly see them on Bartolome, Fernandina, and Isabela Island. The lava lizards begin their courtship in July, and you can see them in abundance on all islands except for Genovesa, Darwin, and Wolf Island. These incredible species camouflage when threatened and even drop their tail, should a predator catch them. Santa Cruz Island is a great place to see giant tortoises, and baby sea lions will charm you on San Cristobal Island.

What to Do

Despite less water clarity during the guará season, July still brings more underwater visibility than the rest of the months. The cooler weather makes it a great month to hike and walk around the islands, along with other land-based activities such as visiting the Charles Darwin Research Station. If you are a birdwatcher, you will especially enjoy visiting the Galápagos Islands during this time, but the unique species will catch just about anyone's eye. 

The increased activity of marine life creates a better opportunity for seeing whales, and even snorkeling is good in July. It is also the time to see humpback whales and sharks, and you should take the opportunity to dive with some of these incredible creatures. Galápagos sea lions are abundant as they tend to breed during this time and are more active around the islands. 

Visit the Laguna Concha y Perla (Shell and Pearl Lagoon), which is perfect for practicing snorkeling, especially for kids. Once you arrive at the docking port, you will find a wooden walkway with sleeping sea lions. Continue walking to reach the beautiful small lagoon where you might spot manta rays, tropical fish, penguins, sea lions, sea turtles, and white tip reef sharks. 

Events in July

Fundación de Guayaquil—Founder’s Day (July 25). A national holiday that is celebrated mainly in Guayaquil, where the city takes two days to party. Since it is only a 2-hour flight, many locals travel to the Galápagos Islands during this time, sometimes making it a several-day journey. 

Traveling to the Galápagos Islands in July? Check out these great itineraries. 

Family Adventure in the Galápagos Islands. July is the perfect time to travel as a family, and on this adventure, you will snorkel with sea lions, get up close to blue-footed boobies, and explore the island's fascinating geology. 

Galápagos Islands Land-Based Adventure Tour - 6 Days. This island-hopping tour enables you to see a diverse range of sites in the Galápagos. You will hike the Sierra Negra Volcano, visit Tintoreras on Isabela, and more. 

More Helpful Information

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Best Time of Year to Visit the Galápagos Islands
Best of the Galápagos Islands