March is the wet season on Galapágos Islands, and the rainy season is at its peak. You can expect more rain than during the rest of the year, and it can be quite hot and humid. In the west, Baltra Island, Genovesa Island, Santiago Island, Fernandina Island, and Isabela Island become warmer than usual.
The average daily temperature is 80-88 °F, with water temperatures around 79 °F. To avoid the rainiest days, aim to travel at the end of March when the rainy season is coming to its end. Due to the rainfall, there can be sea surges, which affect moving between islands aboard a cruise. This affects mainly North Seymor Island and Gardner bay.
Crowds & Costs
March is one of the least crowded months, and prices on hotels and flights drop significantly. If you are looking to get a good deal on your trip, then this is the perfect month to visit. As Easter and spring break approach at the end of the month, prices may go up, but overall it's a good month for budget travel. If you want to avoid a lot of tourists, visit in the beginning or middle of March. Although many avoid the islands during the wet season, there is a lot for you to see and do, and you will have more privacy as you explore.
Where to Go
Many of the land birds, sea lions, turtles, and tortoises that you'll find on the Galápagos Islands have their breeding or nesting season in March, and you can spot them amongst a blanket of blossoming flowers. March is when the waved albatross returns to Española Island, and you might see them towards the end of the month.
You will also see a lot of penguins, especially on Isabela Island, but also on Fernandina Island. On San Cristobal and Genovesa Island, frigate birds begin their mating season. If the weather allows, take a boat cruise to North Seymour where marine iguanas are nesting in March.
In general, it's a good season to take advantage of the warmer weather on the westernmost islands, which stay cool for the rest of the year.
What to Do
March is an excellent month for seeing nesting birds and animals. Green sea turtles, marine iguana, and land iguanas are in their nesting season. The land iguanas, particularly the females, tend to be more aggressive at this time of the year as they are safeguarding their nest territory. You might also witness sea turtles leaving the water to lay their eggs on sandy beaches—a rare and special occurrence.
Among the bird species, the frigate birds nesting occurs in March, and you will most likely spot them on Genovesa Island. Other birds who nest during this period include penguins, flightless cormorants, and greater flamingos. You have a greater-than-average chance of spotting rare baby giant tortoises, which are still hatching in March.
The predominately sunny days paired with the warm waters make March an ideal month for snorkeling with playful sea lions and hiking past colonies of blue-footed boobies. Visit Punta Vicente Roca Isabela for hiking and taking in the views, as the skies often turn bright blue after the rainfalls.
Events in March
The Holy Week. Starting between March 19 and March 22, this Catholic holiday is one of the most significant events on the Galapágos Islands and in Ecuador. The holy week begins with Palm Sunday and ends on Easter Sunday. The celebrations are extraordinary with parades and daily processions in every major town.
Traveling to the Galapágos Islands in March? Check out these great itineraries.
Galapágos Islands Land-Based Adventure Tour - 6 Days. This island-hopping tour enables you to see a diverse range of sites in the Galápagos. Hike the Sierra Negra Volcano, visit Tintoreras on Isabela, and more on this trip.
Galapágos Islands Land-Based Adventure Tour - 10 Days. You will explore the pirate and whaler caves on Floreana Island and enjoy snorkeling or scuba diving at Kicker Rock—famed for its marine life. Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and enjoy a thrilling downhill bike ride in the San Cristobal Highlands.