The Galapágos Islands are great to visit at any time of the year, as you will always enjoy warm weather with exciting wildlife and activities. The Galapágos climate is characterized by a rainy season (December-May) and a dry season (June-November), but every season brings something unique, whether you are an adventurous traveler, a birdwatcher, a beach lover, or nature explorer. Walk in Charles Darwin's footsteps, observe countless incredible species of reptiles, mammals, and birds, and snorkel or scuba dive among sharks, dolphins, and whales.
Galapagos Islands Travel Insights
December on the Galápagos means two things: Christmas and sea turtles. It's during December that baby Galapágos giant tortoises see light for the first time and Galápagos green sea turtles accompany you on your snorkeling adventures. With a perfect blend of warming weather, cultural activities, and abundant wildlife, December is one of the best months to visit the Galápagos—which also makes it one of the busiest. Visitors during this month will experience the landscapes coming to life after the rains, and if you stick around for Christmas or New Year's Eve, you'll experience a holiday that's entirely unique.
November's cool weather and off-season quiet make it an excellent month to enjoy unique water activities and sightseeing. Swim with playful seal and sea lion pups as they enter the waters for the first time and enjoy snorkeling through volcanic tunnels at Los Tuneles. Visit Fernandina Island and share underwater space with penguins and marine iguanas, walk through swathes of pahoehoe lava flows in Sullivan Bay, and look for several different breeding bird species. Read on for more travel tips and advice for visiting the Galapagos in December.
October brings impressive scenery of the Galápagos Islands, and it is the prime time to catch beautiful sunrises and dramatic sunsets. The transition from colder to warmer waters creates the opportunity to see some of the best wildlife of the year. You can still spot dolphins and whales, swim with sea turtles and penguins, and watch for cute sea lions and sea fur pups. It is a quiet month with lower prices, mild weather, and fewer crowds. October is perfect for couples as well as nature lovers and animal explorers. Keep reading to find out why October is a fantastic month to visit.
September on the Galápagos is perfect for enjoying the low season's tranquillity, lower prices, and particularly active wildlife. The Galápagos fur seals arrive during this month, sharing space with the cute sea lions and their pups. Visit Isabela Island to see them mating, being lazy on the pavements, and taking up space on the beaches. It is also the season of the penguins, and the last chance to see the humpback whales. Snorkel with penguins around Bartolóme Island and hike to Pinnacle Rock to enjoy beautiful sea views. Read on to find out why September is an excellent month to visit the Galápagos.
August is high season in the Galápagos, and for good reason: marine life is abundant, the weather is great, and it's summer vacation for families in the Northern Hemisphere. This month is perfect for families, as well as adventure seekers. The whale-watching is superb during this month, and plenty of other marine species—such as dolphins and curious sea lions—are active as well. Galápagos hawks make their appearance, as do giant tortoises and lava lizards. Book in advance, especially for cruises, and pack warm clothing, as night can be chilly and windy. Keep reading to find out why August is one of the best months to visit the Galápagos.
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.
June on the Galápagos Islands is the start of the winter season, meaning cooler weather, clear water, and an uptick in marine wildlife activity. You'll see endemic bird species (like the colorful greater flamingo and frigatebird), go swimming with sharks, and snorkel with particularly active marine life. If you like being active on your vacation, June is an excellent time to visit for whale watching, diving, kayaking, and mountain biking. Since it's high season, you'll want to book a few months ahead.
May on the Galápagos Islands is shoulder season, with lower prices and quieter beaches. The sea is cold and clear during the month, which means the snorkeling is at its best. Take the boat to Santa Cruz Island to spot young land iguana hatchlings and visit the port of Puerto Ayora, where Galápagos sea lions take their afternoon siestas on the benches. Read on for travel advice and suggestions for visiting the Galápagos in May.
April in the Galápagos brings snorkeling in clear blue waters, spotting baby giant tortoises, and Easter celebrations. As the month progresses, dramatic scenes play out between the hatchlings and their fierce predators: stick around the beaches to see how it unfolds. It is the ideal time for island-hopping between Isabela, Genovesa, and Española Islands to see a variety of wildlife. Between the land-based activities, you'll dive into the sea and experience the marine underworld. If you're planning on visiting in April, read on for weather tips and travel advice.
Traveling to Galapágos Islands in March means excellent wildlife watching and clear water visibility. It is one of the warmest months, which makes it the perfect time to enjoy snorkeling and visit the western islands. Many bird species are in the midst of their nesting seasons, and you can spot waved albatross and male frigate birds as they dazzle prospective mates with raucous displays. The renowned Holy Week starts towards the end of the month, where you can enjoy parades, food, and a vibrant atmosphere. Read on to find out more about visiting the Galápagos in March.
February is a festive month in the Galápagos Islands, with Ecuador's Carnival celebration and ideal conditions for scuba diving and boating. You will enjoy colorful parades, delicious food, and true Ecuadorian spirit. The penguins will join you as they return to the islands during this time, while greater flamingos and marine iguanas begin their nesting season. Keep reading for tips and advice if you're planning on visiting in February.
Travelers wanting to keep their costs low will enjoy this short but active five-day tour. Staying on Santa Cruz Island, you'll take tours to some of the highlights, such as the unmissable Charles Darwin Research Station, and a boat tour where you can snorkel with sea turtles if you wish. There's also plenty of downtime scheduled, so choose your own activities that suit your interests: chill out on a beach, visit enormous Galapagos tortoises, and more.
Spend two magical weeks island-hopping around the Galapagos—home to incredibly unique nature! Start at San Cristobal Island, where you'll observe sea lions, go snorkeling, and make day trips to meet endemic wildlife. You'll then fly to Isabela to swim next to iguanas and sea turtles, hike a volcano, and enjoy beach days. The trip ends in Santa Cruz Island, whose giant tortoise residents you'll have the pleasure of meeting.
Hop around three of the most famous islands in the Galapagos archipelago. You'll transfer from San Cristobal to Isabel, and then to Santa Cruz on this 10-day adventure. On each island, you will spend your days looking for the endemic species that inspired Darwin's Theory of Evolution, like giant Galapagos tortoises and marine iguanas. Besides this, you'll hike volcanoes, snorkel around rock formations, learn about conservation, and visit uninhabited islands.
The Galapagos Islands are one of the world's biggest ecological hotspots, with some of the highest percentages of endemic species and dozens of uninhabited islands. You'll spend two weeks exploring the biggest islands to see major landmarks—like the Charles Darwin Research Station and Sierra Negra Volcano—while also spending time on some less-known destinations, experiencing the truly remote nature of the rocky archipelago.
Spend time in Ecuador's capital city and explore the biodiverse Galapagos Islands from the comfort of a cruise ship on this 10-day itinerary. After touring colonial churches and hiking in Cotopaxi National Park, catch a flight across the water to Santa Cruz Island, your launching point for the cruise. You'll wake up at a new island every day, maximizing your opportunities for sightseeing and exploring.
Visit two of Ecuador's highlights—Quito and the Galapagos Islands—on this packed 7-day itinerary. Start in Quito, where colonial churches, museums, and a humming nightlife fill your days. Then, catch a flight to Santa Cruz Island, where you'll spend four days exploring uninhabited islands, relaxing on sunny beaches, and spotting rare and endemic wildlife.
If you're short on time but don't want to cut back on experiences, this 5-day island hopping trip to the Galapagos is for you. Fly out of Quito, heading for San Cristobal—home of the famous sea lion colony and Kicker Rock. Then, take a speedboat to Santa Cruz, where you'll see giant tortoises and visit an uninhabited island.
January is one of the best times to visit the Galápagos Islands, thanks to the pleasant temperatures and birdwatching opportunities. It is also a great month to experience hiking and underwater adventures, such as snorkeling and diving. Many of the marine species are active during this time, which means you will get to see endemic birds, iguanas, and sea turtles as they make their way upon the land to nest and lay their eggs. Read on to learn why January is an excellent month to visit the Galápagos.
Discover ancient ruins, colonial architecture, fantastic food, and folk culture in Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and iconic Machu Picchu. Then hop aboard the luxurious Galapagos Legend—the only cruise boat in the Galapagos with an on-deck swimming pool—for a multi-island expedition to observe the birds, iguanas, and sea creatures that make this place so special.
Discover a nature lover's heaven through a wildlife tour that will uncover the most extraordinary sights of the Galapagos Islands. Over a week and a half, you'll discover the local flora and fauna through outdoor activities like kayaking, mountain biking, trekking, and snorkeling. This socially and environmentally responsible itinerary features top-notch guides and immersive educational experiences, in addition to benefitting local communities.
The Galapagos Islands comprise one of the world's most extraordinary travel destinations, and the opportunity to observe the famous archipelago's native creatures is especially magical for children. This guide tells you all you need to know to embark on the family adventure of a lifetime.
Cruising around the Galapagos Islands — viewing extraordinary wildlife and natural sights by day while motoring between islands at night — is one of the best ways to experience these magical islands. On this tour, you'll visit 11 islands in the famed archipelago, observing birdlife, sea lions, marine iguanas, sharks, giant tortoises and an array of other creatures.
From snorkeling with sea turtles and hiking up a dormant volcano to spotting giant tortoises and penguins, a journey to the Galapagos brings an array of incredible sights and activities. With a cruise, you’ll get further from the main islands, and there’s no need to pack each day for a new hotel as your accommodation and transportation are combined. Use this guide to get the most out of your Galapagos cruise.
Planning to follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin and spot the extraordinary wildlife on the Galapagos Islands? A great way to make this journey is on a land-based tour: sleeping in hotels by night and shuttling between the islands by day. In between, you’ll have the chance to spot giant tortoises in their native habitat, snorkel with sea lions, hike up an active volcano and spend time experiencing the culture of these Enchanted Islands.
This 10-day trip will take you to the best the Galapagos has to offer. Immerse yourself in the wildlife, culture and unique ecosystem of the archipelago as you see the sights by bike, by foot and in the water. This extraordinary week includes snorkeling with sea lions, tropical fish, and beautiful manta rays. On land, there will be numerous chances to observe giant tortoises and other amazing creatures in this one-of-a-kind destination.
Land-based tours are a more economical and comfortable alternative to cruising the Galapagos. This 6-day itinerary takes in the highlights of the three main inhabited islands — from watching giant tortoises to hiking around an active volcanic crater and snorkeling with penguins and sharks.
The Galapagos Islands are spectacular in so many ways, but even more so underwater. The seascapes of reefs, ledges, walls and extinct volcanic craters are teeming with wildlife – from sea lions and marine iguanas to turtles and schools of hammerhead sharks. This guide tells you all you need to know to discover one of the world's best diving destinations.
The Galapagos Islands are a diverse set of islands off the coast of Ecuador full of distinct wildlife, idyllic beaches, and incomparable visitor sites that offer a range of interesting activities—from hiking, to snorkeling, close-ups with pre-historic looking animals, kayaking and treks across volcanic islands—to name a few of the endless possibilities. This one-of-a-kind destination is a must when visiting Ecuador.