I have been island hopping around the globe, but few places have left me as awestruck as The Galápagos Islands. With pristine beauty and incredible natural wonders, these islands are well worth the trip.
Located 600 miles off the west coast of South America, the islands are a part of Ecuador that make up the Galápagos National Park and the Galápagos Marine Reserve.
Ready to start packing? Here’s the best time to go to the Galápagos Islands.
December to February in the Galápagos
The Galápagos Islands can be a perfect break from cold weather. The temperatures start rising during the winter, but it doesn’t get oppressively hot.
You’ll be looking at nights down to 70 degrees (F) and afternoons around 80 degrees (F). It is the perfect weather for lounging at the beach mid-day, but it’s also not too hot to go out hiking and exploring.
By the end of February, temperatures start getting closer to 90 degrees mid-day so that might slow you down a bit. Anytime from December to February though, you’ll find warm waters that are perfect for diving in!
Christmas through the middle of January is peak tourist season as everybody comes down looking for a warm exotic spot to spend the holidays, so expect some crowds.
This is one of the best times to visit the Galápagos Islands because the Galápagos Giant Tortoise eggs start hatching. You might be able to stumble across this in the wild, or you can get over to the Charles Darwin Research Centre on Santa Cruz Island or the Puerto Baquerizo Moreno Tortoise Breeding Centre on San Cristobal Island to guarantee a look at these incredible little guys.
March to April in the Galápagos
This is the hottest time of year. The temperatures range from 80 to 90 degrees (F), and this can feel extra sultry on humid days. I’d recommend opting for a hotel with A/C to keep cool overnight.
Except for the week around Easter, you won’t find many tourists here during this time, so you’ll have the place to yourself.
As far as snorkeling and diving, the visibility is pretty low so it’s not ideal conditions. The water is hot though so the swimming is still prime.
Tip- Whatever time of year you go, check out my Galápagos Islands packing guide to make sure you’ve got all of the essentials!
May to July in the Galápagos
Summer is a great time to go to The Galápagos Islands. The temperatures typically hover in the 70s, so it’s comfortable, but the waters are still warm.
You might have a few rainy afternoons, but it won’t put a major damper on your trip. You’ll see more tourists during the summer and for a good reason.
In May, the adorable blue-footed boobies will be mating. There are very few blue-footed boobies outside of the Galápagos Islands, so this is a truly rare sight.
Fun fact- In local Spanish, boobie means “silly” or “foolish” and these birds got their name for their hilarious way of walking and the fact that they’ll fearlessly come right up to people.
Summer is also the best time to see humpback whales and sharks. Humpback whales begin their migration in June, and you’ll have the chance to dive with whale sharks anytime during summer.
Another one of my faves is seeing the Galápagos sea lions! They tend to breed in July, so they’re usually active during this time.
Read More: The Ultimate Galápagos Islands Travel Guide
August to November in the Galápagos
This is the time of year that I visited the islands. I had an amazing experiencing sailing the Galápagos with Ecoventura.
August to November is the coldest time of the year, and it tends to be misty and rainy, so it’s not a great time for lounging at the beach— although the red beaches of the Galápagos are worth a visit in any weather!
Tourists tend to disappear after August so you’ll find reasonable prices and plenty of space to spread out. Best of all, the colder and clear water from August to November create dream conditions for snorkeling and diving.
And keep your eyes peel for the sea lion pups! After breeding season in July, you’ll see a lot of little ones pitter-pattering around in September.