The weather in the Galapagos Islands

The Weather and the Best Times to Visit the Galapagos Islands


The seasons, climate patterns, and the best times of the year to visit for specific activities or wildlife sightings. 

El Niño and La Niña phenomenons and climate change included, so you will have a better chance to choose your once-in-a-lifetime trip with the weather in your head.

Overview of Weather and Climate

Seasons in the Galapagos

  • Dry Season (June to December): Cooler temperatures and clear skies dominate this period. The Humboldt Current influences the climate, bringing nutrient-rich waters, making it ideal for marine activities like snorkeling and diving.
  • Wet Season (January to May): Warmer temperatures with occasional rain showers. The sea tends to be calmer, and the islands bloom with vegetation, creating vibrant landscapes.

Climate Patterns

  • Humboldt Current: During the dry season, the Humboldt Current cools the islands, causing a cooler, drier climate. It brings nutrient-rich waters that attract marine life, making it an excellent time for underwater activities.
  • Garúa Season: A misty, overcast condition prevalent in the dry season, especially on the higher islands, due to cool air meeting warm sea temperatures.

Best Times to Visit for Specific Activities

Wildlife Sightings

  • April to June: Ideal for birdwatching as many species are nesting, including blue-footed boobies and frigatebirds.
  • July to September: Best for observing whale sharks and humpback whales.
  • October to December: Sea lions birthing season and the arrival of waved albatrosses for mating and nesting.

Diving and Snorkeling

The best time to dive in the Galapagos Islands is from June to November, during the cool and dry season. This period offers exceptional visibility underwater, reaching up to 30 meters, allowing divers to witness the diverse marine life thriving in these waters. Manta rays, hammerhead sharks, sea turtles, and schools of colorful fish populate the seas during these months. Water temperatures range from 18 to 23 degrees Celsius, attracting pelagic species and creating ideal conditions for unforgettable diving experiences. However, currents can be strong, demanding intermediate to advanced diving skills. Overall, this season promises unparalleled encounters with the astonishing underwater world of the Galapagos.

Climate Change Considerations

  • Rising Temperatures: Galapagos experiences rising temperatures, impacting the islands’ ecosystems, including coral bleaching and shifts in wildlife behaviors.
  • Altered Rainfall Patterns: Changing rainfall patterns could affect the vegetation and availability of food for various species.
  • Sea Level Rise: Threatens low-lying areas, impacting nesting sites and habitats of many species.

El Niño and La Niña Phenomena



El Niño

Warmer Waters: El Niño events bring warmer ocean temperatures, impacting marine life and weather patterns.
Effects: Heavy rains, warmer temperatures, and altered marine ecosystems can disrupt wildlife behavior and impact visitor experiences.

La Niña

Cooler Waters: La Niña brings cooler ocean temperatures, potentially affecting marine life and weather conditions.
Effects: Generally drier conditions, cooler temperatures, and potential alterations in marine wildlife behaviors.

To sum things up…


Visiting the Galapagos Islands requires consideration of various weather patterns, seasonal changes, and natural phenomena like El Niño, La Niña, and the ongoing impacts of climate change. Understanding these factors can significantly enhance the travel experience and enable visitors to make informed decisions about when to visit based on their interests, whether it’s wildlife sightings, diving, or experiencing the unique ecosystems of these remarkable islands.

the weather in galapagos

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