The Galapagos Islands can be visited all year round because the weather is warm and there is not much variation in the changing of the Islands two major seasons. So when to go may depend more on your work/vacation schedule than the weather. Each season has it’s benefits:
The Dry Season in Galapagos
June – November is often referred to as the dry season. The temperature is a little cooler than it is December through May and so is the water. When we visited during this season we were very comfortable and only needed a light jacket or sweater in the early morning and evening. We wore wetsuits while snorkeling and we were not cold. We also went boogie boarding and swimming without wetsuits and were comfortable in the water.
Snorkelers and divers may find June – November an especially tempting time of year to visit the Galapagos because the Humboldt Current is in town and brings with it nutrient rich water which attracts an abundance of marine life.
The skis are often cloudy during this season and there it is a little more windy, so the water is a bit choppier. This is the time of year when sea birds are more active because they are busy taking advantage of the rich fishing grounds. You might just catch the Blue footed boobies doing their mating ritual, the penguins also like the cooler water, so they may be more active during these months.
The Wet Season in Galapagos
December – May brings warmer weather and is referred to as the wet season because there are periods of heavy rain. This season changes the landscape of the Galapagos. We noticed a difference while we were visiting during this time of year, the vegetation was greener and more lush. During June – November things were dryer and not as green.
The water is also warmer during December – May and the visibility is higher because the Panama Current comes in to replace the Humboldt Current. Even tho the water is not as nutrient rich as it is June-November there is a lot of marine life to see. While we were visiting we saw white tipped reef sharks, sea lions, sea turtles, rays and tons of colorful fish.
Getting caught in the heavy rain was quite an experience. We were walking through Puerto Ayora when, out of nowhere it just started pouring! The rain was warm so we didn’t really mind it, and it didn’t last all that long.
It may sound like a contradiction but the skis are sunnier during these months, and there is less wind which means that the water is calmer. This is the season when the land birds and sea lions mate, the sea turtles also lay their eggs during this time of year.
What Is The Best Season To Visit The Galapagos?
I can’t really say which season I would choose as better or worse to visit the Galapagos. I was thrilled to be there during both and would go back in a heartbeat any time of year. The Galapagos Islands are an amazing place, all year round!