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The Best Time to Visit the Galapagos

The Galapagos Islands have a great flora and fauna with many unique species that have also become a place of scientific research, as well as ecological tourism in Ecuador.

When you decide to travel to the Galapagos Islands, something very important to keep in mind is the best time of year to visit them. Given the case that you can travel at any time of the year, you must determine when to visit the islands, these are: the climate and the presence of the different species.

What is the best time of year to see wildlife in Galapagos?

On land, the best time of year to see wildlife is definitely the hot season. Of course, hiking may be more comfortable in the dry season, but you will see more species in the hot season. For example, it is at this time of year that you are more likely to see land and marine iguanas sporting their most striking colors or to witness the hatching of giant Galapagos tortoises at the mating centers.

At sea, the dry season brings with it a significant increase in marine activity. The water tends to be cooler, but whether you’re snorkeling or scuba diving, wetsuits allow you to spend more time in the water. Birds also tend to enjoy this time of year more and you can even see the Caribbean flamingo (flamingo) performing elegant mating rituals.

Dry season

There are two main seasons in the Galapagos, which provide a drastic effect on the flora and fauna of the islands. First, the dry season that is also known as “garúa”. During this time (June – December) the air is colder with cloudy sky but some sunny and drizzle days.

During this season the waters are cooled because of the Humboldt current, it should be noted that this current is essential for marine life since it offers ample nutrients to the surface of the ocean. This encourages marine life, thus attracting dolphins, penguins and the possibility of whale watching. Which favors snorkeling and diving activities.

In June, the Giant Tortoises begin to migrate searching nest in the lowland of Santa Cruz. Also, male frigatebirds can be seen a long Seymour.

In August, Greater Flamingos start mating rituals and begins to show their bright red pouch. Frigatebirds continue to hatch eggs and the Giant Tortoises start migrating back to the highlands of Santa Cruz Island. Sea lions continue to give birth with highest agglomeration on the central and western islands.

You cannot forget the iconic courtship of the Blue-footed Booby, they perform a synchronized dance where they display their colored legs. This goes from May to September on the islands where sardines, anchovies, squid and mackerel abound.

Warm season

The second season per say is the warm season (January – June ) where you can expect warmer temperatures and lots of sun. So don’t forget your sunscreen if you don’t want to go home with burns. In the heights of the Galapagos, you can expect some rains from time to time that helps the transformation of the habitat with a greener landscape. That benefits land birds and Giant Tortoise finding plenty of food. 

After the new year the animals begin to lay eggs and marine and land iguanas begin their mating rituals. The Galapagos penguin migrates to cooler waters during January and February.

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