Sunshine, showers and courtship dances
December to May is the warm, rainy season. Temperatures hover between the low 20s to low 30s, the wind dies right down, the skies become clearer and the sea warms up nicely. The precipitation comes in the form of short, heavy and often quite refreshing showers. Nothing too problematic for you and your travels though.
The rains revive the land and return the vegetation, lending the archipelago an increasingly more lush and verdant feel. With the new plant life comes increased animal movement, coinciding with eggs hatching across the islands and the much loved courtship rituals of blue-footed boobies, waved albatrosses and flightless cormorants.
If you’re thinking about specific months to travel, hopefully the below will give you a little snapshot of what to expect during the season.
December: The garúa season ebbs away and the hotter, showery weather is on the horizon in this transition month. It’s warmer on land and sea, with less mist and clearer skies - all round a great weather month. Fur seal pups are playing, giant tortoise eggs are hatching and waved albatrosses are fledging.
January: As the sun shines brighter and temperatures tick up on land and in sea, this is a great time to be out on the sun deck and walking along the beaches. Marine iguanas take on a more colourful cloak on Española for the start of the mating season, giant tortoise eggs begin to hatch and green sea turtles arrive in great numbers to lay their eggs.
February: The sun is out and winds are very light through to April, which means that the water is calm and its warmest - a lovely time to snorkel and swim without a wetsuit. Flamingos begin to nest on Floreana, marine iguanas on Santa Cruz.
March: More sun, more great swimming and snorkelling. This is also the rainiest month of the year, but much of it tends to fall inland, away from most of the coastal visitor sites. Fernandina is the place for marine iguanas, waved albatrosses start to touch down on Española after the summer equinox and the penguins are active in the waters around Isabela.
April: Weather-wise, another fantastic month on land and sea with less rain than March and ever more greenery all around. Some of the more eye-catching mating rituals begin in April, with the waved albatrosses on Española the undoubted highlight. There’s new life too: land iguana eggs hatching on Isabela and the first of the new Green sea turtles seeing light.
May: Temperatures dip just slightly, the wind picks up a little and the rains continue to ease off. All in all it’s another month of sun and calm seas. May brings with it more spectacular wildlife behaviour, the highlight of which is surely the mating dances of the charismatic blue-footed boobies on North Seymour. Marine iguana eggs are hatching on Santa Cruz, whilst the new wave on Green sea turtles continue to take the first steps.
Trip idea: Our Ultimate Galápagos Vacation: Cruise & Island Stay