What is the weather like in the Galapagos Islands?

A beautiful day of Galapagos kayaking on an Eclipse Cruise
A beautiful day of Galapagos kayaking on an Eclipse Cruise

The Galapagos Islands lie directly on the Equator, so you can expect it to be warm for most of the year.  However, it’s not always tropical and Caribbean-like: wind and rain are definitely possible at certain times of year.  It’s wise to know these weather patterns before planning your trip so you know when to visit and what to expect.

The hottest season is generally from December to April with average temperatures ranging from a low of 70 F to a high of 84 F (22 – 31 C). It’s also the rainy season. The sea is generally calm this time of the year and the water temperature is warmer which is ideal for snorkeling. The skies are often clear during the warm rainy season, but heavy downpours are common.

May to November is considered the “cool” season with average temperatures ranging from a low of 68 F to a high of 82 F (19 – 27 C) and frequent overcast skies.  Normally from June to December, the cold Humboldt Current comes from the South and creates an inversion that traps a cool moist fog called a Garúa near the ocean which creates a cool, dry climate. In December, normally the trade winds die down and the ocean currents change, bathing the Galapagos in the warm Panama Current from the North.

But, if you’re particularly keen to see a particular animal’s behavior, you may want to visit at a time that’s not as sunny or when the water’s a bit cooler.  To check out when the wildlife (which is always present and active) is especially noteworthy throughout the year, check out our blog post on Galapagos Wildlife Activity Throughout the Year.

And if you’re completely open to traveling any time of year, we highly recommend April, May, November and early-December for the best weather and wildlife viewing combo.  Read our post on the “3 Best Times of Year to Visit the Galapagos Island” for more info on why we suggest this.

Of course, any Galapagos trip is going to involve lots of snorkeling alongside sea lions and penguins, so be prepared and read our post on Water Temperatures in the Galapagos.

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