www.
Ecuador
Travel
Site.org
Galapagos Weather
Tourists enjoying the sunny Galapagos weather
Galapagos weather: volunteer doing physical work in the cooler weather of November
Tourists trekking on San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos in the cool dry season
Galapagos penguin
Galapagos weather: a cruise under sunny skies
Sea lion pup and tourist enjoying sunny weather in the Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos weather
will affect your holidays.
Air temperatures and
sea conditions alter
the cruise experience.





Galapagos Weather

The Galapagos weather is pretty reasonable all year round - the islands are, after all, on the equator, so it is never freezing cold.  The climate does vary throughout the year and the weather may affect your decision on when to visit the Galapagos Islands, especially if you will be taking a cruise.
In general, the Galapagos climate is divided into two seasons, the warm wet season from January to May or June, and the cool dry season from June or July to December.  The seasons are not exactly fixed and weather conditions are changeable around the ends of the seasons.  Note that the "wet" season is still drier than many places in the world.  See the foot of the page for monthly temperatures and rainfall.
Temperatures in the warm wet season are around 30°C with sunny days interrupted by short but heavy cloudbursts of rain.  The sea is warm, 20°C to 25°C, and relatively calm.  This part of the year is good for lounging on a cruise boat if you are a sun worshipper and don't plan to hike up volcanoes.  Also good for keen snorkellers and swimmers.
The cool dry season is more comfortable for hiking or manual work on volunteer projects, at around 22°C.  Days are often overcast though not usually with any rainfall down on the coast.  Up in the highlands the garúa mist hangs about as a kind of permanent dampness, and sometimes descends to the coast as well.  The sea gets choppy, at its worst in late August and September, and much cooler (down to about 18°C, much lower in cold currents) so snorkellers may need a wetsuit.  
January brings hot, mostly sunny weather with the odd cloudburst and warm relatively calm seas.  This is high season in the Galapagos Islands.  
February's air and sea temperatures are high, seas are calm.  Short, heavy rain showers on otherwise sunny days.  
March has hot, humid, sunny weather between cloudbursts.  Warm, calm seas make for pleasant Galapagos cruising.  
April sees hot sunny days interrupted by heavy but short showers of rain.  Seas are calm and warm.  
May weather is still hot with occasional rain, not quite as much sunshine and the sea has a little more swell, though it's still warm for snorkelling.  
June in the Galapagos Islands is warm rather than scorching, still a few rainshowers and starting to be overcast and maybe misty at times.  Seas are still warm but the wind is picking up and the sea has a bit of a swell.  
July's weather is warm but cloudy and windy.  Seas are choppier and starting to cool off with the cold waters brought in by the Humboldt Current.  
August brings cooler, cloudy, windy but mostly dry days and cool, choppy seas, especially towards the end of the month.  
September sees rough seas, but many of the Galapagos cruise boats are out of action for low season maintenance anyway.  Cool but comfortable air temperature with little sunshine, overcast and windy days but little rain.  
October's warm days are windy and overcast but mostly dry.  The sea is not as rough, though still choppy and cool.  
November is slightly warmer and less windy than October, but still overcast with cool choppy seas.  Little rain.
December's air and sea temperatures are starting to go up, as are the prices for the Galapagos Christmas season.  Seas are calmer and there is slightly more sunshine interspersed with some rain, which causes vegetation to start greening up again.  
Although there is wildlife to be seen all year round, the Galapagos wildlife behaviour calendar will help you choose a time of year with the wildlife highlights that interest you.
In years with an extreme El Niño event (a weather phenomenen where the usual trade winds reverse), rainfall in the Galapagos can be up to ten times the usual level and "normal" weather patterns may not apply.  Wildlife populations and activity are also affected in El Niño years.
Av. Air Temp F
Av. Sea Temp F
Hrs sunshine
Av rainfall "
Wind Factor
Jan
70-84
74
5.3
1.5
2
Feb
74-86
76
7.5
2.1
1
Mar
74-88
76
6.0
3.0
1
Apr
72-86
76
7.5
3.0
1
May
72-82
74
5.2
2.7
2
Jun
66-78
74
4.4
2.2
2
Jul
64-76
68
2.8
1.1
3
Aug
64-74
62
3.3
0.7
4
Sep
62-76
60
2.9
0.5
4
Oct
64-77
70
3.8
0.5
3
Nov
66-78
72
3.5
0.8
3
Dec
68-80
74
4.0
1.5
2
Sources: Temperatures: INGALA; Wind/Sun: GalapagosCharters.com
Wind factor: 1 = negligible, 7 = moderate
Note that there are substantial variations between islands and across the more than 7000 square kilometres of the achipelago.
Useful Spanish Vocabulary about the weather in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador:
Las Islas Galápagos: The Galapagos Islands
clima: weather
ola: wave
garúa: cool, damp mist often found in the Galapagos Islands July - December
Galapagos Weather Calendar
Climate calendar and monthly weather notes for the Galapagos Islands
Website www.ecuadortravelsite.org, text and photos by Sarah Clifford.
All content of this website is copyright and may not be used or reproduced without permission.