Galapagos Islands travel is possible throughout the year due to the islands’ location near the equator, and whenever you go, you’re guaranteed a fascinating and memorable experience. However, as most travelers have a specific interests, it’s best to do your research ahead of time, as certain months may be the best time to go to the Galapagos than other seasons. In general, the tourist seasons of the Galapagos fall into two main seasons: the wet season lasting from December to May and the dry season, which lasts from June through November. The absolute peak tourist months are from June to September, and November to April. However, the Galapagos Islands are beautiful even outside of these peak months, and you can benefit from reduced crowds and lower prices in the periods between the peak seasons.
No matter what time you decide to embark on your Galapagos Islands travel, it is worthwhile to book your Galapagos hotels and transportation ahead of time. The isolation of the archipelago means that you may not be able to find a hotel room at the last minute (or be forced to take a hotel that is not to your liking), and tours may fill up quickly. This is especially true in the peak seasons, when reservations are essential. If you do not book in advance, be prepared to be highly flexible in your plans and preferences.
The wet season from December to May are the warmest months for Galapagos Islands travel, but they also tend to be rainy. However, unlike with other tropical islands, the rains in the Galapagos do not last long and tend to be broken with beautiful stretches of sunshine. If you can deal with a few showers, this might be the best time to go to the Galapagos. Warmer and calmer waters mean that snorkeling, scuba diving, and swimming are more comfortable, especially for beginner or intermediate swimmers, though bringing a wetsuit is still recommended due to cool currents from Antarctica.
It also means that there will be less rocking on your cruise, a big advantage to consider if you suffer from seasickness. The rainy season is also mating season for much of the Galapagos wildlife—land birds, tortoises, sea turtles and sea lions are all in the throes of romance, and you may be amused to watch them chase each other and compete to attract mates. Towards spring, in March and April, beautiful flowers bloom and you may be able to see some of the offspring of the mating season.
For those who are really keen on diving, the dry season from June to November might be the best time to go to the Galapagos. Although the weather is cooler, the cool Humboldt current from the Southern Hemisphere brings an influx of plankton and other nutrients into the water around the Galapagos Islands. This means that for advanced divers, a greater number and variety of fish can be glimpsed in the Galapagos waters, as can a greater variety of birds. Penguins, for instance, feed and breed when the currents are cool, and you are more likely to see them in the dry season, which is also the case for the albatrosses who come to feed on the plentiful fish.
Whenever you plan to visit the Galapagos Islands is a good time—with its unique wildlife and amazing scenery, this astonishing corner of the world offers you a once-in-a-lifetime experience, any time you choose to visit.