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What to See and When in the Galapagos

Date: August 17, 2012 | By: Enid Glasgow | Category: Travel Blog

When planning a trip to a destination with a lot to offer, such as the Galapagos Islands, it’s very important to have a game plan.  A travel game plan not only should have things to do, but should also have a time period in which to do them! To take the guess work out of going to the Galapagos Islands, here is a breakdown of what you can see during certain months of the year.


If you plan on visiting in January, be ready for wet and humid weather. This is a very exciting month for wildlife. Turtles become very active as green sea turtles begin to lay eggs and the eggs of giant tortoises begin to hatch. This is also the Nesting season for blue-footed boobies, American oystercatchers, waved albatross, and flightless cormorants. Love is in the air as sea lions, lava lizards and marine iguanas all begin their mating season in January. Española’s marine iguanas begin their courtship period and the females take on a bright coloring to attract mates.


February is also a very exciting month in the Galapagos Islands despite that it is still rainy season.  The theme for February seems to be migration as many of the animals of the Galapagos are on the move. The Giant tortoises make their way back to the highlands after all of their eggs have been laid and the marine iguanas begin to nest on Santa Cruz Island. Birds are also making moves as the greater flamingos start to nest on Floreana Island and penguins begin to migrate away from Bartolomé Island to cooler waters of Isabela and Fernandina Island. February is also a month of new beginnings as a few animals welcome some new members to their families. Frigate bird chicks are hatching and sea lions begin giving birth as well.


March is a month that will delight bird lovers. This month frigate birds begin their mating season on San Cristobal and Genovesa Islands. If you are in search of penguins, you can observe Galapagos penguins during their courtship on Bartolomé Island.  Various other sea birds can also be found at their respective nesting sites. If you were curious about the baby sea lions that were born in February, you have a good chance to spot them playing in the sea in March.


In April, the rainy season finally comes to an end but the temperature at its highest. Reptiles such as sea turtles, marine iguanas and land iguanas all begin nesting. A few bird species also begin the nesting process, such as the lava heron and Waved albatross. April is a special month for the blue footed boobies because their babies begin hatching on Española and Isabela Islands.


May is a month where the weather becomes fine and clear.  Seeing whale sharks is very possible in the far northwest of the islands and green sea turtle mating season starts. Waved albatross lay eggs on Española Island. If you enjoy swimming and snorkeling, May is a good month to do both and you might even have the company of some baby sea lions.


The month of June in the Galapagos Islands is known for known for its blue skies and mid-day showers.  This is also the beginning of the “dry season”. Ocean lovers will be very excited this month, as whale shark sightings increase near the northwestern islands and humpback whales can also be seen.  The giant tortoises of Santa Cruz begin to migrate to lowlands searching for good nesting-places.

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