You may have heard of spring referred to as the best time of year to take a Galapagos Islands vacation. And while each season certainly has something wonderful to offer, it can’t be denied that spring is particularly special. At this time of year, there’s lots going on across the islands to attract travelers, and the pleasant weather doesn’t hurt, either.
Here are 7 things that travelers love about spring in the Galapagos:
- The Lush Green Surroundings
Winter is the wet season in the Galapagos; a time when frequent and heavy rainfall provides the islands’ unique plant species with the water they need to grow. Come spring, the flora is thriving, especially in the humid zones in the highlands. The mosses on the Scalesia trees begin to grow at this time of year, and the branched canopies start to thicken, creating a dense forest-like environment, especially on Santa Cruz island.
- You Can Leave Your Umbrella at Home
Although December to May is considered to be the wet season in the Galapagos, rainfall does drop rapidly in towards the end of the season, resulting in what is usually a very dry and pleasant time of year. If you’re running low on space in your suitcase and don’t want to try squeezing your umbrella in there, May and June are fantastic times to visit. On San Cristobal Island, just 16mm falls during May, dropping to 2mm in June.
- It’s Not Too Hot
In the Galapagos Islands, the winter months bring the high heats (often 30 degrees Celsius or higher) while the summer months bring cooler temperatures in the low 20s. Spring is a happy middle ground; hot enough to create that vacation feel, but cool enough to maintain a good level of comfort. Temperatures of around 25 degrees are about average for this time of year, and the low humidity means it’s quite a dry heat.
- The Dance of Nature
Mating for the islands’ blue-footed boobies starts in June, but May is perhaps a more colorful time to see these exotic birds. Why? Because May is when the males begin their elaborate courtship ritual, showing off their bright blue feet to potential mates. The shade of the feet is a sign of health, so females look for mates with the most vibrant colorings. The ‘dance’ that the males perform is absolutely incredible to witness.
- Underwater Activities
The water temperature can drop sharply in the summer months, but it remains pleasant throughout the spring. For anyone wanting to engage in some of the underwater activities on offer in the Galapagos, such as snorkeling and diving, travel during winter or spring is recommended for a more comfortable experience. Tagus Cove is one of the best places to snorkel in the Galapagos, and you may spot a marine iguana or two.
- Fluffy Chicks
Spring is nesting season for many animal species in the Galapagos, following a winter of hatching. And while some animals choose to make their nests in private, hard-to-reach locations, there is one species of bird whose nests are very easy to see. The great frigate birds make their nests just one meter off the ground on Genovesa Island, so it’s not too tricky to catch a glimpse of the bright white, fluffy chicks with their long beaks.
- The Peacefulness
Although spring isn’t quite as quiet as winter in the Galapagos, it’s still relatively peaceful and lacks the crowds that summer brings. Early May is a particularly quiet time to visit, before the local schools in Ecuador finish for summer vacation. However, be sure to check out when the Battle of Pichincha public holiday falls (usually around the last week of May), as this is a very popular time of year for Ecuadorians to visit the islands.