Unlike many destinations around the world that really come to life at one particular time of year, the Galapagos Islands are without a doubt a year round destination. The huge variety of wildlife here means that there’s never a dull moment in the Galapagos calendar. The question is… which month should you choose for your Galapagos vacation? Many travellers prefer visiting in the summer, and it’s easy to see why.
Here are 7 reasons why summer is the most popular time of year in the Galapagos:
- Comfortable Temperatures
While the winter months in the Galapagos can reach temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius or more, summer is a little cooler, and many people find it a lot more comfortable at this time of year. Summer temperatures typically range from lows of 22 degrees to highs of 25 degrees, with a lot less humidity than winter. Anyone wanting to hike in the Galapagos will find summer a much more enjoyable time to visit the islands.
- More Choice
If you’re planning to see the Galapagos Islands by boat (which is a great way to visit more than one island), you’ll notice that you’ll typically have choice of sailings in the summer. Sea Star Journey has 3 itineraries to sail on the archipelago. for example, usually departs between 5 – 7 times per month throughout the year, In July we have 6 sailings. So if you’re looking for a wider choice of itineraries, summer is always best.
- Dry Weather
If you’re not so keen on rainy days, you’ll be pleased to hear that summer marks the dry season in the Galapagos, with very little precipitation at this time of year. During July, just 0.6 inches falls over the entire month. While this can mean that some of the coastal plants are not quite as green as they are in the winter, the inland cacti are thriving. There are many species of cactus here, including the lava cactus and the prickly pear.
- Great Visibility
Summer is a favourite time of year for keen photographers, particularly the early part of the season. While the misty Garua season officially starts in June, it begins quite subtly, and even July can bring up to 6 hours of clear skies each day. As the summer draws to an end, cloudy skies become more common, so book a Galapagos vacation for early in the summer if you want to enjoy bright, sunny days and great visibility all around.
- Colourful Seas
Visitors to the Galapagos may notice that summer can often be a little windier than other times of year, with a greater swell in the seas. And from a marine life perspective, this is fantastic. The motion of the seas stirs up essential nutrients that have settled in the depths, making food more easily available to the local sea life. At this time of year, marine life is very active, and the seas are more colourful and vibrant than ever.
- Nesting Season
With more food easily available on the surface of the water, summer is naturally a very popular time of year for nesting. If you’re a keen birdwatcher, you can see all sorts of birds building their nests during the summer, including the blue footed boobies and waved albatross, the great frigate birds and the flightless cormorants. If you’re lucky, you may also spot penguins and flamingos nesting, especially on Isabela Island.
It’s not always easy to spot eggs in the Galapagos Islands, but you may have more chances during the summer months. That’s because animals in the Galapagos that lay eggs often do so during the dry season to prevent their eggs from being washed away by the heavy rains that can be seen throughout winter. If you’re heading to Santa Cruz on your Galapagos Islands vacation, you may well see tortoise eggs in the highlands.