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Galapagos Cruises

When to visit the Galapagos Islands

You will enjoy a visit to the Galapagos Islands all year round. The peak season lasts from mid-June through early September and from mid-December through mid-January. This is when it’s almost impossible to find a last-minute deal. The national park limits the number of visitors to each island and coordinates each ship’s schedule, so the Galápagos never feels like an amusement park. But if you visit in summer, you’ll probably feel less lonely and isolated. Below you find a few indications that help you decide what time is the best for you to travel to the Galapagos Islands.

December Through May – This is when the air and water temperatures are warmer, but the islands also see more rain. It drizzles almost daily, at least for a while. Oddly, it’s also the time of year when the sun comes out the most. The last weeks of the year and the beginning of the next one constitute the high season, so the islands see more visitors.
Swimming and snorkeling are more enjoying during this period of the year, but you’ll see fewer fish than you will later in the year. This is the breeding season for land birds, so it’s a good time to watch some unusual mating rituals. If you’re a turtle fan, this is your time: you can see them nesting on the beach, and from March through May, land tortoises seek mates around the low parts of the islands. Sea lions are also copulating in the rainy season — it’s quite a show when the males fight for the females. Around March and April, you’ll see unbearably cute newborn pups crawling around the islands.

In February, March, and April, the islands start to explode with colorful flowers. During this period is that the ocean is less rambunctious, so you’re less likely to get seasick.
June Through November, the Humboldt Current flows up and past the Galápagos from South America’s southern tip. It brings cold water and cold weather, but it also nutrient-rich water and plankton that attracts fish and birds. During this season, you’re likely to see clouds, but rain is rare. It’s also windy, and the seas tend to be higher.
Experienced divers say this is the prime time for a Galápagos visit. Unfortunately, the explosion of marine life is protected by bone-chilling water temperatures that you’ll have to endure if you want to see the greater number of fish in the sea at this time of year. Fortunately, above the surface, there are also more seabirds searching for these fish. Albatrosses arrive on Española in June and stay until December. Penguins also like cold water and the smorgasbord of fish, so you’re more likely to see them here during this season. On Genovesa, the usually hard-to-spot owls mate in June and July, which is when you might see one. Blue-footed boobies also mate at this time.

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