Galapagos Travel Information / FAQ

Fauna, Weather and Sea Characteristics Overview

January 

Fauna: Green Sea Turtles lay their eggs / Giant tortoise eggs still hatching / Española Marine Iguanas are brightly colored / Isabela Land Iguanas begin breeding season

Weather: Humid and wet

Sea: Warm & relatively calm

 

February

Fauna: Santa Cruz Marine Iguanas begin nesting / Greater flamingos start nesting on Floreana Island / Marine iguanas start nesting in Santa Cruz

Weather: Due to rainy season, the water and air temperatures rise

Sea: Warm and calm

 

March 

Fauna: Fernandina and North Seymour Marine Iguanas nesting / Waved albatross of Española start arriving / Frigate birds mating season starts on Genovesa & San Cristobal

Weather: Warm and rainy

Sea: Warm & calm

 

April   

Fauna: Sea turtle eggs begin to hatch / Isabela Land Iguana eggs hatch / Giant Tortoise hatching season ends / Waved albatrosses begin their courtship

Weather: Rainy season comes to an end

Sea: Warm & calm

 

May  

Fauna: Green sea turtles hatching on Punta Cormorant / Puerto Egas and Gardener Bay / Santa Cruz Marine Iguanas hatching

Weather: Air temperature starts getting cooler

Sea: Still warm sea but a little more swell

 

June 

Fauna: Santa Cruz Giant Tortoises migrate from the highlands to the lowlands to begin mating / humpback whales migrate through Galapagos / great time to see whale sharks off Darwin and Wolf Island, until November

Weather: Some rain with temperatures getting cooler, the start of the “dry season”

Sea: Still warm sea, but more wind causes a bit of a swell

 

July 

Fauna: Lava Lizards begin mating behavior, until November/ whales and dolphins are common in waters between Isabela and Fernandina Islands / greater flamingos begin their courtship with a “dance” / Nesting starts of flightless cormorants.

Weather: Warm, cloudy & windy

Sea: Choppier, start to cool off with the cold waters brought in by the Humboldt Current.

 

August 

Fauna: Galapagos sea lions begin to give birth / Giant Tortoise on Santa Cruz migrate back to the highlands

Weather: Cooler, cloudy, windy & mostly dry

Sea: Cool & choppy

 

September

Fauna: Spot Galapagos penguins on Bartolome Island during their courtship / Sea lions are very active as breeding season kicks off, this means males often fight on land and in water to defend their harems.

Weather: Peak of light rainy season

Sea: Rough

 

October

Fauna: Galapagos Fur Sea Lion mating season begins/ Giant Tortoises lay eggs / Lava herons begin to nest

Weather: Windy and dry

Sea: Cool and less rough

 

November

Fauna: Excellent time to see sea lions pups at nurseries

Weather: Start of the warm season

Sea: Cool & choppy

 

December 

Fauna: Giant tortoise eggs begin to hatch, this will last until moth April/ Green sea turtles mating in shallow waters / Great time to observe land birds such as finches & doves

Weather: Sunshine and hot to enjoy the water

Sea: Still a bit choppy but calmer

What are the big 15 species of Galapagos Archipelago?

The Galapagos Archipelago is one of the most exciting destinations for wildlife viewing in the world. Here you’ll find unique and endemic species living in their natural habitat in their remote and volcanic paradise. The beautiful landscape is home to the following famous 15 endemic main species.

 

1. The largest bird on the Galapagos Islands is the Galapagos Albatross. It is exclusive to Espanola Island. They can be found during the cooler, dryer months from April-August.

 

2. The blue-footed booby can be found on nearly every stunning island.

 

3. The red-footed booby is more difficult to find and generally is only seen on the following places: Genovesa, Florena’s satellite, Punta Pitt and North Seymour.

 

4. The rarest, largest, and most unique of the cormorant species is the beautiful and heavy flightless cormorant.

 

5. The magnificent frigate birds are pelagic and find their food out at sea. On the other-hand the great frigate birds catch most of their food near the coast or steal it from other birds.

 

6. The Nazca booby is quiet aggressive and the largest booby. He loves fighting for nesting space along shorelines.

 

7. The huge Galapagos hawk is very unique as only about 150 breeding pairs are still alive today.

 

8. The famous American flamingo!

 

9. The Marine iguanas can be found and admired on every island in the Galapagos.

 

10. Land iguanas live up to 60 years. Thanks to the national park’s program the number of these stunning land iguanas has increased.

 

11. Another beautiful creature is the Santa Fe iguana. You can only find it at the Santa Fe Island – be patient in searching them, because, these animals do perfectly blend into their surroundings.

 

12. The tiny Galapagos Penguin is the only species of penguin to live this close to the equator.

 

13. The giant tortoise can live to be over 500 pounds and 100 years old.

 

14. Admire beautiful sea lions on the shore on every island.

 

15. The small fur Seals can be admired at the Islands: Fernandina and the western side of Isabela.

When is the best time to visit Galapagos?

The Galapagos Archipelago is an all-year-round paradise destination. Despite their sub-tropical location on the equator, the cold waters of the Humboldt Current surround the islands keeping temperatures pleasant.

The Galapagos has two main seasons:

  • From December to June – warm
    • (From January to March: hot and humid)
  • From July to November – windy, cooler, mainly dry, with some misty drizzle

What to bring for the Galapagos Islands?

1. Passport (valid for at least six more months)
2. Sun protection! (sun block / sunglasses / hat)
3. Insect repellent
4. Reusable – water bottle
5. Personal medications
6. Personal book
7. Comfortable breathable clothes
8. Shorts and T-shirts
9. Swimsuits
10. Comfortable (hiking) shoes/sandals
11. Small day backpack
12. Camera with plenty of memory cards
13. Plastic bags to protect the cameras from rain
14. Binoculars
15. Wide brim hat

Why do I need to pay a National park fee?

The National Park service asks for a fee of the amount of $100 USD (per adult) and $ 50 USD (per child under 12 years old), which must be paid in cash directly at the Galapagos airport. This fee is used to help preserve and protect the beautiful Archipelago.

Do I have access to Internet / ATMs while on the cruise?

We recommend you start your trip fully prepared as internet connection is hard to find. If you do get the chance to use the internet during the cruise it will be an added bonus. There are ATMs and internet cafes at both Puerto Ayora in Santa Cruz Island and Puerto Baquerizo Moreno which is on the San Cristobal Island.

Galapagos Wildlife Penguin

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