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Best Times to Visit Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Islands monthly rainfall
© 2021 Scott S. Bateman

The best time to visit the Galapagos Islands is during the long dry season from May through December. But some months are better than others.

The Galapagos Islands, which lie 600 miles west off the coast of Ecuador, are a popular cruise destination in part because they have so many plant and animal species that are unique to the islands. As a result, they are a major eco tourism destination.

A search on a major travel booking site of Galapagos Islands cruises over a 12-month period listed 162 cruises in total. All of the cruises were available from just two cruise ship companies: Celebrity and Silversea.

The following numbers represent the average monthly weather for San Cristóbal Island, which is the easternmost island in the chain and which has the main airport.

Galapagos Rainy Season

The islands have a brief rainy season that lasts from January through April. Total rainfall during this time is mild with an average of about four inches a month.

The dry season begins in May and averages two inches a month or less for the remainder of the year. Rainfall is especially sparse from July through November when it averages less than one inch.

It rains on average about 10 days monthly, although historically it less often in May and June and most often in August. Rainfall is usually light.

Galapagos Average Temperatures

Galapagos monthly temperatures
© 2021 Scott S. Bateman

Daytime temperatures hover in the high 70s Fahrenheit and mid 20s Celsius during the southern hemisphere winter months of August and September.

They increase to the mid 80s Fahrenheit or about 30 Celsius from January through May.

So visitors will find that the warmest temperatures of the year during summer have the highest risk of rain. The coolest temperatures during winter have the lowest risk of rain. The best time of year to visit the Galapagos Islands depends on weather preferences.

November and December in particular have a good combination of warm temperatures and low risk of rain.

But unlike many other destinations, cruise lines have trips to the Galapagos Islands throughout the year and don’t favor one month over another.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
July 28, 2022

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