Galapagos Islands, Ecuador Weather and Climate

General & Geography

The Islas Galápagos are a group of islands in the eastern Pacific in the west of mainland Ecuador. Due to their breathtaking flora and fauna, the Galapagos Islands have been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, around 98% of the entire island area is now under nature protection.

Of the more than 100 islands and islets, only five are permanently inhabited by humans. Isla Santa Cruz with the main town Puerto Ayora, which is also the largest of the Galapagos Islands, is of major importance for tourism.

The isolated location of the Galapagos Islands led to the emergence of numerous endemic species that make the hearts of animal and nature lovers from all over the world beat faster. The native finches were the cornerstone of Charles Darwin’s book “The Origin of Species”.

Whether giant tortoises, boobies, fur seals and sea lions, large marine iguanas or land iguanas – new discoveries await behind every stone. An impressive 149 species of birds make the Galapagos Islands a paradise for ornithologists.

The journey to Galápagos usually takes place via Quito or Guayaquil on the mainland of Ecuador. There are usually at least three flights a day to the islands, the main airports of which are on the islands of San Cristobal and Baltra.

From Baltra a bridge leads directly to Puerto Ayora, the tourist center and starting point for many Galapagos trips. Many cruises, the most common form of travel on the islands, also start their tours from here.

Climate in the Galápagos Islands (Ecuador)

The Galapagos Islands in Ecuador are at equatorial level and yet have rather moderate climatic conditions due to the refreshing effect of the eastern Pacific. In general, only two seasons can be distinguished on the Islas Galápagos:

At the beginning of December, the air temperatures rise significantly, cause greater evaporation of the sea water and create cloud formations that ensure a rather humid, subtropical climate on the islands by January at the latest.

This wetter season (despite increased rainfall it is not a classic rainy season) from December to May, however, it is ideal for observing animals because reptiles as well as mammals and birds are now giving birth to their offspring.

In addition, the temperatures are pleasantly warm, there are also more sunny days than in the dry season. Snorkelers and divers will also find ideal conditions at this time. During the month of May, the temperatures cool down noticeably and the dry season begins.

The dry season brings more clouds and colder temperatures, so a wetsuit or wetsuit is necessary, especially when snorkeling. Especially between September and November the sea is often rough and high waves make the boat tours sometimes very demanding.

When is the best time to travel to the Galápagos?

The Galapagos Islands are generally worth a trip all year round. The supposed rainy season from January to the end of May is very moderate and offers pleasantly warm temperatures and lots of sun, which is why it is considered the best time to travel to the Galápagos.

While June is still a very good transition month, July and August get very crowded on the islands due to the school holidays in the USA. From September to the end of November the colder off-season runs, which can be uncomfortable for divers and snorkelers.

The higher swell also makes the necessary boat tours for sensitive stomachs much more difficult, on the other hand, comparatively very low prices attract. We therefore recommend mid-December to mid-June as the best time to visit the Galapagos Islands.

Temperatures, precipitation, sunshine in San Cristobal (Galapagos Islands)

Jan Feb March Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daytime temperature 29 ° C 30 ° C 30 ° C 30 ° C 29 ° C 27 ° C 26 ° C 25 ° C 25 ° C 26 ° C 26 ° C 27 ° C
Night temperature 23 ° C 23 ° C 22 ° C 22 ° C 22 ° C 21 ° C 20 ° C 19 ° C 19 ° C 19 ° C 20 ° C 21 ° C
Water temperature 25 ° C 26 ° C 27 ° C 26 ° C 25 ° C 24 ° C 23 ° C 22 ° C 22 ° C 22 ° C 23 ° C 24 ° C
Precipitation in mm 48 115 88 83 23 3 9 6 6 7 6 12
Hours of sunshine 6 8 7 8 8 8 7 6 5 5 5 6
Sunrise 6:05 6:10 6:05 5:55 5:50 5:55 6:00 6:00 5:50 5:40 5:40 5:50
Sunset 18:10 18:15 18:10 18:00 17:55 18:00 18:05 18:05 17:55 17:50 17:50 18:00

Temperatures

The average annual temperature in San Cristobal is 23.9 ° C. For comparison: Munich reaches an average of 8.6 ° C, in Berlin it is 9.6 ° C. The warmest month is March (26.1 ° C), coldest month of September, with mean values of 21.4 ° C. The maximum water temperature in San Cristobal is 27 ° C. Comfortable bathing is possible at these temperatures. All months have a water temperature of at least 21 ° C and are therefore suitable for a beach holiday.

Precipitation

The annual precipitation is 406 mm. For comparison: In Munich, 967 mm, in Berlin 570 mm, precipitation is measured annually. There is no rainy season, i.e. months with more than 175 mm of precipitation. You cannot expect snow in any month in San Cristobal.

Sunshine

As our climate table shows, February is the sunniest month with an average of 8.3 hours of sunshine per day. In the annual mean, the sun shines an average of 6.6 hours per day. For comparison: In Munich and Berlin, the sun shines an average of 4.7 hours per day throughout the year.

Galapagos Islands weather in March, April and May

Daily temperatures averaging 29 to 30 ° C can be expected over the next three months. The temperatures hardly fluctuate during this time.

Do you want to go on a beach holiday? The water temperatures are in March, April and May 25-27 ° C. This is great weather for a great time on the beach and in the water.

In the period from March to May , the sun shines an average of 7 to 8 hours a day. The sunniest weather is in April in San Cristobal, with a little less sun you have to get by in March.

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador Weather and Climate
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