Galapagos Information


Galapagos Information

ToG (45)The Galapagos Islands are volcanic islands spread on either side of the Equator line in the Pacific Ocean, 926 km (575 mi) west of mainland Ecuador. The primary language on the islands is Spanish.

The islands are well-known for their enormous number of endemic species that were studied by Charles Darwin during the journey of the Beagle. His notes and collections contributed to the initiation of Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection. The archipelago consists of 18 major islands, 3 smaller islands, and 107 rocks and islets.

Ave. Temp. °C
Maximun/Minimun
Hour of clear sky
January 30/ 22 5.3
February 30 / 24 7.5
March 31 / 24 6.0
April 31 / 24 7.5
May 28 / 22 5.2
June 26 / 21 4.4
July 26 / 20 2.8
August 26 / 19 3.3
September 26 / 19 2.9
October 26 / 20 3.8
November 26 / 21 3.5
December 27 / 22 4.0
Monthly Information The Galapagos Behavior
January

• Beginning of the rainy season
• Land birds start nesting, generally after the first rain
• On Hood (Española) Island adult marine iguanas become brightly colored (green/red/black)
• The green sea turtles arrive to beaches in GPS for egg laying period
• Land iguanas begin reproductive cycles on Isabela Island
• Both, water and air temperatures rise and stay warm until June
• Ideal time for snorkeling

February

• On Floreana Island flamingos start nesting
• Black-tailed pintail start their breeding season
• Masked boobies on Hood are at the end of their nesting season
• Marine iguanas nest on Santa Cruz Island
• The highest water temperature reaches 25C (77F). This temperature remains constant until April
• Very few penguins are sighted at Bartolome Island (most have followed the cool waters back to the west or near upwelling areas)
• Nesting season of the Galapagos dove reaches its peak

March

• The rainy season reaches the highest precipitation (this does not mean it rains everyday)
• Sporadic tropical rains, intense sun and hot climate. Air temperature can reach up to 30C (86F). Humidity is high.
• Marine iguanas nest on Fernandina
• March 21st, the beginning of the summer equinox signals the arrival of the waved albatross to Española.
• Even the western islands have warm waters where snorkeling is excellent. Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela) can be an amazing site. Penguins are active in the water.
• Some shores, especially those facing the north side, can receive deep surge (ola de fondo) coming from the northern currents. Wet landings at places like Puerto Egas, Gardner Bay, Bartolome can sometimes be a challenge.

April

• Massive arrival of waved albatrosses to Española. Amazing courtship starts.
• End of hatching season of the giant tortoises
• Eggs of green sea turtles begin to hatch
• Eggs of land iguanas hatch on Isabela
• While the rains have ended, the islands quite continue green
• Good visibility in the water for snorkelers

May

• North Seymour’s blue-footed boobies begin their courtship
• Sea turtles are still hatching on Gardner Bay, Punta Cormorant, and Puerto Egas
• Most of marine iguanas eggs hatch from nests on Santa Cruz
• Palo santo trees begin to shed their foliage
• Waved albatross on Española start laying their eggs
• Ban-rumped storm petrels begin their first nesting period

June

• Beginning of the drizzle season
• Giant tortoises on Santa Cruz Island migrate from the highlands to the lowlands in search of suitable nesting places
• Beginning of the nesting season of giant tortoises
• South east trade winds return. Currents become a bit stronger.
• Southern migrants have started their journey towards the north. Some species of cetaceans also follow this pattern of migration.
• Some groups of Humpback whales that migrate up to equatorial latitudes along the coast of Ecuador, can reach the Galapagos too.

July

• Sea bird communities are very active (breeding), specially the Blue footed boobies on Española. Flightless cormorants perform beautiful courtship rituals and nesting activities on Fernandina.
• If you walk along the shores of Puerto Egas (Santiago Island) you could find American oystercatchers nesting.
• Lava lizards initiate mating rituals until November
• Cetaceans (whales & dolphins) are more likely to be observed, specially off the western coast of Isabela
• Great month to see the four stages of nesting in Blue footed boobies: eggs, chicks, juveniles and subadults.
• Water temperature does not reach more than 21C (68F)

August

• Galapagos hawks court on Española and Santiago
• Nazca (masked) boobies and Swallow-tailed gulls nest on Genovesa Island
• The temperature of the ocean drops to 18C (64F), which obviously varies according to the geographic zones among the islands.
• Migrant shore birds start to arrive, and stay on the islands until March
• Giant tortoises return to the highlands of Santa Cruz
• Oceans are quite irregular, currents at the strongest levels.
• Pupping season (births) of sea lions has started. Western and central islands are common places for such sightings.

September

• Peak of the cold drizzle season
• The air temperature reaches its lowest levels (19C-66F)
• Galapagos Penguins show remarkable activity on Bartolome. Since May swimmers and snorkelers can be delighted at Bartolome with penguins active at the surface.
• Most species of sea birds remain quite active at their nesting sites.

October

• Lava herons start nesting until March
• The Galapagos Sea lions begin their mating period
• Giant tortoises are still laying eggs
• Days are not always sunny. Drizzle can be expected in most locations.
• Sunrises in the west can be quite beautiful after the drizzle covers only certain locations of the western volcanoes. Summits are clear, but low-lying fog covers the shoreline.

November

• Pupping of sea lions continue.
• Sea lions are sexually active on the eastern part of the archipelago.
• Breeding season for the brown noddies
• Some species of jellyfish can be seen around the islands. The genus Physalia is commonly seen floating around Gardner and Tortuga Islets. Some can also be seen stranded at the shores of the Flour Beach at Floreana.
• Band-rumped storm petrels begin their second nesting period
• Seas are calm. South east trade winds have decreased strength. Water temperatures are slowly rising.
• Generally great weather due to transition between one season and the next one
• Good visibility for snorkelers

December

• Hatching of giant tortoise’s eggs begins and lasts until April
• Green sea turtles display their mating behavior
• The rainy season begins, all of the plants of the dry zone produce leaves. Galapagos becomes “green”
• The first young waved albatrosses fledge
• Great weather

Galapagos National Park Rules for tourists
Any visit within the protected area of the Galapagos National Park must be accompanied by a naturalist guide authorized by the Galapagos National Park Directorate Avoid bad experiences by contracting tourism services and boats authorized to working the protected areas of the Galapagos Islands For your own security, and to ensure the conservation of the unique natural heritage of the islands, please keep to the trails and respect the signs at all times
Keep a distance of at least 2 meters (6ft.) from animals to avoid disturbing them.Respect both their space and freedom Galapagos animals do not need to be fed by humans. Offering food can create health problems Please take pictures and videos without flash to avoid upsetting the animals. Professional photography and videos recorded for commercial purposes must be authorized by the Galapagos National Park Directorate
There are designated area for camping. Request authorization at the Galapagos National Park’s offices with at least 48 hours prior notice It is your responsibility not to introduce food, animals or plants into the archipelago. Please cooperate with the inspection and quarantine officials at the airports and docks of the islands Do not buy any products and/or souvenirs made from banned substances such as coral, shell, lava rock, animal parts and endemic materials. This is an illegal activity and must be reported
Please do not leave traces of your presence on the islands. Instead, take home unforgettable memories and experiences from your stay Please take your trash with you until you find a suitable place to depose it. The centers of all populated villages have effective waste management systems Smoking and lighting compfires in the protected areas of the Galapagos National Park is strictly prohibited. There is a serious risk of causing major damage by fires.
Fishing is not allowed. It is only permitted on recreational fishing boats authorized by the Galapagos National Park Directorate Motorized aquatic sports, mini-subs, and aerial tourism are not permitted in the National Park