Season events in Galapagos by month.

Even though Galapagos is located directly on the equator, there are two distinct seasons in Galapagos.  The warm (also known as the wet) season which is from the middle of December until May and the cold (also known as the dry) season which from June until the middle of December.  Remember these terms are relative as the wet season is not very wet and the cold season is certainly not very cold.  However Galapagos is different both above and below the water during the different seasons.

January -

Warm marine currents arrive.

Land birds start nesting.

On Espanola, the adult male marine iguanas become brightly colored.

The green sea turtle arrives to the beaches of Galapagos to lay their eggs.

Land iguanas begin reproductive cycles on Isabela.

Water and air temperatures rise and stay warm until June.

Ideal time for snorkeling.

 

February -

On Floreana flamingos start nesting.

White-cheeked pintails start their breeding season.

Masked boobies on Espanola are at the end of their nesting season.

Marine iguanas nest on Santa Cruz.

Highest water temperature reaches 25°C (77°F) and remains until April.

Galapagos dove's nesting season reaches its peak.

 

March -

Water temperature reaches its max.

Sporadic tropical rains and intense sun.

Air temperature can reach up to 30°C (86°F).

Marine iguanas nest in Fernandina.

March 21, the summer equinox signals the beginning.

The waved albatross arrive to Espanola.

 

April

Massive arrival of waved albatross to Espanola and their courtship starts.

Hatching season ends for giant tortoises.

Green sea turtles' eggs begin to hatch

Land iguanas hatch on Isabela.

 

May

North Seymour's blue-footed boobies begin their courtship.

Sea turtles are still hatching on Gardner Bay, Punta Cormorant and Puerto Egas.

Palo santo trees begin to shed their foliage.

Albatross on Espanola start laying their eggs.

Band-rumped storm petrels begin their first nesting period.

 

June

Beginning of the dry season

Giant tortoises migrate from highlands to lowlands for suitable nesting places.

Beginning of nesting season of giant tortoises

 

July

Sea birds are active, especially blue-footed boobies on Espanola.

Flightless cormorants court and nest on Fernandina.

It´s possible to find oyster catchers nesting on Puerto Egas.

Lava lizards initiate mating rituals until November.

Whales are more likely to be observed, especially off the Western coast of Isabela.

 

August

The Galapagos hawks court on Espanola and Santiago

Masked boobies and swallow-tailed gulls nest on Genovesa

Temperature of the ocean descends to 18° C (64°F) 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

 

September

Peak of the dry season

The air temperature reaches its lowest (19°C - 66°F)

Penguins demonstrate remarkable activity on Bartolome until December

Sea lions are very active, specially in the western and central areas of the Archipelago

Most species of marine birds remain active at their nesting sites

 

October

Lava herons nest until March

The Galapagos fur seals begin their mating period

Boobies raise their chicks on Espanola

Giant tortoises still lay their eggs

 

November

Sea lion pups are born

Sea lions are sexually active on the Eastern part of the Archipelago

Breeding season of brown noddies

Band-rumped storm petrels begin their second nesting period

 

December

Hatching of the giant tortoise's eggs begins and lasts until April

Green sea turtles display their mating behavior.

The warm season begins and all of the plants of the dry zone produce leaves.

Galapagos "turns green".

The first young albatross fledge.