Friday, October 30, 2015

Best time to visit Galapagos


The Galapagos island with its profuse wildlife is one place which really fascinates me.
And a quick check, let me realize that January is the best time to actually go there.

People say that Dreams Do Come True. And I must say that I am happy that I had finally made my trip to go trekking in Patagonia in Jan/Feb earlier this year. And I had the chance to travel to South America for the Iguasu Falls, Rio De Janeiro as well as Machu Picchu, one of new Seven Wonders Of  The World!

I did some research on Ecuador and find that the best time to travel there for the Galapagos is actually from January to April.

The information below is taken from the USA Today website.

Best time to visit Ecuador

South American country of Ecuador may be small, but it features an incredibly diverse range of landscapes that encompass numerous attractions. Tourists considering the best time to travel to Ecuador have to take regional factors into account. Four distinct climatic zones exist in Ecuador, each with its own weather patterns and optimal visiting seasons.

Andes Region

The Ecuadorian city of Quito and the surrounding highlands lie along the Andes Mountains. Winter in the Andes lasts from June through September, featuring cool and dry conditions. Winter temperatures hover around 50 degrees Fahrenheit on average. Summer runs from December to March, bringing on slightly warmer temperatures. Summer coincides with the Andean rainy season, so travelers can expect occasional showers. Altitude plays a major role in influencing the relatively low temperatures in this region. Frommer recommends the dry season as the best time of year to visit the Andes of Ecuador.

Pacific Coast Region

Ecuador's Pacific Coast rotates between wet and dry seasons. The rainy season spans December through May. High humidity and hot temperatures prevail around this time of year. Surprisingly, the weather is much sunnier during the rainy season, despite the intermittent afternoon showers. Lonely Planet recommends this season as the best time to visit the beach. Cooler air temperatures appear from June to September, attracting whales and dolphins to the waters along the shore. This period constitutes the dry season, but the skies become overcast and it is usually to chilly to swim in the ocean.

Oriente Region

The Oriente sprawls to the east, consisting of tropical rainforests and marshy lowlands. It rains year-round in this region, but the precipitation levels are particularly high between December and April. Visitors will experience drier weather from August to November. As such, this is the best time for jungle treks. Temperatures in the Oriente reach upwards of 90 degrees during the day, so be prepared for sweltering conditions.

Galapagos Region

The Galapagos  Islands sit over 500 miles west of mainland Ecuador, but this archipelago still belongs to the country. The dry season in the Galapagos spans June to December. The air and ocean waters are colder around this time of year, and the seas tend to be rough. The rainy season commences in December and continues until May. Conditions are warm and sunny, with light rain showers on most days. Visitors can enjoy Galápagos wildlife viewing year-round, but each season has its draws. Sea tortoise and sea lion nesting occurs in the warm rainy season, whereas albatrosses and penguins follow the Humboldt Current to the archipelago in the cold and dry months.

Peak Tourist Seasons

The peak tourist seasons in Ecuador coincide with North American and European vacation periods. Travelers can expect larger crowds and higher prices for lodging and transportation between June and August as well as December and January. Hotels, flights and tour groups fill up quickly during these months. As such, the Lonely Planet Travel Guide suggests making reservations well in advance for trips around these periods.

Off-Season Budget Travel

Travelers can take advantage of lower prices on goods and services during the off-season months in Ecuador. The periods between February and April as well as September and November constitute the off-season here. Many hotels, restaurants, tour companies and transport operators reduce rates over the off-season. Crowds are minimal, and visitors are likely to find cheaper deals no matter where they go.


Aside from universal holidays like New Year, Christmas and Easter, Ecuador boasts a couple of other big celebrations throughout the year. Carnival kicks off in February, transforming the 
weekend before Ash Wednesday into a torrent of street parties, dancing and water-balloon tossing. Also of interest is Ecuador Independence Day. Falling on the 10th of August, Ecuador's Independence Day ushers in a slew of military parades and patriotic festivities around the country.



There are a number of animals, particularly sea birds, that have specific breeding patterns. For example, the waved albatross come from all over to Española Island to stay for the rest of the year. In October, their courtship is at its peak and is a sight to see.

Other animals have specific seasons during which they breed, and are more active or more abundant in the water during these periods. Take a look at our wildlife section and read up on a specific animal to determine if there is an animal season you just can't miss.

Blue footed booby
Where is it found: Can be found on most islands in the archipelago, at the shoreline.
When is it found: All year round.
Interesting fact: During mating rituals, male birds show off their feet to prospective mates with a high-stepping strut. The bluer the feet, the more attractive the mate.

Nazca booby
Where is it found: Best nesting colonies in Genovesa, Española and Floreana.
When is it found: All year round.
Interesting fact: The largest of the three species of Galapagos boobies.

Flightless Cormorant
Where is it found: East coast of Fernandina, as well as on the northern and western coasts of Isabela.
When is it found: All year round. Nesting tends to take place from July to October.
Interesting fact: The only cormorant in the world that has lost the ability to fly. With only 1500 estimated individuals, it is one of the world's rarest birds and is the subject of an active conservation program.

Red footed booby
Where is it found: Colonies can be found on Tower, Darwin, Wolf, Floreana and Punta Pitt on San Cristóbal.
When is it found: All year round.
Interesting fact: Red-footed boobies are strong flyers and can travel up to 93 miles in search of food.

Greater flamingo
Where is it found: Floreana Island, Isabela Island, Santiago, Rábida Island and Santa Cruz.
When is it found: All year round.
Interesting fact: The Greater Flamingo lives around the brackish waters of some lagoons of Galapagos.

Where is it found: Nesting areas on North Seymour, Floreana, Isabela, Genovesa and San Cristóbal.
When is it found: All year round.
Interesting fact: Great Frigate birds steal food in mid-air from other frigates, as well as other species, like red-footed boobies and tropic birds.

Where is it found: Mainly on Fernandina Island and the west coast of Isabela Island.
When is it found: All year round. Most nests are seen between May and January.
Interesting fact: Endemic to the Galapagos, it is the only penguin that lives north of the equator in the wild.

Waved Albatross
Where is it found: The Waved Albatross breeds primarily on Española Island in the Galapagos archipelago.
When is it found: All year round. The eggs are laid between April and June.
Interesting fact: Derives its name from the wave-like pattern of its feathers on the adult birds.

Giant Tortoises
Where is it found: In the wild at Isabela, Pinzón, La Pinta, Santiago, Santa Cruz, San Cristóbal and Española.
When is it found: All year round.
Interesting fact: The largest living species of tortoise, reaching weights of over 400kg and lengths of 1.8mt.

Galapagos Green Turtle
Where is it found: Can be found on most islands in the archipelago.
When is it found: The prime season for nesting is from December to June.
Interesting fact: Males never leave the sea, but females come ashore on beaches to nest and lay eggs on several of the islands.

Galapagos Land Iguana
Where is it found: Endemic to the Galapagos Islands, is primarily found on the islands of Fernandina, Isabela, Santa Cruz, North Seymour, Hood and South Plaza.
When is it found: All year round.
Interesting fact: They enjoy a symbiotic relationship with birds; the birds remove parasites and ticks, providing relief to the iguanas and food for the birds.

Marine Iguana
Where is it found: Can be found on most islands in the archipelago, at the shoreline.
When is it found: All year round.
Interesting fact: Found only on the Galapagos Islands, has the unique ability to live and forage in the sea.

Lava Lizard
Where is it found: Can be found on most islands in the archipelago.
When is it found: All year round.
Interesting fact: There are at least 28 species, including seven which are endemic to the Galapagos Islands.

Sea Lion
Where is it found: Can be found on each of the different islands of the Galapagos archipelago.
When is it found: All year round. Breeding takes place from May through January.
Interesting fact: Feeding mostly on sardines, sea lions sometimes travel 10 to 15 km from the coast over the span of days to hunt for their prey.

Humpback Whale
Where is it found: Particularly around the islands of Bartolomé and Española.
When is it found: July, August and September.
Interesting fact: In the 19th century, the Galapagos Islands were the center of whaling in the Pacific Ocean.

Typical Itinerary on board  National Geographic Endeavour

Below you will find the list of islands as well as the various activities that you can enjoy while you explore the various islands in Galapagos 

Isla Bartolome
Walk to the top of Bartolome's volcanic cone for the stunning view of Pinnacle Rock and the surrounding golden sand beaches
Snorkel among schools of multi-colored reef fish and get an opportunity to swim with Galápagos penguins

Isla Santiago
Follow a path along a series of tide pools and underwater caverns in search of Galapagos fur seals, marine iguanas, sea lions, shore birds, and Sally Lightfoot crabs

Isla Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz is the home to the Charles Darwin Reasearch station, learn about the science undertaken here and visit the neighboring captive breeding program for endangered species of Galapagos giant tortoises ; by their partners in conservation, the Galapagos National Park Service. Then, travel to the highlands where the tortoises forage to observe and photograph these tortoises in the wild.

Isla Isabela
Explore the largest island in the group, home to enormous marine iguanas, abundant sea turtles, the only species of flightless cormorant in the world and the only penguin species that inhabits the equator. Cruise by boat and hike against the backdrop of giant shield volcanoes, and snorkel in the cool, rich waters that often draw whales and dolphins to the area.

Isla Floreana
At Champion Islet, snorkel among sea lions, or peer into an underwater world in a glass-bottom boat while keeping an eye out for the endangered Floreana mockingbird. 

Isla Fernandina
Discover the marine iguana haven of Punta Espinoza as we hike over lava flows. Galapagos hawks, sea lion nurseries and the rare Galapagos flightless cormorant will be found as we explore this island.

Isla Espanola

See swallow-tailed gulls, Espanola mockingbirds, boobies, and waved albatross on this birder's paradise. Walk among vivid green and red marine iguanas and unique lava lizards, and observe sea lions up close on a pristine white-sand beach.

Will be updating more information 

No comments:

Post a Comment