The weather in the Galapagos is surprisingly cool for its location on the equatorial line. This is due to the effect of the Humboldt Current that passes from the South Pole, which keeps the temperature normally around 80°F. However, the climate varies from season to season and year to year, and the temperature is different between the coastal areas and higher elevation.
From May to December, rain is scarce on the coastal regions. Winds blow in a southeasterly direction, and the shores of the southern islands are cooled by the Humboldt Current, creating a cooler climate on land. Clouds and precipitation are usually contained to higher elevation, which supports the thick vegetation. During this time the temperatures usually range from a low of 60°F to 70°F to a high of 70°F to 80°F.
January to April is considered the wet season in the Galapagos, which is marked by decreased winds and warmer temperatures due to the recession of the Humboldt Current and the arrival of the warmer Panama Current. The days are warmer, with lows typically between 74°F and 80°F and highs between 80°F and 90°F. The seas are calmer during these months, the skies cloudier, and the islands usually receive regular precipitation, especially at higher elevation.
Roughly every seven years, “El Niño” interrupts the Humboldt Current and drives warm water to the Galapagos, bringing with it unusually warm weather and heavy rainfall that can cause floods, landslides, and other destructive natural disasters. Particularly strong “El Niño” seasons can do a great deal of damage to the wildlife of the islands.