Which Galapagos Islands are best to visit?
While some will argue that the best time to visit the Galapagos is anytime, there are two distinct seasons that coincide with the tides and currents blowing through. Both have their advantages depending on what your interests are: The warm season starts in December and goes through May and the dry season goes from May to December.
For a breakdown of what each season has to offer, keep reading our seasonal guide to the Galapagos. (For those who are wondering, there is no slow season!
The Warm Season
The warm season is when the weather is great; the sun shines daily, the sky is blue and the wind is calm. For those looking for fun in the sun exploring the extraordinary landscape, the islands await. Land tours and cruises drift through pristine waters, up the volcanoes that formed the islands and underwater, where whales, sharks and schools of fish collide into bursts of color and movement.
The islands themselves are a walk through history; Darwin’s playground is full of tall tales of pirates, murders and maiden voyages. Discover the sea lions on the beaches, the flocks of blue footed boobies along the rocks and the marks left by those who visited before in the hidden coves and lonely outposts.
Floreana Island has a unique story of its own, being on the route that whalers took to and from home. While stopping for supplies on the way out to sea, sailors would leave messages for those back home, which were picked up and delivered by other ships making the return trip.
Today the tradition continues; visitors to the ramshackle collection of barrels, boxes and signs leave postcards for others to be delivered by those returning to nearby destinations, often in person!
The Dry Season
The dry season sees it fair share of cloudy skies but there are still sunny day. Expect daily showers so bring a rain jacket. Despite this’s the best time to visit the Galapagos if diving is your passion.
The Humboldt Current travelling north brings cooler waters and a myriad of marine life. Sharks, dolphins, whales and an incredible bevy of fish gather en mass underneath the turquoise waters. Grab some fins and goggles or hop aboard a decked out dive boat for an experience of a lifetime.
The diversity of the islands and the terrain give each island a unique part in the animals that live underneath the waters off their shore. In the same way that the tortoise population differs from island to island and the trip to see each is worthwhile, exploring the different sites underneath each island’s waters proves to be an education in the diversity of its creatures.
Live aboard cruises visit sites only accessible by boat and that are closed to foot traffic. They offer the most for the avid diver, providing expert knowledge and top of the line equipment. Land based options abound on all the big islands, most offer two dives a day and a few offer Island Hopping packages; worth checking into if you want to explore the land and the sea at the same time.
The depth that the Galapagos Islands have to offer is stunning, as are its creatures and underwater grottos. If you’re interested in exploring the cool waters and the incredible creatures that dot the landscape, take a minute and talk to one of our travel experts.