What to Expect on the Galapagos Islands from July to December

From nesting Flightless Cormorants to Lava Lizard mating rituals, the latter half of the year is full of amazing animal and bird habits. To know exactly what the islands have to offer during your stay, check out the second part of our guide that details weather conditions and animal and bird habits broken down by month from July to December.

   
July  
July Galapagos Cormorant Birds:   

  • Flightless Cormorants court and nest on Fernandina Island
  • American Oystercatchers nest on Santiago Island
  • Booby and Frigatebird eggs begin hatching
  • Good time to see migratory birds

Animals:

  • Lava Lizards begin mating behavior which includes “push-ups”, which will continue into November
  • Whales and dolphins common, especially in the waters between Isabela and Fernandina

Weather:

  • Dry season
  • Low rainfall
  • Daily land temperatures around 75°F/24°C
  • Daily water temperatures around 74°F/23°C


   
August  
August Pink Flamingo Birds:   

  • Flamingos begin mating rituals
  • Frigatebird and Booby eggs continue to hatch on North Seymour
  • Migratory shorebirds common
  • Nazca Booby Birds nest
  • Galapagos Hawks begin courtship
  • Galapagos Penguins start moving away from Isabela and Fernandina onto central islands like Bartolomé
  • Swallow-tailed Gulls nest on Genovesa
  • A good month to see Red-Footed Boobies on Genovesa, but relatively few Frigatebirds on Genovesa

Animals:

  • Giant Tortoises on Santa Cruz migrate back to the highlands
  • Galapagos Sea Lions begin to give birth, pups common

Weather:

  • Dry season, one of the coolest months in Galapagos
  • Low rainfall
  • Daily land temperatures around 70°F/22°C
  • Daily water temperatures around 74°F/23°C


   
September  
September Galapagos Penguin Birds:   

  • Galapagos Penguins begin mating on the central islands
  • Most sea birds nest, making this a good time to see them

Animals:

  • Sea lions very active as breeding season kicks off: males often fight on land and in the water to defend their harems

Weather:

  • Dry season, one of the coolest months in Galápagos
  • Low rainfall
  • Daily land temperatures around 70°F/21°C
  • Daily water temperatures around 75°F/24°C


   
October  
October Blue Footed Bobbie Birds:   

  • Blue-footed Booby chicks common at many sites
  • Lava Herons start nesting

Animals:

  • Galapagos Fur Sea Lion mating season begins

Weather:

  • Dry season
  • Low rainfall
  • Daily land temperatures around 71°F/22°C
  • Daily water temperatures around 75°F/24°C


   
November  
November Galapagos Sea Lion Birds:   

  • Brown Noddy are breeding
  • Storm Petrels nest for second time
  • Nazca Booby chicks are common

Animals:

  • Good time to see sea lion pups in shore nurseries

Weather:

  • Dry season
  • Low rainfall
  • Daily land temperatures around 71°F/22°C
  • Daily water temperatures around 75°F/24°C


   
December  
December Giant Tortoise Birds:   

  • Waved Albatross chicks big enough to fly: Albatrosses leave Española until March
  • Booby sightings uncommon, as they are busy fishing

Animals:

  • Giant Tortoise eggs begin to hatch, this will last until April
  • Green Sea Turtles often mating in shallow waters

Weather:

  • End of dry season
  • Low rainfall
  • Daily land temperatures around 74°F/23°C
  • Daily water temperatures around 74°F/23°C

 

Check out the Galapagos weather page for more information about conditions of the islands throughout the year. Ask our trip advisors for help planning your Galapagos trip at the perfect time!
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About galapagosexpert

A free lance writer, diver, photographer and citizen of the world, based in the Galapagos Islands.
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