The Wet Season (January-March)
Air temperatures: 22-31°C (72-88°F)
Water temperature: 25°C (77°F)
This season lasts just four months but has the most precipitation, usually with afternoon or evening showers. Seldom do these showers get in the way of activities, but if you are traveling during these months, it is definitely a good idea to bring rain gear. The advantage to traveling in this month is that the air and water temperatures are much warmer, making snorkeling a more comfortable experience overall.
The Dry Season (June-December)
Air temperatures: 19-27°C (66-81°F)
Water temperatures: 22°C (72°F)
This is also known as the “Garua” season because there are morning mists and drizzles. Once the sun comes out, it burns off the mist fairly quickly and the rest of the day is bright and sunny with no precipitation. During this time, cold-water currents return to the Galapagos Islands and air and sea temperatures are cooler. A wetsuit might be required if you want to snorkel for longer periods of time, and a light jacket or fleece is recommended for the evenings. The season draws to a close with the first rains coming in late December.
|Month by Month Average Temperatures – FAHRENHEIT|
|Month by Month Average Temperatures – CELSIUS|
The only time when the weather trends in the Galapagos Islands might not follow these general climate trends is during an El Niño year. This natural phenomenon usually occurs every seven or so years and varies in strength and magnitude. Trade winds and ocean currents shift away from the Galapagos Islands and the upwelling of nutrient-rich water and polar water from the Antarctic Humboldt current gets cut off. Water temperatures are warmer than normal for longer than normal. This also coincides with greater overall rainfall. While these events bring the highland foliage into stunning shades of green, stronger El Niño occurrences can be extremely harmful to fragile marine species, like marine iguanas and tropical fish, which depend on the growth of algae and phytoplankton for survival. The impact on tourism isn’t usually as extreme, and it’s definitely possible to enjoy a great Galapagos vacation during an El Niño year.