Finding the right time to go to the Galapagos Islands can seem like a challenge, but actually a trip to the Islands can be good at any time of the year, as it is a year-round destination. At Ecuador and Galapagos Insiders we are regularly asked which is the best month to go, but generally this depends on a person’s preferences, what they want to see, and the type of weather they enjoy the most. Read on to find out more about the Galapagos weather in August, Galapagos wildlife in August, the activities that can be enjoyed in August and the demand and levels of tourism in this summer month.
The Galapagos weather in August is cool and dry compared to other months of the year. The average monthly rainfall during this period is 0.25 inches or 0.6cm in the highlands, which gives a good idea of just how dry it can be. Minimum temperatures are on average 66 degrees Fahrenheit, or 19 degrees Celsius, and the maximum temperatures are not much higher. Average maximum temperatures for this time of year are 75 degrees Fahrenheit or 24 degrees Celsius. The average temperature at this time of year hovers around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, or 21 degrees Celsius, which is very comfortable for most people. The sea temperature is just ever so slightly warmer, at 71 degrees Fahrenheit or 21.5 degrees Celsius. The sky will either be sunny or overcast.
For those that get very sea sick this might not be the best time of year to go, as winds can increase in strength during August in the Galapagos Islands. This can mean rougher seas than at other times of year. It is worth noting that while the winds do pick up, they do not get to the speeds that are seen in other places, such as in the Caribbean.
August is a busy month for Galapagos wildlife. In August Galapagos wildlife includes California sea lions birthing. Pups are just 30 inches long (75cm) and weigh only 13 pounds (6kg). It is important to take extra care around sea lions during this month as mothers will be nursing, and the males can show a lot of aggression when guarding the nurseries.
The Galapagos fur seals are also birthing during this period. However, due to their preference for areas with a bit more shade, and rockier areas they are less likely to be observed than the sea lions.
Bird life is also rather active during August in Galapagos. A special treat is that the waved albatross is nesting during this month. You will be likely to see this if your Galapagos Islands cruise visits Espanola Island. You might get to see a newly born chick or two. These have blackish-brown feathers and are darker than the adults. Blue footed boobies also nest during this month, which will be a sight you may well get to see whether you are on a Galapagos Islands cruise or a Galapagos land-based option.
The cooler water around the Galapagos Islands in August raises the chances of spotting humpback whales and dolphins, particularly to the west of the Islands, such as near Isabela and Fernandina. Whales are unlikely to be seen outside of the months of June to September, so it is a lovely treat if you do get to see one.
August in Galapagos is an excellent month for snorkeling. While this can be done year-round, the fact that the Humboldt Current brings cooler waters and richer nutrients to the Galapagos Islands at this time means that the sea life is more active. The water is also clearer than during other months. The cold weather might mean that snorkeling is more comfortable in wetsuits for most people.
Galapagos visitors can enjoy the same activities as during every other month. Hiking and walks are likely to be more comfortable due to the cooler weather. However, if you enjoy sun bathing, you might not necessarily be guaranteed good days of hot sunny weather for this particular activity.
Visiting the Galapagos Islands in August is something you will want to plan in advance, at least if you want to take a Galapagos Islands cruise. With children in the northern hemisphere on their summer break from school, the islands become very busy with families, and boats are booked for may months in advance. The high level of demand means that this is also perhaps not the most cost-effective time of the year to visit the Galapagos Islands, though families may feel that they have little other choice, realistically. If you find you’ve left it too late to book space on a Galapagos Islands cruise you might consider looking into Galapagos land-based options during this month, as these do not tend to book up so far in advance. It is probably unwise to show up in Galapagos in August and expect to find a good last-minute deal. While it can and does happen, it is a risky strategy due to the high level of demand at this time, some of our associated yachts offering always good rates for departures in August include the Grand Majestic Galapagos yacht and the Natural Paradise cruise among others.
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