Choosing the right time of year for a Galapagos Islands cruise or Galapagos land based trip can be challenging. At Ecuador and Galapagos Insiders, we are often asked when the best month is to visit. Visitors want to know about Galapagos weather in March and what wildlife to see on the islands. The Galapagos Islands in March is as good a month to visit as any, and there are many benefits to March in Galapagos, particularly due to the warm weather and excellent snorkeling opportunities at this time of year. Different people have different priorities however, and understanding how the Galapagos Islands are in March can be helpful in choosing whether or not this is the right month for your trip. With that in mind, here is everything you need to know about March in Galapagos.
March represents the peak of the rainy season in the Galapagos Islands. Galapagos weather in March can include more rain than in other months of the year. However, the climate can also be very hot, and it can feel rather humid. On the bright side this means that even some of the areas that may often feel colder do feel warm, such as on the western islands of the archipelago. The highest average temperature during March in Galapagos is 88F or 31C, while the average minimum temperature is 75F or 24C. As can be seen there is not much variation! The average monthly rainfall is two inches or 5.1 centimeters. If you plan to head to the Galapagos at the end of March, you will be likely to experience less rain, as the rainy season starts to draw to a close. Either way, a bit of rain should not put you off the Galapagos Islands in March, as Galapagos weather in March does have its advantages, particularly in terms of warmth, and it rarely rains all day long.
A major March in Galapagos highlight is the return of the waved albatross to the region. The waved albatross starts arriving back on Espanola Island during March. While this is a great highlight for those on Galapagos Island cruises, it is probably worth waiting until later in the year if you want to be sure of seeing a waved albatross. There is no guarantee of seeing one in March, and especially in early March.
March is a good month for seeing nesting birds and animals. In terms of the fauna, the Galapagos in March sees green sea turtles and both marine iguanas and land iguanas nesting. Land iguanas may be noted to be more aggressive at this time of year, ensuring that they safeguard their nest territory from other females. Female turtles may also be observed leaving the water, which is a pretty rare occurrence. Among the bird species, nesting in March occurs among great frigate birds – this can often be observed on Genovesa Island. Other nesting birds at this time of year include penguins, flightless cormorants and greater flamingos. Slightly further along in their lifecycle, baby giant tortoises are still hatching in March.
Most Galapagos activities run all year around, regardless of the weather. It is worth noting however, that due to the heavier rainfall and weather there can be sea surges, and this can make landings at some islands a little more challenging, for those on Galapagos Islands cruises. This can sometimes occur in North Seymour and at Gardner Bay. Less experienced divers might prefer to visit at another time of year when the currents are not so strong.
On the positive side, snorkeling can be very good in March, and even in the western islands where the water is often cooler. This is due to the warm temperatures. The average sea temperature is 77F or 25C during March. One of the benefits of snorkeling at this time of year is that you have a good chance of seeing Galapagos penguins in the water. Other sea life is also abundant and active during March, making this a superb time for snorkeling in Galapagos. On the other hand, diving can be a bit harder due to the sea surges that occur. This can mean that in some places, and particularly on the northern shores, currents can be strong.
Meanwhile, for the less active, and particularly those on Galapagos land-based options, some great beach days can be had in March, due to the lovely warm weather.
Whether booking a Galapagos Islands cruise or Galapagos land based option, many are on the look out for a good deal, since trips to the islands can be expensive. March can be a good month to find such a deal due to the fact that it is the peak of the rainy season.
Easter sometimes falls in March. March in Galapagos can be more expensive at Easter. Around this important holiday there can be a surge in demand, and a consequent surge in prices. Flights can also become more booked up. However, the dates for Easter are known well in advance, and this period is easy to avoid with a bit of careful planning. If you time your trip to Galapagos Islands in March you could find a good value Galapagos cruise or land-based Galapagos trip.
Our Insider veredict
Visiting the Galapagos Islands in March has very distinct benefits. If you are prepared to put up with a little rain and humidity, you may be able to get a great deal for your Galapagos Islands cruise or land-trip to the Galapagos. You will also experience warmer weather than visitors might benefit from at other times of the year, and the snorkeling is especially good due to the warm water. You might be lucky enough to witness the return of waved albatross to Espanola Island. Ultimately whether March in Galapagos is right for you or not will depend on your own personal preferences and what you hope to get out of your Galapagos Islands trip.