Weather

The climate in the Galapagos is characterized by two distinct seasons, controlled by the behavior of Pacific Ocean currents whether coming cold from the south, or warm from the equatorial Pacific, and the varied upcoming winds. The Islands do not have a typical equatorial climate, but a unique micro climate which depends on whichever current is prevailing at the time.

In general, December to June are the warmer months. January to March can be hot and humid, but also mostly green during this time. July to November are a bit cooler. The average year-round air temperature is 24°C. The table below shows the average climate each month.

Shown in degrees Celsius Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max Air Temp 29 30 31 30 28 26 24 23 24 25 26 27
Min Air Temp 21 23 23 22 22 20 19 18 17 18 19 20
Avg Sea Temp 23 24 24 24 23 23 22 19 20 21 22 23
Avg Rainfall (cm) 2.5 2.5 5 3.8 1.9 0.6 1.3 0.6 1.3 0.6 1.3 1.3

In November as the Humboldt Current leaves the Galapagos, the warm waters from the North Equatorial Current return to dominate the climate through until May. The skies are generally clear with the exception of occasional short-strong rains from which settlers used to catch water, giving this season the name the "wet season". There is hardly any wind and the sea is usually relatively calm with a water temperature of about 25°C.

From June to November as the Humboldt Current moves through the islands, it cools both the land and sea temperature bringing with it a subtropical climate. In these so called "Garúa months", the air is cooler and drier, the sky is usually shrouded in clouds and there is fog and drizzle. The wind is particularly strong, the sea is rough and the water temperatures go down to around 17°C. The nutrient-rich Humboldt Current increases the plankton percentage and many marine animals and seabirds begin their breeding season to go along with this plentiful time.

The months of August to November are especially interesting for divers, because of an increased proliferation of marine life. During this time, the probability of encountering whales, whale sharks and dolphins is particularly high.