What is the weather in Galapagos like?
The Galapagos Islands are a year-round vacation option. Regulated by the coming together of cold water currents from the west and south (mainly the Humboldt Current) and warm water streams from the north (mainly the Panama Stream and El Niño current), the Galapagos archipelago has an uncharacteristically dry and moderate climate for the tropics and is generally classified as sub-tropical. The weather is considered equatorial and is characterized by two main seasons:
December to May is considered the "warm season". During this warmer season, the Galapagos' climate is more tropical with only occasional showers and sunny skies. The sea is at its warmest and is usually calmer at this time of year.
June to November is generally called the "dry season" which is known for its blue skies and mid-day showers. Air temperature is lower, with highs in the upper 70s or mid-80s (25-30 degrees Celsius). The strong Antarctic Humboldt Current, coming from the south, affects the climate at this time of year. The water temperature, therefore, is at its coolest, about 68 degrees Fahrenheit, 20 degrees Celsius. During some years the infrequent El Niño current may cause a much greater flow of warm waters, making the surface warmer and increasing rainfall.
So there isn't really a best time to visit Galapagos, meaning a wider choice of boat and itinerary options for travelers that can fit in with your schedule.
June to November
Air temp: 70F to 80F (21C to 27C)
Sea temp: 65F to 75F (18C to 24C)
December to May
Air temp: 80F to 90F (27C to 32C)
Sea temp: 70F to 80F (21C to 26C)
Important Advice: Sea breezes in the Galapagos make for a marvellous climate, but don’t be fooled into lying out in the sun without full protection. What you can easily get away with in the southern United States you will pay for on the equator in the form of serious sunburn. Always wear sun protection, including a hat to shield the top of your head and face as well as sunglasses and light, loose clothing. Use waterproof sunscreens with an SPF rating of at least 15, higher if you have light skin or burn easily. Take a bottle with you everywhere, and remember to apply it all over, including less obvious places like the tops of your feet and ears. We also suggest bringing a bottle of high-quality aloe vera gel. All these recommendations also apply to the Ecuadorian mainland, including the Amazon. Being at altitude can also contribute to terrible sunburn for the unwary. The bottom line: please bring plenty of sunscreen for your visit to Ecuador and Galapagos!