Galapagos Islands Weather and climate

Considering the islands are isolated from the mainland, the Galapagos climate is determined almost entirely by the ocean currents, which in turn are influenced by the trade winds which push the currents.

The Galapagos is a major intersection of several currents, which vary in intensity during the year as their driving trade winds blow and then weaken in a cycle that gives two distinct seasons to the islands. These currents also control the pattern and variety of Galapagos plant and animal life.

The Galapagos climate is unusually dry for the tropics. There are TWO MAIN SEASONS, each of which has a dramatic effect on the vegetation and wildlife activity.

  • From December to May, ☼ known as the warm/wet season.
  • From June to December, ☁ known as the garua or cool/dry season.

During the June to December season the air is cooler (around 24 to 16°C) the skies are often lightly overcast or clowdy, and there is virtually no precipitation in the lowlands, while the highlands are almost continually wet with light rain “showers” called “garua”.

During the garua season, prevailing winds are from the southeast and the sea is often choppy. However, wildlife, especially marine, is at its peak. Making it perfect for diving and snorkeling. Cooler waters from the Humboldt (Peru) Current are dominant with average sea temperatures of 22°C in Academy Bay. As a result, air temperatures are cool and an inversion layer is created.

During December to May, the warm season, the southeast trade winds, which drive the cool currents, diminish in strength and warmer waters from the Panama Basin flow through the islands. The average sea temperature in Academy Bay rises to 25°C.

BETWEEN SEASONS, the weather is highly variable and unpredictable. This interseasonal period may last as much as a couple of months and the dates may vary from year to year. The climate in different parts of the archipelago is also varied. But the view and wildlife activity is still awsome!

SEA TEMPERATURE in the Galapagos islands ranges from as low as 16°C to as high as 28°C, depending on season and site. The Galapagos are distant from any other land mass, and consequently their climate is largely determined by the ocean currents which bathe the archipelago.


Average monthly weather in the Galapagos Islands:

MONTH Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg High ° F 84 86 88 86 82 78 76 74 76 77 78 80
Avg Low ° F 70 74 74 72 72 66 64 64 62 64 66 68
Water Temp ° F 74 76 76 76 74 74 68 62 60 70 72 74
Rainfall Inches 1.5 2.1 3.0 3.0 2.7 2.2 1.1 0.7 0.5 0.5 0.8 1.5