When is the best time to visit the Galapagos Islands?
There is no bad or good time to go to the Galapagos Islands. This year-round destination has a very consistent climate with only slight differences in the Warm & Wet season (January to May) and the Cool & Dry season (May – December). The average temperature is between 20 and 30 degrees.
July, August, December and April are considered as the Tourist High Season. In these periods the prices are generally higher and there is a larger crowd of tourist. If you prefer better prices and less visitors around it would be best to travel outside of these dates. For the best price offers you can always check our Last Minute Offers.
How do I get to the Galapagos Islands?
The only possible way to get to the Galapagos Islands is by flying. There are daily flights departing from the mainland of Ecuador (Quito or Guayaquil) that are operated by the airlines Tame, Avianca and Lan on a daily basis. You can either choose to land on the Airport in Baltra or on the Airport in San Cristobal.
The best way to visit the islands is still by going on a cruise, but we have plenty of options as well for the traveler with a smaller budget. We as Jungal Tour are happy to help you out with any Galapagos Cruise, Hotel Package or Island Hopping Tour.
Before you start looking at our diverse offer of cruises and tours, we would like to inform you as well about why each island is worth visiting for.
Bartolome is one of the younger volcanic islets located just off the east coast of Santiago. This islet contains one of the best views of the Galapagos!
The visitor areas are two beautiful beaches that are great for walks and to observe stingrays and sharks. The north beach is an excellent site for snorkeling as well. Besides that Bartolome is home to the green turtle and Galapagos penguin, which is the only wild penguin species living on the Equator.
With 3.5 million years Española is known as the oldest and southernmost Island. Due to its remote location this island offers a great beach for swimming and snorkeling and an excellent platform to observe many migrant, resident and endemic species like lava lizards, mockingbirds and tortoises. Also it is the only site where the waved albatross can be seen (April to December). Besides that the marine iguanas on Española are the only ones showing a very bright and distinctive red coloration in the breeding season.
Interesting visitor sites: Suarez Point, Gardner Bay, Osborn Islet, Gardner Islet
Fernandina is the youngest and westernmost island of the archipelago. Punta Espinosa, a narrow stretch of land, is the only visitor’s site here. As Fernandina is home to a large population of marine iguanas, it is very exciting to see them gather on the black lava rocks. Besides that the possibility to witness the famous flightless cormorant, Galapagos penguin, brown pelican, Galapagos hawk and sea lion make a visit to this island worthwhile.
Floreana was one of the earliest islands to be inhabited. A good prove of that is Post Office Bay, where whalers used a wooden barrel so that the mail could be picked up by other ships and be delivered to their destination on their way home. Just as amazing it was then, it still is being used by thousands of visitors every year. Just try it out yourself!
Floreana is besides that a good nesting area for flamingos and the green sea turtle (December to May) and offers one of the best snorkeling sites of the Galapagos. The Devil´s Crown is an underwater volcano that attracts many tropical fish and if lucky makes it possible to see something even more amazing such as a hammerhead sharks, sea turtles, white-tipped reef sharks or manta rays.
Interesting visitor sites: Cormorant Point, Post Office Bay, Devil´s Crown, Baroness Viewpoint
Genovesa has earned its nickname as ´Bird Island´ with a large and varied number of bird colonies nesting here. On one side this island offers a nice white sand beach which is ideal for snorkeling and on the other side a natural rocky staircase better known as the Prince Philip´s steps. Following this two hour trail our effort will be well rewarded with the scenario of different seabird colonies.
Genovesa is home to one of the largest colonies of red footed boobies and is also the best place to see short-eared owls. Besides that there is a good possibility to observe storm petrels, frigate birds, swallow-tailed gulls, lava gulls, tropic bids, Darwin finches, Nazca boobies and sea lions.
Interesting visitor sites: Prince Philip´s Steps, Darwin Bay
With six shield volcanoes that have merged into the largest land mass of the Galapagos Islands, Isabela offers an incredible scenery and a wide arrange of wildlife. Besides having the third largest human settlement in Puerto Villamil, this island is also home to the largest population of the Galapagos penguin. Other remarkable creatures to be seen here are the flightless cormorant, flamingos, marine iguanas, brown pelicans, sharks and sally light foot crabs.
Even more special are the ´Galapageños´ the wild tortoises that can be found at the skirts of the calderas. Unable to cross obstacles and lava flows Isabela nowadays counts with more tortoise species than any other island.
Interesting visitor sites: Puerto Villamil, Tintoreras, Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center, Wetlands, Sierra Negra Volcano, Moreno Point, Elizabeth Bay, Urbina Bay, Tagus Cove, Albermarle Point.
North Seymour Islet
North Seymour is small but packed with life. It has one of the largest populations of blue-footed boobies and magnificent frigate birds nesting here.
Rabida Island definitely stands out from the rest with a beautiful red sand beach. The saltwater lagoon located on this island is inhabited by flamingos, white-cheeked pintail ducks and a group of sea lions. Besides that pelicans, boobies and nine species of finches have been reported on this island.
San Cristobal Island
The capital on this Island, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, is known as the oldest permanent settlement of the Galapagos. Close to this town we can still appreciate a statue of Charles Darwin in honor of his first disembarkation of his voyage on this island. Nowadays it offers the tourist an alternative route as you can fly on a daily basis from Quito and Guayaquil to this Island.
Besides having a breeding center for giant tortoises, San Cristobal also harbors a large population of birds. It is home to frigate birds, blue footed boobies, red footed boobies, tropicbirds, swallow-tailed gulls, sea lions, marine iguanas, dolphins, sharks and manta rays.
Interesting visitor sites: Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, Tortoise Breeding Center, Frigate bird Hill, El Junco Lagoon, Witch Hill, Pitt Point, Lobos Islet, Kicker Rock.
Santa Cruz Island
Of all the three inhabited Islands Santa Cruz counts with the largest human population. The capital Puerto Ayora is not only the starting point for the most exciting cruises or daily tours, it also offers a wide arrange of restaurants, hotels and other tourist attractions. The headquarters of the Galapagos National Park is also founded here in the Charles Darwin Research Station. Tourist are welcome to observe the incredible way they hatch, rear and prepare young tortoises so that they can be reintroduced into their natural habitat. Besides Lava Tunnels, the highlands of Santa Cruz also give you the great opportunity to observe the giant tortoises in a more natural environment.
Black Turtle Cove is another site on this island that you can´t miss. Visiting this beautifull mangrove area you will be surprised by the curiosity of the sea turtles while they pop up just with their heads to have a quick look. The clear water also gives you an excellent view of manta rays and white and black tip reef sharks. Flamingos, land iguanas and sea lions are very common to see as well on Santa Cruz.
Interesting visitor sites: Highlands, El Chato Reserve, Charles Darwin Station, Whale Bay, Dragon Hill, Bachas Beach, Black Turtle Cove
Santa Fe Island
Santa Fe Island is located southwest from Santa Cruz and is especially known for its own endemic species of Land Iguanas and for the forest of the largest Cactus species of the Archipelago, the Opuntia cactus. The weathered cliffs on this island attract as well swallow-tailed gulls, red-billed tropic birds and lava lizards.
Santiago Island host an excellent variety of wildlife and a beautiful landscape existing out of a smooth and unbroken Pahoehoe lava flow. While walking over this field we can be amazed by the uneroded black lava and tree-trunks which are molded into the surface. The beaches of Santiago are well suited for sea turtles to nest and are excellent for snorkeling. Besides that it is a great place to spot marine iguanas, sally light foot crabs, sea lions, fur seals, flamingos, dolphins, sharks and many tropical fish.
Interesting visitor sites: Sullivan Bay, Egas Port, Espumilla Beach, Buccaneer Cove.
Daphne Major Islet
This small island to the north of Santa Cruz is home to a wide variety of birds including the Galapagos martins, blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, short-eared owls, red-billed tropicbirds and magnificent frigate birds. Over a long period of time this island was used for an intensive study of Darwin´s finches. Nowadays the visits to Daphne Major are restricted by the National Park while it is still being used for scientific research.
South Plaza Islet
Visiting South Plazas you will come face to face with one of the largest populations of sea lions and land iguanas. Also the extraordinary flora will definitely catch your attention. On the steep banks of the island you can also observe a great number of birds such as the red-billed tropicbird and swallow-tailed gull.