Galápagos Islands FAQ

Best time of year to visit the Galápagos and more

Galápagos Islands FAQ

14 December, 2016

What's the best time of the year to visit the Galápagos?
This is the question prospective passengers ask us the most. Our answer is, "It doesn't matter when you go; what matters is how long you go for!" There's not much rain, and there's never been a tropical storm of any type in the Galápagos. While there are a couple of official "seasons," the differences are slight.
Actually, Darwin said it all: Considering that these islands are placed directly under the equator, the climate is far from being excessively hot; this seems chiefly caused by the singularly low temperature of the surrounding water, brought here by the great southern polar current. Excepting during one short season, very little rain falls, and even then it is irregular.

How long should I spend in the Galápagos Islands?
Basically, each island is different, with its own unique ecosystem and wildlife distribution. Not only are many species endemic to the Galápagos Islands, they are often endemic to a specific island. In other words, each island has plants and animals that you're not going to see on any other island. So, the more islands you visit, the more unique wildlife you're going to see. If you want to see the red-footed booby, you have to go to either Tower (Genovesa) Island or Punta Pitt on San Cristóbal Island. If you want to see the flightless cormorant, you have to go to Fernandina or Isabela Island. If you want to see the waved albatross, you have to go to Hood (Española) Island. And the list goes on.
What is a typical daily schedule like?
Well, first off, there is no "typical" day in nature - our schedule is purposely loose to allow us to take advantage of unusual animal encounters or conditions - flexibility is one of the advantages of a small group size. Some landings might warrant a 2 hour visit, while others are more suited to 4 hours.
What are the trails like?
Trail conditions are mixed. Some visitor sites are a walk on the beach, literally - soft sandy beaches that happen to be populated by unique and wonderful creatures. Other trails can however be more challenging, with difficult terrain including rocks to step up, over or around or inclines. With only a couple of exceptions the longest trails in the islands are no more than 1.5 miles in total. We also walk at a leisurely pace allowing you to both watch where you are walking, and stop and take in your surroundings.

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