Is the Galapagos Island cold or hot?

Is the Galapagos Island cold or hot?

Galapagos Dry Season

From June to December the southern trade winds bring the colder Humboldt Current north to the Galapagos. This means that the water is cooler, and a layer of high atmosphere mist pervades the island skies.

In effect, the highlands of the larger islands are kept green and lush while the sea level islands and shorelines have little precipitation. Thus, June to December is generally called the "dry season" which is known for its blue skies and mid-day showers.

During this season the tourists may observe a large number of species around the islands and in the sea such as giant tortoises, humpback whales, blue-footed boobies, cormorants, oyster catchers, lava lizards, Galapagos hawks, masked boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, sea lions, lava herons, brown noddies, and penguins. Due to the water temperature, it is the perfect time for diving.

Is the Galapagos Island cold or hot?

Galapagos Wet Season

The time period between December and May is considered the "wet (warm) season." During this warmer season, the Galapagos' climate is more tropical with daily rain and cloudier skies. Also, the ocean temperature is warmer for swimming and snorkeling.

During this season the tourists may observe a large number of species around the islands such as marine iguanas, sea turtle, land iguanas, flamingos, white-cheeked pintails, masked boobies, marine iguanas, albatross, and blue-footed boobies. Since the water's warmer, snorkeling is highly recommended during these months.

Is the Galapagos Island cold or hot?

Galapagos Weather for Divers

The Humboldt Current's influence brings cold waters especially during the misty, rainy season (cool weather) from July to December. "El Niño" current may bring warm waters to the Galapagos and will make the surface warmer and rainfall increase (January to June).

The water temperature varies during the year.

  • December to June:
    from 70°F (21°C) to 80°F (27°C)
  • July to November:
    from 65°F (18°C) to 75°F (23°C)

• View our Galapagos Diving Tours


  • Introduction
  • Temperature and rainfall
  • El Niño
  • Sunshine
  • Sea temperature


The Galápagos Islands, located in the Pacific Ocean, about a thousand kilometers (600 miles) west of Ecuador, have a peculiar climate, tropical and semi-arid, with a hot, relatively rainy season from January to May and a cool, dry, cloudy, and misty season, from July to November.
The landscapes are barren, except in the highlands of the largest islands, which receive more abundant rainfall. As was already noted by Charles Darwin, who, as we know, stayed on the islands and was intrigued by the peculiarities of the species living there, their climate is cooler than one would expect from a place located near the Equator. This is due to the Humboldt Current, which reaches the area after flowing in the ocean to the west of South America. However, there are different sea currents that meet or take turns in the area; in fact, there is also a warm current coming from Central America, which runs at no great distance and is more active in El Niño years (vedi sotto). Therefore, in this area, the climate is variable from one year to another, and the weather is difficult to predict.

Is the Galapagos Island cold or hot?

On these islands, as mentioned, there are two seasons: a warm season from January to May, with maximum temperatures around 29/30 °C (84/86 °F), and a relatively cool season from July to November, called Garúa, with daytime temperatures around 26/27 °C (79/81 °F). In the latter, night-time temperatures remain acceptable, around 20/21 °C (68/70 °F), but a moderate southerly wind blows, in addition, there are often mists, which cause the condensation of tiny droplets (called garúa from which the season takes its name), and the sky is often covered with low clouds (due to the thermal inversion generated by the cool sea current). This period is the least rainy of the year on coasts and plains (because the Garúa does not produce significant rainfall accumulation), while on inland hills and mountains, there can be some real rains. The highest peak is the Volcán Wolf, 1,707 meters (5,600 feet) high, situated on Isabela Island.
The warm season, from January to May, is instead the rainiest period, but the rains are normally not abundant, and in any event, they occur in the form of afternoon showers, which do not overshadow too much the sun. The rainiest month is March. The hottest period is from February to April, when the wind is also weaker.

Temperature and rainfall

Here are the average temperatures in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the capital, located on the island of San Cristóbal.

Puerto Baquerizo - Average temperatures

MonthMin (°C)Max (°C)Mean (°C)Min (°F)Max (°F)Mean (°F)
January22.9 29.2 26 73 85 78.9
February23.1 30.3 26.7 74 87 80.1
March22.9 30.5 26.7 73 87 80.1
April22.8 30.2 26.5 73 86 79.7
May22.7 29.2 26 73 85 78.7
June21.7 27.6 24.6 71 82 76.4
July20.7 26.4 23.5 69 80 74.4
August19.8 25.6 22.7 68 78 72.9
September19.8 25.7 22.8 68 78 73
October20 26 23 68 79 73.4
November20.9 27 24 70 81 75.1
December21.7 27.8 24.8 71 82 76.6
Year21.6 27.9 24.7 70.8 82.3 76.5

On the coasts, the rainfall amounts to less than 500 millimeters (20 inches) per year, so it's not abundant. Here is the average precipitation in Puerto Baquerizo; we can notice that in the dry season, a few millimeters (a few tenths of an inch) per month accumulate, mostly because of drizzle and dew formation.

Puerto Baquerizo - Average precipitation

January50 2 9
February65 2.6 6
March85 3.3 5
April35 1.4 4
May16 0.6 3
June2 0.1 1
July4 0.2 3
August5 0.2 4
September7 0.3 6
October7 0.3 6
November5 0.2 4
December7 0.3 10
Year290 11.3 61

However, tourists flock to the beaches during the rainy period, since in addition to being the sunniest, it is the one in which the sea is the warmest.

El Niño

It must be said that rainfall is irregular, and can become more abundant in El Niño years. During the most intense El Niño years, such as in 1982-83, in 1997-98 and in 2015-2016, the climate on these islands becomes fully tropical, with higher temperatures and abundant rainfall. In 2016, the temperature in Puerto Baquerizo reached 34 °C (93 °F) in February and March, and 34.5 °C (94 °F) in April.
In contrast, in La Niña years, the rains become scarcer, and there's a decrease in both air and sea temperature.

Is the Galapagos Island cold or hot?


All in all, the sun at the Galápagos shines for a good number of hours in the hot and relatively rainy period, while in the cool period, clouds and mists become more frequent. Here are the average sunshine hours per day in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno.

Puerto Baquerizo - Sunshine hours

January5.5 175 February7.5 215 March7.5 230 April8 235 May7.5 240 June7.5 230 July6 190 August5.5 175 September5 145 October5 160 November5.5 165 December6 180 Year6.4 2340

Sea temperature

The sea is warm enough for swimming from January to May (when it's also calmer), while it becomes a little cool from July to November, when the water temperature drops to around 22/23 °C (72/73 °F).

Puerto Baquerizo - Sea temperature

MonthCelsius (°C)Fahrenheit (°F)
January25 77 February26 79 March27 80 April26 78 May24 76 June24 74 July23 73 August22 72 September22 72 October22 72 November23 73 December24 74 Year23.9 75.1

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When to go and what to pack in Galapagos

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Does it get cold in Galapagos?

Galapagos Island weather is divided into two distinct seasons, the “warm” season occurs December through May and the “cool” season occurs June through November. Warm and cool are relative since temperatures are always quite warm.

Why is Galapagos so cold?

And while the islands are not excessively hot, neither are they extremely cold. Daytime temperatures can be 30 degrees but rarely go far above that. The unusual climate is caused by the low temperature of the surrounding water, in turn, caused by a cold polar current called the Humboldt.

Is the water in the Galapagos cold?

Surface Water Temperature: 71°F – 74 °F The waters of the Galapagos are influenced by the Humboldt Current that brings cold water to the islands, especially during the mist or Garua season (cool, dry weather) from June to December.

What is the climate like on the Galapagos?

It has a tropical climate with an average of 29°C and water temperature of around 25.5°C on average. The warmer months are followed by coolers months from June to November. The cool air and low temperatures from Antarctica reach the Galapagos Islands during this period.