Month By Month – Where To See Wildlife In The Galapagos

Month By Month – Where To See Wildlife In The Galapagos, Aracari Travel

There is nowhere on earth quite like the Galapagos. The sheer diversity of wildlife draws travelers from all over the globe to experience a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

With a natural spectacle occurring every month of the year, there’s no wrong time to visit the Galapagos. However, if you want to see something specific – like the hatching of giant Galapagos tortoises – you should plan your trip accordingly. Aracari can create custom itineraries that take in the wildlife events you want to experience, and offer advice on the best time to visit.

Here is a month-by-month breakdown of nature’s highlights on the Galapagos Islands:

Month By Month – Where To See Wildlife In The Galapagos, Aracari Travel

Galapagos Wildlife in January

There are six subspecies of marine iguana spread about the Galapagos. On Española, you’ll find the most colourful; the Christmas Iguana. January is breeding season for marine iguanas and this is when the Christmas Iguana turns bright red and green in order to attract a mate.


Galapagos Wildlife in February

February marks the beginning of flamingo nesting season on Floreana Island. Flamingos gather in groups to perform an elaborate dance and show off their bright pink primary feathers as part of their mating ritual. Witnessing this ritual is a truly unforgettable experience.


Month By Month – Where To See Wildlife In The Galapagos, Aracari Travel

Galapagos Wildlife in March

In March, the Galapagos albatross starts to arrive back on Española after several months away. With a wingspan of up to 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) it is the largest bird in the Galapagos. This bird can only be found on Española and one small island off the central coast of Ecuador.


Galapagos Wildlife in April

The first green sea turtle hatchlings begin to emerge in April. At night, one can see hundreds of tiny turtles cross the beach. Pacific green sea turtles can be found on Isabela and Fernandina islands.

Galapagos Wildlife in May

In May, bird watchers can witness the brilliant and slightly quirky mating ritual of blue-footed boobies. The male will show off his feet in a carefully choreographed dance. The color of his feet is of particular importance to a potential mate as the shade indicates how well he can feed himself. A turquoise blue indicates that he can source plenty of food.

Month By Month – Where To See Wildlife In The Galapagos, Aracari Travel

Galapagos Wildlife in June

More magnificent bird watching can be enjoyed in June. On North Seymour Island, the frigate birds begin to display their vibrant red pouches. There are two different species of frigate bird coexisting on the island; the great frigate and the magnificent frigate.


Galapagos Wildlife in July

July offers the best chance to see whales and dolphins in the Galapagos. They are more easily spotted off the west coast of Isabela. 24 species of dolphin and whale call the Galapagos home, including Orca, Blue Whale and Bottlenose Dolphin.

Aracari can arrange guided sailing trips that allow you to get up close and personal with these wonderful creatures.

Month By Month – Where To See Wildlife In The Galapagos, Aracari TravelGalapagos Wildlife in August

The Galapagos hawk is the largest and most prolific bird of prey in the archipelago. It sits at the very top of the food chain, dining on lava lizards, iguanas, tortoise hatchlings and sea turtles. The hawks vary widely in size depending on where they live, wingspans range from 1.1 meters (46 inches) to 1.4 meters (55 inches).

In August, breeding season begins. You’ll find hawks on the islands of Española, Santiago and Fernandina. In August you will also be able to witness one of the most awe inspiring sights in the Galapagos, and that is the Galapagos Albatross mating dance.

Galapagos Wildlife in September

In September, travelers can enjoy the company of Galapagos penguins. They are especially active on Bartolomé Island where scuba divers often find themselves with unexpected but quite delightful company.

Of the 18 species of penguins, Galapagos penguins are the rarest. They are very small, weighing about two kilograms. Unlike other penguin species, they have no set breeding season and can lay eggs up to three times a year.


Month By Month – Where To See Wildlife In The Galapagos, Aracari TravelGalapagos Wildlife in October

Fur seal breeding begins in October and continues through to December. The Galapagos fur seal may be the smallest of all seal species, but they are no less brilliant. You’ll find groups of them on Fernandina, Isabela and Santiago.



Galapagos Wildlife in November

The Galapagos sea lion pupping (birthing) season starts in August. By November, the pups are more active and begin to interact with divers in the waters around Champion Island.a

There are around 20,000 sea lion in the Galapagos. They are amazing divers, plunging down to 580 meters (1,900 feet) in the hunt for food.

Month By Month – Where To See Wildlife In The Galapagos, Aracari TravelGalapagos Wildlife in December

Between December and April one of the most exciting natural events occurs on the Galapagos; the hatching of giant tortoises.

Weighing up to 250kg (550 lbs), the Galapagos giant tortoise is the large living tortoise species in the world. They grow very slowly, and often live well over 100 years.

Galapagos tortoises can be seen on many of the islands, and fascinatingly, their shell is shaped by where they live.

There are even more natural spectacles than we have space to write about here; you’ll just have to experience the majestic Galapagos Islands for yourself.


Related Post

Galapagos Cruise Ocean Spray Review With their breathtaking natural beauty and unique wildlife, the Galápagos Islands are a destination high on the to-do list of curious globetrotters. B...
Romantic Honeymoon Destinations in Peru and the Galapagos Peru and the Galapagos are amongst the most perfect honeymoon destinations in the world. With romance, culture and adventure in abundance; there is so...
The Top 10 Experiences in South America: Our 2023 Travel Hotlist   Every January, our travel specialists dedicate hours to curating Aracari’s hotlist for the new year. Like a guiding compass, this exclusive director...
Aracari Conversations in June We have wonderful things happening in June. We would like to welcome you to our series of Conversations during the month of June. We have included su...
Galapagos: Glamour aboard the Aqua Mare The allure of Galapagos Island travel has for generations, appealed to the intrepid explorer within all of us. Scattered 1000 kilometres off the co...
Conscious Travel in Action – Aracari’s Plastic Free Policy For more than 20 years, our ethos of conscious travel has been at the heart of everything we do. Our goal has always been to protect the communities a...