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Galapagos - Diving and Snorkeling

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Galapagos - Diving and Snorkeling

When Is the Best Time 

In general, Galapagos is a world-class destination at any time of the year. For divers, the best time is from June until November, when also Whale Sharks can be spotted. For snorkelers, warmer ocean temps from January to April may suit better. The sea is less rough, but rain can occur. 

Climate Galapagos and Seasons

The islands have a cool microclimate although located in the tropics. The annual rainfall is on average around 500 mm depending on the elevation. The weather is influenced by the Humboldt current, different ocean currents, El Nino in the rainy season and La Nina in the dry season. El Nino occurs every 5 to 7 years and causes a high amount of precipitation, a warmer ocean temp around 30°C / 86°F and even higher. Many marine mammals, reptiles, and birds die when the real El Nino occurs. The last El Nino happened in 2016. La Nina has a strong effect on the temperature; the air and ocean temps are much colder, it causes a drought. Usually, most precipitation during March.

  • Rainy Season - Snorkel Season 
    December through May is the rainy season, however, often sunny and warm expect afternoon showers. The sea is calm with a good visibility and the sea temperature is between 21°C and 26°C / 70°F and 79°F. Sea lions mate in the rainy season and you might see the newborn seal pups around March and April. Due to the higher amount of precipitation the islands are in full bloom from February to April.
  • Dry Season - Diving Season 
    The Humboldt current brings cold water to the islands from June to November. The sea is nutrient rich which attracts a huge variety of fish, therefore sharks as well, seabirds like the albatross, and also penguins. It's mostly cloudy with a higher surf. During August and September, the sea is very rough. The sea temperature varies between 18°C and 24°C / 64°F until 75°CF. From September to November the Galapagos Islands are an outstanding place to enjoy ocean-life. You are able to find schools of hammerhead at Darwin & Wolf Island. Hammerhead sharks occur throughout the year Leon Dormido. Leon Dormido is easy to get to by boat trip from San Christobal.
Peak Season 

The number of visitors is limited to the Galapagos Islands. The islands are very busy around Easter, from June to early September, and Christmas holiday from mid-December until mid-January. Booking far in advance is advisable. Tours are fully booked and accommodation prices are on a high level. 

Low Season

Although, it is always said you have to book far in advance for Galapagos it's not true! There is a low season where you get last-minute prices for different tours offered. These months are November and mid-January and February. You don't need to book in advance. Fly to one of the main islands; Santa Cruz (airport on Isla Baltra) or San Christobal. The local people are attentive and appreciate having tourists on their island. Stay in one of the many guest houses and book your trips just one or two days before.

You like to know how to travel low budget on Galapagos Islands?! The team of When to be Where is updating this breathtaking place continuously now. 

Ecuador, Galapagos
Review and Tips 

Galapagos is the most outstanding destination for diving, snorkeling, birding, and wildlife watching on our planet. The uninhabited islands were declared a National Park in 1959 and as the first World Heritage Site in 1978. It became a Marine Reserve in 1998. The spoken languages are English and Spanish. Communication is very easy on the islands and locals will assist you where ever needed.

Charles Darwin arrived on the Galapagos Islands for the first time in 1835. He became famous due to his theory of evolution. The exhibition on San Christobal is dedicated to Charles Darwin and explains the different currents and their influence for such a rich biodiversity. 

Galapagos best snorkel sites

Galapagos Map

We had the luck to see every kind of life in the ocean; whale sharks, manta ray, hammerheads, whitetips & even sunfishes (3 at one dive). More pictures can be found here: Link Galapagos Pictures 
Reviewed by Leif

(Updated by When to be Where) 



Dec 10, 2018

I visited the islands for five days only which was much too short. San Christobal and the main village Baquerizo Moreno where you arrive by plane was a lovely location for diving. I came here in February and it wasn't busy. Dive and snorkel trips were combined. The rock Leon Dormido was breathtaking for diving; because of a current plenty of sharks and rays to see. A playful seal was swimming around us after the dive.