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When to visit the Galapagos Islands | September


Perhaps the question I hear the most when people initially contact me for a Galapagos Islands holiday is "when is the best time to go?" For me, ANYTIME is great for a trip to the Galapagos! Each season has its own charms, its own events. And true to its evolutionary legacy, animals can be experiencing varying gradations of mating/birthing activities even from island to island. Travelers can safely visit the Islands any month of the year and go home happy although there are some singular cases to be aware of. For those wanting to see the giant waved albatross, you MUST visit between late April and early December, and you MUST be on an itinerary that includes Espanola Island. Generally, the summer months, when kids are out of school and families can travel, see the peak number of travelers and space is almost impossible to find on our preferred vessels during this time. But let's look at September in the Galapagos. It's one of the easier times to find the cabins you want on the yachts you prefer and sometimes that space is even at reduced prices! 

What can you expect in this month? Let's start with weather conditions:

  • Air Temp (Max / Min): 26 / 19C, 79 / 66F
  • Average Rainfall: 1.3cm, 0.50" - mostly in the highlands, and yachts provide rain ponchos and rubber boots.
  • Average Water Temperature: 22C / 72F – don't worry, complimentary wet suits are standard for all our preferred yachts.


  • Blue-footed boobies nesting – this means the fanciful "sky pointing" and high-stepping dance routine that is so wonderful to watch!
  • Red-footed boobies and masked boobies breeding and nesting.
  • Waved albatross nesting.
  • Magnificent and great frigate birds nesting – the brilliant red throat pouches of the males will be on full display!
  • California sea lions and fur sea lions breeding – lots of bellowing and charging between the males, trying to keep their harems intact.
  • Flightless cormorants, penguins and greater flamingoes breeding and nesting.
  • Dolphin and whale spotting, particularly on crossings of the Bolivar Channel, which separates Fernandina Island from its giant neighbor, Isabela Island.

Special to September:

  • The presence of the cold Humboldt Current remains strong, making nutrients in the water more abundant and marine life, particularly cetaceans, more active. Snorkeling is excellent during this month, while swimming with playful sea-lion pups is a memory you will take with you forever!

Are you ready to go? Any questions? Give me a call at 800-345-4453 or check out our trips to the Galapagos!

Keeping it wild,

Sherry Howland

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