One of the most common questions we get asked: when is the best month to travel to Galapagos? Is our vacation to Galapagos in August a good idea, or should we go in July or September? Is it too hot / cold / rainy in August? Are the August seas warm enough for swimming? Our answer is always the same – August is a great month at Galapagos, and so too are all the other months! The Galapagos Islands are an all year round travel destination, with comfortable weather and great wildlife viewing every month of the year. So yes, August is as good a month as any to visit Galapagos.
Read on for more infromation about Galapagos in AUGUST, including typical weather, tourist numbers, and the top wildlife highlights to expect.
August is in the middle of the COOL & DRY Galapagos climate season, so you should expect cloudy skies, cool but comfortable temperatures without much humidity, and dry days. Remember to still use sun protection, as it is easy to burn even under cloudy skies close to the equator. Overall August is a nice month for treking and activities without discomfort under an overbearing tropical sun.
In COOL & DRY months like August, the seas are cool and rich in nutrients - the perfect time of year for marine species like Sealions, Sea Turtles, and species of Seabird, who find food plentiful. Migratory whales are also abundant at Galapagos during August, as are huge whale sharks and Manta Rays.
The island highlands are bare and dry during this time of year. Don’t worry though, Galapagos land species are still easily spotted in August, even though there is less green food available for them.
August at Galapagos sees HIGH demand for cruise and land tour spaces - especially for families with children who are enjoying school vacations. We therefore strongly recommend booking your August Galapagos tour well in advance to avoid missing out on spaces. The same can be said for August Galapagos land tours - book ahead to secure hotel and day tour spaces. In general August is not a good month to shop for last minute deals - it is unusual that spaces will still be available for sale.
August at Galapagos falls in the middle of the cool and dry season - meaning that skies are often cloudy, and temperatures are a comfortable 26 degrees celcius. August is also the driest Galapagos month, with almost no rain to speak of. Be warned that, even on a cloudy day, the equatorial sun is strong behind the clouds, so remember to use sunscreen and a hat to avoid burning.
August is the coldest month in the sea at Galapagos, with water temperatures cooling to 21.5 degrees celcius, so wetsuit rentals are highly recommended for snorkeling. The good news though is that it is a great month for underwater action - Galapagos marine species are abundant and active in August.
Is August in Galapagos a good month for wildlife? Remember, every month at the Galapagos Islands (including August) is amazing for wildlife spotting, and almost all land and marine species can in fact be found all year-round.
That said, each month does bring something different to the archipelago. Subtle changes in animal behavior such as breeding, nesting, hatching, feeding, growing, migrating. The Galapagos natural world is in constant change.
In August, don't miss the adorable new-born sea lion pups. They depend on their mother during their first months of life, suckling milk and requiring protection from large sealions and predators. Tourists can take great photos of these cute little fellas, but remember to keep your distance as mothers are sometimes aggressive if their pups are threatened.
It's also an exciting time under the water. Hammerhead shark sightings become more common around North Seymour and at Kicker Rock (San Cristobal). Further north island's Darwin and Wolf fall directly on the migratory path of giant whale sharks who feed on the rich krill. Specialist live-aboard scuba cruises give visitors the bucket list opportunity to dive with these graceful giants of the deep.
For bird watchers August can be great fun too. Galapagos Hawks are courting with spectacular sky dives, and Flamingos are pairing up for the season too. Handsome swallow-tailed gulls and the impressive Waved Albatross are already one step ahead with nests built and clutches of eggs being laid.
Check out the infographic below for some of the special wildlife highlights to expect at Galapagos in August.
We really hope that this August in Galapagos blog was useful. If you are looking for a complete summary of Galapagos climate across the year, then also check out our general Galapagos Weather blog.
If you need any help planning your Galapagos Vacation (in August or any other month!), then please get in touch - we'd love to help!
Happy Gringo has over 15 years of experience as the trusted choice in Galapagos travel and has received special recognition from TripAdvisor for 6 consecutive years. We specialize in Galapagos Cruises, Diving Tours, and Custom-Made Galapagos Land Trips. We’d love to hear from you.
In conclusion, August is an interesting month to visit Galapagos. There is lots of wildlife activity, both on land and at sea - while some species are breeding, others already care for their young. August is the best month for Galapagos whale watching, and keep an eye for dolphins too. To top it all off, weather-wise August is a very comfortable month to travel, without the strong tropical sun and intense humidity. The only downside to Galapagos in August is that it is the most popular month here, so there will be lots of other tourists and prices are sometimes a little higher than usual.