One of the most common questions we get asked: when is the best month to travel to Galapagos? Is our vacation to Galapagos in January a good idea, or should we go in December or February? Is it too hot / cold / rainy in January? Are the January seas warm enough for swimming? Our answer is always the same – January 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, January is as good a month as any to visit Galapagos.
Read on for everything you need to know about Galapagos in JANUARY – temperatures, rainfall and wildlife highlights.
January is at the start of the WARM & WET Galapagos season, so expect plenty of sun, with occasional heavy showers, and some humidity. Sunblock, a hat, and sunglasses are a must.
In WARM & WET months like January, the rains and sunshine are beginning to transform the island highlands into a lush and green Paradise. January is perfect for land species such as the Giant Tortoise, Land Iguanas, Darwin Finches & other land birds, who find food plentiful.
Don’t worry, the Galapagos marine species are also easily spotted in January, even though the warmer seas mean fewer nutrients for them to feed on.
January at Galapagos is a pleasant month to travel - the sun is just beginning to shine, but few of rains have yet arrived to the islands. Temperatures average 30 degrees celcius, with just 1 inch of rain falling though the month. So most days you’ll be in shorts and Tshirt and slapping sun cream on your back, but it’s a good idea to keep a raincoat handy too, just in case of January showers.
January is a month with increasing water temperatures, averaging a pleasantly warm 24.5 degrees celcius, making it a great month for swimming and snorkeling. Most January Galapagos visitors will not need a wetsuit to enter the waters.
Is January in Galapagos a good month for wildlife? Remember, every month at the Galapagos Islands (including January) 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 January we particularly enjoy the difference in land tortoises and marine turtles - the former has eggs that are hatching, the latter is recently digging her burrow to lay eggs.
Check out the infographic below for some of the special wildlife highlights to expect at Galapagos in January.
In conclusion, January is a terrific month to visit the Galapagos islands, with sunshine, perhaps occasional rain showers, transforming vegetation just starting to bloom, and top wildlife spotting opportunities.
We really hope that this January 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.
Happy Gringo has over 15 years of experience as the trusted choice in Galapagos travel, and have 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.