One of the most common questions we get asked: when is the best month to travel to Galapagos? Is our vacation to Galapagos in July a good idea, or should we go in June or August? Is it too hot / cold / rainy in July? Are the July seas warm enough for swimming? Our answer is always the same – July 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, July is as good a month as any to visit Galapagos.
Read on for everything you need to know about Galapagos in JULY – weather temperatures, rainfall, water temperature and what wildlife highlights to expect.
July is in the COOL & DRY Galapagos season, so expect cloudy skies, cool but pleasant temperatures, and dry weather. This is a pleasant time to visit Galapagos if you wish to avoid the tropical heat and humidity of the Warm and Wet season. Visitors should still remember to use sun protection (sunhat, sunscreen, sunglasses) though, as it is easy to burn even under cloudy skies close to the equator.
In COOL & DRY months like July, the cooler Galapagos seas are rich in nutrients, with plentiful food for marine species like Sealions, Sea Turtles, and species of Seabird like boobies and albatross. The feeding frenzy also attracts migratory whales and dolphins, and is the perfect time for divers to spot huge whale sharks.
The highlands are now quite bare. Don’t worry though, the land Galapagos species can still easily be found in July, even though there is less green food available for them.
July is a month of very HIGH demand for cruise and Galapagos land tour spaces. Due to school holidays around the world, many families look to travel in July and August. We therefore strongly recommend booking in advance for all type of July Galapagos trips. High demand does not only affect availability, but also sometimes prices may be a little higher in the month of July.
July at Galapagos is well and truly in the cool and dry season - the skies are often cloudier, and although temperatures have dropped from previous highs, visitors can still enjoy a comfortable average of 26 degrees celcius. July is a dry Galapagos month, with just 0.5 inches of rainfall in 31 days. Even on a cloudy day the sun behind the clouds at the equator is extremely strongm so don't forget to use sunscreen and a hat to avoid burning.
July Galapagos water temperatures have cooled down to 22 degrees celcius. It may make if chillier to enter the water, but the good news is that cooler seas bring more nutrients for feeding marine species and seabirds, so expect wonderful underwater snorkeling and diving action. Many visitors to Galapagos in July prefer to rent a wetsuit for snorkeling.
Is July in Galapagos a good month for wildlife? Remember, every month at the Galapagos Islands (including July) 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 July, cute Galapagos waved albatross chicks are hatching. These white and fluffy hatchlings rely on their parents to fish for food during the day which they bring back to the nest and regurgitate. The proud parents continue this process, fattening up their chicks, until December when the whole family head out to open ocean for better feeding grounds. Other marine bird chicks are also hatching in July, including Frigate birds and Blue footed boobies.
Visitors to Fernandina island are also in for a treat as Flightless Cormorants begin their courtship and nesting. Flirtation begins in the water by intertwining their necks, and swimming around one another in a tight circle. Then it's time to build a nest together, made of seaweed and other ocean debris. The male will often present gifts (stones, tiwgs or washed up waste) to the female, to make the nest more homely.
Another huge highlight of July is the start of Galapagos whale watching season. The best place to look out for these ocean giants is in the Bolivar Channel between Isabela and Fernandina islands, although a little luck is always required.
Diving fanatics should take a liveaboard scuba cruise up to Darwin and Wolf islands to the north west of the archipelago. July is one of the best months to spot giant whale sharks. Adults grow to be larger than buses, but they are peaceful creatures, intent to swim slowly with mouth wide open to filter feed on krill and small fish. They will often swim up close to divers, providing an incredible bucket list experience!
Check out the infographic below for some of the special wildlife highlights to expect at Galapagos in July.
We really hope that this July 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.
In conclusion, July is a top month to visit the Galapagos islands. The weather is dry and comfortable for treking. Plus there are some amazing wildlife spotting opportunities - especially nesting and hatching marine bird species, and whale watching. Do remember that this is Galapagos high season, so book ahead to avoid disappointment.