One of the most common questions we get asked: when is the best month to travel to Galapagos? Is our vacation to Galapagos in March a good idea, or should we go in February or April? Is it too hot / cold / rainy in March? Are the March seas warm enough for swimming? Our answer is always the same – March 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, March is as good a month as any to visit Galapagos.
Read on for everything you need to know about Galapagos in MARCH – temperatures, rainfall and wildlife highlights.
March is in the middle of the WARM & WET Galapagos season, so expect plenty of sunny days, with occasional heavy showers, and some humidity. Sunblock, a hat, and sunglasses are a must as the March tropical sun is scorching. It's also a good idea to pack a light rain jacket just in case you get caught by rain.
In WARM & WET months like March, the rains and sunshine transform the island highlands into a lush and green Paradise. March is perfect for land species such as the Giant Tortoise, Land Iguanas, Darwin Finches & other land birds, who find food plentiful and become more active.
Don’t worry, the Galapagos marine species are also easily spotted in March, even though the warmer seas mean fewer nutrients for them to feed on. Some species actually prefer the warmer tropical waters - hammerhead sharks for example congregate at Galapagos in large numbers during this season.
March sees REGULAR demand for Galapagos cruise spaces throughout the month. Possible exceptions are if Carnaval public holiday weekend or Easter, which, occasionally fall during this month, then demand from Ecuadorian travelers is very high and Galapagos flight spaces may be full. March is also a good month for Galapagos Land Tours.
March at Galapagos is a month of contrasts - both the warmest and the rainiest month at the islands. Temperatures average 31 degrees celcius, with 2 inches 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 March showers.
March water temperatures are pleasantly warm (25 degrees celcius), making it a great month for swimming and snorkeling. Most March Galapagos visitors will not need a wetsuit to enter the waters, but should be aware that currents and surges may be stronger than usual.
Is March in Galapagos a good month for wildlife? Remember, every month at the Galapagos Islands (including March) 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.
March is special for the return of the Waved Albatross to Española Island. After feeding in open ocean these past 3 months, they return to Galapagos to nest and mate. Albatrosses mate for life, so these are very tender moments as couples reform their unique bond together. Late March and April mark peak Albatross arrivals.
Frigate birds are in mating season, so look out for males in their nest with puffed out red pouches. This fascinating behavior is to attract females who fly overhead sizing up their options. Other nesting species include land and marine iguanas - they dig their nests in the sand, and can become rather territorial.
While some species begin nesting, others are ahead of the game. Galapagos Flamingo chicks begin hatching in the month of March. Flamingos like together in tight communities in brackish lagoons, and share the responsibility of child-care in a group creche, allowing parents time to search for food. Giant tortoise babies also continue to hatch on the lowlands of main islands.p>In the ocean March is a good month to spot Hammerhead Sharks and Manta rays who enjoy the warmer tropical waters this time of year. Darwin and Wolf islands are the best place to spot them in large groups on a dive cruise, or try Kicker Rock close to San Cristobal island.
Check out the infographic below for some of the special wildlife highlights to expect at Galapagos in March.
We really hope that this March 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 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, March is a wonderful month to visit the Galapagos islands with blue skies and plenty of sunshine. The highlands are lush with green vegetation and top wildlife spotting opportunities. Hammerhead sharks and Manta Rays make great ticks for diving bucket lists. There's also lots of nesting and hatching going on, plus the return of the graceful Galapagos albatross. If you had any doubts about travelling to Galapagos in March, hopefully you are now ready to book your trip and pack your bags!