Galapagos Islands in July: What To Expect?

Magnelisto Beach, a part of the 360 Tour on San Cristobal island

The month of July is peak season in the Galápagos, with many foreign and local families visiting the islands. During this month, visitors may enjoy chilly seas, plentiful marine life, and fantastic birding.

It’s the ideal season for family vacations, trekking, diving with sharks and whales, and swimming among crustaceans and mollusks. Around the islands, you’ll witness lazy sea lions and their pups, as well as blue-footed boobies going about their business.

In this article, we will share travel highlights and tips for visiting the Galapagos Islands in July. You can also check out my video:

Galapagos in July: A Quick Glance

Snorkelling at Concha Perla, Galapagos

  • Air temperature: 22-25°C / 72-77°F
  • Sea temperature: 20-22°C / 68-72°F
  • Average rainfall: 1.4cm / 06in
  • Clear skies: 6-7 hours

The seas might be rougher and the winds can be harsher in July. While the winds do increase up, they do not reach the speeds witnessed in other parts of the world, such as the Caribbean.

Galapagos in July: Wildlife 

Sunset at La Loberia beach Galapagos

The cooler weather produced by the Humboldt sea current increases the likelihood of spotting whales in the ocean. You could even spot some dolphins if you’re fortunate. These species are thought to be more common on Isabela Island.

The California sea lion mating season begins in July. This causes a lot of rivalry among the larger males as they fight for access to a territory with a harem of females to mate with.

Aside from vast marine life, the Galapagos Islands’ avian life is also bustling in July. During this month, the following birds are nesting:

  • Blue-footed boobies 
  • Red-footed booby
  • Masked booby
  • Frigate birds
  • Waved albatross

The little and inconspicuous lava lizards, on the other hand, have also begun their mating rituals, which will run until November. Female lava lizards are more vivid than during other times of the year, with brilliant orange hues on their faces to attract their spouse, making them easy to identify because males have gray tones.

Galapagos in July: Tourist Crowds

Line at the Galapagos boat station

July is one of the high peak months in Galapagos, with people from all over the world pouring to the islands. During this season, marine life is at its optimum, drawing adventurous tourists as well as those who like water-based sports like surfing and diving. Island cruises sell quickly, especially those that include activities such as snorkeling and diving.

Booking boat cruises early is a smart idea. During this month prices for activities and airfares rise. However, if you prepare ahead of time and book early, you may still discover fantastic Galapagos hotels discounts. Although land-based excursions are simpler to schedule on the spot, it is still a smart option to reserve ahead of time. Overall, July is one of the most exciting and lively months to visit the Galápagos Islands, with plenty of things to see and do.

Galapagos in July: Weather

Cerro Tijeretas trail path to Punta Carola

The weather is good in July, with cooler seas and a little dip in air temperature. It is the second month of the dry season, also known as the garúa, on the Galápagos Islands. It is one of the “coldest” months on the islands, making it ideal for touring on land, including trekking and animal observation. The water, though, is still comfortable enough for swimming and snorkeling.

The waters around Galapagos are a little rougher in July, so be prepared for a lot more motion if you intend on taking a boat excursion. Even though the winds are stronger, they remain moderate in comparison to areas such as the Caribbean. Because it becomes cool at night, keep some warm clothing on hand. A wind jacket is recommended, particularly for boat journeys.

Galapagos in July: Activities

El Chato Tortoise Reserve on Santa Cruz Island

Despite the fact that the water clarity is lower due to the garúa season, July offers better underwater visibility than the prior months. Because of the cooler weather, it is an excellent month for trekking and wandering around the islands, as well as exploring the Charles Darwin Research Station or El Chato Tortoise Reserve (Turtle Ranch) in Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos

Charles Darwin station Galapagos

Birdwatchers will appreciate coming throughout July owing to the abundance of bird life on the islands. Fernandina Island is home to flightless cormorants during their courtship and nesting season, while Española Island is home to the rare blue-footed boobies during their courtship rituals. Throughout the island, you will observe booby eggs, juveniles, and young adults.

Because of the increased activity of marine life, there is a larger chance of spotting whales, and snorkeling is also excellent in July. It’s also a good time to see humpback whales and sharks, and you should try diving with some of these wonderful species. The Galápagos sea lions are plentiful since they spawn during this period and are more active throughout the islands.

Bottom Line

July is a wonderful month for visiting the Galapagos Islands. The weather is dry and pleasant for hiking. There are also some fantastic wildlife viewing chances, particularly for nesting and hatching species, as well as whale watching. Since this is a peak season in the Galapagos, it is best to plan and book in advance for a hassle-free trip.

About the author

Oleg Galeev

I'm Oleg, and together with my wife, we've explored Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, journeying through more than 20 cities (Quito, Cuenca, Banos, Tena, Puyo, Guayaquil, Riobamba, Otavalo, Mindo and more) and nearly every island in the Galapagos (including iconic ones such as Bartolome Island, San Cristobal Island, Isabela Island, Santa Cruz Island and more). In this blog, I give you my real thoughts about each place we visited. This info can help anyone planning a trip to the Galapagos Islands or mainland Ecuador. I'm just a traveler, not a tour company, so I'm not trying to sell anything. That means I'll tell you the truth—both the good and the bad — about traveling in Ecuador based on what we experienced.

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