While the extraordinary Galapagos Islands are a rewarding destination around the year, if you’re hoping to bag particular experiences — especially on the wildlife-watching front — you’ll want to wise up on what to expect during different months. With that in mind, here we share intel on the Galapagos weather in August, along with tips on what to see and do in this Ecuadorian gem during the month.
Is August a good time to visit the Galapagos Islands?
Though there’s not really a bad time to visit the Galapagos Islands, deciding when to visit will depend on what you most want to see and do, your budget, and whether you’re happy handling peak season prices and crowds.
Such is the case if you visit in August — this month sits in one of two peak seasons on the Galapagos Islands.
That said, if you’re tied to travelling during the school holidays, August is a very good time to visit the Galapagos Islands for a number of excellent reasons.
First up, falling in the dry season, the Galapagos weather in August weather is cool and dry — ideal if you plan to do lots of hiking and biking, or if you’re not a fan of scorching heat.
Secondly, August is a great time to enjoy spotting whales, dolphins and sea lions, along with unforgettable avian experiences — see below for more detail on wildlife-watching opportunities during this month.
Though there’s no shortage of organised trips and tours available to meet August's higher demand, we recommended planning and booking your trip well ahead of travelling.
Average temperatures in the Galapagos Islands in August
The Galapagos weather in August is cool and dry. In fact, this is one of the coolest months, with an average air temperature of 22°C.
This can rise to a maximum of 25°C, and fall to an average minimum of 19°C, with an average sea temperature of 21°C.
Meanwhile, the average monthly rainfall during August is around 0.25 inches overall, and just 0.6cm in the highlands.
What about crowds and costs?
As mentioned above, August sits within one of two high seasons in the Galapagos. The biggest of these runs from mid-December to mid-January, while a second peak season runs from mid-June to late August.
During these months, you can expect higher costs for accommodation, trips and tours, along with bigger crowds.
Still wondering when to visit? Read our guide to the best time to visit Ecuador.
Ready for your dream trip to Ecuador in August?
Before booking your August trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos, browse our suggested itineraries for more inspiration.
Fully customisable, with a local expert on hand to take care of booking exactly what you want, they take the hassle out of planning your perfect trip. Here are a few sample itineraries:
- Galapagos Special — three islands in 10 days: the start and end of this extraordinary trip is Quito, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and capital of Ecuador, with visits to a trio of incredible islands (San Cristobel, Santa Cruz and Isabela Island) offering travellers utter immersion into wildlife and nature.
- Luxury Galapagos cruise and mainland highlights: spend seven nights on a luxurious super yacht in the Galapagos to explore the natural wonders of this island paradise in style. Afterwards, fly to the mainland and discover Ecuador, from Guayaquil to Quito. Volcanoes, waterfalls, markets, and much more await.
- Ecuador Highlights — Amazon and Galapagos: into adventure? This trip takes you from Quito and Otavalo to the Amazon, where guided boat tours unveil flora, fauna and indigenous customs. Next, you'll venture to the glorious Galapagos islands for more exploration and adventure.
Browse more itinerary ideas.
What to do in the Galapagos Islands in August
As cycles of nature shift through the seasons, the Galapagos Islands serve something different during every month. August, for example, offers plenty in the way of marine-watching activities, underwater adventures, and avian action.
Dive world-class sites
Though the water isn’t terribly warm in August (less good for snorkellers!), divers won’t want to miss exploring Darwin Island and Wolf Island. These are celebrated for being among the world’s best dive sites for very good reason.
Alongside playing host to incredible marine life, coral reefs and underwater volcanic cliffs, the waters here are also home to the world’s largest shark biomass.
Editors’ tip: love underwater adventuring? Check out our customisable Galapagos Diving Adventure.
July heralded the start of whale-watching season in the Galapagos, with trips to the Bolivar Channel between Isabela and Fernandina islands offering your best chance of seeing them through August and beyond.
See sea lion pups and giant tortoises
Come August, you could see new born sea lion pups in huge numbers. Galapagos fur seals are also born at this time, though given their preference for shadier spots they’re less commonly sighted.
While you can see Santa Cruz’s giant tortoises around the year, the best time to see them is in the highlands between June and December.
Marvel at birds
August sees flamingos and Galapagos hawks begin their mating rituals. This is also a good month to see Galapagos penguins — they breed and nest between May and September, and are at their most active on the shores.
At the same time, the waved albatross is nesting, and blue-footed boobies are still breeding — the season runs from June to August.
In addition, you’ll stand a great chance of spotting migratory shorebirds.
Visit the Galapagos Islands in other months
To be better informed before booking your trip, find out what to expect of the Galapagos Islands around the year.
- January: this full swing warm season month means blue skies, occasional rain showers and the chance to see curious courtship rituals.
- February: warm on land and sea, February is fabulous for snorkelling, diving and hiking, and seeing green turtles come ashore to lay eggs.
- March: this rainy season month means lush landscapes, high temperatures and morning showers. It’s also nesting time for land iguanas and many birds.
- April: end of the rainy season, April offers warm waters, and opportunities to see waved albatrosses, giant tortoise hatchlings and green turtle hatchlings.
- May: transition month between the rainy and dry seasons, May means cooler temperatures, small crowds and remarkable avian activity.
- June: start of the dry season, June sees cooler temperatures and is a top time to see waved albatrosses’ mating rituals and humpback whales.
- July: cool and dry, July is ideal for hiking, biking and watching whales and dolphins. It’s also prime whale shark season.
- August: still cool and dry, this peak season month draws increased crowds to see whales, dolphins, sea lions, and blue-footed boobies.
- September: quiet and cool, this is a top month for marine activity, especially whales, dolphins, sea lions, Galapagos fur seals and Galapagos penguins.
- October: this dry low-season month is ideal for hiking and biking, and seeing sea lion pups and blue-footed booby chicks.
- November: this transition month between the cool dry season and the warm wet season is ideal for snorkelling, diving and seeing sea lions and penguins.
- December: start of the warm season, December heralds breeding season for frigate birds and sea lions, and peak season crowds as the month wears on.