Weather in the Galapagos in March

written by Joanne Owen

updated 21.02.2024

Offering unique wildlife wonders and unforgettable landscapes, the Galapagos Islands are a bucket-list-level destination for travellers seeking something rather special. If you’re not sure when to visit this Ecuadorian wonder, read on to find out about the weather in the Galapagos in March, along with tips on what to do and see, and inspirational itinerary suggestions.

Is March a good time to visit the Galapagos Islands?

While there’s not really a bad time to visit the Galapagos Islands, many might argue that March is one of the best months to visit, depending on what you most to see and do.

When it comes to the Galapagos weather in March, though this month is the peak of the rainy season around these parts, it rarely rains all day. Precipitation is intermittent and typically sees morning and early afternoon showers give way to sunshine. 

The rain gives the landscapes a lusher quality — all the better if you plan to hike and take plenty of dramatic photos. 

To minimise your chance of rain, visit at the end of March, when the rainy season starts to tail off. 

March is also one of the hottest times to visit the Galapagos, with warm waters and great visibility offering ideal snorkelling conditions.

While every month of the year in the Galapagos will reward wildlife-lovers, being mating season for many animals, March is an especially interesting time to visit. We share more detail on March’s wildlife-watching opportunities below. 

For more Galapagos inspiration, talk to our local experts, and browse our customisable Ecuador itineraries.

Bartolome Island, Galapagos, Ecuador. Bartolome Island is a volcanic islet in the Galapagos Islands with an amazing viewpoint at the top © Seumas Christie-Johnston/Shutterstock

The Galapagos weather in March is warm with showers. Bartolome Island © Seumas Christie-Johnston/Shutterstock

Average temperatures in the Galapagos Islands in March

March is one of the warmest months to visit the Galapagos Islands, with its average maximum air temperature reaching 31°C / 88°F, and an average minimum of 24°C / 75°F.

As for the sea, expect temperatures to be in the range of 74-76°C / 23-24°C. Meanwhile, the average monthly rainfall is two inches.

All in all, the Galapagos weather in March means warm-to-hot air temperatures and rain showers, which are usually pretty quickly to come and go.

Still undecided about where to travel? Read up on the best places to visit in March.

isabela-island-galapagos-shutterstock_584128561

isabela Island, Galapagos © Shutterstock

What about crowds and costs?

Being at the peak of the rainy season, March tends to see smaller crowds. It’s certainly a lot quieter and cheaper than if you were to visit in December, at the height of the peak season.

As such, it can be a good time to visit to try to find a bit of a bargain, bearing in mind that the Galapagos isn’t exactly a budget-friendly destination.

Also note that when Easter falls in March, you can expect a surge in crowds and prices.

Still wondering when to visit? Read our guide to the best time to visit Ecuador.

Galapagos iguana

Galapagos iguana © Shutterstock

Ready for your dream trip to Ecuador in March?

If you’re ready to explore Ecuador and the Galapagos in March, take inspiration from our itineraries before booking your trip. 

Fully customisable, and crafted in conjunction with a local expert, they take the hassle out of planning, leave you ready to make the most of your adventure. 

Here are a few sample itineraries to kickstart your trip:

  • 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 wildife 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.

blue-footed-booby-Galapagos-Islands-Ecuador-shutterstock_99808211

Blue-footed booby, Galapagos Islands © Shutterstock

What to do in the Galapagos Islands in March

Wildlife-lovers and active types planning to visit the Galapagos Islands in March have much to look forward to. Here are some highlights. 

Snorkel sublime seas in the company of penguins

With high sea temperatures, and underwater visibility of around 10-30m, March is a good month to snorkel in the Galapagos.

Oh, and you also stand a good chance of seeing Galapagos penguins in the water at this time.

Note that sea surges can make diving trickier at this time of year — currents can be strong, especially along the northern shores. Check with local dive operators for detail on conditions. 

Spot turtles

If you visit the Galapagos in March, you might just get to witness the magical sight of female green turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs.

At the same time, you could also see giant tortoise babies hatch — they’re further along in their cycle than their smaller, greener cousins.

See nesting iguanas

In March, both marine iguanas and land iguanas start to nest. 

Just be aware that land iguanas can become aggressive as they defend their nest territory from other females. 

Be captivated by countless birds

March also sees several bird species nest. For example, head to Genovesa Island to see great frigate birds in action.

At the same time, penguins, flightless cormorants and greater flamingos also shift to nesting mode.

Another avian highlight of March is the waved albatross’ return to the region. That said, though they begin arriving on Espanola in March, there’s no guarantee you’ll see one this year in the early. 

So, if seeing the waved albatross is top of your list, you’d be better of waiting a few months. 

turtle-galapagos-islands-ecuador-shutterstock_682808902

Giant tortoise, Galapagos Islands © Shutterstock

Visit the Galapagos Islands in other months

Before booking your trip, discover what to expect of the Galapagos weather 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.
Joanne Owen

written by Joanne Owen

updated 21.02.2024

Joanne is a Pembrokeshire-born writer with a passion for the nature, cultures and histories of the Caribbean region, especially Dominica. Also passionate about inspiring a love of adventure in young people, she’s the author of several books for children and young adults, hosts international writing workshops, and has written articles on the Caribbean and inspirational community initiatives for Rough Guides. Follow her @JoanneOwen on Twitter and @joanneowenwrites on Instagram.

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