Expedition Journal: Changing Seasons in Galapagos (feat. Mesmerizing Colors)

I love this time of year. May and June in the Galapagos often tend to be my favorite months of the year.  After all, we’ve been living under a merciless sun, with scorching heat, high humidity, and this time of year always brings good news – a gentle breeze, a change of winds, and heavenly clouds. In certain ways, it almost feels as if everybody wakes up from a lethargic state, and thus the fun begins!

The First Hints of Changing Seasons in Galapagos

It all started at Punta Vicente Roca over on Isabela Island. I first heard it from my fellow guides: apparently there had been very high, yet unrecorded, sightings of sunfish. I simply couldn’t believe it. Their stories told of dozens of them leaping out of the water.

And then, one fine day, I finally got to witness it. What a moment! I was sitting down at the bow of our ship with a warm cup of coffee in my hands, enjoying the early morning light of this time of the year, when all of the sudden, these odd-looking fish started jumping out of the water in tandem. They were remarkably excited, almost as if they were celebrating the arrival of the cooler waters. In just a matter of two weeks, the surface water temperature dropped by 5 °F (around 3 °C); and for this type of fish, it can only mean one thing – food. When it comes to the natural world of animals, there is probably nothing more important to rejoice about than the sudden availability of food. Food means movement, food means opportunity, food means offspring…

The Turning of the Seasons

Witness the marvelous colors of the Galapagos flora with Santa Cruz II Cruise!


The Underwater Biodiversity Of Galapagos.
Galapagos Is Well Known As A Must-Visit Destination For Scuba Divers.

Seasons in the Galapagos are quite easy to predict. “The Enchanted Islands” is what early seafarers used to call them, oftentimes describing them as islands that “appear and disappear…” And this is all because of the presence of the inversion layer. Warm, tropical equatorial air meets evaporating, cooler sub-Antarctic waters that reach the Galapagos Islands by means of the Humboldt Current. When you start seeing foggy mornings, it means that the change will happen at any moment. From December to May, the southeast trade winds weaken, letting the warmer northerly winds come in.  These bring the rain, the heat, and the humidity, and things often “heat up” on land in terms of animal activity. From May all the way until December, a different Galapagos opens up with cooler air, cool waters, and lots of underwater nutrients. Marine life flourishes. Humpback whales begin popping up with their babies in tow, blue whales cruise through, and albatrosses begin to fly back out to sea.

The Colors of the Rainbow

The Colorful Flora Of South Plaza Island
A Sesuvium Red Carpet Is One Of The Features Of South Plaza Island

Colors, both above land and underwater, end up being one of the most beautiful features during this time of changing seasons in Galapagos. Myriads of colorful fish will swarm around you when snorkeling. And we won’t deny that the water can be quite “invigorating” when you first jump in (which is why we recommend wearing a wetsuit, which you can rent aboard the Santa Cruz II if need be). After a few seconds of being the water, however, you simply and rather suddenly forget about the water temperature, especially when you start bumping into mindless sea turtles, free-diving through schools of blue-striped snappers or trying to catch up with penguins. On land, plants let their carotenoid pigments take over, and here and there it looks as if there were a red cushiony carpet all over the place. Towards the end of the day, Palo Santo trees that recently dropped their leaves are beginning to expose their greyish-white bark, turning into kaleidoscopes as they reflect the rays of sunlight that pour in at the end of the day; all of it in rainbow shades of pink, purple, and orange…

Bartolome Island Becomes Green With The Hot Season.
The Lush Green Will Soon Arrive On The Islands!

Updated:May 9, 2023

Published:June 11, 2018


Machu Picchu & Galapagos Islands Tour 2024 Package: 12 days / Quito, Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu / From USD 9,598 per person



Floreana Galapagos Islands Flamingo

Galapagos Experience Testimonial

I’m Jill Jhonsen. I’m from Seattle, Washington, United States. My expectations before I got here, I genuinely wasn’t sure what the trip was going to be.



Condé Nast Traveler ONLINE

This small, secret rooftop of the restored Casa Gangotena mansion peers over Plaza San Francisco in the center of Quito’s colonial Old Town, the world’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. Order a Cedrón Spritz, a refreshing mix of rum, lemon, sparkling wine, and fresh lemon verbena (cedrón) syrup and leaf, then revel in the mesmerizing, real-time montage of daily life in Ecuador’s capital as it parades past.

National Geographic Traveller

A Font of information, Klaus has spent decades in the field, leading tours in the Amazon, Andes and Galapagos Islands. He hung up his guiding boots a few years back and now creates itineraries for the tour operator, Metropolitan Touring. Adrift in the Pacific Ocean, hundreds of miles from mainland South America, Galapagos is one of the most biodiverse locales on Earth.

Cruise Critic

Santa Cruz II is a replacement for the much-loved Santa Cruz, which plied the waters of the Galapagos for 36 years. It is not a new ship; it was built in 2002 and sailed as Mare Australis under the Australis cruise brand, operating expedition cruises around Cape Horn and to Antarctica. Metropolitan Touring bought the ship in 2015 and completely refurbished it, launching it as Santa Cruz II in October 2015.

Telegraph Ultra Travel: 50 Greatest Hotels in the World

When this modern, minimalist, glass-walled jungle lodge opened in 2012, it changed the accommodation game in South America. Arquitect Alfredo Ribadeneira’s “protective cocoon” would impress in a modern city; in the depths of an Andean cloudforest, it is wild, audacious and beautiful. Though only 70 miles from Quito, Maspi Lodge sits in splendid isolation, perched on a cliff at the end of an unsealed road.

Terms and Conditions

Itinerario de 5 días / 4 noches: Basado en la tarifa regular (4214 USD + impuestos por persona)
Itinerario de 7 días / 6 noches: Basado en la tarifa regular (5672 USD + impuestos por persona)
No reembolsable. Aplica únicamente para residentes ecuatorianos en nuevas reservas directas realizadas, hasta el 30 de junio del 2022, con un ejecutivo de ventas del hotel. Válido para estadías hasta el 31 de agosto de 2022. No puede ser combinada con otros descuentos, promociones u ofertas. El descuento no aplica para otros servicios. El precio no incluye recargo de combustible de $20 por noche de crucero.

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