The Galapagos Islands are easily one of the most incredible island archipelagos on the planet. You understand that, we know that, and the huge tortoise most certainly knows that. But lesser-known are the best times to visit the Galapagos Islands.
Are the Galapagos hot in June? When can I see sea turtles nesting? When can I see blue-footed boobies on Isabela and Espanola islands? How many whales does it require to screw in a lightbulb? All of these are concerns anyone who’s planning a journey to the Galapagos has most likely asked themselves.
To help combat ‘when should I travel to the Galapagos Islands?’- related tension, we assembled this extremely helpful infographic. Tell your good friends!
New year in the Galápagos brings sunshine as well as rain, and although you’ll only find a slight daily drizzle it’s practically a permanent fixture from January through to Might. The start of the year is when green turtles lay their eggs and thought about one of the very best times to visit the Galápagos Islands.
Warmer weather signals amour and much of the land birds, sea lions, turtles and tortoises that you’ll find on the Galápagos usage February, March and April as their breeding or nesting season among a blanket of blossoming spring flowers. This is likewise a fun time of year for beach enthusiasts as, although there’s every chance of an everyday shower, sea and land temperatures are at a high.
The colder climes of June through to November send an abundance of plankton and nutrients to the rougher seas off the coast of the Galápagos which provides sea birds, such as albatross and penguins, with food as well as an undersea treat for divers braving the cooler temperature levels.
Although sunlight is not precisely at a premium during July this is the breeding season for blue-footed boobies and short-eared owls, with Genovesa Island supplying the perfect place to observe rituals from a respectful distance.
August and September are still dry however reasonably cool and it’s not up until October that temperature levels start to increase with December starting the start of hatching season for giant tortoises.
When you have actually seen the thrills of the Galapagos it’s time to find Ecuador. Check out these 5 must-visit locations
For lots of travelers, the South American country of Ecuador is associated almost specifically with one bucket-list destination: the Galapagos Islands. And while the volcanic island chain is undeniably fantastic, the excitement to get there typically causes people to skip mainland Ecuador completely. However this is a mistake. Ecuador, small as it is, is really packed with distinct things to do and see, from the jungle to the mountains to straddling the center of the earth.
Here are five locations worth checking out in Ecuador in addition to the Galapagos Islands.
The majority of people associate the Amazon Jungle with Brazil, however the sweeping jungle ecosystem extends into other nations, too– including Ecuador. You’ll find Ecuador’s slice of the Amazon in the nation’s northeastern corner, with the towns of Coca, Tena, and Puyo being popular gateway cities. The Ecuadorian Amazon has plant and animal life that can quickly compare with the Galapagos. In fact, it’s one of the most biodiverse locations throughout the world, and is especially excellent for bird fans.
For a real Amazon experience, you’ll wish to stay at a jungle lodge for at least a night or more. I stayed at the Shiripuno Lodge not far from the port town of Misahualli on the Napo River. The lodge is special in that it’s run totally by ladies from neighboring Shiripuno town, much of whom are from the indigenous Quechua people. This stay with Intrepid included things like jungle walkings, chocolate-making, discovering local plants, and getting a peek into the customs of the Quechua people. If you think this experience sounds cool, take a look at the Ecuador on a Shoestring journey I took a trip on.
For those with a daring streak, you won’t want to skip the town of Baños de Agua Santa (typically just reduced to Baños). This town at 5,971 feet used to be most popular for its mineral-rich hot springs, but today is likewise called the experience capital of Ecuador.
Baños sits on the northern foothills of the Tungurahua volcano (which is exceptionally active and has actually been gushing ash and lava relatively frequently because 2013), and offers up everything from zip-lining to treking to white water rafting. My favorite brief walking depended on the statue of the Virgin del Agua Santa because of the excellent views out over the city and mountains.
There’s a monument just outside Quito called La Mitad Del Mundo (The Middle of the World), which commemorates the Equator that Ecuador is called for. However, due to absence of accurate GPS back in 1736 when the Equator was originally surveyed, the line in fact lies 240 meters from where the current Equator monolith stands.
If you wish to straddle the true 0 degree line, head about an hour northeast of Quito to the town of Cayambe, which sits at the base of a volcano of the same name. Here you’ll find the Quitsato Sundial, another Equator monument that is more or less right on the actual dividing line between hemispheres.
Let’s be sincere, Ecuador’s capital does not have the vibrant reputation of particular other South American cities. It doesn’t have the cooking or cultural popularity of Buenos Aires or Lima, and pick-pocketing and petty theft aren’t unheard of here. But, as long as you take proper safety measures and remain familiar with your environments, there’s no reason why you cannot enjoy a couple of days in Quito.
Quito actually is a remarkable city. It sits at 9,350 feet above water level up in the Andes mountains, making it the highest official capital city worldwide. It’s historic city center is likewise recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the fact that of it being “the best-preserved, least altered historic centre in Latin America.”
Finally, numerous visitors to Ecuador add on a visit to the town of Otavalo in the Andean highlands. Visit, and you’ll know why. Not just is Otavalo surrounded by volcanoes and other great surroundings, however the town is also popular for is market in the main Plaza de Ponchos. Here, you’ll usually find vibrant fabrics and indigenous handicrafts for sale, making terrific gifts for family and friends back house.
Expert tip: if you’re only taking a day trip to Otavalo from Quito, be sure to stop by The Pie Store right on Plaza de Ponchos for a piece of one of their scrumptious homemade pies before you leave.
On the note of leaving, I hope it’s now clear that mainland Ecuador shouldn’t be overlooked of any Galapagos trip! Even if you’re planning a trip to the islands, make sure to enable some extra time to see the rest of the gorgeous nation. You sure won’t regret it.