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Galapagos weather - Islands climate and seasonality effect on wildlife

Charles Darwin opens his chapter on the Galapagos weather and climate by saying: ‘Considering that these islands are placed directly under the equator, the climate is far from being excessively hot’. These are not tropical isles in the conventional sense, but then nothing about the Galapagos is conventional.

Galapagos Islands weather information

Galapagos weather

Very little rain falls here, except during one short season. And while the islands are not excessively hot, neither are they extremely cold. Daytime temperatures can be 30 degrees but rarely go far above that. 

 

The unusual climate is caused by the low temperature of the surrounding water, in turn caused by a cold polar current 

Galapagos Bartolome

called the Humboldt. It is a mirror image of a warmer current in the northern Pacific that gives California its warm climate.

The wind pattern at the equator pushes surface water away at an unusual 45 degree angle, allowing cooler water to rise to the surface. These unusual patterns bathe the islands in cold water that many find too cold for swimming.

Galapagos Islands climate zones

Climate Zones

Galapagos CactusAnother exceptional feature of the Galapagos Islands weather is the existence of small micro-climates and climate zones. The moister windward sides of the islands, combined with increased elevation, leads to their creation. This affects the types of vegetation that grows at certain altitudes and creates distinctly marked zones, as well as low-lying clouds.

Santa Cruz provides an excellent example of how the unusual Galapagos weather affects vegetation. Mangrove swamps give way to low-lying arid land with cacti. A transition zone forms a border between arid are as and the scalesia zone complete with

Galapagos Tree fernstaller trees and leafy canopy. Above this is the shrubby miconia zone and finally the pampa zone with its moist and cold grassland.

 The unique Galapagos weather lends the islands a mysterious aura and atmosphere that matches its equally unusual animal and birdlife. Nothing here is as it should be, which is why it fascinates and delights in equal measure. 

At Voyagers travel we can help you plan your trip at the best time of year according to your interests.

 
 

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