December in the Galapagos Islands

December officially marks the start of the warm season in Galapagos as the trade winds drop and the cold water currents from the south ease. This means the air and water temperatures start to rise.

The change of the season marks the both start and the end of the mating season for much of the fauna of Galapagos. December is a month that enjoys great weather, with clear blue skies, and very little wind with some short bursts of rain, which means many of the plants start budding and in many areas Galapagos becomes green again.

Giant Tortoise eggs begin to hatch in the wild this month which lasts until April, Green Sea Turtles become more abundant and visible as their mating activity reaches a peak this month and they remain closer to their breeding beaches. This month also sees most of the Waved Albatross chicks on Espanola make their maiden flight.


  • Air temperature daily high: 26 °C (79°F)
  • Air temperature daily low: 22 °C (71.6°F)
  • Average Rainfall: 30.5 mm (1.2 inches) (mainly in the highlands)
  • Average Water Temperature: 23 °C (73.4°F)
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  • Waved Albatross chicks leave the nest and take their maiden flight
  • Giant Tortoises seen in large numbers in highlands of Santa Cruz
  • Green Sea Turtles Mating
  • Hatching of Giant Tortoise eggs in the wild
  • Marine Iguanas and Land Iguanas begin mating
  • Galapagos Sea Lions reach the end of the breeding season which means a lot of pups of different ages in the beaches.
  • Fur Seals breeding
  • Dolphins and whales present throughout the year in the waters around Galapagos, but numbers vary greatly from year to year.
  • Red-footed Boobies and Nazca Boobies increase their courting and nesting activity in the colonies.
  • Magnificent Frigatebirds breeding (year-round on North Seymour Island only)
  • Flightless Cormorants, Greater Flamingos and Galapagos Penguins year-round, depending on food supply you will see breeding and nesting