Nazca Booby with chick and egg, Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Islands: What Happens in February

In February, the Galapagos Islands are a birdwatcher’s Eden. Many land species are mating and nesting, and migrant birds are still visiting the isles’ beaches. Snorkeling is excellent.

On Land
  • Marine and land iguanas are continuing to nest. You’ll easily see this on Santa Cruz Island as you visit the Charles Darwin Research Station or Tortuga Bay.
  • Giant tortoise eggs are hatching in the wild.
At Sea
  • Green sea turtles are nesting.
In the Air
  • White-cheeked pintail ducks are beginning their mating season.
  • The breeding and nesting season for the beautiful Galapagos dove is reaching its peak.
  • Out on Española Island, Nazca (masked) boobies are ending their mating season.
  • On the central and southern islands, flocks of majestic Red-billed tropic birds are sailing the skies.
  • On the southern island of Floreana, Great flamingos are nesting.
  • Galapagos penguins are migrating from Bartholomé Island to Isabela and Fernandina, in search of cooler waters.
  • Migrant shore birds continue to visit the beaches and mangroves of the Galapagos Islands.
  • The rare, endemic lava heron is nesting.
Humans
  • 12 February is the Galapagos Islands’ birthday, marking the anniversary of when it became part of Ecuador in 1832. All of the cities will have parades.
  • Many years, Pre-Lenten Carnaval, which ends on Ash Wednesday, occurs in February. (See future dates of Ash Wednesday here.) Galapagos is a popular destination for vacationing Ecuadorians at this time. Expect higher prices and more sightings of Homo sapiens.
Climate

The Galapagos Islands feel more like a tropical paradise, with warmer land and sea temperatures. These conditions continue until June.

  • Most of the day (up to 7.5 hours) is clear, with strong sun. Be sure to use sunscreen or other solar protection.
  • It is delightfully warm in the Galapagos in February, with air temperatures reaching a high of 30ºC (86ºF). Evenings are cool (23 -24ºC / 74 – 75ºF).
  • The sea temperature reaches its height, and remains constant until April. It’ll be a refreshing 24 – 25ºC (76 – 77ºF). Underwater visibility is excellent.

 

Have you visited the Galapagos islands in February? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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Photo credit: Adam Tr