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Part archipelago, part biodiversity showcase, the remarkable volcanic islands of the Galapagos are one of the world’s foremost destinations for wildlife viewing.

You can enjoy a visit to the Galapagos at any time of the year, but seasonal variations will affect what you’re likely to see. We’ve given you a head start with our selection of the best places to visit in the Galapagos islands with a wildlife calendar to help you plan your visit.

Guide to the Galapagos Islands


Best Places to Visit in the Galapagos IslandsBartolome Island Galapagos

Named after Sir Bartholomew James Sulivan, lieutenant aboard Darwin’s famous HMS Beagle, this tiny island is known for its turtles. Galapagos penguins breed here and Green sea turtles nest on the northern beaches.

January: Green sea turtles arrive to lay eggs on the island’s beaches

April: Eggs begin to hatch

December: Mating season


Best Places to Visit in the Galapagos IslandsWaved albatross, Galapagos

The oldest and southernmost island has the only breeding colony in the world for the critically endangered Waved albatross.

April: Huge numbers of Waved albatross on Espanola displaying courtship rituals

May: Waved albatross on Espanola start laying eggs

December: Chicks fledge

San Cristobal

Best Places to Visit in the Galapagos IslandsBlue-footed boobies

The first landing point for Charles Darwin in 1835. Nearby Isla Lobos, reachable by boat, is a big nesting site for Blue-footed boobies.

May: Courtship of Blue-footed boobies begins on North Seymour

July: Blue-footed boobies on Espanola start breeding

October: Blue-footed boobies start raising chicks


Best Places to Visit in the Galapagos IslandsVolcanic landscapes on Isabela

One of the youngest and most volcanically active islands with stark lava fields blackening the landscape.

January: Land iguanas start breeding on the main island of Isabela

April: Eggs hatch on Isabella


Best Places to Visit in the Galapagos IslandsGalapagos penguin, Galapagos islands, Ecuador

Known for volcanic eruptions, Fernandina is one of the richest marine sites. Galapagos penguins thrive in the cold waters.

May-December: Nesting season on Fernandina and Isabela

September: See Galapagos penguins in the water

Santa Cruz

Best Places to Visit in the Galapagos IslandsGiant Galapagos Tortoise, Santa Cruz Highlands

Wild giant tortoises live in the highlands. The Charles Darwin Research Station, dedicated to ecology preservation, is found here.

June: Giant tortoises migrate to the lowlands of Santa Cruz and start nesting

December-April: Hatching season

See our Galapagos Islands trips below.