Enjoying a March Vacation in the Galapagos Islands
Galapagos Weather Averages in March
- Average Max. temp: 88°F (31°C)
- Average Min. temp: 75°F (24°C)
- Average temperture: 82°F (28°C)
- Sea temperature: 77°F (25.0°C)
- Average Monthly Rainfalll: 2 in (5.1 cm)
March is a great time to visit the Galapagos Islands if you like sunny days and warmer waters. Although it is the peak month of the wet season, it is also the best time of the year to reacquaint yourself with Mr. Golden Sun, especially if you are coming from the slushy freeze of a northern hemisphere winter.
Although the dry season doesn’t officially begin until June, the Equinox (on March 21) brings the first signs of the Galapagos dry months. One of the most exciting events is the first group of Waved Albatrosses arriving to mate and nest on Española (Hood) Island. As the month draws to a close, the rains will drizzle into their decrescendo, as the sun reaches its strongest intensity. Along with your camera and swimsuit, be sure to bring plenty of sun block with a high SPF.
Snorkeling and SCUBA Diving in March
March madness takes on a whole new meaning in the Galapagos Islands. Although diving can be trickier on the northern shores of the islands because of stronger surges and more powerful currents, the marine life is astonishingly active during this time of year, making it a great time to snorkel. For more experienced divers, the surges shouldn’t be a problem, and diving is a great way to take advantage of the clear waters and vibrant sea life.
Flourishing Fauna in March
The Galápagos green turtle (Chelonia agassizii) nesting season - With a potential size of up to five feet in diameter, these mammoth reptiles can weigh up to 700 pounds. Take advantage of their nesting season in the warm months to catch a glimpse of this majestic endangered species, as this is one of the only times throughout the year that the female turtle will leave the water.
Land Iguanas (Conolophus subcristatus), nesting season - Like the marine iguana, March is one of the nesting months for the Galapagos Land Iguana. The three species of land iguanas endemic to the Galapagos Islands can be seen throughout the archipelago. The eggs that they have laid in the current and previous months will begin to hatch in April on Isabela Island. Keep an eye out for the female iguanas defending their nests against other females in search of suitable nesting sites.
Marine Iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus), nesting season on Fernandina - The only iguana that lives partially in the sea, this uniquely Galapagos species nests on Fernandina during the month of March. Their vegetarian diet consists primarily of seaweed and algae that they can scrape from rocks with their sharp claws and teeth. They can be seen paddling through the water with their flattened tail or basking in the sun like their land-based cousins.
Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor), nesting on Genovesa Island - Easily identifiable as the soaring black birds with the bright red gular (throat) sac. On Genovesa in March, the Great Frigatebirds will continue to nest. The gobbling sound and green iridescent feathers distinguish the Great species (fregata minor) from the Magnificent species (fregata magnificens).
Waved albatross (Phoebastria irrorata), begin to arrive on Española - The waved albatross is one of the more impressive avian species of the Galapagos and is also the largest species in the Islands. They are unique not only in the fact that they live exclusively on Española (Hood) Island, but also because they choose only one mate for life. In the late part of March, the males will begin their migration back to the Island to await their partner.
Article by Jason Halberstadt