Galapagos Activities in February
The best way to truly immerse yourself in the Galapagos Islands is to take part in some of the many great activities that are available. Hikes to visitor spots are usually in the mornings as the afternoons commonly heat up — a perfect time for snorkeling. The warm season is perfect for underwater exploration like snorkeling, or SCUBA diving for the more advanced explorers.
For those seeking to enjoy the islands above the water, there are plenty of options for that as well. Nature lovers can rejoice in the unique endemic species of flora and fauna all over the island. You can get to know the islands’ residents even better by kayaking through the coves and along the shores or on one of the many hikes or walks offered by various guide companies.
Get to know the flora and fauna of the warm season
Whether you’re a bird-lover, underwater fanatic or a landlubber, the wildlife in February is as vibrant as ever. The entire warm season is notable for the avian mating and nesting on the islands. And February lays claim to the nesting of Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas), Land Iguanas (Conolophus subcristatus), and Marine Iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus). Galapagos Giant Tortoises also lay their eggs during this month.
Land & sea animals
The Galapagos green sea turtle (Chelonia agassizii), nesting season – Although this massive sea turtle spends almost all of its life in the ocean, during the winter months the females will come ashore to nest and lay their eggs. The Galapagos green sea turtle is a close relative of the Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas), is the largest of the Green Turtles weighing up to 400 pounds, and is the only Green Turtle to nest in the Galapagos.
Land Iguanas (Conolophus subcristatus), nesting season – The Galapagos Land Iguana is a common site on many of the islands, most often seen basking in the sun. They can grow to be over three feet long and weigh over 30 pounds. Until the early 2000s, the yellow/green species were believed to be the only land iguana species in the Galapagos until the discovery of the pink and black land iguana species endemic only on Wolf Volcano and Isabela Island.
Marine Iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus), nesting season – This is the only lizard that splits its time between the land and sea. Since it primarily lives on land, February is a great month to scout these out on the Galapagos, as they begin to nest. Their population in the archipelago is well over 200,000 and can be found on nearly any island. When they are not on land, they are in the ocean eating seaweed.
The Galapagos Giant Tortoise (Geochelone nigra), lays eggs- Capable of growing to a whopping 800 pounds, the Galapagos Giant Tortoise is a site to see. With shells over five feet long, these land giants are a unique part of the Galapagos experience. In fact, early Spanish explorers said these giant shells reminded them of saddles, and therefore named the islands after a popular style of Spanish saddle at the time, the “Galapago.” In February, they are a species of interest because this is a month during which they nest.
Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor), Magnificent Frigatebirds (Fregata magnificens), nesting – The frigatebirds are best known for their giant wingspan which can reach close to three yards in length; compared to their body size, they have the largest proportionate wingspan among all bird species. The male frigatebirds have a large, red throat pouch that they inflate during mating to attract the females.
Greater Flamingoes (Phoenicopterus roseus), breeding and nesting – These aren’t your neighbors lawn flamingoes, they’re the real deal. The Greater Flamingo of the Galapagos can grow to be over three feet tall. Their mainly crustacean diet is responsible for their bright pink colors. For their own safety, flamingoes are a social bird and stay in large flocks.
Galapagos Dove (Zenaida galapagoensis), nesting – Found strictly in the Galapagos, this dove’s nesting season reaches its peak during the winter months. It is brown in color and builds its nests on the ground, in rock cavities or in the abandoned nests of the Galapagos Mockingbird.