What’s Happening in the Galapagos in May?

by Jon Jared

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May signals the return of the southeast trade winds and the Humbodlt Current in the Galapagos. The cold waters from Antarctica bring a refreshing change to the islands; the rain of the previous months eases off and a pleasant breeze replaces the heat of the afternoon sun.

A safari holiday during the shoulder month is an experience worth preparing for; the weather, water, wind, and wildlife are at their best. Keep reading for some of the highlights and the places our safaris can take you.

Santa Cruz

Home base for your stay during your time at the camp, Santa Cruz in May is much more than a launching point for trips to other islands. The highlands are green, animals abound, and surprises await around every corner.

Marine iguanas begin to hatch from nests around the island as the temperatures cool off. The young reptiles typically leave their burrows behind, migrating to other areas in search of cliffs and coral that protect themselves from predators.

Our trips on the island take you to regions where there is a chance of seeing these captivating creatures, including the main town of Puerto Ayora! The travel hub is on the migration route of iguanas, and the national park asks that you pay attention to where you step to avoid any accidents.

Surfing

May marks the beginning of the transition from warmer waters to cooler currents; the ocean is still tepid and the waves are starting to pick up. Surfing in these conditions at Tortuga Bay is an adventurous day under the sun. If interested in a lesson, we work with friendly instructors from the island’s surf school.

Isabela

Our Isabela extension during a Galapagos safari holiday puts you in the midst of the largest flamingo population in the islands. West of Puerto Villamil are salt and fresh water lagoons, where fledling chicks are hatching from March to July.

Another popular attraction on the island is Los Tuneles, located an hour west fromPuerto Villemil by boat. The network of crystal-clear pools separated by lava bridges is home to sea turtles, brilliant schools of fish, and giant sea horses. May is a good time to snorkel, as the animals are active, and the water is typically warm and calm.

Bartolome

Later in the month, as the Humboldt Current makes the waters in Bartolome’s Bay cooler, more Galapagos penguins appear around Pinnacle Rock. During our safari trip to the island, you have the chance to snorkel around the famous landmark with penguins, rays, sea turtles, and thousands of quickly-moving fish.

South Plazas

South Plazas Island is close to the camp, making more time for exploring and snorkeling in the welcoming weather. A favorite safari trip for our guests that want a fun day away, it is one place that photographers don’t want to miss.

As getting there is half the adventure, this trip stops at Punta Carrion; a great spot to snorkel en route. The Humboldt Current brings a bevy of marine life that feed off of the nutrients in the water. This is also one of the best places to photograph white-tipped sharks in the Galapagos.

The landscape of South Plaza is vibrant; splashes of red, green, and brown colored flora accentuate black lava outcrops; exploring an adventure in the aesthetics of the island and its creatures.

There is an active sea lion colony on the island; more than a thousand bulls, cows, and their pups gather on the western corner of the island.

North Seymour  

North Seymour in May is the peak of the mating season for blue-footed boobies. The famous residents of the islands are seen in clown-like dances, showing off their blue feet in the hopes of making an impression.

At the end of the same, central path where the boobies nest, is a frigate colony, also in the midst of mating. The males’ magnificent red pouches inflate to basketball-size proportions to attract mates.

Our classic and family safaris combine a visit to Seymour with a stop at Las Bachas Beach on Santa Cruz. The protected cove is a great place to swim and explore. It is a green turtle nesting site; late in the afternoon, if you are lucky, the newborns are sometimes spotted making their way to the sea for food.

To keep current about what to expect on your Galapagos safari holiday, check back for updates, or get in touch with a member of our team through this website or our toll-free number.

 


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