The Waves and Seasons

Galapagos and mainland Ecuador only have two seasons; a hot and humid one during the months of January to May (best time to come 2 surf). Another cool and drier from June to December (windier but we also get waves!).

Photo Ricardo May-10


Waves seasons are equal in both areas (mainland & islands), but Galapagos has more consistency, quality and power conditions. Also, Galapagos water temperatures are always cooler than mainland. To know more about mainland Ecuador & Galapagos surf forecasts and conditions, check links

Photo Ricardo 2009

Galapagos can have world class waves and conditions, especially on northern swell season, December to March (hot season) when north to northwest swells arrive. On April thru' June is best for SouthWest swells and conditions still good. Rest of year is windier and cooler waters but still waves keep coming from South. But of course, donít take my word, cause I am over 50 rounds around the sun. Just come see for yourself and/OR check out: SURFER MAG AGT/97 on Galapagos. iF WANT TO CHECK VIDEOS ON GALAPAGOS & ECUADOR WAVES (ALTHOUGH NOT SHOWING REALLY SIZE) TYPE in youtube "GALAPAGOS & ECUADOR SURF VIDEOS" . CHECK "ECUADOR SURF PELADO", "ECUADOR SURF TRIP 2004" AND "SURFING BIG WAVES IN GALAPAGOS"

Photo: Ricardo Nuñez -Playas "Pelado"

So, best time to come surfing mainland Ecuador & islands is hot season, but that does not mean there is no good waves during other season or rest of year. Southern swells come year round, but are usually stronger from May to October or the Southern Hemisphere winter. So you can surf Galapagos & Ecuador, year round. And with good conditions also. Especially at Galapagos, you can head for San Cristobal Island and find good to excellent surf all year at walking distance. Average size at Galapagos: 4-8+ up to 15 at certain areas. Average size at Mainland Ecuador: 3-6+ up to 10+ at certain areas.

Photo Ricardo Nuñez- Feb 2004 "Montanita"

At Galapagos, waves jack up very quick, cause of radical volcanic bottom change (depth). Similar to Hawaii. Difference is that we donít have much real coral reefs, just volcanic rock reefs and bottoms. And swells are not that fast as Hawaii.


Galapagos surface water temps can be from 20-22 Celsius (Cool season) to 22-24C(hot season) to 24-26+C(El Niño). But, anytime can get temperate to subtemperate waters even in the so-called Hot season (La Niña, upwelling currents, etc.)

Photo Ricardo Nuñez (Jan-03)

So, bring a spring wetsuit on Hot Season or full to semi full 3mm on Cool Season just in case, lycra, etc., cause we have upwelling currents anytime also. Winds average 8-16 kts. to make it chilly especially early a.m. surf. Mainland warmer couple degrees up.

Photo Ricardo 2007 Manabi

For northern swells come end of December-March, for south to s.west, west swells: April-June. Rest of year, basically only south to Southwest swells and more windy and cooler.

Photo Ricardo Nuñez 2004 Manabi

But Remember: This is the equatorial south pacific, so sometimes there could be flat days. But, if you come with an good traveling attitude you will sure have a great time enjoying wildlife, diving, even without waves, etc. Although, I can say surfable wave occurrence is high during best seasons.

Photo Woody Woodworth 2004 "Cañon" Galapagos