With warmer weather come hotter events throughout the Galapagos. Big things are happening across the archipelago this month, and it’s worth mentioning a couple of the best things to try and get a glimpse of in March. Up ahead we invite you to start building your expectations for March. Read on for more news of the happenings this month!
Climate Expectations for March
Daytime: 31 ºC (88 ºF) / Nighttime: 23 ºC (74 ºF)
First things first: March is hot season in the Galapagos, which means you can expect some lush vegetation (on the islands that have any) and occasional showers to cool off with. A scorching sun is very common, so be sure to lather on as much sunscreen as you can and stay hydrated.
Water temperatures are relatively warm throughout this time as well (25 °C/77 °F) and visibility tends to be pretty phenomenal as well. Expect some fantastic snorkelling underwater in Galapagos or beautiful views of the marine life from our glass-bottom boat.
Four creatures that form part of the Galapagos Big15 are on the lookout for the right spot and you will be able to see them during your Galapagos Cruise. Here are some interesting facts about the following creatures that will give you a more complete understanding of the Galapagos fauna that will be present.
On Land – Ready to nest
It’s nesting season in Galapagos and the island’s reptiles are moving around the rocky shores to find the most convenient and safest spot to lay their eggs. Shelter from weather and protection from potential predators are key factors when looking for an appropriate nesting area.
Marine iguanas, these black little dinosaurs or “imps of darkness”, as Charles Darwin called them, are one of the most amazing species in the archipelago. Their adaptation throughout many generations made it possible for it to transform from a land iguana to a marine one that later, due to its ability to swim, was able to populate all the other islands of the archipelago. They are unique to the Galapagos, and therefore, a must-see during your trip.
Land iguanas, cousins of the marine iguanas, are also nesting during the month of March. Female land iguanas can bury up to 20 eggs in burrows, where they wait patiently until they hatch. Land iguanas feed mostly on succulents, therefore being directly responsible for the spread of these plants across the land they inhabit. Succulents are rich in water, making it possible for them to survive for a long time without rainfall.
Finally, the emblematic reptile of the islands, the Galapagos giant tortoise, is emerging from its shell. They are the islands’ dominant plant eater and even though they were hunted almost to extinction by whalers during the 19th century, their populations are now recovering thanks to breeding programs, like the ones run by the Charles Darwin Research Station.
In the Air – Ready To Mate
Probably the biggest thing happening in the aviary realm is the iconic (and unmissable) courtship display of the frigatebirds! These scenes unfolds on San Cristobal and Genovesa islands.
Both great and magnificent frigate birds are large black birds. The males are identifiable by the iconic, red leathery pouch that they have on their throats. It takes around a half hour for these sacks to inflate.
Males inflate this pouch as a courtship display intended to attract the female. Should the male be fortunate enough to be selected amongst a crowd of other males doing the same, the female will fly down and partake in the mating ritual with that specific one.
In this video you can see how the courting process occurs between female and male frigates: