Mainland Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands are on two different time zones. Time on the mainland is Eastern Standard Time (GMT-5). Time in the Galapagos Islands is Central Standard Time (GMT-6). Ecuador does not adjust for daylight savings time.
The great weather of the Galapagos Islands makes them a fantastic destination for travel year-round. Every month of the year is a good time to enjoy a tour of the region. The Galapagos Islands have a subtropical climate that is almost completely determined by sea currents. Although most believe the Galapagos to be a very hot destination, the cool water currents in the area keep the climate more temperate year-round. The islands’ equatorial location ensures twelve hours of sunlight daily, all year long. The mild variations in weather from month to month result in an overall climate of warm days, cool nights and low humidity. Anytime is a great time to travel to the Galapagos; while visiting one can expect to see plenty of sunshine, blue skies and a possible chance of light rain.
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There are two seasons in the Galapagos:
The hot or rainy season arrives with the coming of the warm Panama current. The warmest months are December through June with temperatures ranging from 72-90°F (22-32°C), with February and March being the hottest and sunniest. The sea is at its warmest (in the 70°F range) and tends to be calmer during this time. Although the islands receive slightly more rainfall during these months, most of the lower elevations remain quite arid. Expect blue skies and sunshine and with a chance of short afternoon showers.
July to November is the dry or "garua" season, which begins with the arrival of cold ocean currents. One can expect cooler temperatures and a light mist in the morning during these months. The skies are also a bit cloudier and air temperatures a bit cooler, in the range of 60-75°F (15-24°C). The garua is a mist that forms in the highlands, providing moisture and usually tapering off by midday, leaving skies slightly overcast or sunny for the afternoon. The air temperature can be slightly lower, but the Equator is still a warm place to visit. During this time of year a cold ocean current from the south, called the Antarctic Humboldt current, causes the water temperature to drop slightly, ranging from 60°F- 72°F (15-22°C).
Today's currency of Ecuador is the US Dollar. Ecuador has local coins for 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents, which are equivalent to the American coins; however, these are only accepted in Ecuador. US coins, of course, are accepted as well.
US Dollars are universally accepted in hotels, restaurants, stores, etc. And they are accepted in the Galapagos Islands as well.
Credit Cards, including American Express, Diner's Club, Visa and Master Card, are accepted by larger businesses. Visa and Master Card are considered different cards and are not accepted interchangeably. Master Card is the more frequently accepted of the two.
Some businesses add a processing fee to transactions paid by credit card. It is best to ask if your card is accepted and the total amount of the transaction before making a purchase. The same applies to Traveler's Checks. We strongly recommend American Express Traveler's Checks as you will be able to cash these in most of the country. Visa Traveler's Checks are only accepted in a few locations.