Galapagos in November: Mild Temperatures and Low Tourist Traffic

Los Tuneles tour on Galapagos Islands (Isabela Island)

November in the Galapagos Islands is a great month for unusual water sports and sightseeing because of the mild temperatures and low tourist traffic. As a result, there are so many things to do.

Snorkeling through volcanic tunnels is fun at Los Tuneles, where you can swim with joyful seal and sea lion pups as they go into the ocean for the first time or spot sea horses.

Spotting sea horse during Los Tuneles Cabo Rosa Galapagos

Visit Fernandina Island to swim with penguins and marine iguanas, explore Sullivan Bay’s expanses of pahoehoe lava flows, and search for a number of distinct breeding bird species.

Here is all the information you need about visiting the Galapagos Islands in November to assist you in making your choice.

Galapagos in November: A Quick Glance

El Junco Lagoon Galapagos panoramic view

  • Air temperature: 21-26°C / 70-79°F
  • Sea temperature:  23-24°C / 23-24°F
  • Average rainfall: 0.5cm / 1.3in
  • Rain: Intermittent rain showers

You may expect either a bright or cloudy sky. In conclusion, if you enjoy lovely dry weather that is warm but not too hot, November may be the best month to visit the Galapagos. You might want to pack a thick fleece for sailing throughout the day, as it can become a little cool on deck.

Galapagos in November: Wildlife 

Penguins during Los Tuneles Tour on Isabella Island, Galapagos

With adorable pups in the nurseries and learning to swim in the shallows, November is a fantastic time to study sea lions. The pups are lively little creatures, but remember that getting too near might frighten their protective mother.

There is a ton of action to look forward to for bird watchers as well. While Brown Noddy Terns and Storm Petrels are busy starting their mating season, Boobies (blue-footed, red-footed, and Nazca) are all nesting with small chicks.

Be on the lookout for the rare practice of Siblicide in the instance of Nazca booby chicks. Simply said, siblings compete for survival of the fittest.

Galapagos in November: Tourist Crowds

Walking on the beach of Tortuga Bay

November is often a peaceful month, especially towards the middle. On the Galapagos Islands, it is regarded as the low season, with a decline in total visitation.

The first week of November can be busy and crowded due to All Souls Day events. On the other hand, Thanksgiving comes at the end of the month, so you may expect the islands to be also bustling at the end of the month. Thanksgiving attracts visitors from the United States and Canada, but All Souls Day is recognized across South America and attracts people from the region’s neighbors.

In the middle of the month, travel, lodging, and tour costs are generally low, giving you an excellent opportunity to score a bargain. If you choose to travel around the holidays, you should reserve your lodging, airline tickets, and any cruises long in advance because they tend to grow busier. Overall, a trip to the Galapagos Islands in November should be tranquil and relaxing.

Galapagos in November: Weather

As it transitions into winter, the Galapagos Islands see wonderful weather in November with average highs of 79°F/26°C. If you like a more temperate temperature without a lot of heat and humidity, November is the ideal time to go because it is part of the dry season and the sky is often sunny.

It’s a perfect time to go swimming because the islands are no longer influenced by the Humboldt Current and the winds have died down significantly.

Consider checking the weather forecast and learning the likelihood of an El Niño event, which is a warm ocean current that can occasionally impact the islands and cause higher temperatures and more rainfall.

Avoid traveling when the current is strong since many events are postponed and it is more challenging to see the islands.

Galapagos in November: Activities

Las Grietas Water

You can do the same activities as the rest of the year in the Galapagos Islands in November. However, November is a great month for water-based activities due to the Humboldt current. 

The Humboldt current is driving a lot of nutrients into the water around the islands. This condition indicates that there are a lot of marine species surrounding the islands at this time, which is wonderful for snorkeling and diving since marine wildlife attracts other creatures and birds to the region as well.

The disadvantage is that the water clarity isn’t as fantastic as it might be, but it’s still possible to enjoy snorkeling and diving at this time. However, because the water is colder than during other times of the year, you may wish to pack a wetsuit if you intend to snorkel.

Bottom Line

Marine life during Los Tuneles tour, Galapagos

The Galapagos Islands are especially beautiful in November. The weather remains nice and dry, with low humidity and agreeable temperatures. There’s also enough wildlife action to keep tourists entertained, with the most notable attraction being the playful sea lion puppies. The seasons in the Galapagos are about to shift around December or January, so this is the last month of calm before the rains arrive and the islands morph once more.

About the author

Oleg Galeev

I'm Oleg, and together with my wife, we've explored Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, journeying through more than 20 cities (Quito, Cuenca, Banos, Tena, Puyo, Guayaquil, Riobamba, Otavalo, Mindo and more) and nearly every island in the Galapagos (including iconic ones such as Bartolome Island, San Cristobal Island, Isabela Island, Santa Cruz Island and more). In this blog, I give you my real thoughts about each place we visited. This info can help anyone planning a trip to the Galapagos Islands or mainland Ecuador. I'm just a traveler, not a tour company, so I'm not trying to sell anything. That means I'll tell you the truth—both the good and the bad — about traveling in Ecuador based on what we experienced.

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