The Galapagos Islands are open to visitors and people are increasingly heading back to enjoy cruises, hotel-based packages and observe the incredible wildlife. If you’re thinking of visiting the archipelago, the fall can be a really great time to visit. There are some distinct advantages to booking your Galapagos Islands trip for the fall. If you’re wondering if fall is the best time to go, why not read on to find out more. Here we will explain what you’ll be likely to see and do, what the weather is like and how busy the islands are.
The main reason that visitors come to the Galapagos Islands is for the wildlife, so it is helpful to understand the fall highlights of animal and bird life.
A really special highlight in the early fall is that if you are lucky you might get to see dolphins or humpback whales. You have to go early in fall to have a chance to see these creatures as they head back to cooler waters later on in September.
The fall is also a great time for sea lion activity. Early in the fall you may observe males becoming somewhat more aggressive with other males, and they sometimes get into fights over breeding opportunities. During October and November, you have a good chance of seeing sea lion pups. By November in particular the pups may be starting to head into the water. Do take care around the pups. While they are very cute, their parents can be quite protective. Fur seals also breed during the fall period, and again, later on in fall you might get to see their pups.
Galapagos is great in fall for birdlife too. The Galapagos penguin is especially active in September. Early in the fall, blue footed boobies can be seen nesting, as can the waved albatross. Mid-fall you have a good chance of seeing blue footed booby chicks. The red footed booby, Nazca booby, frigate birds and flamingos are often nesting later on in fall.
In the earlier months of the fall (September, October) you may experience cooler weather than during other months of the year. Moving into November, the weather starts to warm up again somewhat, though it is still very pleasant. If you decide to travel to the Galapagos during these months you may wish to bring with you some warmer items to wear, not just for in the evening but also for daytime sailing. The seas are also relatively cool during these months.
The fall is part of the dry season in the Galapagos Islands. You will be likely to experience very little rain if you take a trip during this period. You may get some drizzle, but it will mostly be dry.
Galapagos skies will typically be either sunny or overcast during the fall months. This provides a great backdrop for some stunning photographs!
In general, the fall months are still pleasantly warm without feeling too hot at any point – great for visitors that enjoy mild weather and do not like the heat much.
Turning to activities in the Galapagos Islands in the fall, these are much the same as the rest of the year around. You should be able to do everything during fall that you can do during the summer, winter or spring.
Snorkeling and swimming can be excellent at this time of year, as the waters are still teeming with nutrients brought by the Humboldt current. This means that there is likely to be a lot of activity going on in the waters to observe. You may want to wear a wetsuit for snorkeling as the sea can feel rather chilly. Turtles and penguins tend to be at their most active in the sea during the fall.
This is a good time of year for trail walking on the islands and for hiking. This is because the somewhat cooler, dry weather makes walking very tolerable during these months.
One activity that the fall is considered especially good for is photography. October is often thought to be the best month for this. The light can often be really special for photographs during this month. There are also great sunrises to photograph at this time of the year as well, especially in the western isles.
After the summer peak of visitors, the Galapagos Islands are quieter during the fall. That’s not to say that there aren’t still a lot of visitors, but it is significantly quieter. What this means for booking is that demand is somewhat lower, and you might find a good deal either on a Galapagos Islands cruise or on a land-based trip.
There are a couple of periods over fall when the archipelago does tend to get busier with tourists. Of note is that there are two public holidays in Ecuador at the start of November (2nd and 3rd of the month) when the islands may be busier. Another time that may be busy during fall is over the Thanksgiving period when there is a surge of tourists from the USA. If you’d prefer to go at a quieter time, then just avoid these two periods and you should be fine.
The fall is one of the best times of year to travel to the Galapagos as there are fewer visitors, so less demand, lower prices and better bargains available. If you steer away from the busy spells during this period you should be able to get a decent deal, especially if you book ahead of time.
We at Ecuador and Galapagos Insiders are experts in Galapagos travel. We can identify the cruise or land-based Galapagos trip that best meets your needs and preferences. Why not contact us today to see how we can help you organize the most exciting adventure of your life!