Knowing when to visit the Galapagos Islands can be a real challenge for some. Visitors have questions about November in Galapagos for this very reason. They want to know about the weather in Galapagos in November, the wildlife they might see in the archipelago during this month, and about activities they might be able to enjoy in the islands at this time. Many visitors also want to know if November is a month for getting a great deal on a Galapagos Islands Cruise or Galapagos land-based option.
In reality, apart from the point about getting a good deal on a cruise, it does not really matter what time you visit the islands. Each month has its own special highlights that you might get to see. The activities are much the same most of the year around, and you can always visit the Galapagos visitor sites and trails too. However, to help you make your decision, here is everything you need to know about visiting the Galapagos Islands in November.
If you are considering visiting the Galapagos Islands in November, you can expect very pleasant weather. The average high temperature is 79 degrees Fahrenheit (26 degrees Celsius) and the average lowest temperature is 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius). The sea temperature is likely to be around 73 degrees Fahrenheit or 23 degrees Celsius. In fact, while colder than some other months, the sea temperature is starting to warm up during this month. It is still the dry season in the Galapagos Islands in November, so you will not experience much rain. In fact the average rainfall in this month is 0.5 inches or 1.3 centimeters. You can expect skies that are either sunny or overcast. In short, if you prefer nice dry weather that is warm, but not too hot then November could be just the month for your Galapagos visit. You might want to bring a warm fleece for sailing time during the day, as it could feel a bit chilly on deck during these times. Follow this link for more on Galapagos weather throughout the year.
A Galapagos wildlife highlight in November is that you may get to see sea lion pups starting to play in the water. The sea lions are born in August, but they start really venturing into the sea by November. The pups are particularly playful, and they enjoy playing with the humans who are snorkeling in the water as they are very curious. This can be a fabulous, once in a lifetime experience. In the eastern Isles, sea lions may well still be breeding, even though there are pups already.
It is also the breeding season for various Galapagos birds. In particular, the brown noddy tern breeds during November, as does the band-rumped storm petrel. Other birds that you might see nesting in the Galapagos Islands during this time are various types of booby. In fact the blue footed booby, red footed booby and Nazca booby all nest during November. Frigate birds also nest during this period, and so do flamingos.
One of the great things about visiting the Galapagos Islands in November is that you can do the same activities as during the rest of the year. However, water-based activities are particularly good in November. This is because the water is still a little on the cold side which means that the Humboldt current is pushing plenty of nutrients into the water around the islands. This is good for both snorkeling and diving because it means there is a lot of marine wildlife present around the islands at this time – and marine wildlife brings other wildlife and birds to the area too. The downside is that the visibility in the water is not as good as it could be, but it is possible to have some really special snorkeling and diving experiences at this time. However, as the water is cooler than at other times of the year, you might want to bring a wetsuit for snorkeling.
The other activities in the Galapagos Islands in November vary very little from other months. All the visitor sites are accessible, and you’ll be able to walk on the trails at any time of the year. As with any other month of the year, you’ll be likely to get some great opportunities for wildlife photographs too.
November is not a particularly busy month for tourists in the Galapagos Islands. Once exception to this is the period around 2nd and 3rd of November, as there are two Ecuador public holidays at this time, which does lead to more travel. Another exception is the time around Thanksgiving in the United States (the last week of November), and there can be a lot of US tourists at this time. The great thing about the generally lower level of demand for Galapagos cruises during the rest of this month is that you may be able to get a great bargain for your Galapagos trip in November. On the other hand, if you want to visit at either of the busier times mentioned it is best to book far in advance, as boats and hotels are busy at these times, various cruises enable us to offer excellent rates to our clients, but we will always have great deals for cruise tours on board the Cormorant cruise and the Seaman Journey cruise among others.
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November is a good month to visit the Galapagos Islands, especially if your preference is for warm but not very hot weather and not too much rainfall. Snorkeling can be particularly fun in November, same with other activities offered on Galapagos cruises, with an excellent chance of experiencing a swim with young sea lions as they start to get used to being in the water. The seas around the Galapagos Islands are teeming with wildlife during this month, and it is also a good time for getting to see various nesting birds. In terms of getting an inexpensive deal on a Galapagos cruise or land-based trip, this really depends on when you visit. Some points of the month, and particularly around Thanksgiving are likely to be very busy, while other periods are very quiet in comparison to the month of December and early January.