Thinking of visiting the Galapagos Islands in winter? You’ll be happy to hear that the Galapagos weather in November offers warming temperatures that are ideal for outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, and snorkelling. At the same time, wildlife activity is plentiful, and there are fewer tourists. Interest piqued? Read on to find out more about visiting this Ecuadorian treasure in November.
Is November a good time to visit the Galapagos Islands?
November is an excellent time to visit the Galapagos Islands. During this month, the islands experience a transition period between the cool, dry season and the warm, wet season.
The water temperatures are also beginning to warm up – all the better for snorkelling and diving at a time when sea lions, penguins, and a huge variety of tropical fish are very active.
While there’s not a bad month to visit the Galapagos Islands for wildlife, it’s worth noting that November marks the start of the breeding season for sea lions.
At the same time, you’ll also get to see many Galapagos Islands icons, among them giant tortoises, marine iguanas, and blue-footed boobies — more on what to do and do in the Galapagos Islands in November below.
Average temperatures in the Galapagos Islands in November
The Galapagos weather in November sees an average daily high of 26°C (78°F) and an average daily low of 21°C (69.8°F). At the same time, the sea temperature averages 23°C (73.4°F).
Wondering how wet it will be? Rainfall averages 7.6mm and falls mainly in the highlands.
What about crowds and costs?
In general, November is not a particularly busy month in the Galapagos Islands.
If, however, the thought of fewer crowds is appealing, bear in mind that Ecuadorian public holidays on the 2nd and 3rd of November can see a spike in visitors, and the same goes for Thanksgiving weekend in the last week of November.
Outside these two periods, November is pretty quiet, and you could bag yourself a bargain on trips, tours, cruises, and accommodation.
Still wondering when to visit? Read our guide to the best time to visit Ecuador.
Ready for your dream trip to Ecuador in November?
Before booking your November adventure to Ecuador and the Galapagos, take a look at our itineraries for more inspiration.
Fully customisable, with a local expert on hand to take care of booking exactly what you want, they take the hassle out of planning your perfect trip. Here are a few sample itineraries:
- Galapagos Special — three islands in 10 days: the start and end of this extraordinary trip are Quito, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and capital of Ecuador, with visits to a trio of incredible islands (San Cristobal, Santa Cruz, and Isabela Island) offering travelers utter immersion into wildlife and nature.
- Luxury Galapagos cruise and mainland highlights: spend seven nights on a luxurious super yacht in the Galapagos to explore the natural wonders of this island paradise in style. Afterward, fly to the mainland and discover Ecuador, from Guayaquil to Quito. Volcanoes, waterfalls, markets, and much more await.
- Ecuador Highlights — Amazon and Galapagos: into adventure? This trip takes you from Quito and Otavalo to the Amazon, where guided boat tours unveil flora, fauna, and indigenous customs. Next, you'll venture to the glorious Galapagos islands for more exploration and adventure.
Browse more itinerary ideas.
What to do in the Galapagos Islands in November
In November, the Galapagos Islands offer incredible wildlife-watching opportunities and adventure activities. While this is the case around the year, here’s how you can make the most of your time in this unique eco-system at this specific time.
Snorkelling and diving
With the water temperatures warming up, snorkelling and diving conditions are excellent.
Explore the underwater world at sites like Devil's Crown and Kicker Rock to see colourful fish, sea turtles, rays, and even sharks.
Editors’ tip: in the market for a trip of a lifetime that’s packed with incredible underwater experiences? Check out our customisable Galapagos Diving Adventure.
November is a fantastic month for wildlife enthusiasts, with seeing sea lions a notable specialty of this time of year.
Born in August, sea lion pups begin to explore by November — be sure to look for them playing on the shore and in the water. Note that in the eastern islands, some sea lions could still be breeding.
Editors’ tip: visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn about conservation efforts and the breeding programs for giant tortoises and land iguanas. It’s a great way to understand the ecological significance of the islands.
Kayaking and paddle-boarding
Few Galapagos experiences beat paddling along the shores of the islands for a closer look at the mangroves, and the chance to see the likes of sea lions and marine iguanas from the water.
Hiking and biking
Take advantage of the mild weather to explore the islands’ diverse landscapes on foot or bike.
We especially recommend hiking to Sierra Negra volcano on Isabela Island for breathtaking views and exploring the lava tunnels on Santa Cruz Island.
With diverse, unique avian species on the islands, bird watchers can look forward to spotting flamingos, frigate birds, and the famous Darwin’s finches, among many, many others.
In seasonal news, November heralds the breeding season for many Galapagos birds, among them the brown noddy tern breeds and the band-rumped storm petrel.
At the same time, the iconic blue-footed booby, red-footed booby, and Nazca booby nest during November. The same is true of frigate birds and flamingos.
Meanwhile, on the island of Espanola, you stand a chance of seeing waved albatross chicks becoming active as they prepare to take their first flight.
In summary, November’s blend of pleasant weather, active wildlife, and fewer crowds add up to the ideal setting for a trip that teems with wildlife and adventure.
Ready to embark on an unforgettable journey? Consider tailoring your trip to the Galapagos Islands in November to fully experience the wonders of this natural paradise.
Visit the Galapagos Islands in other months
To be better informed before booking your trip, find out what to expect of the Galapagos Islands around the year.
- January: this full swing warm season month means blue skies, occasional rain showers and the chance to see curious courtship rituals.
- February: warm on land and sea, February is fabulous for snorkelling, diving and hiking, and seeing green turtles come ashore to lay eggs.
- March: this rainy season month means lush landscapes, high temperatures and morning showers. It’s also nesting time for land iguanas and many birds.
- April: end of the rainy season, April offers warm waters, and opportunities to see waved albatrosses, giant tortoise hatchlings and green turtle hatchlings.
- May: transition month between the rainy and dry seasons, May means cooler temperatures, small crowds and remarkable avian activity.
- June: start of the dry season, June sees cooler temperatures and is a top time to see waved albatrosses’ mating rituals and humpback whales.
- July: cool and dry, July is ideal for hiking, biking and watching whales and dolphins. It’s also prime whale shark season.
- August: still cool and dry, this peak season month draws increased crowds to see whales, dolphins, sea lions, and blue-footed boobies.
- September: quiet and cool, this is a top month for marine activity, especially whales, dolphins, sea lions, Galapagos fur seals and Galapagos penguins.
- October: this dry low-season month is ideal for hiking and biking, and seeing sea lion pups and blue-footed booby chicks.
- November: this transition month between the cool dry season and the warm wet season is ideal for snorkelling, diving and seeing sea lions and penguins.
- December: start of the warm season, December heralds breeding season for frigate birds and sea lions, and peak season crowds as the month wears on