Weather in the Galapagos in October

written by Joanne Owen

updated 21.02.2024

Considering visiting the Galapagos Islands but not sure when to go? The good news is, there’s not really a bad month to visit. That said, what you can see and do around the year shifts with seasonal cycles, especially when it comes to wildlife-watching. Here we share details on what to expect of the Galapagos weather in October, along with tips on what you can do in this unique Ecuadorian nature spot throughout the month.

Is October a good time to visit the Galapagos Islands?

Though slightly warmer than in September, the Galapagos weather in October sees conditions remain cool compared with other times of the year. 

It’s also pretty dry, less humid, and sits within the low season — all the better if you’re trying to stick to a budget.

In addition, October serves some special wildlife-watching opportunities, while the cooler weather makes it a good month to explore the islands' hiking and biking trails. 

Note that this is the peak period of the Humboldt current, and the sea can be choppier. At the same time, the current makes for some fascinating snorkelling and bird-watching action — more on that below. 

For more Galapagos inspiration, talk to our local experts, and browse our customisable Ecuador itineraries.

Giant tortoise in El Chato Tortoise Reserve, Galapagos islands (Ecuador) © Alberto Loyo/Shutterstock

Giant tortoise in El Chato Tortoise Reserve, Galapagos islands, Ecuador © Alberto Loyo/Shutterstock

Average temperatures in the Galapagos Islands in October

The Galapagos weather in October means an average temperature range of 18°C to 26°C (65°F — 78°F).

At the same time, the sea is a refreshing 19°C to 23°C (66°F — 73°F), with rainfall rare.

What about crowds and costs?

Sitting in low season October is one of the best months to visit the Galapagos if you’re looking for smaller crowds and lower costs.

In addition, while September sees some boat trip operators undertake annual maintenance of their vessels, these are typically back up and running in October.

Still wondering when to visit? Read our guide to the best time to visit Ecuador.

Galapos

The Galapagos weather in October is refreshingly cooler than most months, and usually dry © Shuttertstock

Ready for your dream trip to Ecuador in October?

Before booking your October adventure to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, take a look at our suggested 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 travellers 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. Afterwards, 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.

sea-lions-gardner-bay-espanola-galapagos-islands-ecuador-shutterstock_1182348841

Sea lions lounging on Gardner Bay, Espanola, Galapagos Islands © Shutterstock

What to do in the Galapagos Islands in October

During October, the Humboldt current which shifts up from the Antarctic brings nutrient-rich water that makes for a fascinating increase in activity among birds and fish.

As a result, experiences on land and sea have added interest, and that’s not even half of the things you can see and do in the Galapagos Islands in October.

See sea lions

October is an optimum time to see the Galapagos Islands teeming with sea lions and their pups — you’ll almost certainly see stacks of them lounging and playing on the shoreline, and swimming in the sea.

Watch birds

While the Galapagos Islands are a year-round paradise for bird watchers, a very special treat awaits in October. Namely, at this time of year, you have the chance of seeing blue-footed booby chicks.

October is also a special month for lava herons (AKA Galapagos herons). Strike it lucky, and you’ll catch sight of them building their nests. 

Galapagos iguana

Galapagos iguana

Focus on photography

Offering such unique landscapes, nature and wildlife, it’s not difficult to capture incredible shots whenever you visit the Galapagos Islands. 

That said, October is an especially great time for photography, courtesy of the incredible sunrises you can see over the western islands. 

Snorkelling and diving

Thanks to the Humboldt current, snorkelling the Galapagos in October means you’ll get to see a greater variety of fish at this time of year. You also have an increased chance of seeing green sea turtles in the water.

Just bear in the mind the water can feel on the chilly side, so you might need a wetsuit. 

Editors’ tip: in the market for a trip of lifetime that’s packed with incredible underwater experiences? Check out our customisable Galapagos Diving Adventure.

Bartolome Island, Galapagos, Ecuador. Bartolome Island is a volcanic islet in the Galapagos Islands with an amazing viewpoint at the top © Seumas Christie-Johnston/Shutterstock

Bartolome Island, Galapagos Islands © Seumas Christie-Johnston/Shutterstock

Hike and bike

Being cool and dry, October is a top time to hike and bike the Galapagos Islands, with Santa Cruz and Isabella coming especially recommended.

Santa Cruz, for example, has a network of paths connecting the city of Puerto Ayora with the highlands.

Meanwhile, on Isabela Island, you can take your pick from cycling to the Muro de las lagrimas (Wall of Tears), or tackling an exhilarating downhill route from Sierra Negra volcano.

isabela-island-galapagos-shutterstock_584128561

Isabela Island, Galapagos Islands © Shutterstock

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
Joanne Owen

written by Joanne Owen

updated 21.02.2024

Joanne is a Pembrokeshire-born writer with a passion for the nature, cultures and histories of the Caribbean region, especially Dominica. Also passionate about inspiring a love of adventure in young people, she’s the author of several books for children and young adults, hosts international writing workshops, and has written articles on the Caribbean and inspirational community initiatives for Rough Guides. Follow her @JoanneOwen on Twitter and @joanneowenwrites on Instagram.

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