Galapagos sea lion pup

Galapagos Islands: What happens in November

In November, the Humboldt Current continues to course through the Galapagos archipelago, bringing abundant nutrients for the islands’ wildlife. Snorkeling is fantastic, with good visibility. Unforgettable marine encounters will definitely be on your itinerary!

On Land
  • Sea lions are continuing to give birth, and this is a great time to see the pups in the nurseries.
  • Sea lion pups are now entering the cool waters around Champion Islet and other places – so be prepared for a close encounter with these playful creatures! (And snorkelers – watch for the nibbles at your fins!)
  • Out in the eastern archipelago, sea lions are sexually active.
  • Meanwhile, out on Fernandina Island, it is fur seal breeding season.
  • Lava lizards are ending their breeding season which had begun in July.
At Sea
  • Green sea turtles are beginning to mate.
  • Dolphins and whales can be spotted in the Bolívar Channel (Fernandina).
  • Whale sharks are sighted in the northwest of the Galapagos archipelago, especially around Wolf and Darwin Islands.
  • If snorkeling or swimming, keep an eye out for jellyfish, especially Gardner and Tortuga Islets and at Flour Beach on Floreana.
In the Air
  • The Galapagos Islands’ unique Lava Herons are nesting.
  • Brown Noddy Terns are breeding.
  • Band-rumped storm petrels start their second nesting season.
  • As the seasons are changing in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, migrant birds visit the Galapagos Islands on their way to warmer weather.
  • The low season is still on in the Galapagos – which means it’s a bit more economical now.
  • November 1 and 2 is Día de los Difuntos (Day of the Dead). Especially on Santa Cruz Island, where there is a significant mainland indigenous highland population, you’ll see the traditions carried out in the cemeteries. At night, families gathering in Puerto Ayora’s cemetery to visit their dearly departed and serenade them.
  • The season is changing in the Galapagos Islands, bringing warmer temperatures and clearer skies.
  • November marks the end of the garúa season. You can still expect an occasional drizzle, though, so have a rain slicker on hand.
  • Air temperatures range from 19-26ºC (68-79ºF). You may still want to pack a sweater or jacket for the cool evenings.
  • The southeast trade winds subside and days are sunnier with a slight breeze.
  • The sea is becoming a calmer and a bit warmer, with a temperature of 23ºC (73ºF) temperature.


Have you visited the Galapagos islands in November? Tell us about it in the comments below.


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Photo credit: Michael R Perry

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