Moving into winter, November offers excellent weather on the Galapágos Islands with temperatures around 79 °F. As the sea turns warmer, temperatures rise to around 73 °F. November is a part of the dry season and the skies are usually sunny, so it's the perfect time to travel if you prefer a milder climate, without too much heat and humidity. Bring some warmer clothes with you for the evenings, or if you plan on boat tours or sailing between the islands. You might occasionally experience mist and drizzle, although it is not that common. The weather is excellent for snorkeling, swimming, and hiking.
The Humboldt Current begins to draw away from the islands, and the winds calm down significantly as well, making it an excellent time to enjoy a nice swim. Bring a wetsuit with you, especially for snorkeling and diving activities. Make sure to look at the weather forecast and research the chances of an El Niño event—a warm ocean current that occasionally hits the islands, bringing increased rainfall and higher temperatures. It is wise to avoid traveling during the current since a lot of activities get canceled, and it becomes more difficult to tour around the islands. The wildlife is also negatively affected as the nutrient-rich Humbolt Current gets replaced with nutrient-poor warmer waters.
Crowds & Costs
November is relatively quiet, particularly in the middle of the month. It is considered the low season on the Galapágos Islands with less tourism overall. At the beginning and end of November, you can expect it to get slightly busier with All Soul's Day celebrations starting the month and Thanksgiving taking place at the end. All Soul's Day is celebrated all over South America, attracting travelers from the neighboring countries, while Thanksgiving brings vacationers from the United States and Canada.
Prices are pretty low on flights, accommodations, and tours in the middle of the month, and you have a good chance of finding good deals. If you instead plan on traveling during the holidays, you should book your stay and plane tickets far in advance, as well as any cruises as they tend to get more crowded. Overall, you can expect a relaxing and quiet vacation on the Galapágos Islands in November.
Where to Go
November on the Galapágos Islands is perfect for sightseeing on land and sea. Snorkeling and swimming are particularly good thanks to the weather, active marine life, and the changing Humbolt Current. Head to Fernandina Island to swim among penguins, marine iguanas, and spot some dolphins.
On the eastern coast of Santiago Island, you will find Sullivan Bay—named after Charles Darwin's lieutenant, Bartholomew James Sulivan. Walk through swathes of pahoehoe lava flows that are over a century old to find petrified, rumpled land punctuated by hollowed pockets of gas, hornitos, and the remains of the landscape overtaken by heat.
Just off Isabela Island, you will find the geological formation Los Túneles (The Tunnels), which is one of the best snorkeling sites on the Galapágos Islands. These volcanic tunnels create naturally formed lava bridges with plenty of hideaways for marine life and seabirds.
On Santa Cruz Island, you will find another highlight: the underground lava tunnels, located southeast of Santa Rosa. These tubes appear like a whitewashed subway tunnel and are ideal for exploring inside. The inside is lit, allowing you to see the fantastic stalactites growing within, and you will catch the bright eyes of barn owls residing here.
Another major attraction is the Devil's Crown—a volcanic crater almost completely submerged in the ocean. You will find it off Floreana Island's northern coast, where you can enjoy some of the best snorkeling the Galapágos Islands have to offer. The coral reef sitting in the middle attracts an abundance of marine life with hammerhead sharks assembling around the edges, and dolphins and schools of tropical fish enjoying the shelter.
What to Go
November is the perfect time to enjoy snorkeling, birdwatching, and swimming. The month is particularly exciting when the seal and sea lion pups begin to enter the waters for the first time. You will most likely see them as you swim and snorkel in the Galapágos' sea. They are particularly playful and enjoy playing with the humans who are snorkeling in the water, as they are very curious. This is a once in a lifetime experience, especially on the western islands. On the eastern side, many sea lions are often still breeding, sharing space with the cute pups.
It is the breeding and nesting season for many bird species, such as blue-footed boobies, waved albatrosses, brown noddy terns, and red-footed boobies. You can also spot flamingos and frigate birds nesting during this time. The Galapágos green sea turtles are particularly active as well, and you can see them while snorkeling offshore, and sometimes on the beaches as well.
Events in November
All Soul's Day (November 2.) Also known as “Day of the Dead.” Known locally as Día de Los Difuntos or Día de Muertos.
Traveling to Galapágos in November? Check out these great itineraries.
Galapágos Islands Land-Based Adventure Tour - 6 Days. This island-hopping tour enables you to see a diverse range of sites in the Galapagos. You will hike the Sierra Negra Volcano, visit Tintoreras on Isabela, and more.
Galapagos Cruise: Wildlife Watching, Snorkeling & Hiking - 11 Days. This 11-day cruise is a perfect excursion for those wanting to maximize their time on the Galapagos Islands. You'll experience around a dozen islands, although some of these are quite small, such as Chinese Hat and Bartolome. It also includes some lesser-known sights and activities, such as the unusual Rábida Island, which has a Mars-like rocky surface.