October brings impressive scenery of the Galápagos Islands, and it is the prime time to catch beautiful sunrises and dramatic sunsets. The transition from colder to warmer waters creates the opportunity to see some of the best wildlife of the year. You can still spot dolphins and whales, swim with sea turtles and penguins, and watch for cute sea lions and sea fur pups. It is a quiet month with lower prices, mild weather, and fewer crowds. October is perfect for couples as well as nature lovers and animal explorers. Keep reading to find out why October is a fantastic month to visit.


The weather on the Galápagos Islands in October starts getting warmer again, but it's still colder compared to the winter months. Expect daily temperatures around 75 °F with water temperatures around 73 °F. October is part of the dry season and is one of the driest months of the year. You might see some mist when visiting the western islands, while higher peaks have clear weather. It is the month of beautiful sunrises and picturesque scenery.

Bring some warmer clothing with you, especially if you plan on a boat tour as it can get windy and slightly colder on water. A wetsuit is also a good idea to buy or borrow. The Humboldt current is at its strongest this month but brings plenty of marine life and excellent diving/snorkeling conditions. The seas can get fairly rough, so bear that in mind, especially if you tend to get seasick. 

Crowds & Costs

October continues its low season on Galápagos Islands with fewer visitors than during the summer and winter months. It’s one of the best months for couples to visit, with activities in full swing that are ideally suited for a romantic getaway. You will enjoy a relaxing vacation, having a lot of island space almost to yourself. October is perfect for finding cheaper flights and good deals on hotels, as well as water-based and land-based tours. 

Where to Go

Visit Española Island and Punta Vicente Roca, as well as Isabela Island, to see the blue-footed booby colony, where you can spot the adult birds as well as their chicks. On Isabela Island, visit Alcedo Volcano, which hosts the most diverse and abundant population of tortoises. October's cool, dry weather is perfect for hiking, which makes this an ideal time to visit the volcano area.

Española Island, on the other hand, will treat you to the albatross's second ritual of the year—the courtship ritual. You can only find these unique species here, and you can watch them in October, as they make sure that their other half doesn't leave them after they separate in January. It is the way for them to "mark" their relationship since albatrosses mate for life. 

On Wolf and Darwin Islands, you can see whale sharks, and on the Santa Cruz highlands, you can visit Los Gemelos (The Twins)—two giant volcanic craters formed from collapsed magma chambers. It is another place that is perfect for hiking and enjoying lush nature in October, together with the surroundings of the Scalesia forest. Sea lions and fur seals continue to be visible across the islands, as they continue their mating.  Remember to keep your distance, since they tend to be more aggressive during this time. 

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What to Do

October is the month to take beautiful photos, with the overcast skies providing you with excellent natural lighting. The sunrises are some of the best on the Galápagos Islands, as the morning mist starts to fade on the highland peaks. You can expect great photos of the sun rising and casting its light over the many volcanoes, as well as dramatic sunsets. It is the prime time for snorkeling and kayaking, with the water becoming crystal-clear once again, and slightly warmer. 

You will enjoy snorkeling and swimming with marine iguanas, golden rays, and sea lions. Due to the Humboldt current, the waters remain filled with nutrition during this month, which results in more animal activity. During this month, there are all kinds of breeding and nesting activity with rare Galápagos wildlife events taking place in October (like Giant tortoises laying their eggs).

Hike through lava caves to see nesting seabirds and penguins and look for adorable seal pups. Now is the time to enjoy birdwatching since seabirds are quite active in October, particularly blue-and red-footed boobies, penguins, greater flamingos, frigate birds, and flightless cormorants. 

Events in October 

Independencia de Guayaquil—Independence of Guayaquil (October 9). After a brief and almost bloodless revolt in 1820, the city of Guayaquil declared their independence from Spain.

Día de la Raza—Columbus Day (October 12). A popular holiday in all Ecuador and Latin America, celebrating the landing of Christopher Columbus on American soil.

Traveling to the Galápagos Islands in October? Check out these great itineraries.

Galápagos Cruise: Wildlife Watching, Snorkeling & Hiking - 11 Days. This 11-day cruise is a perfect excursion for those wanting to maximize their time on the Galápagos 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. 

Land-Based Adventure Tour - 10 Days. Experience wildlife, culture, and a unique ecosystem of the archipelago as you see sights by bike, by foot, and in the water. This extraordinary adventure includes snorkeling with sea lions, tropical fish, and beautiful manta rays. 

More Helpful Information

Galápagos Islands in November
Galápagos Islands in September
Best Time of the Year to Visit the Galápagos Islands
Best of the Galápagos Islands