Cruises & Tours to the Galapagos IslandsEcuador Ministry of Tourism Official Agent

Misty landscape of the Pinnacle Rock
Misty landscape of the Pinnacle Rock in November

Visiting the Galapagos in November

Galapagos Giant Tortoise
Galapagos giant tortoise

Galapagos Weather Averages in November

  • Avg Max Temperature: 79°F (26°C)
  • Avg Min Temperature: 70°F (21°C)
  • Avg Sea Temperature: 73°F (23°C)
  • Avg Monthly Rainfall: 0.5 inches (1.3 centimetres)
  • Avg time of clear sky: 3.5 hours

Weather Changes During El Niño Years

Below is a description of typical November weather patterns in Galapagos. But in 2015, due to an impending El Niño event, temperatures are expected to be higher than normal and rainfall more typical of December and January levels. In other words, the warm season is expected to come early. And with the change in water temperatures from El Niño, many animals that get their food from the ocean will feel extreme food pressure. In previous El Niño events have devistated the populations of penguins, marine iguanas, sea lions and other ocean-dependent species.

Typical November Weather

November in Galapagos will not necessarily warrant a raincoat, but there will be the occasional cold, windy mist that converts into a rainstorm as the rainy season approaches in December. With temperatures between 70-79°F (21-26°C), you will be able to enjoy the rays of the sun during the day sometimes through gaps within the clouds, but come night time, you may need to throw on some long pants and/or a light sweater.

If you have plans to jump in the water, which might I add, is a must-do, the water will be a little cooler than usual due to the Humboldt Current, which comes from the southern end of South America. However, this also means there is a surge of new water, rich in nutrients and plankton - which happen to be much-loved menu choices for the beautiful birds and fish living amongst the islands. Therefore a few goosebumps are worth the unforgettable sights of what's living in deep blue. Most boats provide wetsuits for snorkelling - a must during this time of the year.

If you are trying to determine what month is best to go to the Galapagos, don't stress too much - because whenever you decide to go, you will not be disappointed. The Galapagos Islands is an incredible place all year round for weather, wildlife and sea adventures.

Galapagos Tourist Activity in November

Don't expect the islands to be swarming with tourists, but that is not to say you can leave booking cruises, accommodation, and tours to the last minute. Early November is mid-peak season, and whilst Galapagos Islands offers a diverse and plentiful range of tours, activities and accommodation; if you have your eyes set on a specific boat or hotel - book it now. The most popular boats can fill up months or even years in advance even without it being a busy time of the year. The last week of November and first week of December are generally booked full many months in advance due to the US holiday of Thanksgiving, which falls on the last Thursday in November.

Contact a Columbus Travel Trip Planning Expert to check availability. Since they work with all of the top-rated boats and hotels in the Galapagos, they can help you find availability when others cannot.

Galapagos Wildlife in November

Giant Tortoise (Chelonoidis elephantophos)

Are among the most of famous family members of the islands. In fact, in the old days explorers used to call tortoises "galapago" which in Spanish means saddle, due to the shape of their shell and since gave rise to the name of the islands.

Galapagos Penguins (Speniscus mendiculus)

With less than 1,000 of breeding pairs left, your particularly lucky to catch these guys in November. They are overwhelmed with the abundance of new fish on their menu, and busy feeding and fighting for it.

Blue-Footed Booby (Sula nebouxii)

Obviously named for their funky blue feet, have half their population living on the Galapagos islands. The brightness of their blue feet actually indicates their level of health.

Great Frigate Birds (Fregata minor)

You cannot miss the males who puff up just to flirt with the girls with their giant red throat poach.

Fur Sea Lions (Arctocephalus galapagoensis)

Being the smallest eared seal in the world, it also tops the charts for relaxing the longest on land - spending 70% of their time out of the water. In November, you might be lucky to see pups.

Marine Iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus)

Being the only still existing marine lizard on Planet Earth you are incredible lucky to catch these in your sights. It is said that they evolved to living in both the sea and water because there was a considerable decrease of food available on land.

Brown Noddy (Anous stolidus)

Is a dark brown bird, with an interesting white forehead. During this time of the year they begin breeding.

 

Article by Christopher Minster, PhD, author of the guidebook VIVA Galapagos Islands and about.com's Latin America History Editor.

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