“Which are the species that every visitor to the Galápagos ought to see?” Sir David (Attenborough) was asked at the preview screening for the (Planet Earth) series.
He answered: “There are half a dozen animals that you are bound to see: marine iguanas and land iguanas, both of which are unique to the Galápagos; waved albatrosses; penguins; sea lions; and flightless cormorants.”
The final month of the garua season, November sees the water begin a long-awaited warming. Sea lion pups born in August begin to explore the waters on their own, ever curious and hopeful for a playmate. This month you might also catch the green sea turtle mating season, and the courtship of penguins around Pinnacle Rock off Bartolome Island, a ritual that leads to relationship that will last their lifetime. This is also the last chance to spot hammerhead sharks before they head off to migrate for the season.
November marks the last month of the garua season, when the cooler waters of the Humboldt Current start to fade and the sea temperature begins to warm up. It is a great time to visit the islands as sea lion pups born in August are reaching an age when they can explore the waters on their own, making snorkeling an adventure worth talking about.
The month also is the beginning of green sea turtle mating season, and the steadfast creatures are often seen off of the coasts of islands where they lay their eggs at night-including Las Bachas beach on Santa Cruz Island.
On Bartolome Island, Galapagos penguins begin to court, and often join travelers snorkeling around Pinnacle Rock for a swim. The small birds form monogamous bonds, and are very attentive when it comes to each other, protecting their eggs, and raising young chicks.
“If we were to return, we’d probably select go in November again, as overall the weather was nice, and the crowds were definitely much thinner that at the peak of high season.”
November is also one of the last months to see schools of hammerhead sharks before they start to migrate for the season.
Our safari holidays are not flip-key trips to the islands. We take pride in showing our guests the ins and outs of the islands-both uninhabited and inhabited. We use vetted guides, some of which have been in the Galapagos since the advent of tourism in the late 1960s.
Visitor Site of the Month- Las Grietas, Santa Cruz Island
Las Grietas is one of the places you can visit on free days during your time in Santa Cruz. The fresh and saltwater pools are a local and traveler favorite, reached by a trail that starts across the bay from the main town of Puerto Ayora.
The trail goes starts at the beach, continues to yet another beach, goes past a salt water lagoon, through volcanic fields, and ends up at a fissure in the Earth that is fed by salt water by the sea and fresh water from a river in the island.
The site is a favorite of locals and travelers alike, the former jumping off of high cliffs into the waters below, and the latter snorkeling in the calm, tortoise waters discovering underwater caves and tunnels.
Plan your Galapagos Vacation
See our Safari Holidays for our suggested Galapagos itineraries and recommended activities.