With the end of the dry garua season in sight, the weather is less cool and the seas less rough, so it’s a great time to explore the Islands after the Galapagos travel crowds of the summer have departed, comfortable in the pleasant climate. Right by Galapagos Safari Camp you can see giant tortoises mating in the Tortoise Reserve – sometimes they gatecrash the camp itself, romping under the tents. Flamingos are playing house as they take turns to nest their eggs. Penguins also enjoy the still-cool seas to whizz around fishing – a spectacular sight while snorkeling.
The Galapagos Islands in October are in the midst of the Garúa (‘misty’) season. Also referred to as the cool or dry season, this period stretches from July to December and is characterized by low rainfall and hazy mornings. Temperatures remain pleasant (19-25C / 66-77F) and each day on a safari holiday brings new discoveries, both on land as well as in the cool tropical waters of the Pacific. It’s a great time to visit as the crowds of the summer months are waning, giving travelers more options for exploring the archipelago.
On Santa Cruz, giant tortoises are nesting and laying their eggs in the wild. One of the best places to see them is in the Tortoise Reserve next to Galapagos Safari Camp, and often within the camp itself roaming beneath the raised tents.
Lava herons, endemic to the Galapagos Islands, are mating along the rocky coast and in the mangroves of Tortuga Bay, on the southern coast of the island.
In the secluded lagoons of the islands, Galapagos flamingos are busy nesting, with both parents taking it in turns to sit on their single egg.
Just north of Santa Cruz, on North Seymour Island, frigate birds and blue-footed boobies hold court along the inland trails. Mosquera Islet (located between North Seymour and Baltra Island) is home to one of the largest colonies of sea lions in the Galapagos. In October this islet and its surrounding waters are alive with bulls, females and their pups.
Off the east coast of Santiago Island, in the waters of Isla Bartolomé, Galapagos penguins are active, diving after fish and swimming alongside snorkelers. The normally elusive fur seals are also mating during this time and are often spotted in the volcanic coves along the quieter parts of this island.
To the south of Santa Cruz, on the island of Santa Fe, the endemic Santa Fe Iguana is often found along the trails of the island. Galapagos doves, penguins, petrels, and the Santa Fe mockingbird are a few of the amazing array of birds that fly over Santa Fe during this month.
Rays and reef sharks are also in the area, feeding in the shallow waters off the islands. Bottlenose dolphins are frequently seen playing in the wake of boats and October marks the tail end of the whale-watching season in the Galapagos. Look out for breaching humpbacks!
One of the best ways to explore marine life in the Galapagos is snorkeling. In October the cool waters of the Humboldt Current nourish the thriving eco-system of the Galapagos Marine Reserve, making it an excellent time of year to view Galapagos’ unique wildlife.
Another great way to explore the coast and hidden bays of Santa Cruz Island is by kayak. Galapagos Safari Camp can arrange both snorkeling and kayaking tours in addition to numerous other activities in their customized Safari Holidays.
Plan your Galapagos Vacation
See our Safari Holidays for our suggested Galapagos itineraries and recommended activities.