The Galapagos Islands largely have two seasons throughout the year. December through to May is considered the rainy season. Temperatures are warmer and, bizarrely, there is more sunshine during the rainy season but the warmer waters mean fewer nutrients and therefore less marine wildlife to spot
From June to November is considered the dry season, which has cooler temperatures. The water is cooled by the vast Humboldt Current that brings up colder water from the south. However, this cooler water is rich in nutrients, meaning there is more food for marine life to feed upon. All of which makes it a great time of year to snorkel and dive.
October occurs right in the middle of the drier season, meaning it is popular with divers and anyone interested in the unique marine life on Galapagos tours. However, it must be said that waters can also be choppier and visibility reduced during this season. But with increased chances of seeing whales and dolphins around Fernandina, this is one of the best Galapagos Islands to visit, and well worth the extra effort.
For anyone chasing the Holy Grail of the marine diving world – the whale shark – Buddy Wolf and Darwin are your best bet, being the two most northerly and best Galapagos islands to visit. Located around 96 miles away from the main archipelago, you’ll have to arrange special tours to get up there but with some of the highest probabilities of a sighting anywhere on the planet, it’s worth the gamble.
Bartolome is a small island with a landscape often reminiscent of the surface of Mars, yet this is a great place for wildlife in October. Penguin colonies off Pinnacle Rock are breeding around this time of year, making it a great place to visit.
At Punta Espinoza on Fernandina, you’ll find one of the islands famous colonies of sea lions. Breeding season is between late May and November, so choosing the best Galapagos Islands to visit in October will give you a good chance of seeing some of the adorable pups.
Most Galapagos tours will be boat-based, meaning you can travel around the islands as you desire throughout your stay. During October across the islands, you’ll find nesting blue and red-footed boobies, frigate birds, and flamingos. Aboard Galapagos luxury yachts, you’ll travel mostly at night, so your days won’t be spent in transit. Leaving you free to take in as much of the incredible seasonal wildlife as possible.
The best Galapagos Islands to visit in October are highly recommended because of the unique combination of natural and human factors, namely that the breeding season and low tourism season coincide. So why not come and check it out?