Why visit Galapagos in November?
The Galapagos Islands are a place that can be visited at any time of year. Such is the majesty and mystery of the scenery and wildlife here, a visit at any point is going to be very rewarding. However, November is a particularly great time for a Galapagos cruise for a number of reasons.
The Galapagos dry season runs from June until December, as the southern trade winds bring the cooler Humboldt Current north towards the islands. This means that the water is cooler but that there is less rain on the lower parts of the islands, while the highlands of the larger islands are kept green and lush.
During the dry season, you can expect vast, beautiful blue skies. It is also widely thought to be the best time to visit the Galapagos if you’re interested in diving the superb waters around the islands. One of the world’s best diving locations, the chance to see marine iguanas, hammerhead and Galapagos sharks – and even the elusive whale shark near the northerly Darwin and Wolf islands – is a big draw.
Divers can expect water temperatures of around 18˚C to 23˚C at this time of year. These cooler waters are rich in nutrients and plankton, which in turn attracts the underwater visitors.
On the land and in the air, the dry season is the best time to observe blue-footed boobies, hump-backed whales, oyster-catchers, penguins and a number of other animals native to the Galapagos.
If you’re taking a Galapagos expedition cruise on a boat such as the Coral Yacht you’ll notice the waters in November are a little choppier thanks to the winds, meaning your passage will be a little more uneven than during the wetter, warmer season from January through to May. However, the natural advantages this brings in terms of wildlife more than makes up for it.
Dolphin and whale spotting are common in the Bolivar Channel during the crossing to Fernandina Island, and with the boobies nesting and turtles mating, there is a definite sense that something special is happening all around. It’s also the time of year that the California sea lions and fur sea lions are breeding.