Paul Schicke
Written by Paul Schicke Senior Expedition Designer

Updated: May 03, 2024
Published: June 12, 2019

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Green Sea Turtles in the shallow mossy seabed with snorkelers around in the Galapagos ocean water

November in the Galapagos is one of the most magical times of year, where gorgeous weather, annual wildlife nesting events and perfect conditions for marine exploration combine for a truly one-of-a-kind experience. Temperate weather allows for plenty of lounging and relaxing under the beautiful skies, yet wildlife is extremely active to allow for a wide range of adventures and animal-spotting opportunities.

Whether you’re looking for laidback vacation with gorgeous 360-degree views of the Galapagos from your luxury yacht or a more hands-on adventure (or both!), November is one of our favorite times in the Galapagos for all kinds of travelers.

Here are five of the biggest reasons to visit the Galapagos in November— from dazzling wildlife experiences to unbeatable weather conditions.

Temperatures for Galapagos Islands in November:

Average Low: Average High: Water Temperature: Average Rainfall:
66°F / 19°C 78°F / 26°C 72°F / 22°C 0.50 inches / 1.27 cm

1. Experience Green Sea Turtles During Mating Season

One of the Galapagos’ most legendary and beloved native species is the Galapagos Green Sea Turtle. November falls right in the midst of their mating season, which makes these gorgeous marine turtles particularly active throughout the month. They can be spotted while snorkeling in the pristine clear waters offshore or even occasional resting on the beaches from the deck of your Quasar yacht.

If you have a profound love for these thoughtful, peaceful gliders of the sea, November is an excellent time to see them at their most active.

Snorkeling swimming right next to a Green Sea Turtle in the Galapagos Islands

2. Catch Phenomenal Whale and Dolphin Watching

If large aquatic mammals are more your style, don’t worry— you haven’t missed them! Dolphins and whales are still very active and present in the Galapagos in November. In fact, the fall in the Galapagos is their most active time of year. You might spot magnificent sperm whales and humpbacks, strikingly beautiful orcas, and maybe even a serene blue whale—the largest animal to ever live.

Dolphins of all kinds are also particularly active in November, which makes this a perfect time to catch them frolicking in the surf either from the deck of the yacht or while snorkeling alongside them in the water.

Explorers on a dinghy in the Galapagos Islands taking photos of whale and calf on the surface of the Pacific Ocean

3. Witness Active Marine Life with World-Class Snorkeling Conditions

Dolphins and whales aren’t the only aquatic friends you’ll spot while snorkeling in November. During this time of year, a sea current known as the Humboldt Current carries nutrients into the water surrounding the Galapagos. This brings a multitude of sea life in huge abundance, allowing you to spot a wide range of active sea creatures along every step of the food chain. This includes a variety of unique fish, plus California sea lions and fur sea lions that also do much of their breeding during this season.

Mild weather during this time of year also makes for crystal-clear waters, perfect for spotting marine life while snorkeling.

Green Sea Turtle and Sea Lion surround snorkelers in the shallow waters of the Galapagos Islands

4. Spot Stunning Bird Life During Nesting Season

November is nesting season for a wide range of bird species in the Galapagos (while others nest year-round on the islands). In November, you’ll be able to spot blue-footed and red-footed boobies, flightless cormorants, penguins, and even greater cormorants.

But perhaps the aviary jewel of Galapagos bird watching is the Waved Albatross, a gorgeous bird with a simply massive wingspan that only nests during this time of year. In November, you can spot them nesting along rocks or soaring above the coast with their striking wings outstretched.

Waved Albatrosses doing their ritual mating dance in the Galapagos Islands

5. Bask in The Beginning of Warmer Days

Because the Galapagos is situated in the Southern Hemisphere, November is the beginning of its warm season. That means it’s the perfect time to enjoy mild, warm temperatures in both air and the water. Air temperatures range between 70°-79°F (21°-26°C), while the temperature in the water hovers right around a pleasant 73°F (23°C).

Occasional cloud cover also becomes more common during this season, which makes for excellent photography and snorkeling conditions as well as protection from eye strain in the brilliant sunlight.

Excited about the prospect of visiting the Galapagos in November? You’re not alone. Countless Quasar Guests have experienced the stunning beauty of the islands at this magical time of year, commenting on how grateful they felt to have traveled to the islands when they did.

Click here for more information on Galapagos Islands Weather

Woman wearing a sun hat sitting on the rocky shore next to a Galapagos Sea Lion
Paul Schicke
By Paul Schicke
Senior Expedition Designer

Hello! My name is Paul. I am a photographer, traveler, teacher and writer. I have extensive experience in travel to Galapagos, Peru, Patagonia and the western seaboard of South America specializing in ways travelers can experience these once-in-a-life destinations like locals on the road. Lover of wine, chocolate, travel, coffee, and helping others plan vacations of a lifetime!

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  • Hiya, I love snorkeling but my husband not so much. On a Quazar cruise are there alternative activities for him or does he just have to sit on shore while I’m in the water? Thanks.

    • Hi Laura! The way the Galapagos National Park has set up activities is that they happen sequentially, i.e. the park permit is set up so that everyone does an activity and then moves onto the next activity. The good news is that we return to the yacht after almost every activity. If your husband wishes to skip a snorkeling outing he can relax onboard the yacht. Snorkeling outings last about an hour from beginning to end and almost always are from a zodiac, only rarely from the shore.