Travel to Galapagos this October and November and Discover Life as Things Get Exciting!
Guests from Northern Hemisphere who wish to travel to Galapagos during their Autumn Season will have the opportunity to see the best of both worlds in the Enchanted Isles. While October and November still remain nice and fresh weather-wise, the transition from the dry season to the hot season in Galapagos begins to show its first subtle signs during these two months in particular. The Humboldt Current, too, keeps feeding the ocean with nutrients and cooler water thanks to the presence of upwellings; which means that life, both under and above water, will fervently be taking advantage of this surplus of nutrients.
This autumn, get ready to experience Galapagos like never before! You’ll be able to observe the vast amount of wildlife activity brought forth by these nutrient-rich pockets of cold water and enjoy the progressively increasing water temperatures.
So, if you were wondering whether or not to travel to Galapagos in October and November, read on and get excited about what you’ll see if you do!
Galapagos Weather during Autumn 2018 = Blue & Golden Skies
It is during the month of October all the way up to the month of December that the inversion layer – a sheet of clouds covering the sky – begins to gradually dissipate. The inversion layer, which also happens to be quite a common weather pattern during the dry season, will leave the Galapagos along with the Humboldt Current. Consequently, the hours of blue sky will gradually begin to increase during this time of year.
October and November in Galapagos? Get ready to spend some time hanging out with the Galapagos’ most adorable creatures
Sea Lion Pups, and then some…
During the month of October and the first days of November, the Galapagos sea lion birthing season is coming to an end. This means you’ll be able to observe many sea lion pups along the coast calling out to their mothers or simply basking under the gorgeous Galapagos sun. Have your camera ready, because you will surely fall in love with their pup-like gazes, gawks, and tender demeanor!
During Galapagos sea lion birthing season, something unusual happens as well. Interestingly, female sea lions have the ability to get pregnant right away. After two weeks of giving birth to their pup, they start ovulating again and male sea lions are acutely aware of it. If the female does, in fact, manage to get pregnant during this period (say around August or September), then a phenomenon known as delayed implantation takes place. What is this, you might be wondering? Well, due to the fact that getting pregnant during these months would mean giving birth when food sources are at their least abundant, Galapagos sea lion biology has evolved in such a way that the embryo literally keeps itself from being implanted. That’s right! Remarkably, the embryo will enter a stage of dormancy for around two months, sparing the newborn from being born during a period of food scarcity. Consequently, mother sea lion manages to end up giving birth during the dry season when the waters are filled with nutrients. This guarantees that she’ll have enough milk to feed her pup.
The Unforgettable Dance of the Albatrosses
Albatrosses – found only on the island of Española – intensify their courtship behavior as a prelude of sorts to their imminent separation (as a result of migrations that take place in January). This ritual is very much like the one they carry out when they want to mate in April. Because albatrosses mate for life, they have to make sure their partner doesn’t forget them while they are gone during their migration. In a certain sense, it’s a way for Galapagos albatrosses to mark or “sign” their relationship. Albatross chicks during these months are beginning to show their more mature feathers, which is why you will find their appearance to be a little shabby.
Whip Out that Color Palette and Get the Girl
Land iguanas and marine iguanas – two members of our Galapagos BIG15 group of iconic species – start revving their hormonal engines during this period as they begin to take advantage of the warmer weather that’s about to arrive at the turn of the year. How is this all seen? Well, it just so happens that these remarkable reptiles start changing their behavioral patterns and scale colors during October and November (which also happen to be the last months of the dry season). Mating during this time is also a balancing act for the eggs themselves, as the surrounding temperatures are what determine the sex of their offspring – cooler temperatures produce male offspring, while hotter temperatures give way to female offspring.
And while the hot season is when they’ll begin mating, the guy has to get the girl until then! So, during these months in Galapagos, you’ll be able to see both species become a little more aggressive due to the fact that males aim to get noticed by the females. Females will get more territorial, too, as they start guarding their future nesting site. Males will put on their brightest and most colorful “suits” to look more attractive. You’ll definitely be mesmerized by the intensity of the reds and greens on marine iguanas during this period, as well as by the darker and brighter yellows and ochres on land iguanas! If you wanted a Galapagos postcard-worthy moment, this is it!
Is it worth traveling to Galapagos in October and November?
If coming to the Galapagos has been a long-life dream of yours, don’t waste any more time! October and November are the perfect time to do it! Check out some of the Galapagos’ most spectacular expedition vessels or choose a land-based option. Either way, you will find that life reaches new heights in the Galapagos! In this natural paradise, time stopped and life found its way! Now it’s your turn to admire the fruits of its evolution!
Nathalie Moeller is of Ecuadorian and German descent. As a child she spent her summers in the Galapagos Islands, where her mother grew up, and from a very young age learned to love the beauty and uniqueness of the archipelago. She studied Journalism and Humanities in Barcelona, after living in Madrid and Germany for a couple of years. This gave her a culturally broader view of the world, which is reflected in everything she does. Blogging gives her the opportunity to combine her passion for travelling and writing.