Fall is perhaps one of the most overlooked times of year to visit the Galapagos Islands. Visitor numbers are low during the Fall months. In October 2017, 17,000 visitors travelled to the Galapagos National Park, compared to 25,000 during the most popular month of July, according to National Park statistics. However, don’t let these low numbers deter you. Fall is actually one of the best times of year to take a Galapagos Islands tour.
Here are 7 great reasons to visit the Galapagos in the Fall:
- Marine Life Activity
If you’re planning to try out activities such as snorkeling during your Galapagos vacation, Fall is definitely the best time of year to visit. Why? Because the strong Humboldt current flows towards the Galapagos due to the seasonal winds, causing what’s known as ‘upwelling’; it disturbs the underwater environment, lifting nutrients to the surface. With so much food around, there’s a sharp increase in marine activity.
- Whale Watching
There are many species of whale to be found in the Galapagos, and one of the best ways to see them is by booking a whale watching tour. However, while these tours are often fantastic, spotting a whale is still very much down to luck. You can increase your chances by visiting in the Fall, during the Blue and Humpback whale migration season. The Bolivar Channel, between Fernandina and Isabela, is a top whale watching spot.
Fall marks the end of the sea lion birthing season in the Galapagos. And while visitors at this time of year may miss out on seeing the births, it’s prime time for viewing the tiny pups lying along the coastline. You may even hear them as they call out for Mom. And sea lions aren’t the only babies you can see in the Galapagos during the Fall. Fluffy Blue Footed Booby chicks are around too, although they won’t have their blue feet just yet!
- Photo Opportunities
For any keen photographers, the natural light during the Fall creates the perfect backdrop for nature shots. The weather at this time of year is largely dry and overcast, so there’s no need to worry about heavy rains or blazing sun. And best of all, the Garua Season is just starting to phase out at this time of year, so there’s still a little bit of mist in the air which can create a very dramatic look and give photos a great appearance.
- More Activities
There are lots of activities that you can take part in across the numerous visitor sites in the Galapagos Islands. However, some of these activities, such as hiking, can be quite uncomfortable during the hot season. With more comfortable temperatures and lower humidity in the Fall, it’s possible to enjoy a wider range of activities, like hiking the Sierra Negra volcano rim, walking to Chico Volcano, or to the Darwin Lake view point.
- Temperatures are Pleasant
During September, October and November, the temperatures in the Galapagos are just starting to heat up after the slightly cooler summer. At this time of year, visitors can expect pleasant, not-too-hot temperatures, with highs of around 25 degrees Celsius and lows of 20 degrees. Fall is also a very dry time of year in this part of the world, and water temperatures in the Fall lie around 23 degrees, so ideal for underwater activities.
- Off-Season Peace and Quiet
As we mentioned earlier, Fall is a very quiet time of year in the Galapagos. In fact, it is the quietest season of all, and is widely considered to be the ‘off season’ or ‘low season’. More travelers are attracted to the summer months due to school breaks, and the winter months, due to the high heats. This means that travelling during the Fall can be a very cost effective way to see the Galapagos, with great travel deals to be found.