Best time to travel to Galapagos Islands

Baby Sea Lions in Galapagos Islands 2024

The Galapagos Islands are one the most famous places to observe baby sea lions

Best time: August–December

Baby Sea Lions
Baby Sea Lions
Baby Sea Lions

Baby sea lions are some of the most adorable and cutest creatures in the world. If you want to see the pups, you should visit the Galapagos Islands in August and the following months—it's the period when the majority of them are born. However, you can witness them all year round.

The Galapagos Islands are home to a colony of 50,000 endemic sea lions(Zalophus wollebaeki). The largest number of them can be observed at San Cristobal, the easternmost island in the archipelago. The capital city of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno has dozens of these sea mammals everywhere along the waterfront. To see the sea lions in a more natural setting, visit Playa Loberia outside the city where playful pups often interact with people. The small island of Santa Fe located near Santa Cruz also has a large colony, where boats bring tourists to swim and snorkel with sea lions.

The females give birth to a single pup once a year and take care of it up to three years, so it might happen that you see two pups of different ages around one mum. A mother stays with a newborn sea lion for five days, and then she leaves it for a while to go fishing. In the meantime, another female sea lion takes care of all the pups in a kind of nursery in shallow waters. Sometimes males assist in defending the nurseries from sharks or other dangers. After the pups reach five months, they start to learn fishing.

Soon young sea lions will begin to get food on their own.​

Practical info

When is the best time to observe the juvenile sea lions in the Galapagos Islands?

Juvenile sea lions can be observed throughout the year in the Galapagos Islands. However, the most significant number of pups is born from August to December, making it the best time to see the juveniles. The youngsters are playful and active, which means visitors can see them swimming and playing with their mother in the crystal waters of the islands. Show more

In which specific spots in the Galapagos Islands can you find baby sea lions?

Baby sea lions can be found in different areas across the Galapagos Islands. In San Cristobal, the largest colony of sea lions is situated in the waterfront of the town. Other popular spots where visitors can see playful baby sea lions include Playa Loberia, located outside Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, and the shores of Santa Fe island, near Santa Cruz. Show more

What is the number of endemic sea lions estimated to be on the Galapagos Islands?

There are around 50,000 endemic sea lions estimated on the Galapagos Islands. Visitors can find dozens of mother sea lions nursing their pups along the waterfront in San Cristobal, which has the most significant number of sea lions found in the archipelago. If you venture out to nearby shallow waters or the shores of Santa Fe Island, you can witness these creatures swimming and playing. Show more

Do female sea lions nurse their pups individually all year round?

Female sea lions take care of their young ones for up to three years. After nursing their pups for five days, they leave them to go fishing, while the young ones stay in a nursery where another female watches over them. In some cases, male sea lions can also help protect the nursery from potential risks. Pups become good at fishing by five months and are independent soon after. Show more

When do young sea lions learn how to fish?

Young sea lions learn to fish when they turn five months old. Through observation, they learn how to dive into the ocean to catch fish, mimicking their mothers until they can do it alone confidently. Eventually, the young sea lions will begin to get food on their own, marking the beginning of their growth and independence as they mature into strong sea creatures. Show more

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