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About The Galapagos Islands

The magic of the Galapagos Islands

Magical! That would be a good word to describe these isolated islands of volcanic origin.  This isolation allowed for the development of unique species, many of which and are not found anywhere else in the world. These unique animals act with indifference toward human beings because they never developed a fear of humans. This being one of the many reasons these islands are an icon of biodiversity. It was these geologically young islands, with numerous endemic species, that led the naturalist Charles Darwin to establish his theory of evolution by natural selection

The Galapagos archipelago is located in the Pacific Ocean, 972 km from the coasts of the Ecuador. The archipelago is made up of thirteen large islands, six medium-sized islands and 215 islets, its landscapes are a true spectacle of nature. The islands were the refuge of pirates who approached the Spanish royal fleets for centuries and have always been quite mysterious.

The archipelago is home to beautiful beaches and exciting trails where it is possible to do various activities such as diving, snorkeling, kayaking, hiking, biking, etc. All these activities are carefully planned and organized. This way the fragile ecosystem of the islands is not altered.  The Galapagos National Park covers 7,995.4 km², 97% of the terrestrial area of ​​the islands, in the other 3% there are human settlements, made up of three small towns, which are surprisingly developed and oriented towards the prosperous tourism industry.

During the last two decades, the Galapagos National Park has successfully managed to develop and manage a tourist environment with high quality services and an excellent hotel infrastructure that is perfectly balanced with nature. Visitors to the Galapagos Islands will be able to enjoy and appreciate one of the few places left on earth where the human footprint is kept to a minimum.

History of the Galapagos Islands

The history of the Galapagos Islands is fascinating; the islands were formed 5 million years ago as a result of tectonic activity on the seabed. For centuries, these relatively young islands were enveloped in an aura of mystery and were considered ghost islands. They were discovered by accident on March 10, 1535 by father Tomas de Berlanga. Because of a lack of official records, expeditions made to the islands remained unknown for another 300 years, during this time the islands were only used as a hiding place and supply area for pirates and corsairs. On January 20, 1832, an expedition sent by Juan Jose Flores (President of Ecuador at the time) departed to the Galapagos, and the Republic of Ecuador annexed the islands to its territory on February 12, 1832.

On September 15, 1835 the British expedition, HMS Beagle led by Captain Robert Fitzroy arrived in Galapagos to map asylum sites, the young naturalist Charles Darwin was part of the expedition on the islands and he conducted a scientific study of geology and biology before continuing your expedition around the world.

UNESCO declared the Galapagos Islands as a World Natural Heritage in 1979.

The Galapagos Islands: Geography

The archipelago is located in the Pacific Ocean, 972 km from the coast of Ecuador. It is made up of 13 large islands, 6 medium-sized islands and 215 islets. The islands cover a total area of 4897 square miles (7880 square kilometers)The Galapagos Islands are a dynamic region with volcanic activity, which means that now and then, new lava fields are formed, which end up forming new islands that erode and expand.The largest island of the archipelago is Isabela, which constitutes almost half of its surface; the highest point of all the islands is the Wolf volcano, which has an altitude of 5600 feet (1707 m).

Galapagos Islands Wildlife

The protected marine reserve covers an area of ​​about 133,000 square kilometers (51,000 square miles). The oceans of the reserve make up a unique ecosystem, rich in biodiversity. This is largely due to a phenomenon known as the Humboldt Current. These currents are very important for life and its most visible effect is the abundant marine and terrestrial life found there.  The marine reserve of the Galapagos Islands is the second largest marine reserve in the world.