THE WONDERS OF GALAPAGOS ISLANDS
Galapagos Islands, known around the world as the «Enchanted Islands», were declared a Natural World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1978. In addition to other recognitions, they have been considered the first destination to see before dying.
These islands are a unique destination in the world. To arrive here is to be transported, in some way, to the origin of the origins. Whoever visits the archipelago is amazed by the particular worlds that unfold on each island. There is no explorer who is not dazzled by the landscapes and the abundant wildlife of this earthly paradise.
Galapagos Islands constitute an archipelago of the Pacific Ocean located 1000 km off the coast of Ecuador. It consists of thirteen large islands with an area larger than 10 km², six medium islands with a surface area of 1 km² to 10 km² and another 215 small-sized islands. It is estimated that the formation of the first island took place more than five million years ago, as a result of tectonic activity. The most recent islands, called Isabela and Fernandina, are still in the process of formation, having recorded the most recent volcanic eruption in 2009.
The archipelago is known for its numerous endemic species and for the studies of Charles Darwin. On September 15th, 1836, aboard the Beagle ship, the young naturalist Charles Darwin arrived in Galapagos and made a scientific study of geology and biology in four of the islands, before continuing his expedition around the world. He investigated the animals and plants of the region. The studies of this trip allowed Darwin to formulate the theory of the origin of the species.
The creatures that inhabit the Galapagos Islands are survivors of a tortured environment, an unusually rare archipelago a thousand kilometers from the mainland. And it is thanks to that long history of isolation and not having had contact with Homos Sapiens that both terrestrial and aquatic animals do not shun our presence. Those who visit the islands can experience the wonder of swimming among sea lion cubs, penguins, stingrays, sea turtles, reef fish, among many other species.
Where to go?
- Isabela: One of the most western islands of the archipelago and the largest of all. On a map, Isabela is what looks like a seahorse. It is composed of six shield volcanoes (Ecuador, Wolf, Darwin, Alcedo, the active Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul), which have merged over time to form the island we know today. The highest point of the Galapagos is the Wolf Volcano, at 1707 meters above sea level.
- Española: One natural wonder after another, from the huge geyser or the thousands of blue-footed boobies nesting, to the largest waved albatross colony in the world.
- Bartolomé: It is famous for its Pinnacle Rock, a natural «obelisk» that rises from the shore and has become a milestone and postcard of the islands. Galapagos penguins – the only penguin species found north of the equator – trail precariously along the volcanic shores of the base. Sea lions snooze on the rocky platforms, ready to slide into the water to play with swimmers passing nearby doing snorkeling.
- Santa Fe: It offers beautiful scenic surprises. Its turquoise lagoon is protected by a peninsula of tiny islets, perfect to find an anchor. Santa Fe is an island that emerged from the sea in the wake of a seismic event; that is why, you can witness its impressive underwater lava formations.
- Santa Cruz: It is the second largest island of the archipelago and the largest population. This is mainly found in its most important city, Puerto Ayora. It is known for being home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the archipelago, a rich geological landscape and the Charles Darwin Research Center.
You can explore the most important islands and interact with their flora and fauna richness during any of our Galapagos adventure trips, selecting your perfect way to discover the Enchanted Islands.
When to go?
Between January and May, the climate of the Galápagos is more classically tropical: sunny, warm, clear skies, and occasional showers, but brief, that bring moisture to the highlands, fanning their greenness and making them bloom.
During the summer and the months of vacations, the traffic of tourists reaches a peak so high that it becomes difficult to obtain space in the boats. Prices go up and flights must be booked well in advance. The ideal months to visit the Islands are March, April and May, when the number of tourists decreases.
Galapagos National Park
The most recent extinction that caused worldwide consternation was the Solitario George emblem, the only specimen of the Chelonoidis abingdoni species, from Pinta Island, which died of natural causes inside its corral, in the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center of Santa Island. Cruz, after 40 years of captivity
The Galapagos National Park is faced with the problems that threaten its protection and care, between the voluntary and involuntary introduction of exogenous species to fragile ecosystems, however, the systematic and planned work carried out by the Ecuadorian State through the Directorate of the Galapagos National Park, has allowed 95% of its flora and fauna originally recorded to be kept in a good state.
The wonders that you can find in the Galapagos Islands are proof of the richness offered by nature and the world. Remember that Galapagos is a protected area and excellent behavior is required.
These magic islands will develop the adventurer inside you, will challenge you to new experiences and mainly to understand the meaning of daring to live out of your comfort zone.