Galapagos Islands are a cluster of volcanic islands surrounding the equator in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Since its discovery in 1535, scientists and sightseers have visited the islands to experience first-hand its rich wildlife, colorful animals, centuries-old land formations and beautiful scenery. Charles Darwin developed his theory of evolution during his expedition to the islands in 1835. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Galapagos has an abundant array of wildlife – lava streams, unbroken ocean and endemic faunas inhabited by land iguanas, giant tortoise and seal colonies.
The islands are comprised of 13 main, 6 small islands and 107 islets. Among the more popular tourist destinations is Baltra Island, a relatively small and flat island with salt bushes, pear cactuses and palo santo trees. Just off the coast of Santiago is Bartolome Island where sea lions interact with photo-snapping visitors. One of the most inhabited parts of the islands is Darwin Island, named after the naturalist, where there are an abundance of seals, frigate birds, marine iguanas, sea lions, whales and marine turtles. Out here one can enjoy a close-up view of the courtship between blue-footed boobies and the migration of sea lions. Galapagos tortoises, which are present in every island, remain the Galapagos’ most endearing symbol.
A generally mild and comfortable climate envelope the Galapagos populated by nearly 40,000 Spanish-speaking coast inhabitants, known as the costenos. Most of them are Ecuadorian Mestizos, a hybrid of Spaniards and Native Americans, who left a remarkable impact on the native cuisine enriching it with fish, beans and unripe banana-like fruits or plantains.
Galapagos Island Traveler Advice
Travel and Inspire
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