Located at 972 km on the west part of the Ecuadorian coast, the Galápagos Islands or the Archipelago of Columbus were discovered in 1535 by Fray Tomas de Berlanga, due to their peculiar characteristics, they declared the Islands as a Biosphere Reserve in 1985, in 1959 as a National Park, and later Natural Heritage of the Humanity by the UNESCO, additionally it is considered as a sanctuary of whales.
It has an exceptional varieties of fauna and flora that allows it visitors to observe the life phenomenon of the island, it was here where Charles Darwin conducted his research that led him to make the species evolution theory. The Galapagos Archipelago is one of the scientific and touristic gems of Ecuador and is one of the most famous attractions in the country. It consists of 13 major islands, 6 minor islands and 42 islets of volcanic origin, located from the north and the south part of the equinoctial line almost at 1000 km from the mainland.
220 endemic plants species have been identified, 399 native and 119 introduced, these species could germinate in insular soil their own structure and physiology as a result of their acclimatization to the new livelihood. Due to these adaptations some species of the islands are unique in the world.
97% of the total area of the Islands is part of the Galapagos National Park except the Santa Cruz Island, San Cristóbal Island, Isabela Island, Floreana Island and Baltra Island, because these are inhabit areas, additionally in the Galapagos Islands there is a regulation that it delimits the areas, the time and the tourism flow with the aim of preserving the species of the Island.
It is the most complex and diverse archipelago in the world, maintains relatively unchanging conditions, the endemic flora and fauna evolved in the absence of foreign elements and that is why in its management priority is given to the control of the introduction and prolongation of foreign species.
The great worldwide, scientific and tourist interest in this archipelago is due, to the facility to observe different species of fauna that includes the giant tortoise in which 11 of the 14 sub-original species persist. Other emblematic animals of the Island are the blue-footed boobies, the Darwin's finches, the frigate birds, the marine iguana and the land iguanas. The original mammals are 4 mice endemic species and 2 bats species, which were introduced into the continent by the colonists, it should be mentioned that in the Islands there are no amphibian
The Galapagos Islands never belonged to the continent, but they formed at the bottom of the sea, emerging from volcanoes 30 million years ago. Its construction is still dormant and the archipelago is in a state of constant earth movements and eruptions.
The Galapagos Islands were discovered by chance in 1535 by the priest Tomas de Berlanga, bishop of Panama. The islands are harbor to more than 25,000 people grouped into small cities, the capital is Puerto Baquerizo Moreno.
Is good to know:
• Galapagos harbor the unique marine iguana specie in the world.
• They have a breeding and reproduction program for giant tortoises in captivity.
• 30.8% of Galapagos species are endemic (originating) from the islands.
• The Galapagos Islands harbor the only penguin that inhabits at the northern hemisphere
It is the largest and youngest island of the archipelago, representing 60% of the total surface of the islands. Puerto Villamil is the capital and urban side of Isabela. On this is the Tears Wall, an expression of the cruelty of the colony that existed there for several years.
Nowadays it is a quiet and peaceful town full of nature, white sand and palm trees, at the western end is the Love Beach, good place for relaxation and enjoyment as a couple.
Rocky islet located at the southern part of the Puerto Villamil Bay. Considered like this because it is formed by volcanic lava, in this place you can observe a variety of sharks that come out at night. This site is attractive because you find a variety of terrestrial species such as marine.
Santa Cruz Island
Located between the Isabela and San Cristóbal islands, this is where most of the province's tourism movement is concentrated since it is the most populated island. It is in this place where the Charles Darwin Scientific Station was established in 1964, which investigates wildlife on the islands and has a center for the reproduction of Galápagos tortoises.
Turttle Bay is a beach of white sand and turquoise waters, is located in the southern part of the Santa Cruz Island. There are two beaches the Playa Brava area whose waters are ideal for surfing. Ballena Mansa that resembles a large pool surrounded by mangroves, white sand, in these waters you can practice kayaking, diving and snorkeling. Tortuga Bay is also the place where environmental education activities and awareness about nature are carried out.
San Cristóbal Island
It is the closest island to the mainland, it was discovered accidentally by Fray Tomas de Berlanga in 1535. Within this is Puerto Baquerizo Moreno which is the capital of the province.
Islet located at the northeast part of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. Recognized for being the cradle of several sea lions, who stroll and play around the beach. In addition you can see brown pelicans, several marine species such as stingrays, turtles, iguanas and a number of fish of various colors.
Located at the western part of Isabela Island, it is one of the most active volcanic islands of the archipelago, the flora and fauna of the place have been preserved intact, making it the perfect place for true nature lovers. Is harbor of pelicans, penguins, the flightless cormorant, marine iguanas, blue footed boobies, finches and sea lions.
Located at the southern part of San Cristobal Island, it is the perfect place to admire the procession of the albatross,the blue-footed boobies dance , masked boobies, sea lions, marine iguanas, mockingbirds and the geyser called "El Hueco Blower" where you can see how the sea rises high. This site is also the harbor of several giant turtles repatriated as a result of the Captive Breeding Program, carried out by the Galapagos National Park and the Charles Darwin Research Station.
Located at the eastern coast of the Spanish Island, it is a natural paradise with white sand beaches and a unique marine species diversity. Its main attraction are the colonies of sea lions, resident and migratory birds, sea turtles and albatrosses. It is also an open nesting area for turtles and an ideal place to practice surface diving.
Located the southern part of the Santa Cruz Island, you can visit Punta Cormorant with the flamingos lagoon. And if you want to practice snorkeling or diving, the Corona del Diablo is the perfect place since it is a semi-submerged volcanic cone, where you can admire corals and a great variety of marine fauna.
The Santiago Island, is the fourth largest island that has lakes, volcanoes, arid coasts and green mountains. It is the place where sea lions, turtles, flamingos, dolphins and sharks inhabit. On the island there are ideal beaches for swimming or long walks on trails of solidified lava.
Located at 14 square km from the Archipelago, it is the place where red-footed boobies nest, and there are also fur seals, marine iguanas, tropical birds, masked boobies and frigates.