enchanted place on earth is composed of 19 islands and more than 40
islets, with white sand beaches, dark and solid rocks, unique
landscapes, deep crystal clear waters, you can enjoy yourself swimming
with playful sea lions around you, watching friendly sharks cruise six feet under you. All these wonderful nature makes you feel as if you are part of it all.
has a world record of especial titles and management categories: the
islands are Ecuador's first National Park; UNESCO World natural
heritage Site, both the terrestrial Park and the Reserve, (the second
largest and possibly the most unique in the world); Biosphere Reserve
and a Whale Sanctuary.
GALAPAGOS ISLANDS LOCATION
This alluring complex ecosystem is located 1,000 kilometers (600 miles)
off the coast of Ecuador, northwest of South America in the Pacific
Some of the most unusual and fascinating species in the world, both terrestrial and marine, are found in the Galapagos islands.
most of the surface (96%) is a National Park, surrounded by a protected
Marine Reserve, both UNESCO World Heritages Sites. On Santa Cruz island,
the Giant tortoises can be seen at the Charles Darwin Research Station
(including famous Lonesome George, the only remaining tortoise from
"Pinta" island) and also in the wild, in the highlands of this
Galapagos island. There are 15 sub-species of giant tortoises.
prefer the upland zones of the large islands because of humidity,
grassy pastures and small ponds to drink and stagger about.
Others prefer islands
with low elevations, dry terrain, and with lots of prickly vegetation
like cactus. The largest populations are found in Alcedo Volcano on Isabela Island, and in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island.
keep growing for 30 or 40 years to almost 5 feet (1.5 m.) and weigh
about 500 pounds (230 kg.). It is worth mentioning that no one knows
exactly how long giant tortoises live, but it seems they can easily
reach 150 years!
A total of 140 species of birds have been registered in Galapagos. About half of the resident birds cannot be seen , anywhere else in the world.
can observe shore and lagoon birds such as ducks, stilts, herons,
warblers, pelicans and frigates all easily approachable, just like all
the Galapagos animals.
Eight species of Darwin's Finches are found on Santa Cruz island; most of which can be observed all around the island.
Charles Darwin's concepts were founded by modern evolutionists by studying the different beaks of these finches.
SNORKELING AND DIVING
The Galapagos islands are considered a world
premier destination for scuba diving and snorkeling. The protected waters of
its Marine Reserve have been well preserved, nearly untouched by external sources.
Here the crossroads of marine currents has resulted in a unique marine ecosystem.
Although the islands are tropical, there are two markedly different
seasons: the warm, humid and sunny season from December to May and the
dry, windy and not-so-sunny season from June to November.
months are January, April and May. The Warm Season offers hardly any
wind (so the sea is usually very calm) and the visibility tends to be
In the Dry Season there is more wind, sometimes the sea tends to be choppy and the
Surprisingly, its water temperatures range from 16°C to 27°C degrees
Celsius (61°F - 80°F); divers use full wet (6mm) suits all year around
and hoods in the cold season. Regardless season, a thermocline is
commonly found below 12-15 meters (37-45 feet)
THE MEANING OF GALAPAGOS
Amongst the first groups that came to Galapagos, we had many of Spanish origin.
traditional Castilian language, the word "Galapago" was used to
describe the frontal piece of the riding saddle, and upon seeing the
many tortoises the islands had in earlier years, but more important,
the shape of their carapace (shell), they named this archipelago
"Islands of the Galapagos".
And this is the official story of the name of these Galapagos islands. Click here to visit the most complete Site ever made about the Galapagos Islands and
will find outstanding and solid information regarding these Enchanted
Islands and the country to which they belong (Ecuador).
Some of the interesting topics covered are: Galapagos birds, Giant tortoises, Galapagos sharks,
the surrounding Galapagos sea and land wildlife, Ecuador cities with
usable travel tips , great activities you can enjoy, recommendations on
where to stay, what to do and tours available.