These mystical islands are located in the Pacific Ocean approximately 600 miles (965 kms) west off the coast. These Galapagos Islands offer wildlife galore, including blue-flooted boobies, sea lions, penguins, giant tortoise, sharks, marine iguanas, and more. The islands are located in the eastern Pacific Ocean, 973 km (605 mi) off the west coast of South America. The term “Enchanted Islands” first appeared on a map in 1589. In our times, the Galapagos Islands remain one of the most unique, scientifically important, and biologically prominent corners of Earth. By far the most popular activity in the archipelago, trekking in the Galapagos brings the best opportunity to take some amazing pictures of the wildlife and landscapes. Official name: “Archipiélago de Colón,” mostly known as the Spanish name ‘Islas Galápagos’, but also known as the Enchanted Islands. With the red-lipped pout of a Hollywood star, it is speculated that these lips have evolved to lure in mates under the sea. The Galapagos are a naturalist’s dream, filled with a diverse array of plant and animal life unique in the world. There's something mysterious and unique about the destination. The Galapagos Islands were discovered in 1535 by the bishop of Panama, Tomás de Berlanga, whose ship had drifted off course while en route to Peru. We did not try diving but can only confirm that snorkeling is something you shouldn't miss. The Galapagos marine animals include more than 2,900 species, 25% percent of which are endemic, meaning that they are found nowhere else on Earth. Administratively, they belong to Ecuador, which is responsible for protecting and conserving the life on the islands. Galapagos is a harsh, remote land, and the species that arrived there did not survive by diversifying, but rather by evolving specific traits to suit a certain niche in the environment. The beaches are a great place to stay busy with water activities during the warmer months of the year from December to May. Darwin emerged from the Galapagos Islands with his Theory of Evolution which is widely accepted by the majority of scholars today. I Want to Travel to the Galapagos Islands . A Darwin's Finch (also known as the Galapagos Finch or as Geospizinae) in the Galapagos Islands. The Galapagos Islands are also famous for fantastic volcanic formations; colored sand beaches, including the red beaches of Rabida and the green beaches of Floreana; and crystal-clear blue waters teeming with exotic marine life. Rumor has it that there may even be a “great-grandpa” tortoise that hatched around the time Darwin arrived at the islands. Some of the famous ones are the Mangrove Finch, common cactus finch, medium ground finch, and the sharp-beaked ground finch, known colloquially as the vampire finch. The island is distinguished for its unique flora and fauna unique in the world, according to the archipelago's National Park. The Galapagos Islands are also known as a perfect snorkeling and diving destination. These volcanic islands are relatively new in the grand scheme of things (Isabela and Fernandina, the biggest islands, are said to be less than one million years old). The Galapagos Islands have long held a fascination for travelers around the world. The islands are one of the 24 provinces of Ecuador. Because of a large number of endemic animals, specific climatic conditions on different islands and isolation from the outside world, he could systematically study the impact of specific factors on the morphology […] What is Galapagos? A rare penguin with all-white feathers has been found in the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador. The Galapagos Islands are a collection of islands in the Pacific Ocean, over 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador. The closest known relative of the Galápagos finches is the South American Tiaris obscurus. In 1831, Charles Darwin was commissioned by the British government to partake on a worldwide expedition as an appointed naturalist. What produce do the Galapagos Island grow? They were first collected by Charles Darwin on the Galápagos Islands during the second voyage of the Beagle. Many species are endemic, which means they are not found anywhere else in the world. Paddling alongside the island’s shore and observe many birds nesting in the tree branches, schools of baby rays and sharks, as well as other marine life enjoying the tranquil turquoise waters of Galapagos. The Islands inspired poets, explorers, scientists and dreamers. The one-of-a-kind animal species that call this remote archipelago home and their total lack of concern over humans approaching them have captured the wonderment of scientists and nature enthusiasts for decades. A: Staying in a hotel on land in the Galapagos Islands allows for multiple types of tours depending on your preferences, budget, and how many days you want your visit to be. For instance, Hotel-based tours allow you to explore one particular island to its fullest, engage with the community, and partake in daily trips to surrounding visitor sites without the hassle of changing hotels. The 19 islands straddle the equator to the north and south. In fact, Galapagos is a Spanish word that means saddle. A holiday to the Galapagos Islands is most likely the experience of your entire life. It features some of the world’s most unique and endemic wildlife species, wonderful beaches that continually rank among the world’s best. In 1835, young Charles Darwin visited the islands, and what he learned here helped inspire his theory of natural selection. The 19 islands straddle the equator to the north and south. At the onset of the expedition, Darwin like most people, believed in the creation theory; the theory that everything on earth was created directly by the hand of God in its original form. You and a small party will be led by a naturalist guide appointed by the Galapagos National Park through trails brimming with wonderful life and awe-inspiring views. 5 out of 15 Galapagos BIG15 wildlife: Galapagos penguin, Galapagos sea lion, Galapagos hawk, marine iguana, frigatebird (great and magnificent) This island is famous for several reasons, one of which is the monumental and iconic tower of raw earth that pokes out … The Galapagos Islands became famous after Charles Darwin landed there to study the animals of these islands and postulate the theory of evolution. Lonesome George died on the 24th June 2012 at the age of 100. The most famous resident of the Galapagos islands was Lonesome George, who was the only surviving giant Pinta Island tortoise left on Earth. One of its island is around 4 millions years old while the young islands keep growing. He was aboard the HMS Beagle when he made his books, one of them known as The Voyage of the Beagle. The Galapagos islands are known the world over for biodiversity of unique flora and fauna. A stone bust in the town square on Santa Cruz Island commemorates the scientist, while a nearby investigative center (The Charles Darwin Research Station) bears the name of this evolutionary giant and is a big hit with many tourists. Other notable species are the Marine Iguana, thirteen endemic species of finches known as Darwin’s finches; the Galapagos penguin, which is the only penguin found outside of the Antarctic; and Scalesia or “daisy tree,” a family of shrubs and trees often referred to as the Darwin’s finches of the plant world. Tourism has steadily grown over the last two decades; in 2012 it is estimated that 200,000 tourists will visit the Galápagos Islands. It’s an archipelago rich with history found west of Ecuador, known as the place where Charles Darwin made his study on wildlife and endemic species. The … However, you may consider factors such as high season vs. low season and the climate, and some other factors, best explained in our when to go to the Galapagos Islands article. In fact, the biodiversity in the Galapagos marine reserve contains more species of plant and animal life than anywhere else in the world with the exception of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. The islands, nearly 1,000 km from the coast of Ecuador, are best-known for their unique wildlife. Located on the equator, the Galapagos Islands are most famous for their highly diverse and rich ecosystems. The variety of Darwin’s Finches are found all over the archipelago. The closest land mass is that of mainland Ecuador, the country to which they belong, 926 km (500 nmi) to the east. Related to other Batfish species but endemic to the Galapagos Islands, this funky looking fish is very unique. The closest known relative of the Galápagos finches is the South American Tiaris obscurus. It is famous for its bright red feet and very colorful face and beak. For example, after observing that mainland species looked similar to species found on the islands but lived in completely different habitats, Darwin developed his theory of natural selection. His visit to the islands inspired his theory of natural selection and drove his writing of On the Origin of Species which was published in 1859. The only two recurring islands you’ll find on each itinerary are the islands of Baltra – where Galapagos’ main airport is located – and Santa Cruz – home to the largest population of inhabitants (known as galapagueños) in the archipelago. Unfortunately, the Galapagos Islands are threatened due to environmental degradation. In reality, these birds are not really part of the finch family and are thought to probably actually be some sort of blackbird or mockingbird. The Galapagos Islands offer a rare peek at what the world might look like devoid of human interference. Only five of the Galapagos Islands are inhabited by people with an approximate population of 28,000. Located on the equator, the Galapagos Islands are most famous for their highly diverse and rich ecosystems. But t he fragile Galapagos ecosystem faces threats from invasive species, habitat loss, overfishing and other destructive human behaviors. The giant tortoise arrived in Galapagos from mainland South America 2-3 million years ago, where they underwent diversification into 15 species, differing in their morphology and distribution. Red footed boobies come in three color morphs and three subspecies. Read more about the well-known Islands taking a excursion here! "This may be due to a genetic condition of … The Galapagos Islands are famous for their variety of endemic (native only to the islands) wildlife that was studied by Charles Darwin during his voyage on the HMS Beagle. Underwater pinnacles that rise from the sunken volcanic crater at Devil's Crown form a highrise for large schools of king angelfish and yellowtail grunts, turtles and sea lions, and the more-than- occasional hammerhead and white-tip sharks. If you are interested in who first set foot on the islands -whether it was the Incas, refugees, pirates or seafarers - find out more about the human history of the Islands. The islands are located in South America and the official language spoken there is Spanish. And, with more than 400 species of fish, some of the most unique birds on the planet, and an iconic collection other native and endemic Galapagos wildlife, visiting the islands can feel like you’re literally stepping into a National Geographic-style documentary. 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