The Galapagos Islands National Park is located approximately 620 miles (1000 km) off the coast of Ecuador, and is part of the Republic of Ecuador. Covering almost 3100 square miles (5000 km) the GI National Park controls the preservation of the area with the Charles Darwin Research Station, which is a training center for naturalist guides who accompany visitors to see over 40 approved sites, including the giant Galápagos Tortoises, which can live up to 200 years. In order to continue the preservation and maintenance of the islands, the park charges $100 for each tourist visiting the park in order to protect Ecuador’s natural heritage.
Ongoing seismic and volcanic activity forms the islands, and together with their isolation in the Pacific Ocean, led to the development of the unique and unusual animal and marine life. Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution followed his visit to the islands in 1835. As a tourist you will be amazed at how up-close and personal you can get to the wildlife, as they are undisturbed by humans or predators.