The Galapagos Islands

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.

Galapagos Islands Map
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The Galapagos Islands

Bartolome Island

A volcanic islet off the east coast of Santiago Island. Great views and the most scenic photos taken are of Pinnacle Rock. A gradual staircase takes you to the overlook, worth every step.

Penguins and reef sharks

Bartolome Island

Darwin Bay – Prince Phillip’s Steps
Tower Island is a spectacular site, and is also known as Bird Island due to the large number of colonies here.
Darwin Bay is a coral beach with tide pools. You enter a forest of mangroves where colonies of red-throated Frigates nest. The males inflate their pouches to attract females that fly overhead.

Wildlife: Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, noddy terns, shearwaters, tropicbirds, storm petrels, short-eared owl and great frigate birds, and Galápagos sea lions and fur seals.

Fernandina Island

Punta Espinoza
The western most island with continuous volcanic eruption.

Wildlife: Colonies of marine iguanas, sea lions, Galápagos snakes, flightless cormorants and penguins and the only sea-going lizard and pools of marine life.

Isabela Island

Punta Vicenta Roca – Urbina Bay – Tagus Cove.
Highest point in the Galápagos is found at Wolf Volcano (5,600 ft. (1,707 m), which erupted in May 2015.

Wildlife: Penguins, cormorants, sea turtles, marine iguanas and giant tortoises.

Santa Cruz Giant Tortoise

Puerto Ayora – Charles Darwin Research Station – Highlands and giant tortoise reserve – Los Gemelos (Pit Craters) – Cerro Dragón (Dragon Hill) – Bahía Ballena (Whale Bay) – Las Bachas Beach
The second largest island with seven vegetation zones and the largest human population mainly in Puerta Ayora.

Wildlife: Giant tortoises in the wild, Darwin’s finches, Galápagos mockingbirds, flycatchers, herons, ducks and egrets.

Española Island

Punta Suárez – Gardner Bay
The oldest island around 3.5 million years is located in the southern most group of islands. Due to its remote region it is home to a large number of endemic species.

Wildlife: Galápagos sea lions, lava lizards, mockingbird and tortoise. Española’s marine iguanas have a distinctive red coloration between breeding season. It is also the only place where the waved albatross nests, Galapagos Doves, and the largest nesting colony of blue-footed boobies.

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