Galapagos Archipelago: A brief description of the islands
The Galapagos Islands, also known officially as the Colon Archipelago, are located within the Ecuadorian coasts in the Pacific Ocean. They are composed by 13 main islands, whose extension varies from 4 to 6 miles each, six medium size islands and more than 215 islets that attract almost a quarter million of tourists every year.
Formerly called Insulae de los Galapagos in colonial times, this archipelago was found by chance on 1535 and became populated during the 17th century. Since then, people from all around the world has visited these islands to see one of the world’s most diverse ecosystem, becoming an important spot for ecofriendly tourism and scientific investigations.
This geographical paradise even has a big role in modern history: the British naturalist Charles Darwin stayed in the archipelago for two weeks doing observation and investigation of the area’s flora and fauna, which later heavily influenced its ‘Origin of Species’.
Nowadays, the Galapagos islands are a national park and also part of the UNESCO World’s Heritage for their very special a specific biodiversity; there are many species that inhabit this area and can’t be found anywhere else on the globe: The Galapagos tortoises, marine iguanas, flightless Cormorants, lava lizards, Galapagos sea lions and even penguins – yes, penguins. For this and more, visiting this archipelago is a must, but, between so many islands, where to start?
Well, the most populated island in the archipelago is Santa Cruz, there you will find Baltra, the main airport, Puerto Ayora, where the majority of cruisers arrive, and the Charles Darwin Research Station.
Also Tortuga Bay, a beautiful beach where spotting the Galapagos tortoises in their natural habitat happens very often, is within a walking distance from the harbor. Santiago and Bartolomé islands are also often visited by many tourists, in this area is possible to swim and snorkel side by side with penguins, sea lions and even witnessing the hatching of marine turtles between January and March.
Whether you’re looking for an all-inclusive resort type of vacation or an adventure trekking through beautiful beaches and climbing extinct volcanoes, the Galapagos Archipelago has everything: history, fun, amazing villagers and stunning locations.
Let us at Galapagos Center Expeditions be your guide in this lovely paradise.