1000km from the coast of Ecuador sits a mysterious archipelago, formed from volcanoes and brimming with endemic wildlife. These are the Galapagos Islands. Untouched by mankind for centuries, these islands are home to species of flora and fauna unlike anything else on the planet. Evolution ran its course without human interference here for far longer than most other places on the planet and a trip to the archipelago is akin to traveling back in time. Take a look at our Galapagos Map below.
Galapagos Islands Map
The islands first formed over 5 million years ago due to volcanic activity in the area. They remained remote and unheard of until 1835 when Darwin arrived. His research on the islands led him to uncover evolution and natural selection and thrust the archipelago into the public eye. Since then, the islands have held a special place in history and feature on countless bucket lists around the world.
The Main Islands
In total there are 13 main islands. While you probably won’t have time visit every singe one of these islands, there are some that you simply can’t miss. Isabela is the largest of the islands and is also home to the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center. Meanwhile, on Santa Cruz, you will find the Charles Darwin Research Station and the pristine beach of Tortuga Bay.
The Small Islands
Many of the small islands have excellent snorkeling spots around their edges. Wolf and Darwin are popular among experienced divers while Daphne Minor is better for those who just want to splash around and see some tropical fish. Bartolomé is particularly well-known as being the home of the formidable Pinnacle Rock, which looms out of the water.
The land and marine iguanas that inhabit a number of the islands are among the most striking of the creatures found in the Galapagos. The islands also boast the iconic Galapagos giant tortoise, as well as the Galapagos fur seal and the Galapagos sea lion. Many of the wildlife on the islands are completely free from any inhibitions and will happily approach humans.
The Galapagos Islands are also famous for their abundance of birds. The Galapagos hawk, along with a number of boobies, albatrosses and frigates all soar through the skies over the islands. Flightless, but no less impressive, the unique and endemic Galapagos penguin also calls these islands its home.
The list of activities on offer in the Galapagos Islands is virtually endless. On land, you will have the chance to hike through the volcanic landscapes or mountain bike along the craggy trails. These activities offer you the opportunity to admire the scenery while you keep a look out for animals.
Beneath the surface of the water is a whole other world to explore and the best way to do this is by strapping on a mask and snorkel and jumping in! For those with a taste for adventure, there are incredible diving opportunities around the islands. Either way, expect to see a range of tropical fish, sharks, rays, eels and more. If you want to get up close and personal with the water but don’t feel like plunging yourself in, kayaking and panga trips are readily available.
How to See the Islands
The best way to see the Galapagos Islands is by booking a cruise that will take you around the archipelago. The boat will be your home for the duration of your vacation and each day you will harbor alongside one of the islands and disembark for a day of adventures on land. You will be well fed and allocated spacious and comfortable rooms, so you can feel energized each morning and ready to carpe diem.
There are few places in the world as awe-inspiring as the Galapagos Islands. Both naturally and historically fascinating, there is no end to the list of incredible experiences you will have exploring this part of the world. For more information about the Galapagos Map or booking a Galapagos Cruise, please contact us or call 1-888-215-3555.