The Galápagos archipelago, which lies 1,000 km (620 miles) off the coast of Ecuador, is the world's second-largest marine reserve. This area will always be remembered because of Charles Darwin's work there. The British naturalist observed the local fauna in 1835 and wrote his book "The Origin of the Species," which forever changed ideas about evolution. The archipelago is now making an effort to preserve this habitat because its population has grown 300% over the last two decades and the number of tourists visiting has quadrupled during the same time. As part of this effort, Galápagos National Park charges high fees and limits the number of daily visits to each island. Additionally, only 3% of the territory is inhabited. Santa Cruz, the main island in the Galápagos, together with San Cristóbal, Isabela, Floreana and Baltra are the only ones where tourists are allowed to disembark and remain.
What is there to do in the Galápagos Islands?
If you like animal watching, you can see iguanas, sea lions and giant tortoises that live to be over 100 years old on the 13 main islands, as well as caves, active volcanoes and beautiful beaches where you can dive.
How do you get to the Galápagos Islands?
The main entry point to the Galápagos is through Santa Cruz Island, which is served by the Baltra airport. The best tourist accommodations can be found in Puerto Ayora, which is the starting point for most tours.
You can visit the Galápagos any time of year – you just need to check out the weather first to find out what you'll encounter. The high season runs from mid-June to early September and from mid-December to mid-January. We recommend you stay at least one week.