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Quick Facts about Galapagos

Situated in the Pacific Ocean some 1,000 km from the South American continent, these 19 islands and the surrounding marine reserve have been called a unique ‘living museum and showcase of evolution’. Located at the confluence of three ocean currents, the Galápagos are a ‘melting pot’ of marine species. Ongoing seismic and volcanic activity reflects the processes that formed the islands. These processes, together with the extreme isolation of the islands, led to the development of unusual animal life – such as the land iguana, the giant tortoise and the many types of finch – that inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection following his visit in 1835.

The Galapagos Marine Reserve is an underwater wildlife spectacle with abundant life ranging from corals to sharks to penguins to marine mammals. No other site in the world can offer the experience of diving with such a diversity of marine life forms that are so familiar with human beings, that they accompany divers. The diversity of underwater geomorphological forms is an added value to the site producing a unique display, which cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

The archipelago´s geology begins at the sea floor and emerges above sea level where biological processes continue.. Three major tectonic plates—Nazca, Cocos and Pacific— meet at the basis of the ocean, which is of significant geological interest. In comparison with most oceanic archipelagos, the Galapagos are very young with the largest and youngest islands, Isabela and Fernandina, with less than one million years of existence, and the oldest islands, Española and San Cristóbal, somewhere between three to five million years.

The wet season in the Galapagos Islands typically runs from January to May. During this time, the islands receive more rainfall, and the weather can be more humid. However, the increased rainfall also brings lush vegetation, and it is a good time to see baby animals and nesting birds.

The dry season runs from June to December. The weather is dryer and sunnier, making it a good time for hiking and exploring the islands. The water is also clearer during this time, making it a great time for snorkeling and diving.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Galapagos

  • Unique and abundant wildlife including giant tortoises, iguanas, sea lions, birds not found anywhere else

  • Stunning landscapes like rugged volcanic terrain, pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters

  • Rich history and culture heritage including the story of Charles Darwin's visit and the scientific discoveries he made that led to the theory of evolution

  • A large number of endemic specifies and a rich variety of marine and terrestrial ecosystems

  • Endless opportunities for adventure including hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, diving and wildlife watching

Galapagos Islands Map

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Landing Sites in Galapagos