Travel Reports » Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands are an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, located at the equator, which consists of 13 larger and over 100 smaller islands. The islands are located about 1000 kilometers west of the Ecuadorian coast in South America. 97% of the country and 99% of the surrounding waters are under strict nature conservation and the extraordinary flora and fauna of the islands are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Agricultural and fishing activities, as well as entering the islands and navigating the waters, are strictly regulated.

The numerous islands are of volcanic origin and only five are inhabited: Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, Isabela, Floreana and Baltra. Due to the archipelago’s isolated location in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, endemic animal and plant species have been able to develop and survive. Many species (around 40 percent) are only indigenous to the area, such as the giant turtles, marine iguanas, cormorants, the Galapagos sea bear, Darwin finches and many more. The Galapagos Islands have become particularly famous through Charles Darwin, whose theory of evolution (The Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection, 1859) received a number of thought-provoking impulses there. The Galapagos Islands are a year-round destination due to their location at the equator, but the best time to travel is from December to May.