The islands, islets and rocks of the Galapagos number 127 in total. They’re situated in the Pacific Ocean, 1000km from the coast of South America. There are nineteen larger islands, and humans inhabit four. At the confluence of 3 ocean currents, the marine reserve is a living example of evolution. As a result of the extreme isolation of the islands, unusual animals and behaviours have developed.
An excellent example of this is the different behaviours of the many kinds of finches and mockingbirds. Charles Darwin observed this during his visit in 1835 before developing his famous Theory of Evolution. The land iguana, giant tortoise, flightless cormorant, and huge cacti are other good examples.
One of the most significant marine reserves in the world surrounds the islands. A high density of marine fauna, 2,909 species, have been recorded.
Underwater is a spectacle that is hard to believe. The marine fauna is so relaxed with humans; they’ll swim alongside a diver. Sharks, penguins, corals and geomorphological forms add to the fantastic scenery. Up to 50,000 sea lions populate the islands. These are usually the first animals a visitor will spot, frolicking and fishing along all the coastlines.
The islands are considered to be young in geographical terms. The youngest islands, Isabela and Fernandina, are less than one million years. The oldest, Española and San Cristóbal, are between three and five million years. For comparison, the Bermuda Islands formed approximately 110 million years ago.
- Galapagos Tortoise,
- Marine Iguanas and Land Iguana
- Galapagos finches, Magnificent Frigatebird, blue-footed booby
- Galapagos penguins
- Sally Lightfoot crabs
- Galapagos sea lions
- Galapagos green turtle
The precious Galapagos Islands are a protected National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Preserving the unique fauna and flora is a crucial element in managing visitors. Strict wildlife viewing rules are in place.