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Galapagos Islands


Galapagos sea lionsVisting the Galapagos Islands is a must for most people looking for Ecuador Tours. The Galapagos, which are part of Ecuador, sit in the Pacific Ocean about 1000 km (620 miles) west of South America

Because the islands were never connected to the mainland, many species of plants and animals are unique to the Galapagos. In 1835, the young naturalist Charles Darwin, arrived on the islands. His collections from the Galapagos became central to his theory of how species evolve. Today, traveling in the Galapagos with kids, everyone in the family will be awed and amazed by nature.

The origin of the Galapagos Islands are from lava eruptions that came from the bottom of the ocean and rose as much as 2600 feet above sea level. Some of the younger islands still have active volcanoes. Different characters such as isolation, climate, altitude and texture of the land on the islands, have made their distinct vegetation and animal life materialize.

Galapagos video

The islands straddle the equator in a chain of 13 large island and many smaller ones. The main islands are: Fernandina, Isabela, Santiago, Santa Cruz, Floreana, Española, San Cristobal, Genovesa, Santa Fe, Marchena, Pinta, Rabida and Pinzon.

Each island is completely different - from large mountainous peaks shrouded in mist and forest to mere reefs of submerged rock and coral. Their most famous visitor was Charles Darwin in 1835, to whom they were "eminently curious''. It was his visit here that helped inspire his theories on evolution. Though low in species numbers, a high proportion are unique to the archipelago. They have been dubbed "a living laboratory of evolution".

Climate

The ocean currents largely determine Galapagos Islands' weather. Normally from June - December, there is a cold current rising from the south which creates a cool moist fog called a garua close to the ocean making the climate rather cool and dry. In December, the wind has less force; the ocean is calm and the currents change, surrounding the islands in the warm Panama Current from the North.

These currents create a definable weather pattern of hot sunny mornings followed by clouds and occasional showers in the afternoons. Needless to say, this is usually the favorite time to visit. In other words: June - December cool, cloudy and dry season. December - June, warm, sunny and rainy season.

Today the Galapagos Islands are a World Heritage Site and they were declared a national park in 1959. Because the uninhabited islands are far apart, a boat cruise of some sort is needed in order to see the best sites. The numbers of tourists are restricted by the national park authorities. It is advisable to book as far ahead as possible, though we have access to a variety of cruise options. Four islands have human populations, and hotel based options are possible. continues...

 
Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Islands
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