Learn about the History of the Galapagos Island and who was credited for its discovery in the Pacific Ocean.
This credit is given to a Spanish Bishop, who back in 1535, was navigating from Panama to Peru. His name, Fray Tomas de Berlanga.
It turns out that he was in charge of verifying the ethics of Spanish conquest in South America, led by Gonzalo Pizarro.
The King of Spain, Carlos V, commanded Tomas de Berlanga to sail down to Peru, and ethically share with Pizarro the King's views.
As the ship sailed along the west coast of South America, wind and ocean currents of this area gradually pushed the ship too far west, and once caught in troubled waters, and as they approached the islands, they were at the mercy of luck, chance, and the very weak winds of this time of the year.
Their sailing conditions had changed from bad to worse. Finally, in March 10th, 1535, they see an Island and slowly approach it. They had arrived to the Galapagos Islands.
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In a letter written to the King of Spain, Tomas de Berlanga narrates his arrival to Galapagos: (excerpt)
"The boat once anchored, we all went on land and some were given charge of making a well, and others of looking for water over the Island:
from the well there came out water saltier than that of the sea; on land they were not even able to find even a drop of water for two days, and with the thirst the people felt, they resorted to a leaf of some thistles like prickly pears, and because they were somewhat juicy, although not very tasty, we began to eat of them, and squeeze them to draw all the water from them, and drawn, it looked like slops of lye, and they drank it as if it were rose water."
But because of their isolation, the pirates and castaways made this Archipelago their refuge. Treasures were buried, and stories grew up around them.
By 1792, British whalers had reached the Galapagos and began to hunt for whales around them.
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These practices continued until Ecuador took official possession of the Galapagos Archipelago in 1832.
This is the first official written description in the history of the Galapagos Island. This is how the Islands became known to the world.
Luck or not, good or bad, humans are part of this wonderful land. Let's celebrate next March 10th, as the 476th anniversary of the discovery of Galapagos.
Many visitors are marveled about the amazing wildlife and the beautiful Galapagos Landscapes of this Archipelago.
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If you have questions about the History of the Galapagos Island, You can post them on our Galapagos FAQ Page and if you'd like to request more information about our recommended Galapagos Land Tours to explore this Archipelago, You can Contact us here