Galapagos Island Information with its main attractions, location and the wonderful activities you can enjoy.
This Galapagos archipelago emerged six million years ago as a result of volcanic activity in the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.
This incredible group of Islands is located 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) off the coast of Ecuador North-West of South America right in the Equator Line.
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The Galapagos Islands consist of 6 main Islands 12 smaller Islands and over 40 small islets. See the Galapagos Map
The Galapagos Islands are famous for its rare species. All the reptiles, half of the plants and 40% of the birds are endemic to the Galapagos, which means that they can not be found anywhere else in the world.
This is also the land where Charles Darwin developed a theory that would forever change conventional thinking.
WILDLIFE OBSERVATION Some of the most unusual and fascinating species in the world, both terrestrial and marine, are found in the Galapagos Islands.
Here most of the surface (96%) is a National Park, surrounded by a protected Marine Reserve, both UNESCO World Heritages Sites.
On Santa Cruz Island, the giant tortoises can be seen at the Charles Darwin Research Station (including famous Lonesome George, the only remaining tortoise from "La Pinta Island) and also in the wild, in the highlands of this Island. See Beautiful Galapagos Island Pictures here
BIRDWATCHING A total of 140 species of birds have been registered in Galapagos. About half of the resident birds cannot be seen, "anywhere else in the world".
You can observe shore and lagoon birds such as ducks, stilts, herons, warblers, pelicans and frigates all easily approachable, just like all the Galapagos animals.
Eight species of Darwin's Finches are found on Santa Cruz island; most of which can be observed all around the Island.
Charles Darwin's concepts were founded by modern evolutionists by studying the different beaks of these finches.
VISIT THE CHARLES DARWIN RESEARCH STATION The Charles Darwin Research Station in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island, conducts research for Galapagos conservation, focusing on two major areas: management of invasive species and restoration of the native biodiversity and ecosystems.
The Giant Tortoise Breeding Program is the best chance for you to spend some time with the long-lived reptiles.
GIANT TORTOISE RESERVE Hiking or biking from Puerto Ayora to the Reserve takes about two hours through dense and low growing vegetation. Here you can observe the Giant Galapagos Tortoises (in season) in their natural habitat.
Also, once in the highlands, you can visit Los Gemelos Pit Craters, just off the road towards the Baltra airport.
The highlands are also great for observing the Darwin's Finches, special attention should be given to the woodpecker finch, one of the few tool-using birds in the world.
SNORKELING AND DIVING The Galapagos islands are considered a world premier destination for scuba diving and snorkeling.
The protected waters of the Galapagos Marine Reserve have been well preserved, nearly untouched by external sources. More About Galapagos Diving
Here the crossroads of marine currents has resulted in a unique marine ecosystem.
Finch Bay Hotel provides snorkeling gear for Free and Scuba diving programs are available for a small fee.
SEA KAYAKING Devine bay located at Santa Cruz island, is an excellent location to explore by kayak.
Here you can get an up close look at sharks, sea turtles, rays, fish and a variety of marine birds. More About Galapagos Kayak here
June is the month when sea-dependent wildlife (sea birds, sea lions, sea turtles, fish, etc) will actively engage in looking for a mate.
Courtship rituals are remarkable highlights of this month, and will be only seen throughout June.
Earlier than June, wildlife is not fully engaged in courtship rituals (waters have not cooled enough for plankton to be blooming at high levels), while later than June most individuals have found suitable mates and nesting locations.
Without any doubt "June" is a month of perhaps the highest wildlife activity of the whole year.
Sea bird communities are very active (breeding), specially the Blue footed boobies on Espanola Island. Flightless cormorants perform beautiful courtship rituals and nesting activities on Fernandina.
If you walk along the shores of Puerto Egas (Santiago Island) you could find American oystercatchers nesting. Lava Lizards initiate mating rituals until November.
Cetaceans (whales & dolphins) are more likely to be observed, specially off the western coast of Isabela Island. Water temperature does not reach more than 23°C (76°F)
With 250 photos and tons of great information, this is an essential addition to your pre-Ecuador and -Galapagos reading!
There are better guides if you are only interested in the islands, but for a combination trip taking in Ecuador as well, it's hard to beat.
Small enough to fit into your pocket, yet containing comprehensive information and pictures of all the species you will encounter in the islands, this book is a must-have for nature lovers.
Let's face it, Galapagos is largely about the wildlife. This book will NOT disappoint, and you'll have a great memento of your time with the seals, penguins and tortoises!
Definitely NOT a tourist's guide, but if you're like me, and find the history and geography of the islands irresistible, then this is a title you ought to invest in.
Stunningly illustrated, and painstakingly researched, those of you who have been there will be enchanted again -- and those of you who have not will begin planning your trip!
If you're a seasoned Galapagos regular, then you will probably prefer something weightier.
But for first-timers looking for simple, down-to-earth advice on where to go, what to see and the best shopping and eating on the islands, this is the book for you.
Small, well-priced, and reliable!
The 10th anniversary edition of this photographer's tour of the Galapagos Islands is a stunning book, worthy of anybody's coffee table.
This is a perfect post-trip talking point -- a great way to remember what you've seen, and spread the word amongst your envious friends!
If you need more specific Galapagos Island information, You can post your questions on our Galapagos FAQ Page and if you'd like to request more information about our recommended Galapagos Land Tours to visit this Archipelago, You can Contact us here