Galapagos Islands Facts

Here are some interesting Galapagos Islands Facts and important information you should know before arriving. To begin with, the Galapagos are World's Second Largest Marine Reserve.

LOCATION: The Galapagos Islands are located North West of South America.


Exactly 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador (This is the country to which the Galapagos Islands belong) in the Pacific Ocean.

Find Cheap Air Flights to the Galapagos Islands here

  • The Galapagos Islands were declared a Marine Reserve in 1986.
  • Whale and Shark Sanctuary in 1990.
  • World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2001.
  • Seven major oceanic currents assemble the Galapagos marine ecosystems. Most marine species originally came with the Panama Current.
  • 17% percent of Galapagos Fish species are "endemic" to Galapagos.
  • Galapagos is divided in 3 ocean zones: A) Central and Southern Islands (most fish species), B) Northern Islands (warmest waters), and C) Western Islands (coolest waters).See Beautiful Galapagos Islands Pictures here
  • About 800 species of mollusks have been identified. 18% of mollusk species are endemic.
  • Mollusks: Gastropods (73%); Bivalves (24%); Chitons, Scaphopods, Octopus and Cuddle Fish (3%).
  • Echinoderms (Sea Stars, Urchins, Sea Cucumbers): 200 species; 17% endemic.
  • The Galapagos were rated as World's # 1 Scuba Diving Vacation destination in the Pacific Ocean by Rodale's Scuba Diving from 2000-2002.
  • Strange Opposites in the Marine Reserve: Moorish Idol (from the warm Indo Pacific) gently swimming next to Galapagos Penguins
  • Sea Temperature Variation: average of 8°C (from season to season)
  • Snorkeling in the Galapagos Islands is one of the highest satisfaction rate of any outing: 100%

Recommended Reading

Ecuador & Galapagos (Insight Guides). Click to order from Amazon

Ecuador & Galapagos (Insight Guides)

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.


Birds, Mammals, and Reptiles of the Galapagos Islands. Click to order from Amazon

Birds, Mammals, and Reptiles of the Galapagos Islands

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!


Galapagos: The Islands That Changed the World. Click to order from Amazon

Galapagos: The Islands That Changed the World

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!


Moon Spotlight Galapagos. Click to order from Amazon

Moon Spotlight Galapagos Islands

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!


Galapagos: Islands Born of Fire. Click to order from Amazon

Galapagos: Islands Born of Fire

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!


See More About Galapagos

Galapagos Islands Finches

Galapagos Capital City

List of Galapagos Hotels

Galapagos Land Based Tours

Luxury Galapagos Vacation Packages

Cheap Galapagos Tours

If you have any questions about these Galapagos Islands Facts, You can post them on our Galapagos FAQ Page and if you'd like to request more information about our recommended Galapagos Island Tours to explore these Islands, You can Contact us here

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