Galapagos Islands are located about 1000 km from the Ecuadorian mainland and 600 miles away from the Ecuadorian coastline. The islands cover about 4897 square miles and have interesting volcanic geology and act as a habitat for many plants and animals which have been admired and studied by many travelers as well as scientists.
The Island was discovered by Bishop Fray Tomas of panama in 1535. The famous scientist Charles Darwin was the first person to land on the island on a HMS Beagle in 1835 and he was fascinated by the natural history of the archipelago.
Darwin maintained that the facts he observed about Galapagos helped him develop the famous Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. In 1959 the government of Ecuador declared that all the uninhabited areas to become national parks and the Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz were finally inaugurated in 1964. Galapagos was designated as the first World Heritage site in 1978 by UNESCO.
The Galapagos Islands have a pleasant weather throughout the year. The area has a warm and a wet season and the climate is mostly determined by the ocean currents with the convergence of the three major oceanic currents bringing a lot of marine animals to the island. There are a number of interesting sites for the visitors, the Los Gemelos craters formed when the empty magma chambers collapsed have attracted many people worldwide.
The large tortoise population in the Alcedo Volcano on the Isabela Island is another site one cannot afford to miss. The Devil’s crown on the north of Cormorant point is another dramatic site where there is a completely submerged volcano. In addition, the lava tunnels on Santa Cruz give one a clear picture of how the amazing islands were formed.
How to get there
Getting to the Galapagos Islands is very easy when one is traveling by air. Flights from the main land arrive at two major destinations either Isla Baltra which is located north of Santa Cruz and another at Isla San Cristobal. Tame, Avianca and LAN airlines fly to the Galapagos Islands daily. Each of the three airlines operate two flights in the morning daily through Guayaquil to Isla Baltra airport which is a few miles away from Puerto Ayora and one can take about one hour by public transport. The airlines also provide two flights in the morning to San Cristobal airport. The return flights are always in the early afternoons daily.
It is very important to reserve your Galapagos tour before purchasing a flight ticket and confirm the dates. Always check with the tour company and get advices before booking your flights to the islands including the optimal times. It is not only interesting to visit the Galapagos Islands but also educative.