The Galapagos National Park is located in the Galapagos Islands. It is one of the most important tourist attractions of Ecuador and the most recognized worldwide for its natural beauty and its vast biodiversity.
Galapagos National Park is a leader in the management of protected areas, nationally and internationally. Likewise, its fauna and flora evolutionary processes have achieved worldwide recognition.
97% of the land area of the Galapagos archipelago is part of the National Park and includes over 20 islands with a high level of presence of different species of mammals and exotic plants.
Galapagos National Park is an archipelago of 121 islands, islets and rocks scattered at 38,000 km2 off-shore. Galapagos National Park presents a high endemism and unique physical and biological characteristics. At the moment, Galapagos is one of the few islands in the world that keeps intact its native flora and fauna.
The Galapagos Islands are located at the Western Pacific on the equator, 960 km. west of continental Ecuador. Galápagos is composed by 13 major islands, 6 smaller ones and over 107 islets and rocks with a total landmass area of 7995.4 km2. The larger islands are: Isabela, Santa Cruz, Fernandina, Santiago, San Cristóbal, Floreana and Marchena. Among the minor are: Genovesa, Española, Pinta and Baltra. The islands keep up several habitats with endemic characteristics, which are refuge for food and reproduction of innumerable terrestrial and marine animals.
The Galapagos Islands are one of the most active volcanic regions of the planet, known as hot spots. Its formation dates back 350 million years as a result of the dynamic tectonic seafloor.
The historiography says the Islands were discovered by Panama Bishop Tomas de Berlanga on March 10, 1535 on a voyage to Peru at the west coast of South America. However, tradition and scientific acceptance claim that the islands were discovered by the Inca Tupac Yupanqui, because the ceramics found there have the same characteristics as the Manta and Santa Elena ceramics
Bishop Berlanga in a letter written to the King of Spain tells about the wonders of the Galapagos Islands:
"For seven days the ship sailed in fair weather breezes. Then the pilot came ashore and gave us six calm days: the currents were so hard, that led us in the Gulf waters. On Wednesday, March 10th, we saw an island. In the ship we had water for two days, then the sailors decided to take the boat and gone ashore for water and grass for horses... And they found only sea lions and turtles and tortoises so huge that one Galapagos carry a man on its top. They also found many iguanas that are like serpents. Another day we saw another island greater than the last one with high elevations, and believing that there, because of his greatness and monstrosity, would be rivers and fruits, we went there. We traveled ten or twelve leagues, and the water was consumed. We spent three days on that island, calmly. During this time the men and horses were victims of many jobs."
The Galapagos Islands are one of the most popular tourist destinations around the world, because of its incredible biodiversity and exotic beauty.
We recommend you to contact your travel agency or tour operator to make the trip to the Galapagos Islands.