Galapagos archipelago is located approximately 970 kilometers (600 miles) west of the continental Ecuador. Galápagos time is GMT - 6.
The archipelago is formed by thirteen major islands, six smaller islands, 42 islets and many rocks. All of these big and small islands covered a surface of 7,850 km². The largest island is Isabela, with an area of 4,590 km². Isabela also has the highest point of the archipelago, the Wolf volcano, with 1,690 meters above sea level.
97% Of the total surface area of the archipelago is part of the Galapagos National Park. The rest is part of the populated areas and crops lands of the Islands Santa Cruz, San Cristóbal, Isabela and Floreana, in addition to the Baltra Island, occupied in its entirety extension by the armed forces. The main islands are as follows: the capital, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, San Cristóbal, Puerto Ayora and Santa Cruz Island, which is the busiest tourist town. The institution responsible for the management and protection of the Islands and the Marine Reserve is the Galapagos National Park. This institution works with the collaboration of other entities, such as the Charles Darwin Foundation.
Galapagos Islands wildlife is composed by: birds, mammals and reptiles, several are endemic species unique in the world. The terrestrial ecosystems of the Islands cannot survive without a parallel protection of the adjacent marine environment. For this reason on March 18th, 1999, becomes effective the Galapagos Marine Reserve, whose limits are 40 miles taken from the baseline of the outer islands of the archipelago, forming with it the second largest worldwide marine reserve.
The Galapagos Archipelago is one of the most fascinating places in the world to practice surface diving and deep diving. It has been declared one of the seven underwater wonders of the world by CEDAM. Furthermore, Rodale's Scuba Diving magazine's puts it as the first destination of scuba diving in the world. Its water offerS the opportunity to observe the flora and fauna, coral reefs, whales, whale sharks, hammer sharks, rays and manta rays, turtles, iguanas, hundreds of varieties of fish, and other animal.
Giant tortoises, marine iguanas and terrestrial iguanas, lizards of lava, constitute the most famous reptile’s family. Galapagos reptiles, half of the species of birds, 32% of the plants, 25% of fishes as well as an important number of invertebrates are endemic and are only found in this place of the world.
Birds are represented by more than 13 different species of finches, penguins, cormorants, blue food boobies, falcons, sparrows, albatross and flamingos, including other species. Birds are samples of the mega diverse avifauna with different origin that have taken place in the archipelago. Sea lions and dolphins are part of the multiple attractions of Galapagos. Something you have to visit is the Charles Darwin research station, located in Santa Cruz Island.
To go to Galapagos all passengers need Passport. Although it’s not required any vaccines for entering the Islands, it is preferable to be vaccinated against Malaria, tetanus and yellow fever, even more necessary if you want to travel to the continent.
The Galapagos Archipelago has volcanic origin. 19 Islands and 42 islets are the result of many centuries of undersea volcanic eruptions.
Galápagos is a province in the Republic of Ecuador, the only one located entirely outside the continent.
Its entirety land is part of the Galapagos National Park and marine extension is part of the Galapagos Marine Reserve.
Galapagos is famous for its natural diversity and paradisiacal beauty.
Keep in mind that it’s important to be vaccinated against malaria, tetanus and yellow fever to go to Galapagos