Highlights and main attractions of the Galapagos ISlands
A wildlife utopia quite apart from the rest of mainland Ecuador, so overwhelming was the biodiversity of the Galapagos Islands that when Charles Darwin opened the world’s eyes to them in 1835 they are said to have inspired his seminal book "On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection". Such is the extent of the rigorous protection and respect for these islands that visitation numbers are tightly regulated, and the inimitably photogenic wildlife is fearless of man; a place where nature and man enjoy a rare equilibrium. Experiencing these mesmerising islands is one of the continent’s greatest attractions, one that feels exclusive and extraordinary despite its popularity.
The Galapagos Islands straddle the equator some 600 miles off the western coast of Ecuador. Comprised of 13 main islands, numerous smaller islands, islets and over 100 rocks that were formed from volcanic activity believed to be 5 million years ago, the islands vary in topography from flat sand to rocky lava ground and vegetation-covered. Despite humans living on the Galapagos for some years already, they are not considered natural predators by the animals, which allows for truly unique walks with unparalleled close encounters with the wildlife.
The wildlife here has no reason to be afraid of humans, allowing for some very close encounters.