The Ecuadorian government declared the Galapagos Islands as a national park in 1959, which provides fantastic opportunities for tourists to see nature in its most original places. These small equatorial islands have become extraordinary because this is where Charles Darwin found evidence to prove his theory of Evolution. Some of the rarest, endangered and unique wildlife in the world today makes it home to him, these islands now play an important role in helping us understand how our planet develops.
The Galapagos Islands are excellent as extraordinary vacation destinations for nature lovers and naturalists, which allow you to come face to face with nature. The animals are not afraid of humans and in fact, are more curious to see their visitors who are often fascinated by these islands. Located about 1000 km from Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean, this volcanic island chain consists of more than 123 islands and islands.
Galapagos Islands History
An interesting aspect of the Galapagos is that these islands were never part of the mainland, which formed more than four million years ago. Rather they were formed by marine volcanoes erupting and rising to the surface of the water. A relatively young archipelago in terms of how old the earth is, the Galapagos today sits apart as a distinct World Heritage Site.
The Galapagos was used as a prison colony for many years and officially claimed by Ecuador in 1832. However, by 1934 the importance of these islands was recognized and they have declared wildlife sanctuaries. The Charles Darwin Research Station was set up on Isla Santa Cruz after it was made a national park and began to extensively investigate and research the giant Galapagos Tortoises. The national park service began operating in 1968 and by 1986 the government gave the islands increased protection by establishing the Galapagos Marine Resources Reserve. The Galapagos Island National Park covers 97% of the Galapagos Islands now and includes 133,000 sq km of the ocean surrounding it.
One of the best ways to tour this national park and take in spectacular scenery along the way is to go for an organized cruise tour. Here you stay onboard a boat, while you travel from island to island, exploring the unusual landscape on hand. A bilingual guide to help you spot the various indigenous plants and wildlife that you see as you sail by most cruise operators also provide. Snorkeling trips, sea kayaking, scuba diving, hiking, and sightseeing tours are also arranged so that you can enjoy the full Galapagos experience.
Swim with dolphins, whales, sea lions, and Hammerhead sharks or go for a bird watching tour and take in the delightful boobies, the magnificent frigatebirds, the incredible Waved Albatrosses, the cute Galapagos Penguins, and the fascinating Flightless Cormorants. You can go for a walk, if you like, alongside the gentle Galapagos Tortoises and enjoy views of the huge iguana colonies as you walk by. With so much to see and do out here its plain to see why these islands are such a breathtaking destination. A visit to the Galapagos is a must for one and all. An amazing national park.