Located in the Pacific Ocean, 1,000 km off the coast of Ecuador, the volcanic Galapagos Islands are a living laboratory of evolution and a conservation template for the rest of the world. Consisting of thirteen main islands and over 120 rocky islets are surrounded by 198,000 km2 of marine reserve, both land and sea are home to an incredible array of species, many of which are found nowhere else on Earth.
Observations made by Charles Darwin during his Galapagos visit in 1835 have given the Archipelago a special place in history and in the development of modern science. In 1959, 97% of the land area was designated as national park and 20 years later the Islands became the first ever UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today they are recognised as being one of the most pristine island ecosystems on Earth and remain the focus of much scientific interest.
Galapagos now has a permanent population of around 30,000 and is visited by over 200,000 tourists each year. If you are planning a trip to Galapagos or just want to find out more information about the Archipelago and its unique wildlife, visit the links below.