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Ecuador travel Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Islands

Arguably the most famous chain of islands in the World, Ecuador's Galapagos Islands epitomize magnificent scenery and spectacular plant and animal life both above ground and below water.

With stunning contrasts, -you can find lunar landscapes and lush rainforest ecosystems, unique unfearing animals; spectacular beaches and one of the most impressive underwater experiences around- the Galapagos stand out as one of the most impressive group of islands on the planet.

The uniqueness of Galapagos’ plants and animals prompted the United Nations to designate them as a World Heritage Site in 1978 and a Biosphere Reserve in 1984. In 2001 the World Heritage Site was extended to the Galapagos Marine Reserve, which constitutes the second largest marine reserve in the World.

A group of young volcanic islands and islets 600 miles from continental Ecuador, with their isolated ecosystems, the Galapagos are home to many plants and animals that exist nowhere else on the planet and whose traits inspired Darwin's landmark book "The Evolution Of The Species", a work that had profound influence in its time, and still continues to stimulate scientific thought

"The archipelago is a little world within itself" (Charles Darwin 1845)

The Galapagos Islands, discovered in 1535 by Fray Tomas de Berlanga, are comprised of thirteen large islands, six smaller islands and over 40 islets, with an overall area of some 8.000 square kilometers of land mass.

To this day, they remain pretty much as Fray Tomas de Berlanga and Charles Darwin saw them back then: pristine and fantastic. Its animals still fearless now as they were then, and none less unique.

While the Galapagos Islands are deemed to be one of the last remaining natural areas in the world in near pristine condition, and a vast majority of its original animal and plant life remain (unlike many of the worlds other islands), there has been important damage brought about by man.

Most notably, the introduction of foreign species which compete with local ones for food and vital space, with the risk of altering these oceanic islands' fragile ecosystems.

Conservation efforts in the Galapagos have halted and even reversed -at times with remarkable success- several of these effects and by-products of man and its carelessness in the islands, but many threats remain and need to be addressed with strong commitment.

These efforts seek to ensure that the Galapagos continue to be, for generations, a wonderful showcase for evolution and for natural unspoiled beauty. We must all contribute to this end.

Main Offices Address: Av. Rumiñahui 221 y 1ra Transversal, San Rafael                                                                                         Quito - Ecuador