ecuador destinations | galapagos islands
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Galapagos Islands are an archipelago of the Pacific Ocean located 972 Km from the coast of Ecuador. It has 13 large volcanic islands, 6 smaller islands and 107 rocks and islets, which are distributed around the Equator line.

Politically, the Galapagos Islands are a province of Ecuador, whose capital is Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. In official terminology, is also called Insular Region of Ecuador. On February 12TH, 1832, under the Presidency of Juan José Flores, the Galapagos were annexed to Ecuador. Since February 18TH, 1973, they are a province of this country.

 

The Galapagos Islands are famous for its numerous endemic species and researches of Charles Darwin that led him to establish the theory of evolution and Natural selection. Tourist gave the nickname of the “Islas Encantadas", enchanted islands.

 

They are called enchanted islands since the flora and fauna found there is practically unique and can not be found anywhere else in the world. “This is why many people visit and like to appreciate the unique plants and animals of the Islands.

 

Scientific recognition is also given because Galapagos was the place where Charles Darwin began to develop his theory of the evolution of species. In 1835 he arrived in the Islands and said: "As in time and in space we are faced with the great phenomenon, with the mystery of the mysteries: the first appearance of new beings on the Planet ". 

 

Darwin found animals that did not exist anywhere else in the world; In addition, discovered that the archipelago was formed from a volcanic eruption in recent geologic time. For this reason, he argued that the Americas had never been attached to the Islands. As a result, animals that had came to the Islands from the continent, acquired features very different from their continental peers.

 

Historically, the Galapagos were an ideal hideout for pirates and criminals. From 1832, Ecuador took possession of the islands and officially baptized then with the name Columbus. The Galapagos National Park and the Charles Darwin Biological Station, in the Santa Cruz Island, were established in 1968.

 

The United Nations declared the Galapagos Islands as world biological reserve and UNESCO declared them as Natural World Heritage. In 1986 it was also declared nature reserve the sea that surrounds them, because its ocean currents are the most pure and transparent in the world.

 

People peacefully live there with giant tortoises, iguanas with primitive appearance, rare birds of all colors and sizes. This fauna is of great scientific importance: almost all birds are endemic – only exist here-, as well as twenty of the twenty-two species of reptile classifieds are endemic too.

 

Many other species have survived because of its adaptation, such as marine iguanas which, like the land iguanas, have a meter or more in length, more than in any other place. And this archipelago is also the only place in the world where there are giant tortoises. There are penguins - probably dragged from Antarctica by the Humboldt current-, pelicans, blue-footed boobies and red footed boobies, thief frigates (which feed on fish hunted by other birds), etc.
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