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Where are the Galapagos Islands?

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The "Enchanted Islands" of Galapagos are located 500 miles (800 kilometers) west of the Ecuadorian coast. The Galapagos archipelago is politically part of Ecuador.

The oldest of the islands are about 4 million years old and the youngest are still in the process of being formed. Indeed, the Galapagos islands are considered to be one of the most active volcanic areas in the world.

Made famous by the studies of Charles Darwin that became his "Theory of Evolution," the volcanic islands of Galapagos have been declared a National Park and its surrounding waters a Marine Reserve of Ecuador. In 1986 the surrounding ocean was declared a marine reserve. UNESCO recognized the islands as a World Heritage Site in 1978, which was extended in December 2001 to include the Marine Reserve.

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