In the Pacific Ocean, 970 Km west of
Ecuador, right along the
||Between 15º C and 29 º C
January to June: warm and wet season July to
December: cold and dry (Garua) season
Islas Encantadas" or "The Enchanted Islands" was the first name given
to the islands. The archipelago, has 13 major islands, 6 minor islands
and 42 islets or surfacing rocks.
Fray Thomas de Berlanga, the bishop of Panama,
discovered Galapagos on March 10, 1535.
Charles Robert Darwin arrived in Galapagos on
September 16, 1835. He only landed on
Charles Darwin Research Stations on
Santa Cruz Island was officially inaugurated in 1964.
In 1978, the UNESCO declares the islands as
"Patrimony of Humanity". 97% of the land is protected from visitors.
More than 70,000 visitors come to these beautiful
islands every year.
1892, on the quarcentenary of Columbus voyage, the Ecuadorian
government rename the islands "El Archipielago de Colon" and gave
official names to all the islands. With only two exceptions, those are
the names in common use still today. The exceptions are
Santiago, official name, San
Salvador, and Floreana,
official name, Santa Maria.
All reptiles, 50% of the birds 32%, of the plants
43%, of the flora 25%, of fish and many invertebrates are endemic to
the Galapagos Islands.
The age of the islands increases sequentially from
west to east. The most southeastern island,
Española, is the oldest of them
all. Fernandina, to the west,
is the youngest of the archipelago, less than 100,000 years old.