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Click the Galapagos facts below to read more
40 Nautical Miles
Extending 40 nautical miles around the archipelago, the Galapagos Marine Reserve is the 2nd largest in the world covering approximately 133,000 km² of sea surface. That's almost the size of the state of New York and 2nd only to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
600 Miles West
Straddling the equator, the Galapagos Islands sit in the Pacific Ocean approximately 600 miles west of Ecuador. That's straight down from New Orleans in the GMT-6 time zone.
The Galapagos population is around 28,000 with people living on Floreana, Isabela, San Cristobal and Santa Cruz. Approximately 1 in 3 inhabitants were born in the islands.
Pirates, Whalers and Convicts
The first visitors to the Galapagos include pirates, whalers, convicts, and early settlers.
Volcanoes formed the Galapagos Islands. Shield volcanoes in particular.
Sir Fray Tomás de Berlanga, the Bishop of Panama, discovered the Galapagos Islands in 1535.
The Galapagos is one of the few places in the world without an indigenous population.
During 'Garua' or dry season from July to December the temperature ranges between 68°F and 75°F (20°C and 24°C). This is the cooler of the two seasons; the water is cooler and the sea is a bit less calm.
During warm season from January to June the temperature ranges between 79°F and 86°F (26°C and 30°C). It rains a little more, the weather and water temperature is higher and the sea is calmer.
Introduced Plant Species
Some of the introduced plant species of the islands include guava, blackberry, orange, cascarilla, lantana, spanish cedar, laurel and passion fruit.
Millions of Years
The oldest islands, San Cristobal and Española, are between 3 and 5 million years old.
Endemic Plants and Animals
About 80% of the land birds, 97% of the reptiles and land mammals, and more than 30% of the plants are endemic (not found anywhere else on earth).
Unique Marine Life
More than 20% of the marine species in Galapagos are found nowhere else on earth.
The Galapagos Penguin
The Galapagos penguin is the only penguin species to be found in the Northern Hemisphere.
The endemic seabirds of the islands are the Galapagos penguin, waved albatross, flightless cormorant, swallow-tailed gull, and lava gull.
Special Land Birds
22 of the 29 resident land birds are endemic.
97% of the Galapagos is National Park Land.
Very Little Urban Development
Only 3% of the Galapagos Islands is set aside for urban development.
World Heritage Site
The Galapagos Islands were first inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1978. In 2001, the inscription was amended to included the marine reserve.
13 Major Islands
The major 13 Islands are: Baltra, Espanola, Fernandina, Floreana, Genovesa, Isabela, Marchena, Pinta, Pinzon, San Cristobal, Santa Cruz, Santa Fe and Santiago.
The Galapagos Archipelago
13 major Islands, 6 smaller ones and more than 40 islets make up the Galapagos archipelago.
Charles Darwin Visits
Charles Darwin visited the islands in 1835. He wrote The Origin of Species in 1859.
In 1832, Galapagos was annexed by Ecuador
100 Year Anniversary
The Galapagos islands were declared a national park by Ecuador in 1959 on the 100 year anniversary of the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species.
There are 10 remaining species of giant tortoises. Lonesome George was the last remaining member of his particular species until his recent death. He is an iconic figure of the Galapagos Islands.