The Galapagos Islands are famous for a number of reasons but the diverse flora and fauna are largely why people from all over the world choose the Galapagos as their number one destination of choice. If you are traveling for the first time, you will no doubt be treated to an array of exciting opportunities and adventures. So, to help you stay in the know about what to expect, here are some interesting facts about the Galapagos Islands:
More than 97% of the islands are designated national parks
The Galapagos Islands are the most biodiverse islands on the planet. More than 97% of the islands are designated as national parks with only a few areas being inhabited by human beings. Majority of the species on the island are endemic to the islands, which is unique in its own right. Because most of the region is protected by the government, most visitors are charged entrance fees in order to explore the islands.
There are plenty of active volcanoes
The Galapagos Islands still have active volcanoes. As a matter of fact, the Islands of the Galapagos would not exist if it was not for volcanic activity. The most recent eruption was experienced back in 2015 on Isabela Island. Every now and then, some seismic activity and even small eruptions are reported in some islands.
The red and blue footed booby
Although there are many one of a kind species that call the Galapagos Islands home, the blue and red-footed boobies are some of the most popular species of birds. These birds have distinctive red and blue feet but it is their courtship dances that typically pull visitors in.
Darwin and the Galapagos
Charles Darwin is not the man responsible for discovering the amazing Galapagos Islands. However, he is closely linked to them. Darwin arrived in the Galapagos in 1835, almost 300 years after the islands were first discovered. It was during his stay, however, that he came up with his theory “The Origin of Species”.
Northern penguins in the Galapagos
There is no other destination in the Northern Hemisphere that offers visitors a chance to view northern penguins up close apart from the Galapagos Islands. The northern penguins are the 2nd smallest species of penguins and they are usually located in the islands of Isabela and Fernandina, although it is also not uncommon to find them populated in the Floreana Island. As such, if you have always wanted to encounter these magical creatures up close, then you should definitely book your trip to the Galapagos as soon as you can.
The giant tortoise is probably the most symbolic species of the Galápagos. In fact, the name Galápagos comes from the old Spanish word for saddle, a reference to the tortoise’s shell. These giants can easily live up to 150 years and weigh 595 pounds.
Shelter for Pirates
Pirates were common along Spanish trade routes beginning in the late 16th century. Because the islands were so strategically located, they began using the Galápagos as a hideout, according to ship logs. Even though the islands didn’t have a good supply of fresh water, the Galápagos were a useful source for food and also served as a nice remote spot to hide the pirates’ loot.
The marine iguanas found on the island are the only known lizards that can swim. Scientists believe that land-dwelling iguanas from South America drifted out to sea millions of years ago on debris such as logs and eventually ended up in the Galápagos. The largest marine iguanas are found on Isabela and Fernandina Islands. Fernandina is home to one of the biggest marine iguana colonies in the archipelago.
If you’re looking for a unique vacation that will make an unforgettable adventure for you and your family, then the Galapagos Islands are your destination. Explore the Galapagos Islands through the different attractions and hop from island to island to discover what makes the Galapagos so special and attractive destination for tourists around the globe.