The Galápagos archipelago is an isolated sanctuary of biodiversity straddling the equator. Home to creatures found nowhere else on earth, it’s little wonder they are known as ‘The Enchanted Islands’ and can be visited year-round. It was the natural kaleidoscope that caught the imagination of Charles Darwin whose famous research resulted in a revised understanding of the natural world.
Made up of a rugged volcanic archipelago, the Galapagos Islands have the most spectacular biodiversity which has earned them their UNESCO World Heritage status. The unique landscapes and endemic wildlife inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. You will find species such as giant tortoise, penguins, seals, iguanas, and blue-footed boobies inhabiting the thirteen major islands and handful of smaller islets in the Galapagos.
Wildlife lovers will be in their element on a Galapagos cruise as the archipelago is home to the most spectacular creatures, many of which are endemic to the islands. An array of animals roam among the rugged peaks, and the biodiversity is simply mind-blowing. You’ll come face to face with almost mythical looking creatures such as land iguanas, giant tortoises and blue-footed boobies.
Huge sea lions loll along the shoreline and seem almost nonchalant to the islands’ human visitors. Although Fernandina is home to 90% of Galaoagos penguins, you can also see them tottering across the rocks on Bartolome, Santiago, northern Santa Cruz and Floreana.
Although only 25,000 people populate the idyllic Galapagos Islands, it is home to storied cultural diversity defined by a mix of various ethnicities, customs, and traditions. Currently, only four of the islands are inhabited by people – Isabela, Santa Cruz, Floreana, and San Cristobal. The Galapagos Islands have cultural influences from Europe, the U.S., and mainland Ecuador.