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THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS

FOLLOWING IN DARWIN'S FOOTSTEPS

The Galapagos are a unique ecological sanctuary where it seems as though time stood still a million years ago. It drew the attention of Charles Darwin, who first began to seriously conceive his theory of evolution here. Today, it is still a privilege to visit this oasis of nature.

A unique experience. The ultimate dream for any nature lover and undoubtedly the ideal holiday for anyone with a curious nature. Here you can discover the peculiar birds known as magnificent frigatebirds (Fregata magnificens), capable of performing incredibly agile tricks to catch fish, they also inflate their striking red gular sacs to attract a mate. You can also enjoy the beautiful American flamingos (Phoenicopterus ruber) who will unwittingly pose for posterity, or be mesmerised by the sea lions who live here oblivious to the presence of humans. The options are endless; see giant turtles, walk alongside marine iguanas and swim with hammerhead sharks. You can try to learn animal names as curious as that of the Galápagos fur seal (Arctocephalus galapagoensis), or just speculate on the innumerable variety of plants and vegetation and their amazing shapes and colours.

The landscape is also unique. The blue sky merges with the turquoise of the Pacific, the green of the foliage and the dark brown volcanic soil. A complex palette of colour tones, as difficult to explain as it is curious to see. It is amazing how such a small area can combine so many heterogeneous environments: the salinity of the coastal landscapes, the moisture from the Miconia forest and the roughness of the low islands.

The Galapagos, although its official name is ‘Colón Archipiélago’, are part of Ecuador and lie a thousand kilometres from the American Content, which is almost the same distance that Barcelona is from London. The islands, which were discovered by chance in 1535, have long been known as the ‘Enchanted Isles’ because of their fabulous biodiversity.

There are nineteen islands – thirteen major islands and six small ones – and over one hundred islets. They are of volcanic origin and there is no other place on Earth like them. Located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and formed over millennia by titanic geothermal forces – some still active today – the Galapagos are their own chapter in the natural history of the planet. They are an unusual ecological sanctuary where exceptional terrestrial ecosystems merge with the sea.

Geologically, the Galapagos have never been connected to the mainland and therefore have many endemic and native natural species. Created by magma from the heart of the Earth, all that has flourished in this archipelago has been brought by the force of the winds, the currents of the sea, delivered by birds or left by the hands of men. The place has its own laws of evolution. So, when Charles Darwin visited in 1835 during the round-the-world voyage of H.M.S. Beagle, he noted that this was the most primitive and isolated laboratory of life he had ever seen. The experience inspired him to develop the theory of evolution that, years later, surprised the whole world with its conclusions.

Over a century and a half later, the Galapagos never cease to amaze. Walk among iguanas while they sun themselves on lava rocks, admire the elaborate rituals of blue-footed boobies (Sula nebouxii), see Darwin’s finches and Galapagos tropical penguins (Spheniscus mendiculus). You simply must dive in the waters surrounding its shores, steer a kayak through the channels and creeks, hike the hundreds of marked trails and admire the Sierra Negra volcano at the south eastern end of Isabela Island. The Galapagos are a unique privilege.



The F&S ‘MUST SEES’

  • See the turtles that these islands take their name from and experience the same inspiration that Darwin felt when he first visited this natural laboratory.
  • A set of volcanic islands that are home to more than two hundred endemic species and four hundred native species. It is no coincidence that for centuries they have been known as the 'Enchanted Islands'.
  • Nature in action. Be surprised by the forests of giant cacti, examine the marine iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) on the rocks or watch the hermit crabs in the sands of the beaches.
  • Retrace Darwin's steps on a naturalist cruise and let biologists and specialists introduce you to the various natural wonders of the archipelago.
  • Thousands of activities await you in the Galapagos: dive with hammerhead sharks, go kayaking, spot vibrantly-coloured birds as they make an obligatory stop during their massive migrations, or walk the trails of the main islands accompanied by nature specialists.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS…
"The natural history of these islands is eminently curious, and well deserves attention, [...] both in space and time, we seem to be brought somewhat near to that great fact -that mystery of mysteries- the first appearance of new beings on this earth".

Charles Darwin (1809-1892)

HIGHLIGHTS



THE IDEAL TIME

The following are the months in which we recommend travelling to the destination, taking into account weather, interests and events.


JANUARY
FEBRUARY
MARCH
APRIL
MAY
JUNE
JULY
AUGUST
SEPTEMBER
OCTOBER
NOVEMBER
DECEMBER


RECOMMENDED ACTIVITIES

The suggested activities are the essence of the trip. Of course, there are other options which can also be adapted to the type of trip you want to take.


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T. +34 932 178 300
F. +34 932 178 487
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Our trips are governed by general conditions adapted to current legislation. Do not hesitate to consult them by clicking here