Beautiful American Holidays, the america resorts specialists
Galapagos Islands Holidays tells you the best places to visit in this beautiful region of ecuador with maps, pictures and resort reviews. Find out which Galapagos Islands resorts to stay at for your holiday and day tours to visit the best scenic attractions in Ecuador.
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It was in 1831 that Charles Darwin was commissioned as a naturalist aboard the Beagle by the British government. It was during these five years as part of this expedition, particularly during his visit to the unique ecosystem of the Galapagos Islands, that Darwin formed the basis of discoveries that informed his theory of natural selection and evolution.

Today, visitors go to the Galapagos to see the unique wildlife of the islands. Here there are marine iguanas that swim in the ocean, finch species that vary island to island, and tortoises unique to the area. The unusual fauna of the islands extends to the marine environment, and the 133 000 square kilometres of the Galapagos Marine Reserve is home to some great underwater viewing opportunities for whale shark, Galapagos shark, and manta rays.

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The Galapagos are an island archipelago 1000 km off the South American coast that were claimed by the newly sovereign country of Ecuador only two years before Darwin's arrival in the early 19th century. There is a population of 28 000, and further immigration is forbidden. There are 18 major islands, and people live on three major settlements on the islands. Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island is the largest town, while there are smaller towns on San Cristobal and Isla Isabela. Here you can arrange for amenities like hotel stays.

People wanting to visit the Galapagos must do so with a certified guide. Visitors can arrange tours through tour operators either in their own country or in Ecuador at Quito or Guayaquil on Ecuador's mainland. Generally, the best way to get there is to fly to Baltra Island from the mainland. You can arrange with tour operators ahead of time for boat tours of the island. There are some things you want to keep in mind when booking with an operator, including the size of the party, what islands will be visited and for how long, and whether or not supplementary equipment like snorkelling/scuba gear and/or kayaks will be provided to guests. Generally, when you book a boating tour, the trip is for four days or more and you spend your time living on the boat.

The animals in the Galapagos tend to be quite docile and unafraid. A popular occupation for visitors is snorkelling with the local sea lions, who are very tame. Guides are important to minimize the impact visitors have on this fragile ecosystem.

On Bartholomew Island, you can see the world's only equatorial penguin, the Galapagos penguin. The ecosystem of the Galapagos are very unusual, and while on one island, you may find a species like the Waved Albatross thriving (Espanola Island), the efforts of the species to breed on neighbouring islands of the Galapagos are unsuccessful. Espanola is also known for its brightly coloured marine iquanas, and lava lizards. On Genovesa Island you can see the swallow-tail gull, the only nocturnal gull in the world, and on Wolf Island you may catch a glimpse of the elusive Vampire Finch whose diet is partially comprised of the blood it pecks from other birds.

Galapagos Islands Accommodation Guide

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