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Galápagos Islands

The Galápagos Islands is a volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. It’s considered one of the world’s foremost destinations for wildlife-viewing. A province of Ecuador, it lies about 1,000km off its coast. Its isolated terrain shelters a diversity of plant and animal species, many found nowhere else. Charles Darwin visited in 1835, and his observation of Galápagos’ species later inspired his theory of evolution. ― Google

Believe me – this is one per life experience you will never forget!!!

Baltra Island is a small island in the Galápagos Archipelago in Ecuador. It is a small flat island located near the center of the chain and includes Seymour Airport, originally established by the United States Air Force to help monitor and protect western access to the Panama Canal. Wikipedia

Once the site of a salt mine, Puerto Egas is today probably the best visitor site on Santiago (James) Island. The easy walk along wide trails and a scenic shoreline is a great chance to see birdsmarine iguanassea lions, Sally Lightfoot crabs and the elusive Galapagos Fur Seal.

It’s a wet landing on the black-sand beach, and visitors are likely to see a colony of sea lions up-close as they put their socks and shoes back on. The trail continues up through a break in the low ledge adjacent to the sea. Off to the left are the remains of the salt mine, which include some half-ruined buildings and a large, flat area used as a soccer field. This is a special place: it has been designated as a soccer field by the National Park and is one of only a few areas outside of the cities where the crew is allowed to freely disembark and play for a few hours, and the ship crews look forward to the visit as a chance to get ashore and blow off some steam. The owner of the salt mine, which lasted for a few years in the 1960’s, was Hector Egas, and he left his name behind as well as the ruined buildings and some rusty equipment. The mine itself, a volcanic cone that has a small, shallow lake which fills up with salt water, is off-limits to visitors because it is home to flamingos.

Rábida is a relatively small, arid island with steep slopes. Most of the coastline is rocky except for a beach on the northeast side. Several small volcanic craters and the high amount of iron in the lava give the island its distinctive red color and overall appearance.

Isabela Island is the largest of the Galápagos Islands, with an area of 4,586 km² and a length of 100 km. By itself, it is larger than all the other islands in the chain combined and it has a little under 2000 permanent inhabitants. The island straddles the equator. Wikipedia

Bartolomé Island is a volcanic islet in the Galápagos Islands group, just off the east coast of Santiago Island. It is one of the “younger” islands in the Galápagos archipelago. Wikipedia

North Seymour Island – This small island is one of the most important fishing sites for Marine Birds. This place is the reason for many travelers and ornithologists to observe the spectacular and diverse amount of birds of the Galapagos. The visit site is located next to the nesting area of Frigate Birds, both Magnificent and Common, that rest on the trees along the whole year. Witnessing the mating dance of the Blue Footed Boobies is also one of the highlights of the experience. There is additionally a Palo Santo forest that spreads on the south shore of Seymour where birds nest, and offer a spectacular view of the channel formed in between Bartolomé and Seymour.

San Cristóbal is the fifth largest and easternmost island of Galápagos. It is comprised of three or four fused volcanoes, all extinct. Its name comes from the Patron Saint of seafarers, “St. Christopher.” Its older English name of Chatham is named after John Pitt, 2nd Earl of Chatham. It is home to the oldest permanent settlement of the islands and is the island where Darwin first went ashore in 1835. El Junco, a small lake located near the top of the island, is the only source of permanent fresh water in the islands. This resource led to the early settlement of San Cristóbal, which was home to the islands’ governor when Darwin visited the archipelago in 1835. In 1858, Manuel Cobos and José Monroy formed the Orchillera Company to harvest orchilla moss (a lichen), which was used at that time as a dye. Cobos later formed an agricultural center called “El Progreso” inland from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, which produced leather from feral cattle, and fish and tortoise oil. A penal colony was built on San Cristóbal Island in 1880 for prisoners from mainland Ecuador. This was eventually run by Cobos. By 1891, sugar cane plantations were established and a sugar factory was put into operation. Cobos ruled “El Progreso” with an iron fist, treating convicts as slaves. Cobos was assassinated by a group of his workers on January 15, 1904, and the prisoners escaped. A fishing company, called “The Predial” flourished from 1952 to 1960. The company stored fish in large refrigerators before shipping them to the continent. The business eventually fell into ruin due to its excessive costs.

Santa Cruz is an island in Ecuador’s Galápagos National Park. It’s known for sandy beaches like El Garrapatero. The town of Puerto Ayora is the archipelago’s tourism hub. Here, the Charles Darwin Research Station has a breeding program for endangered giant tortoises, which live wild in El Chato Reserve. Tortuga Bay attracts sea turtles and marine iguanas. Los Gemelos volcanic calderas and a lava tunnel lie inland. ― Google

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