They were declared a National Park in 1959. With 97% of the islands and waters designated as national park territory, the population of the Galapagos Islands remains rather modest and spread out between 4 of the 13 islands – Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, Isabela, and Floreana. Locals of these islands (galapaguenos) live and respectfully coexist with the native flora and fauna of these islands.
The Galápagos Islands official name is the Archipiélago de Colón and is sometimes referred to by its Spanish names the Islas de Colón or Islas Galápagos. The principal language on the islands is Spanish.
The Galápagos Archipelago is characterized by numerous contemporaneous volcanoes, some with plume magma sources, others from the asthenosphere, possibly due to the young and thin oceanic crust.
In late June 2018, Sierra Negra, one of five volcanoes on Isabela and one of the most active in the Galapagos archipelago, began erupting for the first time since 2005.
Your international flight will be arriving in either the city of Quito or Guayaquil on the mainland of Ecuador. Both of these cities have daily flights departing in the morning to the Galapagos Islands. Furthermore, there are two major airports in Galapagos: Seymour Airport (located on Baltra Island) and San Cristobal Airport (located on the island of San Cristobal).
- Charles Darwin Research Station - giant tortoise, Santa Cruz Island
- Walking with giant tortoises, Santa Cruz Island
- Swimming with sealions, Urbina Bay, Isabela Island
- Dancing blue footed boobies, North Seymour Island
- Waved albatrosses mating, Punta Suarez, Espanola Island
- Basking in the sun with resident sea lions, Gardner Bay, Espanola Island
Iconic Pinnacle Rock, Bartolome Island
Birds everywhere, Genovesa Island ('Tower' Island)
Home to one of the largest colonies of Galapagos sea lions in the entire archipelago, South Plaza Island
The Galapagos Archipelago is best explored onboard a luxury charter yacht to fully experience this remarkable and unique region.