GALAPAGOS ISLANDS


“VOLCANIC ISLANDS”

INTRODUCTION & HISTORY
The Galapagos Islands are situated on the west of Ecuador. Infact this is an archipelago of volcanic islands. These islands have two attributes attached with them. First is that it is the province of the Ecuador and second is that it is the national park of the country. These beautiful islands lie directly on the Equator. This archipelago comprises of volcanic islands and is spread over the area of 4500 square kilometers. When these islands were discovered, they were uninhabited and were discovered back in 1535. But Charles Darwin made the islands famous for his study of some endemic species found on the islands in 1835. The findings of Darwin from here made great contribution to the inception of Darwin’s theory of evolution. The most notable feature of the archipelago is the wildlife and endemic species. As these islands were discovered by the Spaniards so the principal language of the islands is Spanish this is the language of 23000 people inhabited on the islands. In1684, Ambrose Cowley, who was a buccaneer, developed first navigation chart of the islands. He named the islands on the names of his fellow pirates and on the names of some other noblemen who helped him in the cause of the privateers. This group of islands consists of 15 main islands, 3 smaller islands and 107 small islets. As these are volcanic islands, some of these are still alive volcanoes. The latest volcanic eruption was in 2009. the oldest island among these islands was formed about 5 million to 10 million years ago. The youngest islands are Isabela and Fernandina and these islands are still being formed. Galapagos Islands are on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.

MAIN ISLANDS & ATTRACTIONS
There are 18 main islands in the archipelago. Here is the introduction of some of the islands and their visitor attraction as well.

BALTRA ISLAND
This island is the result of a geological uplift. This is a developed island with the airport and dock facilities. Till 1986 it was the only airport in the Galapagos region. This airport was remodeled in 2007 and 2008 and more shops and restaurants have been added to the site. Daily a large number of visitors come to visit this beautiful island. Land iguanas are found here.

ESPANOLA ISLAND
This island is also known as Hood Island. The name Espanola was given to honour the Spain. Island is 3.5 million years old so it is the oldest island among the Galapagos Islands. It has very remote location, at the southernmost in the group. One thing special about the Espanola is that it has a number of endemic species. The species on this island are not found anywhere, like you will find lava lizard, mocking bird and tortoise here. Marine iguanas are found here and have special characteristic of changing colour during its breeding season.

Espanola is the only place where you can find Waved Albatross nests.
This beautiful island has two visitor sites. One is Gardener Bay which is a perfect swimming and snorkeling site and offers a great beach. Other site is Punta Suarez which is famous for its endemic species like brightly coloured marine iguanas, swallow tailed gulls, blue-footed boobies, Nazca Boobies, red-billed tropicbirds, Galapagos hawks, 3 species of Darwin’s finches etc.
It is really hard to cover the beauty and visitor’s attraction in just one article but here the names of the some other islands of the archipelago.

Bartolome Island

Darwin Island

Fernandina Island
Floreana Island
Genovesa Island
Isabela Island
Marchena Island
North Seymour Island etc.


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