1. Travel


Galapagos Islands "Rising from the Pacific more than 3 million years ago, these stark, sculptured islands lie 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador in South America. The archipelago is vast, covering more than 3000 square miles, and breathtaking, with rocks jutting into a sky of blue and stretches of land punctuating water.

Officially discovered by the Spanish in 1535, the Galapagos were annexed by Ecuador in 1832. Darwin visited three years later, and found fertile material for both scientific research and creative thinking. In "The Voyage of the Beagle," Darwin describes the haunting surface of one of the Galapagos' isles: The entire surface of this part of the island seems to have been permeated, like a sieve, " he wrote. "Here and there the lava, whilst soft, has been blown into great bubbles; and in other parts, the tops of caverns similarly formed have fallen in, leaving circular pits with steep sides. From the regular form of the many craters, they gave to the country an artificial appearance, which vividly reminded me of those parts of Staffordshire where the great iron foundries are most numerous.

Galapagos Turtle Lava Lizard Galapagos Insect Marine Iguana

Galápagos National Park is South America's foremost natural history destination. It offers visitors the chance to watch and photograph unique species of wildlife, learn about our planet and how species evolved, and observe animal behaviors not normally seen including courtship rituals, nest building and/or the rearing of young! from Southwind Adventures

Greater Flamingo Great Blue Heron Sea Anemone Sally Lightfoot crab

More sightseeing, accommodations and tour information is available for Galapagos.

Back to Virtual Tour of South America or choose your next stop:

Photos from terraquest.com and Ecuadorable Galapagos

You are listening to El Aguacate (the avocado), typical Ecuadorian pasilla (dance music.)

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.