Galapagos Islands

Located about 1000 km from the Ecuadorian mainland, Galapagos Island is located. 13 major islands out of which 5 are inhabited are present in this archipelago. Rich flora and fauna, its volcanic geology, natural landscapes make it interesting for the tourists, scientists and geologists and they love to explore this place. A national park and biological marine reserve makes the place all the more interesting for nature lovers.

The Past of Galapagos Islands

Fray Tomas de Berlanga was the first one to land on Galapagos Islands. It was an accidental discovery when Fray Tomas was sailing from Panama to Peru. Based on the descriptions provided by sailors, mapmaker Abraham Ortelius made a map of Galapagos Islands and referred to them as Isolas de Galapagos, meaning “Islands of the Tortoises”. For British buccaneers, this island became a convenient hideout by the 17th century. They pirated ships from Spain and looted their settlements in Central and South America.

The islands are still shrouded in mystery and therefore were also referred to as Enchanted Islands as during certain times of the year these islands disappear in fog and were not visible to ships passing by. Britishers, Americans, whalers and other seamen started visiting this island regularly and due to intense activity going on a “make shift” post office was opened in the islands. Patrick Watkins was the first known human settler. He was an Irish seaman who stayed on this island for a while and later returned to the mainland Ecuador. Serving as an official naturalist, Charles Darwin visited this place in 1835. Now these islands are officially known as Archipelago de Colon.

Galapagos Islands Information

State Party Ecuador
Type Natural
Criteria vii, viii, ix, x
Reference 1
Region Latin America and the Caribbean
Galapagos Islands Inscription History
Inscription 1978  (2nd Session)
Extensions 2001 and 2003
Endangered 2007–2010

 

Galapagos Islands

Specific Facts About Galapagos Islands

Quite remote and isolated, Galapagos Islands are situated about 1000 km west of the South American continent. It consists of 13 main islands and 6 smaller isles. For its unique wildlife, the national park of Galapagos is renowned world wide. Animals usually seen on Discovery channel such as Giant tortoises, penguins, sea lions, Galapagos sharks, marine iguanas, etc can be seen here. Islands are relatively barren and volcanic in nature with Wolf Volcano as the highest volcano of the island. It is 1707 m in height and is located on Isabela Island.

Weather and Climatic Conditions in Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands can be visited any time of the year as the weather is conducive for travel for the whole year because of their proximity to ocean. Although there are some other factors that needs to be considered while making plans to visit Galapagos Island. April May, September and October are low season months and rest of the time is high tourist season.

Although the entire year is good to travel to Galapagos Islands but there are certain climatic variations. Atmospheric mist is seen from June to December because of the southern trade winds coming north to the Galapagos Islands.

Galapagos Islands Average Temperature

Location Charles Darwin
Station
Devine Farm Media Luna
Altitude 6 m 320 m 620 m
January 23.0 mm 78.0 mm 172.6 mm
February 16.8 mm 155.2 mm 117.0 mm
March 249.0 mm 920.8 mm 666.7 mm
April 68.5 mm 79.5 mm 166.4 mm
May 31.4 mm 214.6 mm 309.8 mm
June 16.8 mm 147.3 mm 271.8 mm
July 12.0 mm 42.2 mm 135.6 mm
August 3.8 mm 13.7 mm 89.5 mm
September 18.5 mm 90.9 mm 282.6 mm
October 3.2 mm 22.6 mm 96.5 mm
November 11.0 mm 52.8 mm 172.7 mm
December 15.7 mm 84.1 mm 175.3 mm
TOTALS 469.7 mm 1901.7 mm 2656.4 mm

Things to See and Do in Galapagos Islands

Chatham Island or San Cristobal Island is one the biggest islands of the archipelago. Beautiful volcanic sights are worth watching. A wide range of flora and fauna demand your attention and some rare species can be seen here. El Junco lake is the major attraction where beautiful endemic birds can be seen in their full glory. This is also a very good place to try sea surfing.