Most of us probably associate the Galapagos Islands with Charles Darwin and his finches or maybe you think of huge tortoises, but the Galapagos is much more than its few claims to fame.
The Galapagos Islands has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site due to the unique and varied wildlife that calls the island home.
Situated in the Pacific Ocean some 1,000 km from the South American continent, these 19 islands and the surrounding marine reserve have been called a unique ‘living museum and showcase of evolution’. Located at the confluence of three ocean currents, the Galápagos are a ‘melting pot’ of marine species. Ongoing seismic and volcanic activity reflects the processes that formed the islands. These processes, together with the extreme isolation of the islands, led to the development of unusual animal life – such as the land iguana, the giant tortoise and the many types of finch – that inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection following his visit in 1835.UNESCO
One of the things that makes the Galapagos a must-see destination is that due to the scarcity of humans, the wildlife of the islands do not have a fear of people. While exploring the islands, you’ll see flora and fauna not found anywhere else on Earth! This includes the famous giant tortoises plus blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, Galapagos flamingos, Galapagos penguins, Darwin’s finches, and many more.
Another one-of-a-kind experience offered in the Galapagos is the Barrel Post Office on Floreana. Established by pirates in the 17th century this “post office” was simply an abandoned wine barrel that sailors could put letters into to be delivered by others who were going to the letters’ destination. Though the original wine barrel has been destroyed, this tradition continues today with visitors placing letters for hopeful sending and also taking some letters to help them get to their intended recipients.
Click Here to see a great trip to the Galapagos including Machu Picchu! It’s two bucket list items and once-in-a-lifetime experiences all in one!