The Galapagos archipelago is located on both sides of the equator
about 970 km (600 miles) west of mainland Ecuador. Local time is GMT
-6. It consists of thirteen major islands, six smaller islands, 42
islets and rock, covering a total area of 7850 km2. The largest
island is Isabela, with an area of 4590 km2, which also has the
highest point of the archipelago, Wolf Volcano with 1690 meters asl.
97% of the total area of the islands is part of the Galapagos
National Park, the rest is up to the inhabited areas and crops of
the island Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, Isabela and Floreana, in
addition to Baltra Island, occupied in its entirety Armed Forces of
The Galapagos are a province of Ecuador, whose capital is Puerto
Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristobal Island. Puerto Ayora, on Isla
Santa Cruz, is the city more tourist travel. The total population of
the islands, including the floating population is 16,109 inhabitants.
The islands were formed some 4 or 5
million years of volcanic eruptions as a result, emerging from the
ocean surface. Today the Galapagos are considered one of the most
active volcanoes in the world.
Many of the islands are only the tips of some volcanoes and show an
advanced state of erosion, others are completely submerged. Recent
eruptions, as in Fernandina Marchena in 1991 or in 1995, are
evidence that the islands are still in process of formation. Other
islands like Baltra and North Seymour, have evidence of having been
formed by tectonic movements, in which the ocean floor was pushed
toward the surface.
Climate of the Galapagos Islands
Although the islands are located
on the equator, the temperature of the ocean surface varies greatly,
between 7 and 28 degrees centigrade. The Galapagos Islands also face
drastic changes. The period from January to March is considered the
hot and humid season, and in March the warmest month of the year,
this season many plants, and the water temperature is ideal for
diving. In the July-September period was less rain and more islands
are dry, but cooler, the water temperature decreases considerably,
but it is the ideal season to see more marine life, as the animals
prefer the cold currents.
The regulatory climate in the Galapagos Islands is the surface
temperature and ocean currents, creating microclimates that
influence the habitat of flora and fauna of each island. Choose your
priorities when choosing the time to visit the Galapagos Islands:
choose what you want to see and do, because not all animals are
present throughout the year.
the Galapagos Islands
The Galapagos Islands are the
archipelago's most diverse and complex world, where conditions
remain relatively intact. By its distance from the continent and the
fact that it was never linked to this, the existing flora and fauna
have evolved dramatically to what they are today and remained
unchanged until the man came to them first. The species of plants
and animals peculiar to the islands had no predators for thousands
of years of evolution, why the animals do not show fear in the
presence of humans and other animals. This makes the Galapagos a
fascinating and very special place and so much interest to science,
tourism and photography, where visitors can have an experience with
nature that does not forget in a lifetime.
But while this feature makes your balance is so delicate and fragile,
and therefore in their management is essential to control the
introduction and spread of alien species, as well as a strict
control of tourism and other human activities such as fishing. The
institution responsible for managing and protecting the Islands and
Marine Reserve is the Galapagos National Park, in collaboration with
other entities such as the Charles Darwin Foundation.
The wildlife consists mainly of birds, mammals and reptiles. In the
Galapagos there are no amphibians. Its rich marine life make the
island a unique place and we now have a reputation as the most
important destination for diving in the world. At present there are
animals introduced by settlers for some years, like goats, pigs,
donkeys, dogs, cats and rats, which, finding no competitors have
expanded into a major problem for the conservation of fauna islands.
The same is true of plants, so that the institutions involved in
conservation are also responsible for the control and eradication of
plants and animals.
Diving the Galapagos
world of the Galapagos Islands has yet to be "discovered"
and that is precisely the condition which makes it
an interesting destination. Diving in the Galapagos
was a personal experience, is a pristine, uncharted.
However there are some experts in Galapagos diving
operating for over a decade.
Unlike other extraordinary dive sites, the Galapagos
Islands do not have coral reefs as the main
attraction, but this unique blend of marine animals
(one in four species is endemic to the archipelago),
and lack of fear toward human presence under water.
In the Galapagos you can dive in company of sea
turtles, manta rays, penguins, sea lions, dolphins
and numerous species of sharks, including
hammerheads and whale sharks. There are also
hundreds of species of tropical fish, many of which
are exclusive to this fantastic underwater sanctuary.
The islands are about 30 dive sites, a combination
which you can access through tours of one or two
weeks. All tours are approved by the Ecuadorian
National Park Service. Normally offered for two to
three dives per day, plus land excursions on the
islands. Dive operators offer professional guides,
bilingual naturalist and specialized flora and fauna
of the Galapagos. All guides are certified teachers.
It also offers high quality equipment and boats that
have the international safety standards.
There are diving opportunities for all tastes. There
are courses for beginners, tours 8 to 15 days for
experienced divers and tours combined with visits to
land commanded by naturalist guides. The best time
to dive is from November to April, and at that time
the sea is quite calm and the water temperature is
Gastronomy in Galapagos Islands
In the Galapagos you'll find delicious sea food and you can
choose from the wide variety of seafood on the islands,
including the spiny lobster when not in season. For every month
you can enjoy the delicious lobster Galapagos and delicious
ceviches. There are also many restaurants and pizzerias are
designed for tourists.
Elegant meal, more Western-style. The peoples of the islands are
small, look for the most-crowded! Sure they are the best!. You
can test in street kiosks, from six p.m. offers variety of
dishes and very tasty dinner.
Lunch is included in all trips by boat. During the tours more
affordable food is not as abundant as in the most luxurious, in
fact, if you travel on a cruise and have a small appetite, it
brings you some goodies for the boat. But remember that the food
is not allowed on the trips to the islands.