The Galapagos Island is situated in the Pacific Ocean. They are around 1,000 km from the Ecuadorian coast. It is the bucket-list destination for any tourist. This archipelago has 19 islands in it. Its immense marine reserve is also amazing. Its geographical location at the confluence of three ocean currents has made it one of the richest marine ecosystems in the world. These islands and reserves are known as the unique ‘living museum and showcase of evolution’. There are many islets as well. They are sprinkled 620 miles off Ecuador’s coast in the Pacific Ocean. It is a double World Heritage Site. This is because both land and sea come under protection.
Each island boasts its own unique landscapes. The islands range from barren black, volcanic rocks to swaths of white sand beaches melting into gemstone-blue waters. Past seismic and volcanic activity formed the islands as they are now.These processes led to the development of unusual plant and animal life due to island’s isolation. One can find marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, giant tortoises, huge cacti, endemic trees and the many different subspecies of mockingbirds and finches on the island. This island was the major inspiration for Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection in 1835.
The main threats to the Galapagos are the introduction of invasive species and increased tourism. Population growth and illegal fishing for income also add on to the issues. Its government duty to take care of these but government themselves has internal issues regarding maintaining this island. “Special Regime Law for the Conservation and Sustainable Development in the Province of the Galapagos” of 1998 has the major sets of rules and regulations for the islands. 97% of the entire area was declared National Park way back in 1959.Remaining 3% were allowed for urbanization.
Every year the island gets in more than 200,000 tourists. The peak seasons are from June-August and mid-December to mid-January. During these seasons, the prices are also comparatively high and bookings must be done in advance. Tourists must compulsorily hire a licensed guide of Galapagos National Park. To get to the islands, one must first fly to the capital city of Quito or Guayaquil and then to Galapagos. There are many well-facilitated hotels for tourists but are mainly filled during peak seasons. There are various activities which tourists generally do there. Galapagos is famous for wildlife watching, diving, hiking, and surfing. Tourists enjoy a lot doing these activities. There is a tortoise breeding center too nearby.
Biodiversity is at its peak at the Galapagos islands. The efforts to keep human footprint minimal by restricting urbanization has kept the biodiversity alive. These islands are also known as enchanted islands. They have unrequited nature, animals, and wildlife. And even, the place has gone the place in history due to tales of whalers, pirates and being a strategic airfield for World War II. Thus, one can easily say that Galapagos is a highly demanded tourist destination.