The South American archipelago of the Galapagos Islands is a unique place in the world. Due to its incredible composition of aquatic species, this place is a veritable observatory of animal and plant life. Moreover, its isolation and its active volcanism give it an exceptional and endemic ecosystem. There are well-known species such as the giant Galápagos tortoise, the land and marine iguana and Darwin’s finches.
The Galápagos Islands: a unique fauna evolving in the immensity of a landscape
Located 1000 km off the coast of Ecuador, in the Pacific Ocean, the Galapagos archipelago is made up of 19 islands (48 hills if we count the rocks). Some islands are home to active volcanoes . Moreover, some can culminate at more than 1700 m of altitude like the Wolf volcano on Isabela Island. Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the archipelago is known throughout the world for its landscapes, its atmosphere and of course its unique marine reserve in the world . Indeed, it contains endemic species and sublime aquatic landscapes.
Thanks to their geographic isolation, the Galápagos therefore contain several endemic species . And in addition, the ecosystem that has developed there is nothing like what we see in the rest of the world. Marine and land iguanas, giant tortoises, flightless cormorants, trees, giant cacti, Darwin’s finches and other mockingbirds live only on this Pacific archipelago .
A land of incredible exploration
Of course, aquatic exploration of the Galápagos is the dream of many divers and curious people. Indeed, finding yourself among sharks, penguins, marine mammals and unique corals in the world is an unforgettable experience. In addition, no other dive site in the world will offer this exceptional underwater landscape .
In addition, the Galapagos Archipelago is an important geological site for the scientific community. Located in the center of three large tectonic plates (Pacific, Cocos and Nazca), it presents interesting geological values. So it is a privileged place to study volcanic or seismic activity and the formation of islands and eminences. Young and large emerged islands less than a million years old (Isabela, Fernandina) rub shoulders with the oldest (Española and San Cristóbal, three and five million years old). All these geological elements fascinate the scientific community which seeks to unravel the mystery at the origin of the appearance of the archipelago . It’s simple: there is almost no other site in the world that offers such geological features.
What makes the inestimable value of the archipelago is that it is very young . However, the diversity of aquatic and terrestrial species that have developed there is really very high. In fact, the level of endemism is very high compared to other geographical areas, whether isolated or not. This makes the place all the more attractive and exceptional. Many hikes and boat trips will be possible to discover the unique atmosphere of the Galápagos, a place in the world to discover urgently.