Galapagos Experience Guide
Formed by a volcanic hotspot millions of years ago, the Galápagos Islands didn’t find their way onto the map until 1535 when the Bishop of Panama accidentally drifted into them on his way to Peru.
After that accidental discovery, the islands became a favorite hideout to pirates; a rest stop for whalers and explorers; and the renowned location of Darwin’s 1830s expedition that resulted in his theory of evolution. And while efforts to establish settlements were thwarted by lack of fresh water and other challenges, the influence of human contact has been profound.
Lucky for us, Ecuador signed a decree in the 1930s to protect the islands, designated as a National Park in 1959, and in the late 1970s, further protection when UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site and biosphere reserve.
With so much diversity, who and what should be on your Galápagos must-see list? The Big 15 includes the most iconic wildlife in the archipelago. And, on our itinerary, there are opportunities to see a whopping 12 of them!