Located approximately 600 miles west of the Ecuadorian mainland, the Galapagos Islands not only are home to many of the world’s endangered species, but they are also a tropical escape away from your boring, everyday life. With an average temperature between 69°-84°F all year round and an abundant mix of marine life due to the convergence of three oceanic currents makes the Galapagos Islands (which are between 3 and 10 million years old) an exotic and once-in-a-lifetime vacation.

First off, I want to provide a little history about the islands. The species on the Galapagos were studied by Charles Darwin during his voyage of the beagle. His observations and collections contributed to his theory of evolution by natural selection. In 1959, the Ecuadorian government declared 97.5% of the archipelago’s land area a national park, except the already colonized English and Spanish areas.  In 1986, the 27,000 square miles surrounding the islands were declared a marine reserve (second in size only to the Great Barrier Reef). It was also recognized as a marine sanctuary in 1990, protecting animal life from illegal fishing activities.

Now, out of the all the places in the world that I could travel to, why would I choose the Galapagos islands? First off, if I want to get away from reality, I want to be at a beautiful place in the middle of nowhere.  With the next possible human civilization being 600 miles away, the islands fit that description. Not to mention, the islands are located in a tropical area, I am all for warm weather.

Second, the islands are the only place in the world where you can get up close and personal to some of the world’s rarest animals:

 
      Waved Albatrosses

 

 

 
 

The Marine Iguana

 

       

 The blue-footed booby

I would love to see these species in their natural habitat, especially if they are going to die out in the next few years or so. It’s not every day where you get to see multiple endangered species that are not behind cages or bars. I would also love to observe and swim with the Galapagos tortoises, which on an average have a lifespan of 150 years or more (did I mention that Finding Nemo is one of my favorite movies of all time!?).

Finally, even if visitors see all of the wildlife that the Galapagos has to offer, they can explore other types of nature. Whether it’s snorkeling at Devil’s Crown or climbing the Alcedo Volcano, vacationers will never be bored. Don’t get me wrong, I love R&R, but only in small doses. I love being active and get antsy after sitting on a beach for more than three hours at a time. For those who want to do more than just sit in the sand for days at a time, the Galapagos is the perfect place for you.

In my lifetime, I hope to visit the Galapagos Islands some day and hang out with all of the endangered species in nature’s ultimate playground. This once-in-a-lifetime experience is too difficult to pass up!

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7 responses »

  1. Jordi says:

    Can people even visit, I mean, unless you are a scientist? Does sound great.

  2. Sarah says:

    Sounds like a cool place to visit. I have never heard or seen a picture of a bird with blue feet so that would definitely be a neat experience. So can no one including scientists visit the island or is it completely closed off from people? Is it even possible to close the island off from people? Surely anyone with a boat could go visit the island and take a look around and if scientisits can go then you could just pretend to be one! Also in terms of the endangered animals wouldn’t scientists want to collect a few of each of the endangered species to study and have to breed? That way if any of the species in the wild died off they would still have them in captivity.

    • Kate says:

      People (other than scientists) can visit because I know that several of my family’s friends went to the Galapagos Islands for vacation (and none of them are scientists). I think it would extremely difficult to close the island off from society, but I believe that the number of people who can visit the island is limited because if too many people visit the island, it could result it negative impacts on animal and plant life (pollution, tourism, etc). Hence why it is relatively expensive to visit the islands (so I’ve heard).

      I am not entirely sure if scientists would want to collect each of the endangered species for breeding purposes because wouldn’t that eliminate the purpose of natural selection?

  3. Jordi says:

    Yep. You are right. But travel is restricted to minimize impact, it seems.

  4. Jordi says:

    Good Lord. Use the internet… Yes, they breed and ”repatriate” several species.

  5. Tomas Smaliorius says:

    How could anyone pass on the opportunity to visit this place? I am really curious to see what would happen to the Galapagos Islands if humans were not allowed to interfere with the animals or the surrounding environment at all, this would include eliminating the current breeding programs that are supposed to preserve some of the endangered species? You would think that the answer is a simple one, natural selection would take place. With the place being so small, and secluded from the real world, it would be interesting to see natural selection taking place in its purest form. The island could get equipped with video cameras to study the patterns of the animals, and what would they do when faced with the possibility of extinction. This could provide us with answers as to why certain species of animals go extinct in their own natural habitat.

  6. Alex Lin says:

    Wow. This almost sounds like a place where dinosaurs might still exist.

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