The Spanish Language Blog

A nature reserve of about 130 islands that is home to unique animal species and is a feast for the eyes of volcano lovers. Together, the Galápagos Islands (Spanish: Islas Galápagos) are one large natural park with a special character and is located in the Pacific Ocean, 1,000 kilometers off the west coast of South America. The literal translation of Islas Galápagos is "Turtle Islands".

A protected natural area with a fragile ecosystem and yet home to over 25,000 people. The Galápagos Islands have their own special character. Created only a few million years ago and visited by Charles Darwin for his research to develop a new theory, the islands have a short but interesting history.

The group of up to 130 islands in total were created by a series of volcanic eruptions. There is a hot and dry climate. The archipelago belongs to the Latin American country of Ecuador and is considered a province of the country. There are 13 major islands, one of which (San Cristóbal) possesses the province's capital Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. Furthermore,'Isla Isabela' is the largest island with 50% of the total area of the archipelago and has no less than 5 volcanoes. Other well-known large islands are Santa Cruz, Fernandina, San Salvador/Santiago,Floreana, Marchena, Española and Pinta. 

Fernandina is also best known for being in the news relatively often with eruptions of its active volcano. The total population of the islands is about 25,000 and the official language is Spanish. The Galápagos Islands are the perfect getaway for a vacation in Ecuador because not only are the islands themselves special, but they also have interesting sights. You really can't miss the capital Puerto Baquerizo Moreno for a unique experience in the city of a protected nature reserve. There is also the "Galápagos National Park" and you can visit the "Charles Darwin Research Station. A few islands are not accessible to tourists, such as Pinta, this island only allows researchers. The population lives mainly from the cultivation of agricultural products such as cotton, sugar cane, vegetables and fruits and from fishing. In addition, tourism brings a lot of income, for example, Santa Cruz is the island where many cruise ships have their departure and docking base and almost all residents work in the tourism sector.

The islands were discovered in 1535 by a Dominican bishop whose ship accidentally veered off course and ended up at the islands. Geologically and compared to other islands, the islands are only young; they were formed several million years ago by a series of eruptions of volcanoes. In 1835, some of the islands were visited by Charles Darwin. With his research ship, he spent considerable time on the islands to study biology and geology. The research on the Galápagos Islands, among others, eventually led to the famous theory of evolution. His findings are now a fundamental basis for the knowledge of animal species in places like the Galápagos Islands. Around 1960, the islands were considered a national park, and since 1978 they have even been on UNESCO's World Heritage List. In the late 1990s, a strange and flora-threatening problem appeared; a group of feral goats caused serious damage to the beautiful and unique flora and fauna of the islands of Isabella and Santiago. Removal of the more than 150,000 goats allowed nature to recover and left its unique character largely intact.

As mentioned earlier, the Galápagos Islands have a unique composition of flora and fauna. Having never been in contact with the mainland, they contain a number of special animal species. These species have been independently evaluated according to the climate and environment of the islands, making them unique. Some examples are the galápagos giant tortoise, the marine iguana, the galápagos albatross and the frigate bird. Of course, many more species live on the islands. Nature is protected as it is a fragile ecosystem. The landscape is made up of hundreds of volcanoes, the oldest of which are 4-5 million old, and these volcanoes provide an unprecedented fertile soil that allows unusual plant species to be found on these islands.

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