Galapagos Biodiverse Paradise

December 13, 2011 § Leave a comment

A good article on Island Based Travel….enjoy!

By Gabriela Supelano / Ecuador

This archipelago, Ecuador has no comparison. It is unique for its number of animals, diversity of landscapes and isolation.  The perfect place to understand the evolution by Charles Darwin.

Galapagos Marine Iguana

The landscape of the Galapagos Islands may well have come from a science fiction movie. It is barren, dry, low vegetation and little green.  It is also full of volcanoes and lava dry. Next to the alien land is a deep blue sea. It’s a no man’s land, or rather, a land not owned by its human inhabitants it’s owned by nature.

The islands have much to offer.  Therefore, it is best to plan to visit ahead of time, although in a few days can also make a nice trip. There are 13 large volcanic islands, 6 smaller islands and 107 rocks and islets. So much to explore and learn.

Each island is very different from the other, so much so that large Galapagos tortoises are several species that evolved by isolation and climatic conditions of each site.

The airport is located in the small island of Baltra.  On arriving there, tourists should take a ferry to transport them to one of the most important islands, Santa Cruz. In the upper parts are two huge craters called Los Gemelos. These are formed when several underground lava tubes collapsed.

Moreover, in Santa Cruz is a giant tortoise reserve and Charles Darwin. This site is intended for research and conservation of the giant tortoises and that’s where Lonesome George, animal emblematic of the islands.

George is the last specimen of its kind.  For this reason, researchers at the Charles Darwin Station are trying to reproduce with females genetically very similar species.

In Santa Cruz is also Puerto Ayora, the largest town in Galapagos. It is a perfect place to stay. From Puerto Ayora you can take boats and cruisers for all the islands and diverse infrastructure and hotels.

From Santa Cruz you can go to San Cristobal, a small island but definitely missed. In Santa Cruz there are nature walks in the vegetation of the area and beaches. In addition, sea lions are everywhere, from the pier to the beach.  Its small size also means it has less flow of tourists. It also has cabins and small hotels for those who do not want to move there.

The other big island is Isabela. This is much younger than San Cristobal, which has beautiful beaches, lots of wildlife and several volcanoes that can be crossed on foot or horseback.

Isabela also has a huge area for snorkeling, where there are reefs, fish and you can see another turtle or a sea lion.  It is the perfect place to appreciate the huge marine iguanas characteristics of small islands and penguins that inhabit them.

The Galapagos Islands are a point where biodiversity operates, so much so that looks like a zoo without cages or bars. Animals are masters of the rocks and beaches, and you have to ask permission to walk on their land. It’s a unique place, which also stands at the center of the world along the equator.

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