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RESERVE OF GALAPAGOS

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RESERVE OF GALAPAGOS


Galapagos is the place where Charles Darwin found the answer to the incognito of the evolution of the species. Volcanic and mysterious land, shows as it was the Earth like before the human being appearance. Today, this archipelago of 80 thousand square kilometers of ocean, is the paradise for thousands of giant turtles, iguanas, wolves and sea lions, endemic and migratory birds.

It is believed that during the Miocene, Galapagos was joint to a continental platform. But the most convincing theory, points out that the archipelago was formed due to the frequent volcanic eruptions. According to some studies, the oldest islands would have more than five million years and they are still in formation.

Darwin made the world to focus their eyes directed to Galapagos, because it was here where he observed how the species adapt to the environment and transmit the changes to the following generations. From then on, Galapagos has become a great attraction for scientific and 'lovers of the nature' tourists.

It was in Carlos V´ time (1535), when some flows led the craft of the Bishop of Panama, Tomás Berlanga, to some strange islands of big turtles and strange iguanas. When discovering Galapagos, the prelate carried out an expedition to the American territories conquered by Spain.

Due to their harmonic ecosystem and delicate ecological balance, the Galapagos islands - located 960 kilometers from the Ecuadorian Coast - were transformed into a National Park and Marine Reserve in 1959. Years later, the United Nations declared them as World Patrimony of the Humanity and Reserve of the Biosphere.

The archipelago, considered as an outdoor laboratory by worldwhile investigators, has thirteen big islands, six smaller islands and forty two little islands, being the most important:

Isabela Island, of amazing fauna where you can appreciate turtles, flamingos, marine iguanas and penguins. It is the biggest island in the archipelago. It has volcanic activity and is formed by six craters.

At the base of the volcano Alcedo, there is the Urbina, beautiful for its corals and marine formations that stand out outside of the sea.

The Sierra Negra volcano, located at the end of the island, is the second biggest after Ngorongoro. Here one can see the boiler, the isthmus of Perry, the deposits of sulfur, the owls, those "chaffinches" of Darwin and the wild horses. The Chico volcano, a group of small craters with several different fumaroles is in the north too. The trip to this place can only be made by horse.

The graffitis of the pirates and whalers in the cliffs of the Tagus, where the names of their historical ships are consigned, are other points of interest of this creek, in which penguins and other birds inhabit.

San Cristobal Island, it is known by their lagoons and creeks of sweet water, as well as for their variety of birds. El Junco lagoon is 700 meters above sea level, the silts of its bottom were analyzed to study the life and the vegetation of thousands of millions of years ago. The sea lions that sleep on the stones and the piqueros camanay, are the biggest attractions.

Floreana Island, ideal for the divers who would like to have the opportunity to see beautiful corals in the Devil's Crown, a submerged volcanic cone. Another interesting place is Punta Commorant, here the sand of the beach is olive green due to the stones of volcanic origin.

Santa Cruz Island, In this place, we find the Scientific Station Charles Darwin where the visitor is able to watch gigantic turtles. The scientists make an effort to protect and to conserve the ecosystem of the island. The main attractions are: the hatchery of young turtles and the turtles in captivity of Galapagos.

Santiago Island, characterized by its volcanic landscapes as well as for the presence of sparrow hawks, flamingos and marine wolves. It was the favorite island of the pirates of the XVII and XVIII century, because they used it to obtain fresh water and meat, to gather firewood and, also, they took advantage of their brief stays to repair their ships.

Española Island, where some species of birds like the seabird and the endemic cucuve inhabit. Small lizards and marine iguanas also exist. In the oriental coast it is the Gardner bay, excellent to swim and to observe the sea lions of Galapagos.

Plaza Sur Island, with a beautiful cactus landscape and the biggest colony of wolves of the archipelago. In their rough cliffs, the gulls, swallows and other marine birds nest.

Genovesa, thousands of frigates and seabirds live in this small beach and fly around the amazing cliffs along the coast. There are frigates, boobies, sea lions and, some chaffinches that nest in this place.

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