Galapagos – this fabled and remote place consists of 19 islands. In addition, a dozen or so smaller islands and volcanic formations. They form a total landmass of approximately 8000 square kilometers and which is spread over more than 50 square kilometers of sea surface. The Galapagos Islands are located almost 000 km due west of the coast of Ecuador. Because of its remote location, the Galapagos were completely isolated from the outside world for several thousand years.

It was only in 1835, when Charles Darwin on the ship HMS Beagle met the islands. Then the world opened its eyes to the islands. It was Darwin's observations here in the Galapagos that, together with articles he had previously received from Wallace, led to his book "On the Origin of Species". It came to overturn and change man's view of creation and man's origin and descent.

Even today, these active volcanic islands are home to a unique flora and fauna, including many species that are not found anywhere else in the world, so-called endemic species. The islands are part of Ecuador's national park and are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The rich and unique animal life on land is more than matched in the surrounding sea.

Magical diving trips

Diving trips here got a boost in the late 90s and today it is one of the world's most recommended diving destinations. Together with Coco Island, Malpelo and Socorro are these Pacific islands that are magnets for marine life. The diving is absolutely fantastic if you like to see large animals and some places are today perhaps the best diving spots in the world. The accumulation of large animals around these islands is palpable. Whale sharks, hammerheads and Galapagos sharks are common as well as you often see, sea lions, reef sharks, various species of rays, killer whales and lumpfish. 

Also, one of the more unusual creatures to see below the surface is the endemic marine iguana, which feeds on algae below the surface and often congregates in large groups on land. For many, the Galapagos is the ultimate dream dive trip and this one is truly spectacular. You should book diving trips here quite far in advance, especially when it is whale shark season. These trips with one live board can sometimes be fully booked more than two years in advance so plan well in advance.

Pictures by © Anders Salesjö

Travel information Galapagos