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The Galapagos Islands

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Please contact one of our Destination Experts for a complete and free assessment to help you choose the best combination for your desired Ecuador, Galapagos and Peru tour.

Columbus Travel is a tour operator with more than 18 years of experience. We operate a wide variety of tours in Ecuador including the best hotels, cruises, amazon lodges, Peru tours and any land services needed. We tailor our tours, however the packages listed here are our best-selling trips, because of the complete combination of the highlights of South America.

Tour options: Scuba diving, diving, swimming and hiking.

“Explore and discover the most unique visitor sites in all of the Galapagos Islands. Our high-end cruises will give you a once in a lifetime experience, along with only the best Ecuador and Peru destinations. Featured boasts include Ocean Spray and Cormorant.“

Welcome to the "Enchanted Islands"

In the Pacific, the Galapagos Archipelago are scattered over a sea area of 70'000 km²/27'028 mi² and approximately 8'000 km²/3'089 mi² of land area, located about 1'000 km/621 mi from the coast. The Galapagos Islands are an archipelago of volcanic islands that originated about 10 million years ago.

Fabulous natural treasure, these islands have a unique flora and fauna, to the delight of scientists, environmentalists and nature lovers. The Galapagos Islands consist of 13 major islands, 6 smaller islands and 42 islets.

The Galapagos Islands are also known as the Enchanted Islands because they can disappear into the fog sometimes of year and could not be seen by passing ships. The Galapagos Archipelago is home to an incredibly high number of endemic species. Among the animals are different species of giant tortoise "Galapagos" who gave their name to the Islands because of the similarity of their carapaces to a British riding saddle "Galápago" in Spanish.

Tomas de Berlanga discovered accidentally the Galapagos Islands on March 10, 1535, while sailing from Panama to Peru. About one century later, the Galapagos Islands became a popular hideout for British buccaneers who pirated Spanish ships and looted Spanish settlements in Central and South America. The islands were also used as a source of nourishment by buccaneers and British whalers on long journeys. In 1800, an improvised “post office” was established on Floreana Island. This post office still exists today, and tourists can leave mail there for future visitors to the islands to take back to their home countries and mail.

Charles Darwin visited the islands in 1835 and after some investigations, it became clear to Darwin that, over time, different species adapt to their environment in the Galapagos Islands. He realized that each island had its own characteristic species of lizard, tortoise and bird and also that each island had similar physical and climatic conditions. He concluded that the difference of species was related to feeding habits. This argument helped Darwin to form the basis of unprecedented works on biological adaptation, natural selection and evolution.

The Galapagos Islands are home to a wide variety of birds: blue footed boobies, red-footed and masked boobies, flamingos, frigate birds, albatross, razorbills, cormorants do not fly, and 14 varieties of finches. Also found in these islands, marine mammals such as sea lions, dolphins and whales as well as multicolored fish. The most characteristic plants are mangroves and endemic cactus.

Discover theses unique and amazing Islands and join one of our tours that combine the best of Ecuador, Peru and Galapagos Islands!

The 13 most famous islands of the archipelago are:

Baltra Island
- Main airport in the Galapagos Islands.

Bartolome Island - This one of the most visited and photographed the islands because of its unique "Pinnacle Rock" inhabited by many sea lions and penguins.

San Salvador Island (James) - Sullivan Bay, possibility to swim with seals and penguins; Puerto Egas, black lava rock and natural pools, tourists can walk and watch Darwin's finches, the Galapagos hawk and fur seals.

North Seymour Island - Large number of blue-footed boobies, magnificent frigates birds, fork-tailed seagulls, sea lions and marine iguanas.

Santa Fe Island (Barrington) - Place to observe colonies of sea lions, land iguanas, swallow-tailed gulls, terns and Petrels. The path that leads to the heart of the island leads to a forest of giant cactus and trees "palo santo".

Floreana Island (Charles) - Punta Cormorant Beach of olivine crystals and pink flamingos are an integral part of this island; Corona del Diablo: Beautiful coral formations make the impressive depth of only six feet underwater scenery, there are colorful fish, sharks and turtles; Post Office Bay: The famous barrel where sailors laid their letters to be picked up by ships of the 18th century when whaling; Mirador de la Baronesa: There are golden eagle rays, sea turtles, sea lions, mules and even the Galapagos penguins.

Santa Cruz Island - It is the most populated island of the Galapagos Archipelago, Puerto Ayora. The Charles Darwin Research Station is a great introduction to the islands, their origins and their formations. Tortuga Bay: A 45 minute walk from Puerto Ayora along a beautiful trail leads to the beach of Tortuga Bay with its fine white sand where you can swim; Las Bachas Beach: The white sand beach is a great place for swimming; Los Gemelos: The crater holes were not formed by the direct action of volcanoes, but rather by the collapse of surface materials, pressing crevices or caverns.

Española Island - The natural life of this island is truly wonderful. Here live blue-footed boobies, masked boobies, colonies of marine iguanas, fascinating albatross from April to June, sea lions, Galapagos doves and Darwin's finches.

San Cristóbal Island - Puerto Baquerizo Moreno: The capital of the archipelago of the same name and airport. There are also sea lions, canaries, frigates, the different types of finches, and unique and huge marine iguanas on the rocks. Interpretive Center: The explanation Interpretive Centre on the history of the Galapagos Islands and their natural resources, the arrival of humans and conservation of the Islands.

Fernandina Island - Punta Espinosa: The landscape of black lava rocks is very attractive. There is a colony of marine iguanas, a large number of penguins, pelicans and cormorants colonies of birds that cannot fly.

Isabela Island - It is the largest island of the Galapagos Archipelago. There are 6 active volcanoes Alcedo, Cerro Azul, Darwin, Ecuador, Sierra Negra and Wolf. The huge amount of lava rolled down these volcanoes created the island. Each volcano has its own type of giant tortoise.

Genovesa Island - This is one of the most important islands because of the number of colonies of birds found here, why this island is also known as "Bird Island.

Rabida Island - The beach sand is red with a lake side and a way around it. The color of the rocks and sand comes from their composition of volcanic material.