The Galapagos Islands, official name Archipiélago de Colón, is a cluster of some 13 volcanic islands, and some islets and rocks, located just under the equator, about 1000km west of Ecuador, of which they are a part.
The Galápagos Islands form an Ecuadorian province, a National Park, and a biological marine reserve, the most interesting in the world thank to the vast number of endemic species, and are also one of the most active volcanic areas in the world.
The islands are quite new, in fact the oldest ones are about 4 million years old, while the youngest are still in the process of being formed.
About 97% of the islands are part of the Galapagos National Park , the 3% left is inhabited by about 14,000 people living in the four major communities (Puerto Ayora in Santa Cruz, Puerto Baquerizo in San Cristobal, Puerto Villamil in Isabela and Floreana).
The Park Service provides rangers, guides and tours, and under its responsibily to keep under control the flow of tourists who visit each year protecting the park and its animals.
This group of 13 main islands and its dozens of smaller islets and rocks appear to be out of this world, each of them offers a different bioystem and so diffent animal life and flora.
Unpredicted wilderness, islands filled with extraordinary populations of unique species developed apart from humans and their dominating influence, incredible sea life, one of the best scuba diving in the world.
In order to protect this natural and unique beauty the National park makes a huge effort to preserve the islands as they were centuries ago, and today the Galapagos have been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.