An Journey to the Galapagos Islands Where is the world is the Galapagos Islands? The Galapagos Islands are located in the Pacific Ocean, 600 miles west of Ecuador, which is on the western coast of South America.
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The Galapagos Islands are located in the Pacific Ocean, 600 miles west of Ecuador, which is on the western coast of South America.
Click above to access an online map that identifies each island of the archipelago.
In 1835, Charles Darwin visited the islands while serving as official naturalist on the five-year voyage of the H.M.S. Beagle.
On the Galapagos Islands, it became clear to Darwin that, over time, different species adapt to their environment. He was intrigued by the fact that each small island had its own characteristic species of bird, lizard and tortoise. Because the islands' physical and climatic conditions were relatively similar, he reasoned that they were not responsible for these differences. Instead, he concluded that the differences were related to feeding habits. This theory helped form the basis of Darwin's unprecedented works on biological adaptation, natural selection and evolution.
Click here to access an online copy of Charles Darwin’s The Origin of the Species.
Click here to access an online copy of Charles Darwin’s The Voyage of the Beagle.
The islands of the Galapagos were created by volcanic eruptions five million years ago. The result is a rugged moonscape of rare rock formations and islands populated by a staggering number of animals and birds. The severe and dramatic nature of the islands themselves, set amidst a crystal blue sea, provides a powerful backdrop to the Galapagos experience. The islands boast magnificent beaches with powder white sand and crystal clear waters.
Sally Lightfoot Crab