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. . Click above to access an online map that identifies each island of the archipelago. . A Brief History. In 1835, Charles Darwin visited the islands while serving as official naturalist on the five-year voyage of the H.M.S. Beagle. .