Visiting the Galapagos Islands (named for their famous giant tortoises) has been a dream of mine for a very long time. The islands are famous as the location where Charles Darwin discovered the many finches with specialized beaks that led to the birth of the theory of evolution. Aside from finches there are many more species of wildlife, most of them found only in the Galapagos. And because the animals have no natural predators, they haven’t learned to be afraid of humans. This means that its possible to walk right up to blue-footed booby without them running away.
Because of the tameness of the animals, they were very vulnerable to early sailors who came to the islands. The sailors hunted many species of giant tortoise to extinction or near extinction. But now 95% of the islands are a strictly protected area. Personally, I think this is awesome, but it does make visiting the area rather difficult. Every group of tourists must be accompanied by a guide, and each group is restricted in size. Their travel itineraries have to be approved beforehand and when touring the area everyone must stay on the paths. It might sound like a lot of rules, but without them the island would be overrun with people destroying all the natural beauty and wildlife.
It probably is a lot of work to plan a trip to the Galapagos, but I think it would be completely worth it. But until I have enough money and time to go there, I will just have to content myself with looking at these fabulous pictures of the islands.
See more pictures of the Galapagos in our collection back at Newscom.
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This entry was posted on Saturday, May 12th, 2012 at 7:31 am and is filed under Around the World. You can follow any comments to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a comment, or trackback from your own site.