Galapagos Islands - The Traveller


Post Top Ad

Monday, September 8, 2014

Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Islands
Galapagos Islands - Small Archipelago of Islands

The Galapagos Islands are small archipelago of islands that belong to Ecuador towards the eastern Pacific Ocean which are remote and isolated. Situated around 1,000 km from South American continent, these 19 islands together with the surrounding marine reserve have been considered as a unique living museum and showcase of evolution.

The Galapagos archipelago comprises of 13 main islands with 6 smaller isles which together embrace the 50,000 sq. km of ocean. Placed at the confluence of three ocean current, it is a melting pot of marine species.

The processes which formed the islands was due to the volcanic activity and on-going seismic and these processes with the extreme isolation of the island gave way to the development of the unusual plant and animal species and home to fascinating species like the land iguana, the giant tortoise, flightless cormorants and much more which drew the interest of Charles Darwin.

 In his theory of evolution by natural selection followed by his visit in 1835, Darwin noticed that though the islands had similar volcanic compositions, environment and climate, each of the isolated isles was a home to its own set of species and he suspected that these species had also adapted to a diet as well as the micro environment of their surroundings.

Islands Formed with Repeated Volcanic Occurrence

Most of the islands were formed due to the layering and lifting of repeated volcanic occurrence and this geographic movement is connected to the age of the island as the eastern island – San Cristobal and Espanola, said to be millions of years older than the western islands, Isabela and Fernandina.The islands seem to have a distinctive shape which is conical and is mostly associated with volcanic action.

The mountainous islands on the other hand have been formed from continuous eruption, built by layer upon layer and due to this volcanic formation, the islands have been characterized with server steep slopes with heights that ranges from few meters above sea level to over 5000 feet above sea level.

With the exception of the largest island, Isabela, each major island comprises of single large volcano while Isabela was formed with six volcanoes joined above sea level.

Galapagos Marine Reserve

Galapagos Islands geologically are probably more than five million years old with some of the westernmost islands which are volcanically active, could be around hundreds of thousands years old which are still being formed presently.

The Galapagos Marine Reserve, an underwater wildlife spectacle has abundant life which ranges from corals to sharks to penguins to marine mammals. One can get the best experience of diving with a diversity of marine life forms which are quite familiar with human beings which accompany divers.

Besides this, the diversity of underwater geomorphological form is another advantage with a unique display that is not found anywhere in the world. Accommodation is available on most of the islands with public boat and plane services enabling visitors to move around the islands.

The best way to experience the beauty of the island is by boat tour which is amazing and wherever your interest lies, whether it is diving, bird watching, snorkelling, surfing or any other activities, tour options are made available. The island has two airports, namely Isla Baltra and Isla San Cristobal with regular flights from mainland cities Quito and Guayaquil.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.