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Galapagos Islands Must See Places
A magical group of Islands, ideal for nature loving people. Located 600 miles of the coast of Ecuador (they belong to Ecuador), they are declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco, and the number of visitors per year is strictly controlled in order to preserve their amazing flora and wild life. The Galapagos Islands is where Charles Darwin's observations lead him to his Theory of Evolution after his visit in 1835.
A Galapagos Holiday is one of discovery, education and activities like snorleling, hiking and birdwatching, definitely a once in a lifetime trip.
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Each cruise boat has permission to visit different islands so that there are a variety of itineraries available. Often the shorter cruises (4 or 5 days) will either include islands in the southern loop or the northern loop while longer ones can include both. The northern loop is particularly good for the volcanic landscapes while the southern is somewhat better for seeing wildlife.

Bartolome offers some a great place to see volcanic formations, often said to have a landscape reminiscent of the moon. The colors are varied, including orange, black and green. Among the wildlife that can be seen here are penguins and sea turtles.

Espanola, also called Hood, offers some of the greatest variety of wildlife. Here you can see albatross, boobies, iguanas, mockingbirds and sea lions. Snorkelers will especially enjoy Gardner Bay and Tortuga Rock. (For diving, Darwin and Wolf Islands are recommended).

Fernandina boasts an active volcano and it's even possible to witness an eruption. Here one can find many different birds such as Galapagos hawks, yellow warblers, frigates, pelicans, flightless cormorants, petrels and mangrove finches. The largest number of marine iguanas is also present here.

Isabela, the largest of the islands, has six volcanoes, five of which are active. It offers unique landscapes as well as a huge amount of wildlife including tropical birds, marine iguanas, penguins, cormorants and Darwin's finches. This is also a place to see Galapagos tortoises and there is a tortoise breeding center to learn more about them. Isabela is one of the islands on which it is possible to overnight.

Although Santa Cruz has the most built-up area of the islands, it offers more than just a place to eat and take cash out of an ATM. There are beaches where you can swim, snorkel and surf as well as wildlife to see. It's worth checking out the Charles Darwin Research Center where you can learn more about the Galapagos tortoises and the conservation efforts being undertaken to preserve this unique habitat. This is one of only four of the islands where you can overnight and its location makes it a good place to use for making daytrips around the park.

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