Galapagos National Park is located about 500 miles (926 km) west of Ecuador, the islands are part of the country. The national park is home to the Galapagos Islands with the park boundaries encompassing an area of 3,040 square miles (7,880 sq km).
There is a total of 21 islands with 18 of them considered significant. The total Galapagos Islands measures square miles (7,995.4 sq km) and spread across 17,000 square miles (45,000 sq km) of ocean waters. Galapagos National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the country’s first national park.
The highest point in the Galapagos Islands occurs at Volcán Wolf on Isabela island and it reaches a height of 5,600 feet (1,707 m). Isabela Island is the largest island and accounts for the majority of land area in the Galapagos. The Ecuadorian government has declared 97% of the Galapagos Island area as a protected area through the Galapagos National Park.
Along with Isabela, Baltra, Floreana, San Cristobal, and Santa Cruz are the populated islands and account for about 3% of the total Galapagos Island area.
The wildlife in the Galapagos Islands is globally renowned featuring the Galapagos land iguanas, the marine iguanas, and the giant Galapagos tortoise. The marine iguanas of the national park are the only ones that swim and eat from the sea.
Other popular species include the green turtle, blue-footed booby, waved albatross, and the Galapagos hawk and Galapagos penguin. Sea lions, whale sharks, hammerhead sharks, and several other marine species await divers and snorkelers.
Endemic mockingbirds, finches, and tanagers are special treats for visitors as well.
The highlight of the Galapagos National Park is the Giant Tortoise, the marine iguanas, the blue-footed booby, and the colorful crabs. Along with that the endemic species and abundant marine life beneath the sea, the wildlife is the draw and highlight of the islands.
- Giant tortoise
- Marine iguana
- Galapagos land iguana
- Britannica, Galapagos Islands, https://www.britannica.com/place/Galapagos-Islands, retrieved September 2019.
- Galapagos Conservancy, Galapagos National Park Rules, https://www.galapagos.org/travel/travel/park-rules/, retrieved September 2019.
- Lonely Planet, Galapagos Islands, https://www.lonelyplanet.com/ecuador/the-galapagos-islands, retrieved September 2019.
- National Geographic, Galapagos Islands, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/world-heritage/galapagos-islands/, retrieved September 2019.
- Parque Nacional Galapagos, National Park, https://www.galapagos.gob.ec/en/national-park/, retrieved September 2019.
- UNESCO, Galapagos Islands, https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1/, retrieved September 2019.