The Galápagos comprise a Noah’s Ark of volcanic isles stranded in the Pacific. It’s one of those destinations that inspires superlatives and sits atop many a traveler’s wish list. Located 1,000 kilometres off the coast of Ecuador, they remain, in large part, as Darwin would have experienced them more than a century and a half ago. They are the last true Garden of Eden.
Many of the archipelago’s animals, such as the amazing marine iguana that grazes on seaweed, are found nowhere else on the planet. Here you encounter the only cormorant that lost its will to fly, and a pocket-size penguin, preening in the tropics. Endemism is par for the course on the Galápagos.
The islands’ diverse and unique natural world would be reason enough to pay them a visit. But there’s more, much more: the animals are virtually devoid of fear.