Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Earth Friendly Galapagos Tours

 The Galapagos Islands are one of the most fascinating places on earth. Most people know of them vaguely as a place with rare animals, including the famous and very large and long-lived Galapagos turtles. Because the area is so unique, beautiful and enthralling, Galapagos tours are easy to find and can be found at an affordable price, too.

Let's start with the basics. The Galapagos Islands are part of Ecuador, though most people think of them as being their own country. However, they do belong politically to Ecuador and are located a little over 600 miles from the Ecuadorian coast.

Each island is actually a volcano that has risen out of the ocean. In fact, the Galapagos Islands are thought to be one of the most volcanically active places on the planet. This no doubt has played a part in the unique development of the area. The oldest island shows it has been above water for 4 million years. However, the area is still volcanically active and smaller islands continue to rise slowly.

The Galapagos Islands were first included on a map way back in 1570. They were named the Galapagos Islands even back them, in honor of the notably large tortoises that are native there. This was back when the ocean was a wilder place. In fact, English pirates are said to have used to grouping of islands to hide the Spanish ships that they stole!

In the 1700s, however, permanent residents came to the islands. These were whalers and other hunters. They massacred significant numbers of turtles, seals and whales. Some varieties of these species were actually wiped out during all this and have been marked extinct.

Charles Darwin brought the Galapagos Islands fame in the 1800s when he was greatly inspired by the unique animal and plant life present. Islands in general present interesting and unique examples of life on earth, but the Galapagos Islands are possibly the densest collection of unique species that are found no where else on earth.

In the 20th century, the Ecuadorian government realized these amazing islands needed protection from humans. Today it is a National Park. However, it is also home to 15,000 people whereas it was discovered uninhabited. Conservancy continues to be an ongoing struggle as the natural animals and plants suffer from sharing space with humans.

If you decide to fly to this exotic and naturally unique location, you will not be disappointed. When booking Galapagos tours, though, only attend events that are respectful of the natural living things. Otherwise, the beauty of the Islands may be killed off completely.

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