Worldwide //  South America //  Ecuador //  Galápagos Islands

Galápagos Islands

Located 600 miles from the coast of Ecuador, the Galápagos Islands were discovered in 1535 by Fray Tomás de Berlanga, bishop of Panama, whose ship was becalmed and swept westward along the Humboldt Current. The bishop was impressed by the giant tortoises, which he thought ...

Located 600 miles from the coast of Ecuador, the Galápagos Islands were discovered in 1535 by Fray Tomás de Berlanga, bishop of Panama, whose ship was becalmed and swept westward along the Humboldt Current. The bishop was impressed by the giant tortoises, which he thought resembled a type of women’s saddle, known in Spanish as a galapago. In September 1835, Charles Darwin arrived aboard the survey ship HMS Beagle. Over the centuries, the islands were visited by mariners, pirates and whalers, who ate the tortoises, shot the fur seals and introduced alien species such as goats. Not until the establishment of a national park in 1959 could a process of environmental reconstruction begin.

During the cool, dry season from June to November, clouds frequently envelop the Galápagos. In the warm, wet season from December to May, the wind drops, and in between downpours there is considerably more sunshine. Perhaps the ideal time to travel is from January to April, when the warm Panama Current nudges the frigid Humboldt Current slightly south. As a result, the sea reaches a more comfortable 75 degrees. At other times, a wetsuit is mandatory.

bird icon Hotels & Restaurants in Galápagos Islands

Become a Member
SIMILAR REGIONS TO Worldwide //  South America //  Ecuador //  Galápagos Islands
Contact a Travel Advisor
Hideaway Report members have access to travel advisors at our partner Andrew Harper Travel. Learn More
Call Andrew Harper Travel:
1 (800) 375-4685
OPEN M-F 8AM-6PM CST

Follow Us