Did you know?
- It is believed that these islands, now a designated World Heritage site, were first discovered March 10, 1535 by the Bishop of Panama when his ship was blown off course en route to Peru. In 1978, the Galápagos Islands were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site and in 2007 a World Heritage Site in Danger.
- The name of the islands originates from the word galápago which means saddle in Spanish, after the shells of the saddle-backed Galápagos tortoises.
- 97.5% of the Galápagos Islands land area is designated as National Park.
- Only four of the islands are inhabited: Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, Isabela and Floreana
Location: Straddling the Equator in the Pacific Ocean, 600 miles from mainland Ecuador.
Capital: Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristobal is capital of Galápagos Province.
Principal City: Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island is the commercial heart of Galápagos.
Area: 19 islands, and dozens of other islets and volcanic rocks have a total land area of 3,086 square miles, spread over an area of sea covering some 20,000 square miles.
Population: About 17,000 residing on 4 of the islands, San Cristobal, Santa Cruz, Isabela, and Floreana.
Government: Ecuador is a democracy, with an elected president.
Language: Spanish, although English is also spoken by many tourism staff members.
Time Zone: The Galápagos is on Central Standard Time.
Requirements: U.S. citizens must present a valid passport for entry; currently no visa or vaccines required.
Currency: U.S. dollars are now the standard currency in Ecuador and on vessels.
Electrical Outlets: Yachts operate on 110 volts/60 cycle currency, with standard North American outlets as do all the hotels in Galápagos.
Measurements: Ecuador, as all Latin America, uses the metric system.
Souvenirs: Plenty of souvenirs are available: t-shirts, postcards, keychains, maps, books, posters, jewelry, sarongs, etc. HOWEVER, you can also buy souvenirs made from corals, turtle, and tortoise shells. DON'T BUY THESE! They are illegal and support the black market.
Temperatures: Temperatures will be warm with cool evenings and a chance of rain.
Temperatures (F) Nov Dec
Max Air Temp 78 80
Min Air Temp 66 68
Ave Sea Temp 72 74
Ave Rainfall (in) 0.5 0.5
Vegetation Zones: The different altitudes throughout the islands allow for different vegetation.