Galapagos Islands are a very popular travel destination. So, many recognized the islands and their fauna and flora. However, there are some lesser-known bits of trivia guaranteed to impress even the savviest of travellers. Read on to learn things you might not know about the archipelago.
There weren’t native human population
Even though the archipelago has 16th century of been discovered, there were no permanent human settlers for hundreds of years. In 1535 was the first known case of humans setting foot on the Galápagos. It occurred when Bishop Fray Tomás de Berlanga from Panama accidentally landed in the islands.
The first “permanent” resident was an Irishman named Patrick Watkins. He was marooned on Floreana Island from 1807–1809. The first true residents arrive when Ecuador took control of the archipelago in 1832. In 1869, a colony named Progresso was established on San Cristobal under the leadership of Manuel Cobos, which remains the seat of government in the Galapagos today. More than 25,000 people shape the Islands’ permanent population today.
They are UNESCO World Heritage site
In 1978 a World Heritage Convention took place, in which 12 World Heritage sites were named. One of the firsts was the Galapagos Islands, followed by Quito, Ecuador. The 19 islands and the surrounding marine reserves of the Galapagos Islands are part of an unique archipelago of endemic plants and animals, and seismic activity that inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Among the most known species are blue-footed boobies, giant tortoises, flightless cormorants and marine iguanas.
Is not surprising that these enchanting Islands full of wildlife have been declared World Heritage by UNESCO.That’s why you have to plan your trip to the Galapagos Islands and immerse yourself in a brand new adventure full of new emotions. At Ikala Galapagos Hotel we offer you the best service and accommodation, so that you can enjoy your stay in the islands. Thanks to its ideal location in Puerto Ayora, you can visit every corner of Galapagos and participate in funny activities such as kayaking, surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving and much more.
Air traffic started with the Second World War
Before the Second World War, there were no landing field in the Galapagos. But during the war, the United States established an air base on the island of Baltra to defend the Panama Canal from the Japaneses. When the war ended, the US base was transformed into the first 100% ecological airport in the world, into one of the most fragile natural reserves on the planet: the Galapagos Islands.
The fortifications were handed over to the Ecuadorian government, and the airstrip became the basis of what is now the airport. Most tourists who visit the Galapagos, come to this worldwide recognized landing strip now.
They are home to the world’s northernmost penguins
Around the world there are about 17 species of penguins, all of them inhabit the southern hemisphere. However, the Galapagos penguin, as their name indicates, lives in the Galapagos. The most of its population is located on the rocky coast of the islands of Fernandina and Isabela, which are the westernmost of the Galapagos. There are also small populations on the islands of Bartolomé, Santiago, Floreana, and Logie. Becoming like this in the northernmost penguins of the world.
This is the second species of smaller penguins after the blue penguin, and they usually live in the coastal grottos near the ocean, looking for temperate temperatures. They dive into the water to cool off from the strong sun and swim in a very peculiar way with slowness and with their heads out of the water.