The Galapagos archipelago is located on both sides of the equinoccial line approximately 970 km (600 miles) west of mainland Ecuador. Local time is -6 GMT. It consists of thirteen major islands, six smaller islands, 42 islets and many rocks, covering a total area of 7,850 km2. The largest island is Isabela, with an area of 4,590 km2, which also has the highest point of the archipelago, the Wolf Volcano, with 1,690 meters snm. 97% of the total area of the islands is part of the Galapagos National Park, the rest corresponds to the inhabited and growing areas of the Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, Isabela and Floreana islands, in addition to Baltra Island, occupied entirely by the Ecuadorian Armed Forces. The Galapagos are also a province of Ecuador, whose capital is Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, on the island of San Cristobal. Puerto Ayora, on Santa Cruz Island, is the city with the greatest tourist movement. The total population of the islands, including the floating population, is 16,109 inhabitants.

But at the same time this same particularity makes its balance so delicate and fragile, and that is why in its management it is essential to control the introduction and spread of foreign species, as well as strict control of tourism and other human activities, such as fishing. The institution responsible for the management and protection of the islands and the Marine Reserve is the Galapagos National Park, with the collaboration of other entities, such as the Charles Darwin Foundation.


Wildlife consists mainly of birds, mammals and reptiles. There are no amphibians in the Galapagos. Its richness in marine life makes these islands an incomparable place and that is why it today has the reputation of being the most important diving destination in the world. Currently there are plants and animals introduced by settlers a few years ago, such as goats, pigs, donkeys, dogs, cats and rats, which, by not finding competitors have expanded becoming one of the main problems for the conservation of the fauna of the islands. The same is true for plants, so the institutions involved in conservation are also responsible for the control and eradication of plants and animals.

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