With dramatic volcanic landscapes and lying directly on the Equator, the geologically-recent Galapagos Islands rate as one of the most unusual wildlife locations in the world. Above water there are plants and semi-tame animals whose geographical isolation and adaptation to the harsh conditions have led to the evolution of many unique natural histories, including marine iguanas, giant tortoises and the famous Darwin finches. Under water, cool currents have introduced otherwise cold water species to these tropical seas: penguins, orcas and fur seals happily rub along with parrot fish, turtles and manta rays.
The Galapagos Islands were instrumental in helping Charles Darwin formulate his theory of evolution. The Victorian scientist noticed there were slight variations in otherwise similar species inhabiting the various islands and concluded that local conditions moulded each species in a particular way.
Each island is different in the species it contains and its particular geographical characteristics. Some islands are much younger than others, some are much bigger; some have high hills, others reveal lava flows frozen in time. It is those differences which make the Galapagos Islands such a rewarding and captivating archipelago to explore.