Galápagos Islands

The Galápagos Islands (Official name: Archipiélago de Colón; other Spanish names: Islas de Colón or Islas Galápagos, from galápago, “saddle”—after the shells of saddlebacked Galápagos tortoises) are an archipelago of volcanic islands distributed around the equator, 972 km west of continental Ecuador in the Pacific OceanCoordinates: 0°40′S 90°33′W / -0.667, -90.55.

The Galápagos archipelago has a population of around 40,000, is a province of Ecuador, a country in northwestern South America, and the islands are all part of Ecuador’s national park system. The principal language on the islands is Spanish.

The islands are famed for their vast number of endemic species and the studies by Charles Darwin during the voyage of the Beagle that contributed to the inception of Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection.

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