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Galapagos - Darwins magical island!
Situated some 600 miles of the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands enjoyed total isolation from the rest of the world for countless millennia. 19 islands, and dozens of other islets and volcanic rocks have a total land area of 4,966 km2, spread over an area of sea covering some 32,186 km2.
It was not until HMS Beagle happened across the islands in 1835 that the outside world became aware of the richest and most varied eco systems on the planet. Onboard was Charles Darwin, and his observations eventually lead to the publication of "Origin of Species", and changed mankinds perception of the creation forever.
Today the actively volcanic islands still host very distinctive flora and fauna, including some species of animals that can be found nowhere else on earth. The Galapagos Islands are part of the Ecuadorian National Park and are a world heritage site in their own right. The wealth of unique wildlife on the islands is more than matched in the surrounding ocean.
Several ocean currents merge around this island group bringing a wealth of marine life. Hammerhead sharks can be seen in schools of up to hundreds, however, it's not just the sharks that attract divers to Galapagos. Divers have a rare opportunity to dive with some fantastic creatures including sea lions, penguins, and endemic marine iguana's that have adapted to local conditions.
The Galapagos is one of the only places in the world where divers can experience a mix of tropical and temperate species. Between the months of May to November numerous species of whales are seen, the most common being the Melon Headed, Humpbacked and Pilot whales that migrate to Ecuadors coastline. The giant plankton feeder, the Whale shark, is often present in large numbers, and divers encounter these magnificent creatures on a regular basis.
Darwin and Wolf are situated 15 hours north of the main island groups and are a must to visit when diving in the Galapagos. Schools of Hammerheads, Rays, Whale sharks and Dolphins make these two islands one of the highlights of your holiday.
Other highlights include Baltra Island, Seymour Island, Santiago Island and Santa Cruz Island. Dive sites are selected by the captain and may vary due to weather conditions and logistics.
NOTE: Beginner divers may find Galapagos diving challenging.