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Known for its exceptional and unique wildlife, the Galapagos Islands is a haven of tranquility located 575 miles west of Ecuador’s mainland, and an ideal yachting destination. Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Galapagos offers unparalleled natural wonders and historical importance. This was the place where Charles Darwin conceived of his theory of natural selection.
The no less than startling landscape features – areas that look similar to the surface of the moon and beach sand colors that range between stark white and pitch black. Dramatic volcanic peaks add to the excitement, as does the fact that the Galapagos Islands are located in an area where five ocean currents converge. This causes variable water temperatures, unpredictable tides and a unique ecology – home to some of the most intriguing animal species.
Meet the locals
Spending time at the Galapagos will expose you to many of its unusual residents. You may come across Lonesome George, the only surviving giant Pinta tortoise on the planet, along with other giant, free roaming and fearless tortoises. Another very large animal only found in this fascinating place is the Galapagos cormorant – a bird so big it is not able to fly. Other strange and wonderful creatures that live in the Galapagos include the only marine lizard in the world, the biggest population of blue-footed booby birds, rat eating centipedes, the only penguin north of the equator, and over 400 species of fish of which 50 are endemic.
All set to sail? Read this first
The exclusivity of the enchanted realm known as the Galapagos Islands makes it even more attractive as an exotic destination for adventurous yacht owners. Only private vessels with no more than ten people on board are allowed to anchor in one of the three Galapagos Island harbors, and for no longer than 20 days. Tourist activities are forbidden and there is a strict set of rules and regulations to abide. Besides rigorous rules of conduct, Galapagos is a dream destination. Start planning your trip now; where else can you be guaranteed good weather and the chance to observe a vegetarian marine iguana in its natural habitat?