Where are the Galapagos Islands and how many are there?

man in galapagos islands

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Are you looking for paradise islands to disconnect from the rest of the planet? Are you looking for a mix of adventure and relaxation?

Well, you’ve come to the perfect place. In case you don’t know them, we want to tell you, among other things, where are the Galapagos Islands and some of the main features of this remote archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1978.

Where are the Galapagos Islands?

Although they are far from any piece of mainland, the Galapagos Islands belong to Ecuador. They are a must-see place in Ecuador due to their great biodiversity, unique in the entire planet.

This peculiar place known for having some of the most exotic animals of Galapagos, and for its paradisiacal beaches, is located more than 1,000 kilometers from the Ecuadorian coast. As a curiosity, you should know that together with the Malay Archipelago, they are the only archipelagos on the planet that have land in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

yellow iguana on a rock with the sea in the background

How many islands make up the Galapagos Islands?

If you take a Galapagos Islands tour, you will be able to find more than 100 islands in the Pacific waters during your visit.

In total, this archipelago is formed by 13 islands of a large size, that is to say, with more than 10 km². There are another 9 islands of medium size, between 1 km² and 10 km². In addition, there are 107 small-sized islets.

Due to the high activity of the volcanoes found on these islands, the surface of the Galapagos Islands is always increasing, so that on each trip, you may encounter new islets depending on the volcanic activity.

Man contemplating volcanoes in Galapagos Islands

Most important islands of the Galapagos Islands

Among its islands, the largest is Isabela Island, in honor of Queen Isabella I of Castile, who sponsored Columbus’ voyage. Despite being the largest island, it is not the most populated. It is, however, the island with the most active volcanoes in the archipelago, so a visit to this island is a must what to see in the Galapagos Islands.

The most populated island and with the most tourism is Santa Cruz Island, which in turn, is the second largest island. It has approximately 15,000 inhabitants, mostly residing in its main city or canton, Puerto Ayora. If you’re excited about snorkeling in Galapagos, this island will be your starting point.

boy diving in galapagos islands

Although it is neither the largest nor the most populated island, Isla San Cristobal has in its territory the capital of the archipelago, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. This canton is the second most populated of all the islands, only behind Puerto Ayora.

Last but not least is Darwin Island. This is a very small island, 1.1 km², which has its name in honor of Charles Darwin. This is because Darwin was inspired by these islands for his famous Theory of Evolution when he visited them in the Nineteenth Century. The theory helped popularize the Galapagos Islands around the world, hence the name in honor of Darwin.

rocks darwin island in galapagos ecuador

Now that you know where are the Galapagos Islands, do you dare to spend your next vacation in these paradisiacal islands of Ecuador? Did you know about the importance of the Galapagos for science?

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