I admit when my grandmother offered to bring me here, 9 years ago, I said to myself “Galapagos Islands, cool, I’ve never been to Africa!” Fast forward to now and I often find myself explaining to acquaintances just where the Galapagos are, where is Ecuador, and how hard is it to live on the equator (this from a lady who assumed that we lived on the small line that encircles the Earth).
First lets located Ecuador (country highlighted in yellow below), it’s a small country sandwiched between Columbia and Peru. Once Columbia, Ecuador, northern Peru and Venezuela were part of “Gran Colombia” a republic united under Simon Bolivar. The republic didn’t last long, but you can see from the similar colors of the Ecuadorian, Venezuelan and Colombian flags (red, blue and yellow) that they share a common foundation.
The Galapagos Islands, first visited in 1535 by Bishop of Panamá Fray Tomás de Berlanga , are 575 miles west of continental Ecuador. Charles Darwin visited these islands after setting sail in 1941 aboard the Beagle, he was in the Galapagos islands for less than a week and came up with his theory of evolution based on his short experience here.
Modern day visitors don’t have to take a long boat ride to arrive here, as there are flights leaving daily from Quito and Guayaquil, Ecuador. Most flights leave from Quito, with a brief stop in Guayaquil, to allow more passengers to board, and continues the 1 hour 45 minute flight to Baltra airport (airport code GPS). There are 2 airports that large commercial planes can fly to Baltra and San Cristobal (SCY). If travelers are visiting Hotel Solymar in Puerto Ayora, on Santa Cruz island, they should fly into Baltra airport.
So next time a friend asks you where you are going on vacation….just send them this link. And don’t worry after a few days of walking on the equator, I promise; you get pretty good at not falling off!
Blog post written by: Allison Schaffer de Perez
Translated to Spanish by: Gloria Forero M.