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4th February 2004
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 Holiday | Programmes | 50

Galapagos Islands

Best time to go: January to April is the warmest time, although it may be rainy

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Craig Doyle
The isolated Galapagos Islands were your 33rd pick of the crop.

If you are an average sun seeker looking for an average holiday, you have certainly come to the wrong place, but for wildlife enthusiasts, a trip to the Galapagos Islands is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

The Galapagos are an isolated group of volcanic islands lying in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Located 600 miles west of the coast of Ecuador, it is unlikely that the islands were ever connected to the mainland, and the isolation has meant that for much of the wildlife has flourished undisturbed.

The Islands are dominated by sea mammals, birds and reptiles. Having existed for thousands of years without fear of predators, many of the animals seem entirely fearless of people and will let anyone approach them.

It�s possible to swim with penguins or sea lions, and see pelicans, giant tortoises and giant land iguanas, and if you like boobies, you won�t be disappointed.

The Islands are home to red-footed boobies and masked boobies, but perhaps the most famous of the lot is the blue-footed booby, and in particular its clownish courtship dance which has to be seen to be believed.

In addition to the fascinating wildlife, the Galapagos Islands are famed for stunningly beautiful landscapes. Visitors are able to hike and tour up to the volcanoes, or swim and dive around the islands.

Fortunately, tourism is heavily restricted to ensure that the Islands retain their unique undisturbed characters to be enjoyed by tourists of the future.

See our other report from the Galapagos Islands.


All prices are approximate, and provided as a guide only. Always double-check prices with individual organisations. Please note that the BBC is neither responsible for, nor endorses the external sites shown on this page.

Price: Flights to Quito around £650 return

Approx flight time: 18 hours to Quito, usually an overnight stay, then 2 further hours flight to the islands

  • the name Galapagos comes from the Spanish Galapago meaning tortoise
  • giant tortoises of the Galapagos Islands weigh up to 225 kilos and can live for over 150 years
  • the Galapagos Islands� most famous visitor was Charles Darwin. The islands inspired him when forming his theory of evolution
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Country Facts
Time difference
GMT = 5 hours behind

Visa (with UK passport)
Not required

Inoculations & health
Typhoid, Hepatitis A, yellow fever recommended, Dip, Tuberculosis Hep B and Rabies sometimes recommended

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