This fabled land is home to crazy volumes of inquisitive wildlife, lunar-like islands, pristine waters and some fairly important theories about human evolution.VIEW THE MAP...
The Galapagos Islands
Only a two-hour flight from Quito, this island group feels aeons away.
Welcome to the birthplace of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Many of the marine and land animals of the Galapagos are found nowhere else on earth. Nutrient-rich oceans and barren moonlike islands are home to an otherworldy mash-up of Darwinian inspiration: from prehistoric-looking marine iguanas, to giant tortoises, to the bird whose name guarantees a giggle, the blue-footed booby, wildlife is abundant and not afraid of strutting its stuff. After living here for millions of years in splendid isolation, the birds and animals of the Galapagos have little fear of people: there's nowhere else in the world where you can swim and snorkel with sea turtles, penguins and sea lions in such abundance and up so close.
Bring a few spare memory cards for your camera, tread lightly and be prepared to be absolutely wowed. This primordial place kicks modernity to the curb.