Destination guide: Galapagos, Ecuador
The Galapagos National Park is one of the most attractive destinations inEcuador and is home to giant turtles, prehistoric iguanas and other unique species. For many tourists, the Galapagos Islands or “Enchanted Islands” as some people call them are a true paradise, where you can find beautiful white sand beaches, lava tunnels and one-of-a kind native flora and fauna.
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Much like the revolutionary scientific idea with which they’ve become synonymous, the Galápagos Islands may inspire you to think differently about the world. Nowhere else can you engage in a staring contest with wild animals and lose.
You can’t help thinking you’ve stumbled upon an alternate universe, some strange utopian colony organized by sea lions – the golden retrievers of the Galápagos – and arranged on principles of mutual cooperation.
Don’t come expecting to see bizarre wildlife – there are no half-penguin, half-turtle ‘penurtles, ’ no large mammals with shark fins. What’s truly special is this: the creatures that call the islands home act as if humans are nothing more than slightly annoying paparazzi.
The islands have taken on a mythological status, and their relationship with Charles Darwin, the most famous visitor,has become distorted and romanticized. Yet you don’t have to be an evolutionary biologist or an ornithologist to appreciate one of the few places left on the planet where the footprint of the human presence is kept to a minimum.
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