The Galápagos Islands are a wondrous place located on the equator. Here you will find "13 main volcanic islands, 6 smaller islands and 107 rocks and islet rocks." (Wikipedia) The official name of this large group of islands that span both hemispheres with two of them actually on the equator is El Archipiélago de Colón. The archipelago lies in the Pacific Ocean 600 miles off the west coast of Ecuador. Las Islas Galápagos were born from fire and are home to some of the most unbelievable animal life. The islands and its waters form an Ecuadorian province, a national park and a biological marine reserve. National Geographic estimates that “95% of its pre-human biodiversity remains intact.” Can you imagine that? This is a rarity on our Earth to have such an untouched island ecosystem. It is no wonder that it has been a treasure trove for research and exploration by scientists, ecologists, conservationists, tourists, enthusiasts and now us! Join us as we explore “a living laboratory of evolution.” (National Geographic)

The National Geographic video below this satellite image will give you a great feel for these unique Islands. After the video you will be shown an interactive map that lets you learn about some of the main Islands that make up this magnificent archipelago: Isabela, Santa Cruz, San Cristóbal, Santiago, Española, Genovesa, Fernandina, Marchéna and Floreana.

Nasa satellite photo of the Galápagos islands overlayed with the Spanish names of the visible main islands.

Santa Cruz is the most populated island and that’s where you can find the Charles Darwin Research Station and the Galápagos National Park Service. All together the islands’ populations total only around 25,000. Spanish is the main language spoken. Enjoy the video and the site! Don't forget to come back and see all of the other great links below that we have discovered.

Las Islas Galápagos National Geographic Video and Site

Did you know that a Galápagos tortoise has an average lifespan of 100 years, making them the longest living of all vertebrates?

Explore more facts about these amazing animals!See a finch help out a Galápagos tortoise!Send an e-card of the tortoise to a friend!
Listen to what a Galápagos tortoise sounds like!

Galápagos Iguanas Dive for Dinner

Holding their breath for up to ten minutes, Did you know that marine iguanas can hold their breath for up to ten minutes? Watch as their cousins on land climb the volcanoes that created the islands. See the land lizards incubate their eggs in the warm volcanic ash and how the young reptiles are forced to take cover against snakes and hawks. Watch the saga of the iguanas, the species that in the 1830s helped spark Charles Darwin's evolution revolution. (National Geographic Digital Media)
Video: Galápagos Iguanas Dive for Dinner

Galápagos Volcanoes Keep Tortoises on Their Toes

The Galápagos Islands are home to a unique array of wildlife—and to several active volcanoes. Many of the islands' creatures have adapted to survival in a world of fire and ash. But when it comes to the rare giant tortoise, conservationists prefer not to take chances. Watch as a group of researchers rush to airlift some of the massive reptiles off the main island of Isabela as one of its volcanoes comes bursting to life.
(Video by "Wild Chronicles," PBS, made possible by National Geographic Mission Programs and WWF and presented by WLIW New York)
Video: Galápagos Volcanoes Keep Tortoises on Their Toes

"Vampire Birds" of the Galápagos Islands

Some harmless-looking finches on the Galápagos Islands have developed a surprising technique for surviving the dry season—drinking the blood of other, larger birds! Watch the "vampire birds" in action, if you dare!
(National Geographic Digital Media)

Video: "Vampire Birds" of the Galápagos Islands

Sit back and enjoy this relaxing, 3-minute video about the Islands created by the BBC:

Galápagos Islands - Hammerhead Sharks

Video: Galápagos Islands - Hammerhead Sharks
Video: Galápagos Islands - Hammerhead Sharks

Hammerhead Sharks are one of the main attractions and reasons why many travel to to the Galápagos islands. They can be seen anywhere but are mainly at Wolf Island and Darwin Island, where they congregate in schools so large its impossible to count them!

Stay tuned for more! Just like the Galápagos is ever-evolving, so is this Wiki. There's way more to come. We haven't even talked about Charles Darwin and natural selection yet or the coolest tours to go on! If you can't wait, try Everything Galápagos!