The chapter of Genesis speaks about how God created the world and the different creatures in it. Fables, bed-time stories and Greek mythology talk about the rare species that inhabited the world. While we have to line up in front of a zoo to see some of them that have still managed to survive, there are few other places where these animals roam free and coexist with humans.
This week's Travel and Living section is dedicated to those readers with relentless explorative spirit. Most of us would be familiar with the name Galápagos, the island chain in the Pacific Ocean that is distributed on either side of the equator. Its isolated location in the vast stretch of Pacific Ocean has made it less popular compared to other tourism locations. But to the historians, biologists, oceanographers and NASA scientists, Galápagos is the only place of its kind in the whole world.
It is the womb of evolution as some scientists describe it. Charles Darwin's theory of evolution was inspired by these island chains. It is the only biological habitat that supports tropical, sub-tropical, equatorial and polar animals and birds together. The region is home to many near to extinct species of animals and birds.
Galapagos is home to over 500 species of animals and birds
Land iguanas, blue-footed birds, flightless cormorant, tropical penguins, albatross, giant tortoises, sea lions and great frigate bird are some of the over 500 native and endemic species that are dwellers of this island. There are 18 main islands in the archipelago. These include Baltra or Seymour Island, Bartolomeo island, Darwin island, Floreana and Genovesa islands. There are few minor islands too.
Tropical penguins, a rare species, rest on the rocks
The island chain is well connected by air and sea routes. There are numerous high end and economy land based hotel options in San Cristobal, Santa Cruz, Floreana and Isabela. Day boats are provided by hotels for one day tours. Travelers can also camp in some of the inhabited islands and beaches. The maximum time of stay however cannot exceed 3 days. Travelers can also opt for cruise tour packages that make elaborate stopovers for closer exploration of the island. Galapagos is also a great Scuba diving and snorkeling destination.
The island is a great snorkelling and scuba diving destination
A small plea to all future travelers- Enjoy Galapagos and share with us your experiences, but make the least disturbance possible to the flora and fauna. Live and let live..