The Galápagos Islands are an archipelago of volcanic islands distributed around the equator in the Pacific Ocean, 972 km (525 nmi) west of continental Ecuador, of which they are a part. Wildlife is its most notable feature.
The Galápagos Islands and its surrounding waters form an Ecuadorian province, a national park, and a biological marine reserve. The principal language on the islands is Spanish. The islands have a population of around 23,000.
These islands volcanic in origin and were never attached to any continent. Wildlife arrived here in one of three ways: flying, floating or swimming. Where in most environments larger mammals are are normally the predators at the top of the food chain these animals were unable to survive the journey. Thus the giant Galápagos tortoise became the largest land animal and due to the lack of natural predators, the wildlife in the Galápagos is known for being extremely tame.
The Galápagos Islands are noted as a home to a large number of endemic species. The stark rocky islands many with few plants made it necessary for many species need to adapt to survive here and by doing so evolving into new endemic species. It was after visiting the Galápagos and studying the endemic wildlife that inhabit the islands that a young Charles Darwin developed his Theory of Evolution.