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In this article, we'll be sharing ten fun facts about the Galápagos Islands.

The islands were the first ever World Heritage Site.

97% of the islands are protected as part of a national park

No evidence exists of any pre-Colombian settlement. The first recorded human to set foot on the islands was the Bishop of Panama in 1535.

The Galápagos Islands were often used by pirates as a hideout, both to store their loot and since the giant tortoises provided a steady supply of food.

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Fernandina Island

One minor island is paradoxically called Nameless Island.

The archipelago was named after the giant tortoises found there: Flemish cartographer Abraham Ortelius named them Insulae de los Galopegos in 1574.

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The Galápagos mockingbird was the first creature that Darwin noticed varied from island to island.

The Galápagos penguin is the only penguin that has its natural habitat in the northern hemisphere. Charles Darwin also never spotted any, despite spending five weeks there.

Charles Darwin hated marine iguanas and dubbed them ‘imps of darkness’.

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Thanks to two airports and an thriving sustainable tourism industry, visiting the islands has never been easier.

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Meet our team

Real Latin american experts

  • Alex
    Alex Walker - Travel Expert

    A globetrotter since her childhood, Alex spent a year studying abroad in Guadalajara and has returned to Latin America countless times since then.

  • Maggie
    Maggie Wilson - Travel Expert

    Maggie visited Latin America on her first backpacking trip when she was 19. Since then, she has taken every opportunity to travel, and has managed to explore a lot of the region in subsequent trips.

  • Millie
    Millie Davies - Travel Expert

    Having caught the travel bug as a child, Millie has travelled all over Latin America before making her home in Buenos Aires for 3 years.

  • Sophie
    Sophie Barber - Travel Expert

    Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia and beyond to Antarctica.

  • Mary
    Mary Anne Nelson - Travel Expert

    Born in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Mary’s insider knowledge and dry sense of humour make her a highly valued member of the Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tour sales team.

  • Juliet
    Juliet Ellwood - Travel Expert

    After graduating with a degree in Anthropology and History and having been fascinated by Latin America since childhood by the book featuring photos of Nazca, Juliet first visited the region in 2003. Since then, Juliet has visited the majority of countries in Latin America but has particularly extensive experience with Peru, a country she loves for many reasons but not least, its incredible archaeological richness and delicious food!

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