The archipelago of the Galapagos is located 600 miles west from the mainland Ecuador coastline, consisting of 61 islands and islets with 13 main islands. It was here that the young naturalist Charles Darwin – travelling aboard the HMS Beagle – carefully observed the remarkable adaptations made by creatures to their hostile environment, as well as all the subtle variations present in flora and fauna. It was this experience that led him to conceive his evolutionary theory of natural selection.
In 1978, the Galapagos Islands were recognized by the UNESCO as a “World Heritage Site” for its scientific reputation. During that same year, United Nations declared 40 miles of the marine area of Galapagos to be a “Biosphere Reserve” (the second largest in the world) in order to protect the marine and land species around the islands.