150 years on, the Galápagos Islands still inspire the minds of people

blue footed boobyNext year will be the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species’, the world famous book where Darwin outlines his theory of evolution and natural selection that now underpins much of our modern understanding of the natural world and our own development.  Darwin was travelling on board the HMS Beagle as a naturalist and gentleman’s companion to the captain, Robert Fitzroy, when he encountered the Galápagos Islands, his findings there of unusual and unique species would later inspire his theory and book and lead to a lifetime of fame and distinction.

The Islands are still wild and inspiring today, supporting endemic species such as the blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas and Giant Galápagos Tortoises after whom the islands are named (galápago means saddle in spanish).  All tourism in the area is regulated to protect the natural ecosystem that abounds there and tourism is essential to help sustain the economy and preserve the islands’ charm. Unfortunately the hotels and restaurants that arrive to cash in on the tourism are now straining the local environment to its limit and threatening the very reason people choose to visit the Galápagos. The best and least environmentally damaging alternative is on board a yacht, just as Darwin did.

Some information courtesy of the Guardian online and Wikipedia

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