Galápagos Islands is a truly unique place in the world and represents a dream destination that particularly seduces nature and animal lovers. Galápagos is an archipelago that belongs to the the country of Ecuador, in South America, and is located in the Pacific Ocean about a thousand kilometers out of the mainland. Although Galápagos is comprised of thirteen main islands (and some smaller islets), only four of them are inhabited -- Santa Cruz, Isabela, San Cristobal, and Floreana. To get to Galápagos, you will have to fly through Ecuador, either via the capital Quito or Guayaquil, taking around two hours to reach the airports in the islands of Santa Cruz or San Cristobal.
Galápagos Islands is rather remote and isolated, which is the primary reason for its incredibly rare biodiversity. Apart from a rich and differentiated flora, Galápagos fauna is the most eye-catching thing for tourists. You will easily find marine iguanas, sea lions, a great variety of birds, sea turtles, giant tortoises and even penguins in the main touristic spots, reached by the typical cruise ships or day tours departing from the inhabited islands, where lodging is available.
The main places to base yourself to set off to explore Galápagos would be Puerto Ayora (on Santa Cruz Island), Puerto Villamil (on Isabela Island), or even on the Island of San Cristobal if you fly directly there. The islands are renowned for expensive options when it comes to accommodation and restaurants. But there are alternatives to the higher end hotels, with several Galápagos hostels located mainly in the most populous and touristic place of them all, Puerto Ayora.
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