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Galapagos Geography

Galapagos Pinnacle Rock

The Galapagos Islands is located 1,000 km (600 miles) from the coastline of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean. This tiny chain of volcanic islands is among the most dynamic in the world. Constantly changing with the formation of new lava fields, the Galapagos Islands are expanding and eroding with the many volcanic eruptions that have taken place here over the centuries.

The Galapagos Archipelago consists of thirteen large islands, six smaller islands and over forty islets that have official names. Many small rocks and islets remain unnamed.

The 13 main islands are Baltra, Espanola, Fernandina, Floreana, Genovesa, Isabela, Marchena, Pinta, Pinzon, San Cristobal, Santa Cruz, Santa Fe, Santiago.

These islands are well isolated from other land masses and straddle the equator at the 90th meridian west. The nearest land, mainland Ecuador, is some 960 km to the east. To the northeast lies Cocos Island [720 km) and Costa Rica (1,100 km). Sixteen hundred kilometres to the north is Guatemala, while to the south about 3,200 km lie Easter and San Felix Islands.

SIZE (Km2)
Isabela 4588
Santa Cruz 986
Fernandina 642
San Cristobal 558
Floreana 173
Marchena 130
Espanola 60
Pinta 60
Baltra 27
Santa Fe 24
Pinzon 18
Genovesa 14


The total land area of the islands is about 8,000 km2 spread over about 45,000 km2 of sea. Isabela, the largest island, has a land area of 4,588 km2 and four other islands have an area greater than 500 km2. The archipelago is 430 km long from Darwin Island, in the northwest, to Española Island in the southeast. From Point Cristobal at the southwest of Isabela Island to Genovesa Island in the northeast is 220 km.

Galapagos is a province of Ecuador and five of the islands are inhabited with a total population of around 15,000. The capital is Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristobal Island, although the largest town is Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz.

Of volcanic origin and crossed by the equatorial line, they are one of the most famous National Parks of the world due to their unique characteristics.

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