Galapagos Islands are situated in the Pacific Ocean, 605 miles off the west coast of de Ecuador -South America-, the country to wich they belong. This archipelago of 13 major islands and surrounding marine reserve are home to a huge number of aquatic species; the marine reserve is the second largest on the World Heritage List, after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
|Where are the Galapagos Islands|
Galapagos are a dynamic region constantly changing with volcanic eruptions, new lava fields forming and islands eroding and expanding.
The Galapagos Islands are formed by 61 islands and islets with 13 main islands. Seeming like shadows upon the sea from one another, the 13 main islands are Baltra, Española, Fernandina, Floreana, Genovesa, Isabela, Marchena, Pinta, Pinzon, San Cristobal, Santa Cruz, Santa Fe, and Santiago.
The archipelago is located on the Nazca Plate (a tectonic plate), which is moving east/southeast, diving under the South American Plate at a rate of about 2.5 inches per year.It is also atop the Galápagos hotspot, a place where the Earth’s crust is being melted from below by a mantle plume, creating volcanoes. The first islands formed here at least 8 million and possibly up to 90 million years ago.