Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Galapagos Islands - The Adventure of a Lifetime

The Galapagos Islands are a rarefied, exotic destination few have had the privilege of seeing.  The islands of the Galapagos archipelago rose from the sea from erupting volcanoes, and have never been connected to the mainland - they are truly a world apart.
There are 19 islands and 42 islets and this region is still considered one of the most volcanically active places in the world.  The archipelago stretches 174 miles and sits on a 'hot spot' in the earth's crust, where hot volcanic magma is always in motion.
The islands are believed to have formed from east to west; the oldest is between 3 and 4 million years old.

The Climate
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The archipelago's subtropical climate is almost completely determined by sea currents, whose varying temperatures bring seasons that differ only in cloud cover and the amount and type of precipitation.  Smack  on the equator, the islands enjoy 12 hours of sunlight throughout the year
The Seasons
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The hot or rainy season (late November - June) arrives when the Panama Current warms the nearby waters to 26 degrees C.
The dry season (June - November) arrives with the colder (20 degrees C) waters from the Peru Current

Flora and Fauna
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Life in the Galapagos is a study in extremes
Parched, rocky islands spread under the equatorial sun are surprisingly rich in life
In contrast, the fragility of the Galapagos ecosystem shows itself in a low level of diversity - there aren't as many different species as one would expect

1 comment:

  1. The Galapagos Islands are the most incredible living museum of evolutionary changes. It's one of the most beautiful places on Earth